Is CrossFit really that great? An experts take on it…

 I gotta be honest…I’m really excited to share today’s goodness BUT also a little nervous. Why, you say? Well…because we all have different opinions and experiences and when someone comes along and rocks the boat of what we think is “right” sometimes things can get not-so-nice. This month I’m digging into some controversial topics.

So yes, I’m rocking the boat AND let’s play nice. Cool?

I’ve invited a good friend and colleague of mine to share his insight on the “it” workout of the moment: CrossFit

And after his reasoning below, he gives some do-anywhere-moves to actually get the results you want without having to go to the gym an hour everyday or doing olympic lifting. In fact, I had to test the water on these simple exercise for you before I sent this out, of course,  and I noticed my arms more toned in just 5 days (15 min/day).  5 days ladies, 5! That’s my (busy, on the go, hate the gym and workout machines) kind of “workout”.

Dee Tidwell has worked with professional downhill mountain bikers, multi-X-Games skier cross champions, Olympic gold medalists, pro golfers, and some of the best snowboarders in the world as a conditioning coach. Bottom line – he’s legit. Too legit to quit (heeeeey, heeeey).

Why dig into CrossFit?  Because people ask me about it often. Some people rave about it. Some people bash it. Some chiropractors and massage therapists have to “fix the aftermath” of it. And quite honestly, I didn’t know.

What is it? CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that concentrates on constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity to achieve overall physical fitness – all based within a community. Think aerobic conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, kettlebells, rope climbs, tire flipping, sledgehammering – all worked into daily WODs (workouts of the day). Their specialty is not to specialize – everyone does the same workout (obviously different weights/levels). This training was originally developed for military, police and fire academy trainees (intense, right?) and now has spread to the mainstream.

Now for the expert’s take on this…

Like Katie, I seek after the best in my industry to find research and information that will not only help you get the physical results you want but also to help me be one step ahead of competitors.

Unfortunately, in my industry (physical fitness/training), there are many who aren’t concerned with education and standards as it relates to creating consistency, safety and creativity in coaching their clients. They tend to be more concerned about making money, and unfortunately, the ones who suffer most are the clients paying them for solutions to their issues, goals and desires.

One of the hottest trends in fitness right now is Cross Fit – it’s trendy, it’s “fun,” and it helps people lose weight.

All great things in general, BUT… there are many flaws to the current system, and sadly, many people are getting hurt, discouraged, and otherwise treated like MMA fighters!

Look, here’s the deal. There are a number of reasons why I (and many of my colleagues) don’t like Crossfit, so here we go!

3 Reasons Crossfit Will Do More Harm Than Good

1.     You want to be a Crossfit trainer?  

No problem, you can be! They certify anyone! I know you may be an accountant, but all you have to do is, pay their $1000 fee, go to a weekend seminar, take a test, and you’ll be officially “qualified.” Doesn’t that scare you?

Listen up! Any knucklehead can create a “workout,” but it takes a skilled technician to create a “program!”

The Crossfit “workout of the day” that is supposed to be really cool, is actually detrimental to results, success, and the overall ability to assess true physical gain when it comes to determining how you’ve changed. You see, each person we see, gets a thorough physical screen, upon which we create a specifically created program for YOU and YOUR needs. The best and only way to improve is to know where you start so you can compare where you end to see how and where you’ve changed!

2.    98% of the population doesn’t need to Olympic lift, nor can they!Image

You see, Olympic lifts take years to learn and to perfect, and it takes that same amount of time to coach a client/ athlete how to do them that way as well, so to have a coach who knows nothing to very little about how to O-lift, then there’s not a whole lot to gain and a whole lot to lose.

I’ve worked with many Olympic and X-Games athletes. Many have won each of the three medal colors, and during their training there were specific times of the year that we would work on Olympic lifting. The science of training scheduling is called, “periodization,” which simply means that the entire workout structure for the year is created based off when they need to perform their best.

So let me ask you… are you training to compete at a high level or are you just trying to lose some baby weight or perhaps looking to “get into a habit” of regular exercise? If you are part of the 98%, then you don’t need to Olympic lift!

