By: Mike Collette
I recently responded to a blog post that one of my college colleagues posted  in regards to the controversy over  High Rep Olympics lifts, predominately seen in some CrossFit programming. Now, I’m not defending stupid programming and putting people at risk for injury. In the same regard, I’m not saying that it’s the worst thing for you either. To compare,  I personally wouldn’t run a marathon because I think it’s horrible for your body, that’s just me but people still do it and love it. Do I shake off all the hero WOD’s because some of them are pretty risky for the average person? Not at all because I know the purpose of the Hero WODs is to commemorate those fallen and are “WORKOUT’S” not a training program. There is a difference.  Just like people have the goal of training for a marathon (I’m just not one of them : ) )

How Training differs from a “workout” 
Please understand that ‘Training” is much different then a “Workout” (builders vs. testers). Here at CrossFit Prototype, Monday-Friday is training, Saturday are workouts, specifically team or partner based to have fun and increase the strength of our CrossFit community. Training serves the purpose to facilitate a goal and that is dependent on where we are in our periodization. Based on the latter, something like a “tester” or a benchmark WOD is what the training program aims to get you better at, that “workout”. For example, if you want to decrease your “Fran” time, improving the pull up technique (strict vs. butterfly vs. gymnastics kip), increasing overhead strength, heavy thrusters, heavy front squats etc, whatever you do in your training, has to match up with your goal. If you want to decrease your “mile time”, short high intense intervals (builders) are perfect to do that. The training, improves the workout or the “tester”.
(That’s Cool, but is it necessary?)
An understanding of What CrossFit Truly is (at CrossFit Prototype)
I can tell you one thing, that safety is our number one priority when it comes to training. If we do a WOD with oly lifts in it, its rarely high reps. We might have relative high volume (5 rds of 5-8 power cleans) but rarely would we do a 30-50 straight rep scheme of oly lifts because it can be taxing on the body/CNS etc. The thing about CrossFit and good coaches is to scale for those who shouldn’t be doing that. If we have young “go hard” who want to compete, as a strength coach the goal is to 1.) decrease risk of injury 2.) get your athlete ready for the demands of the sport. The sport of CrossFit like I said, is based around the rigors of that volume. Does it need to be done everyday or week, no, but is their a point in the periodization where someone needs to be prepared for those 3 WOD’s in a day for 2 or 3 days consecutively, yes.
What I’m not saying: I am not saying there is no purpose for those high rep Oly lifts. What I am saying is that there is a time and place for everything. If we test “Grace”, you bet there will be scaling for people.
CrossFit is more than what you think it is:
If you want to get into what CrossFit really is, you can’t look at it as a “one stop shop”. The training philosophy of “constantly varied high intensity functional movements” is across the board. But you need to break it down by the components of a GPP (general physical preparedness program) and the competitive strength and conditioning program. Is everyone an athlete when they come into CrossFit? No. Are they trained to be athletic in regards to the functional movements, yes. Are they all trained like professional athletes, no.
CrossFit gets a bad rap in my opinion from the people with a”scarcity mentality” vs. a “growth mentality” . “Oh my god my business is going to fail now that a CrossFit gym just opened up near me, I’m going to lose all my clients” so what do they do? Talk bad about CrossFit. But I bet you a good amount of those people have adopted some of the things we do and probably have said “yeah we do CrossFit training here” just to increase business. Regardless, of those who know what CrossFit is, it’s not all about the WOD’s. It’s the community that is forged.
If you read any of Glenn Pendlay’s stuff he loves CrossFit and is a highly reputable Oly coach because CrossFit has increased the popularity of Oly lifting as a sport. It’s increased the businesses that support and/or are revolved around Oly lifting as well. CrossFit is a GOOD thing for Oly lifting. Just like it is for gymnastics. More and more people are getting interested and bringing hype to these sports because of CrossFit, but no one talks about that. They just talk about how CrossFit is “dumb”… whatever that means.
CrossFit has created a fitness community that TRUMPS the body building community in terms of its inclusive ability to house any and all ages, fitness levels and athletics backgrounds. If people can’t see that the reward vs. the risk of CrossFit is much higher then they are blinded by their own ego’s and failure to be open minded.
From a CrossFit affiliate owner, coach, trainer or whatever you want to call me, I’m not mad about the hate from outside the CrossFit community (i’m use to it now) but just confused about the closed minded mentality of a lot of smart people in the industry. Fitness is good. Getting people pumped about working out is awesome. That’s what do. Help shape and change peoples lives.
(2007 Games… 2013 Open…140,000 participated. It’s growing, something must be going right)