Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rest Day Thoughts

Saturday Crew

First off, great job to all who joined us for "Otis."  This hero wod was created by SeaCity CrossFit, and the idea to pay tribute to Lt Col Christopher "Otis" Raible, comes from Jen Ausland. Thanks Jen, great idea! I have a feeling we'll be doing "Otis" again. It was a tough partner wod, and it was really great to see everyone really pushing themselves hard to get it done. Carrying a heavy sandbag 2k is no joke, and you guys all did really awesome. 

What are you not a fan of?


Sitting in a coffee shop recently, I overheard a conversation between two female gym goers. One of them had done CrossFit a few times and seemed to enjoy it but hadn’t really committed. The other however, said she was “not a fan.”

That statement struck me right away and made me wonder what the issue was. The first thing I wondered was, why that choice of words? The other thing I wondered about is what part of CrossFit was she not a fan of?

I am passionate about human performance, and as much as I know firsthand the effectiveness and utility of  CrossFit,  it is difficult for me to imagine how someone could not be “a fan.”

I fully expect everyone to recognize how awesome it is and embrace it and enjoy it like I do. I am always a little surprised  when someone quits or doesn’t come back to the gym.  I always wonder what precisely the cause was. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t lose sleep or pull my hair out over it, I know it’s going to happen, but I do often wonder.

So if you say you’re not a fan, I’d like to ask you:  What are you not a fan of?
  • ·         Work?
  • ·         Facing your shortcomings?
  • ·         Competition?
  • ·         Weightlifting?
  • ·         Gymnastics?
  • ·         Running?
  • ·         Achievement?
  • ·         Summoning up the self-motivation and drive to push yourself beyond what you previously thought was possible in a workout?
  • ·         Discomfort?
  • ·         Heat?
  • ·         Cold?
  • ·         Camaraderie, community, and support?
  • ·         Having people you just met or barely know cheering and encouraging you?


Seriously I want to know. What aspect of athletic strength and conditioning do you object to?

  • ·         People expressing themselves enthusiastically during a workout?
  • ·         Dropping weights?
  • ·         Dirt?
  • ·         Sweat?
  • ·         Chalk?
  • ·         Accountability?
  • ·         Deep squats?
  • ·         Deadlifts?
  • ·         Intensity?
  • ·         Not doing “cardio” in the conventional way?
  • ·         Ditching your heart rate monitor?


Please share with me what turns you off about CrossFit. Maybe I can address your concern. Then again maybe not. Perhaps it’s a systemic problem with your attitude or belief system. I don’t know. What are you not a fan of?

Did someone tell you it’s dangerous? Did you meet a self proclaimed “CrossFitter” and he or she was obnoxious? Did your trainer (you know the one, who puts CrossFit down in public, but does the wods in private) tell you that anyone can be a CrossFit trainer, that no special schooling is required, and hey, he has a degree in exercise physiology… Did that cause you to be biased?

Did you go to a CrossFit gym where they didn’t know what they were doing? That could happen. There are bad coaches in any sport, though I have to say the majority are passionate, competent people.

Or maybe….just maybe,  it’s that you’ve invested years of your time and effort in the conventional fitness routines, doing what the establishment has told you to do, and when something comes along that turns all that on its head, and says guess what, much of what you have been doing is a waste of time, that is a really bitter pill to swallow.

Anytime in history when someone has defied conventional wisdom, and forced people to accept a new paradigm, and throw out old ideas, that individual and his ideas have often been met with great resistance, and persecution. Change is uncomfortable.

Many people in the fitness industry have a vested interest in the status quo, in conventional wisdom. To these folks, we CrossFitters are heretics. According to Merriam-Webster, a heretic is “one who dissents from accepted belief or doctrine.”  For example, Galileo was condemned as a heretic for supporting Copernicus's thesis that the earth revolves around the sun and not vice versa.

How silly it seems now to think otherwise.

When you challenge a person’s core beliefs, things can get vicious. Hence the controversy and strong opinions regarding CrossFit. My advice is relax, take a deep breath, and put it in perspective. Entertain the possibility that maybe there is a better way than the typical 3 sets of 10, fitness mag workouts, circuits of machines, isolating muscles on machines, and doing 20 minute stints on the elliptical or treadmill. You’re invited to come try it out on me. I’ll give you a 3 day pass, really. You might be surprised. 

14 comments:

  1. i am a crossfit fan so this probably doesnt pertain to me.
    i am constantly telling people about crossfit, and the two replies i always get are;
    1. "well i need to get in shape for that" what shape is that? i mean even this sloth(me) started at his worst shape.
    2. " well thats expensive, i go to a gym where its 10-30 month". and i think but "you dont go" to that gym, so your paying $$ to say your a member?????
    im glad i made the "switch". only regrets are, should have done it sooner and wish there was one locally.

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  2. Rolando, I see you've been following the wods and keeping up here on the blog. I think that's awesome. A determined individual can accomplish a lot on their own. Stay connected and keep up the good work.

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  3. I really love this post. I was a group ex instructor for years. Then I switched to bodybuilding. When I told people I was thinking about Crossfit, I got a lot of responses that you mentioned above. "They use bad form". "That's dangerous." "They drop the weights. I hate that." (???)