3.     INTENSITY Danger

Because of #1 and #2, I believe Crossfit is already inherently dangerous for the average person… now I’ll add another reason, and that is the intensity of the workouts. Unfortunately, Crossfit should not be marketed to the average fitness person and I believe (and it’s now proven with the Crossfit games), that it should be a ‘sport’ in and of itself.

I mean, let’s face it, the average person goes to work everyday and sits for 8 hours. It is unreasonable to ask you to be able to go the local Crossfit gym and “just start.” I mean even the lowest level of Crossfit can be dangerous depending on the knowledge and experience of the instructor!

The most important point for anyone… you NEED specialized attention and solutions for exactly what you and your body says it needs, period!

So now, what to do then, you ask?

Simple.

First, remember “K.I.S.S? Keep It Simple Stupid?” Well, if you’re just starting out or even an intermediate fitness buff, do the simple, most functional moves you can.

The best way to think of this is to think about what you could do on a business trip in a hotel room.  BUT, let’s add a little challenge to it, and that is, I want you to do each of the exercises prescribed below in a “super set” format, which means you are not going to take any rest between each exercise!

So if you’re a beginner start with 1 set and the lowest number of reps recommended ,and if you are advanced, do 3 sets and the max number of reps. After you do all 6 exercises, take a 1 minute rest, and repeat for the second and third set (if applicable).

Watch out, you’ll get stronger, more stable and definitely burn some fat!

So here we go!

Here are the 6 moves that are guaranteed to help your body tighten and tone and get the real results you are looking for:

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1.   Body weight squats- 1 to 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Draw your belly into your spine w/o changing your spine, then pretend you’re going to sit in a chair where your butt goes back, chest stays up, arms out, weight mostly in your heels.

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2.   Hip Extensions- 1 to 3 sets of 10 second holds x 10 reps

Laying on your back with arms to side or pointing to ceiling, and with your chest up, lift your butt to the ceiling via your heels and focus on squeezing your glutes to the exclusion of your hamstrings and lower back.

 

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3.   Bed/chair/floor pushups-  1 to 3 sets of 4-15 reps

Place your hands on a bench, bed or the floor. Keep your core tight with a good, neutral spine position, then perform the push up. Be sure to let your elbows go back at a 45 degree angle and not straight out.

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4.   Standing horizontal band rows- 1 to 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Place your band in a door frame or knob. Get into a good upright posture position with belly in, and then pull the band toward your chest and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Be sure to keep your head still!

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5.   Planks- 1 to 3 sets of 15-60 second holds

Get onto your forearms and toes (or knees), and create a neutral spine, pull your belly button to your spine and hold. Hold this position AND DON’T LET IT SAG OR LOSE FORM!

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6.   Band rotations- 1 to 3 sets of of 10-15 reps

Start with a slight bend forward at the hips and knees soft. Attach band onto doorknob and grab with the outside hand, then place the inside hand on top of the outside hand. If you see my chest and arms, they form a triangle. KEEP that the entire time and turn your chest tothe left and right.

That’s it! Get after it! Do this workout every other day and you’ll be on your way to the body you want…the SAFE and doable way!

Katie’s Thoughts

I think about physical movement the same way I think about food and nutrition. We have to choose the right foods, movements, stress-relievers, and more for OUR body, called bio-individuality. Not for your neighbor, sister, bff, etc.

Particular workouts may be causing more stress and harm to your body than good. Other workouts may not be intense enough or targeted enough to truly get what you need.  And finally long steady-cardio workouts (like running or gym machines for more than 45 minutes at the same pace)usually just make women fatter. 

A blanket workout of the day can be a recipe for disaster, the same way a blanket diet for everyone just doesn’t work. Each body is different – find what your body needs, listen to your body, and let the benefits flow, baby.

With all this said, I always say “you can’t bash it ’til you’ve tried it”, and I’ve never done a full CrossFit program – just not my style right now nor what my body needs. However, I know very qualified trainers who have done a CrossFit model in a safe and effective way. Digest the information above, try the exercises, and choose what is right for you.

If you’re in the Denver area and need some guidance on how to create a program specifically for your body and the results you want OR you or your man want to improve your golf game… seriously hit up Dee at www.techperformancecenter.com.

Go get your awesomeness on.

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