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Why CrossFit Gets a Bad Rep

I recently ran across a tweet that Martin Berkhan made with a link to the video below.  Try to watch the video without getting upset, it will be hard.

So and explanation of what this is.  This is not a standard clean and jerk, this is called a continental clean and jerk with an axel, not a standard barbell.  This is commonly used in strongman competition.  The real question is WHY ARE YOU TEACHING THIS TO BEGINNERS?  Sorry for the caps had to get that out of my system.

Here is what a continental clean actually does look like

Now I am a big advocate of learning advanced lifts like the clean and jerk, (hang clean, power clean etc) but these are very complicated lifts and need to be learned in stages and at least one session with a decent coach.

Do you do any olympic lifts in your routine? or are you still using machines?

Good article by Vince Delmonte on how to Screw Up in the Gym


Comments on: "Why CrossFit Gets a Bad Rep" (6)

  1. I’m not a lifter, let alone o-lifter, and I don’t ever plan to be one.  But I could only make it through about 3 of those girls before I had to stop watching. I know enough about lifting that not only are they not really getting any kind of benefit from the lift, they’re actually probably headed towards ridiculous back issues. 

    Even if they wanted to do that lift, why are they doing it with weight they can’t hold?!

    Also, if I were Albany Crossfit, I’d be completely embarrassed to post this video.

  2. This is great!

    Robb Wolf talks about this all the time on his podcast just how many CrossFit gyms have poor training that leads people to injury. I am lucky, where I live in Santa Cruz (I believe where Robb actually started his first cross fit gym?) to have several good options with some really good training. In fact the University of California Santa Cruz athletic teams actually train as part of one. 

    The danger here is the kind of training shown above. But I have seen similar horrors as a member of 24 Hour Fitness. 

    No matter what none of this fits a “minimalist” workout routine. The workout schedules I have seen at most CrossFit gyms seems excessive. But the community aspect is golden. 

    When I was younger and played sports as part of a team this was the best part. I assume a good percentage of “CrossFitters” are us middle age Americans looking for that sense again…. 

    Awesome video!

    • Your right Stephen, CrossFit is no longer ‘minimalist’ Robb and Greg have said that it used to be more efficiency based a few years ago.

      I agree that the team aspect of training does make it more motivating.

  3. Wow.  First of all, those weights look like they were manufactured by Fisher Price or something.  No way in hell any beginner could attempt to lift 8 real plates, and a real bar.  Every lift made me cringe, especially the one where the girl dropped it on her head (another sign the weights aren’t standard size because she’d be out cold).  

    I’d love to start adding olympic lifts to my routine, and plan to one day but like you mention, I would need to consult with someone qualified before I attempt it.  Even though I’m experienced with lifting weights, I’m only comfortable doing a kettlebell clean and press at the moment.

  4. Thank you for the post.

    I was a college athlete and have been one for almost my entire life, now I am really into Bikram yoga and at the moment 5 k’s. I would like to do an actual marathon one day. I spent from 12 to 22 playing softball and from 14 to 18 power lifting. I was a state contender for power lifting all four years of college until I ruined my lower back and now I suffer from sever nerve damage in my lower spin and am not able to feel my left leg. This is all from proper training just years of doing it. I watched your video and the women doing those lifts was horrible, it was sad. I spend years in high school and college doing circuit training and while yes it tired us out, we did it properly and when our form went out the window we were required to only do as many reps as we could or to sit out so to not risk injury. Doing these weights like this is horrible on your body. It can ruin you for a long time. I have read articles of why people are so into it, because it makes you hot! I do 30 to 40 mins of cardio a day, weights, and core (tons of planks) and I am a proper weight, plus I do yoga which helps me center. Working out is my time to reflect on myself now, it’s personal and it helps me become a better person. This is just a scam. It’s hurting people in the long run and while I think you should feel pain when you work out (as it discomfort not actual pain) it should not be praised with horrible form.  This disgust me!

    • Hi Liv,

      With a low inflammation diet and some good rehab should be able to fix your back issues.

      The type of stuff in the video is not at most crossfit gyms, and I would probably recommend most crossfit gyms.   I don’t think it is a scam, I think the intentions are good, these specific trainers are just a bit uninformed.

      I am not sure what you mean by it makes you hot.

      30-40 mins of cardio a day plus weight and stability sounds like over training to me.

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