    But I tried it anyway. It's different from anything I've ever done, it's challenging everything I thought I knew about fitness AND myself. But, I LOVE it. After less than a month, I think I'm addicted.

    Thanks for this post.

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  4. This is a really well written article. I'm not going to lie, I was a non-believer then I asked about participating and now I've continued to show up since June'ish. I have a buddy in Bakersfield, CA who attended one chapter out there and he was thoroughly impressed.

    Personally I think the gym has limits which allows people to believe their excuses why they have plateau'ed and don't progress. "They don't have that machine or class." "I can only make it after I fed the kids." "I don't know anyone and I don't want to feel embarrassed."

    On a side note, I did Friday's WOD and two things happened: 1) Some stranger came up to me and said, "Farmer's carries suck...you must crossfit. Let me help you with those." AND 2) I'm still sore from the OH Lunges.

    Keep them coming and I will see you guys on the 3rd.

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  5. Well seeing as I can say that I have been to your gym, and although I did find it interesting, the parts that possibly keep me away are these...1) the time to get over there and finding sitter for kids, 2) the disappointment I feel when I have trouble doing the exercises correct and the possible injury I may gain from doing it wrong, 3) I do feel a little intimidated by those around me, okay, a lot intimidated. I guess ultimately it comes down to feeling nervous and intimidated. But I'm thankful that my husband has found something that drives him to be healthier and stronger, thank you Tim.

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  6. Hey Priscilla....totally understand where you're coming from. Intimidation in unfamiliar surroundings is normal. If you don't come from an athletic background, or this sort of thing is new to you, that feeling of nervousness is normal. There are in fact very few people who come into the gym, who are not initially intimidated. The question becomes, how do you choose to deal with that feeling? I can tell you that conquering that intimidation is both achievable and rewarding. As far as risk...that's everywhere, it's integral to every part of life. Maximum security, minimum risk, equals zero reward. The risk of doing nothing is far greater than the risk of injury from moving your body, even if you're doing it with you might consider less than perfect form. Avail yourself of the resources, videos, and tutorials online, and keep working hard!

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    1. Thanks Tim, you are right, I must be willing to take some risks. You never know, I might have to step in there with Ronnie later!

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  7. Tim - you're a great writer! Zero risk = 0 reward is right on! I'm definitely a fan, but I do understand that totally, was so far out of my comfort zone, it was really hard to start cold with all these amazing athletes esp the time slot I starting going to. I had a meltdown after my first month or so, but never considered quitting becuz I really felt it was the only thing that was truly going to give me what I wanted & I wasn't going to take the easy way out & now I'm really comfortable. I'd been going to a local gym for 7 years doing classes, elliptical, etc....nothing was challenging me anymore - don't get me wrong, it wasn't easy either - high level cardio is tough, but my body wasn't responding anymore & even at 47 I knew I needed a change. When I started CrossFit, I also heard a lot of negative from others (still do) like "you're not 25 anymore" and basically some comments that pissed me off implying I'm too old! You gotta want it cuz it ain't a walk in the park! BUT as I've stuck with it for almost 8 months now, those same people are asking more questions about it & considering it as they've seen changes in me & have seen my commitment. I've had other people ask me what I'm doing different now! AND those amazing athletes who intimidated me in the beginning have been such a huge support & encouragement to me - this gym is an amazing community of great people!!

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  8. First of all this is a great subject. I am not a crossfit member but my wife is and she loves it. First of all these moves have been around for years and here comes crossfit and they put a name on it, secondly moves are not done with proper form and someone could get hurt, third it's timed and everyone is trying to be quick about it and form is lost, people cheat and don't say what they really got and put something different on the board. We are here to help people not try to teach them to be cheaters if you workout in a gym,home, you don't have to deal with this type of people who always strive to look better you. Fourth, their are owners of crossfit that have no business being trainers, because they don't have the people skills to control things that are going on in the gym and then they put other trainers who aren't even quality to train people. I believe some exercises for some will help them achieve there goals but for others it might make them bigger( like women). I like a lot of the exercises and do some but I don't consider myself a crossfitter, because I have done them for years. Fitness should be a BIG part of everyone life no matter how they get it done, these are just some of my thoughts.

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    1. At SeaCity we have a beginner's program where we do nothing BUT teach proper form. Any member who trains here will attest that form is constantly taught and emphasized. In my role as coach, I am constantly emphasizing form and technique. I take exception to the statement that things are not done with my proper form in my gym. I also take exception to the statement that anyone is taught to be a cheater in my gym. That is just a reckless statement. Cheating and bad form probably happens far more in your typical globo-gym, than it ever does at SeaCity. The culture promoted here is one of performance, achievement, and accountability. As far as coaching, this is the only gym I am aware of with an internship program specifically for the improvement and development of coaches. I've seen plenty of "personal trainers" whose skillset is less than impressive. Incompetence can be found anywhere. Maybe all of this is describing some other gym, but not SeaCity.

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  9. I am a crossfitter and I LOVE IT! Seacity is the best, Tim is very knowledgeable in what he does, he never lets you do anything you are not really for, he always has a answer for your questions, he's very quick to tell people what they need to do and what they need not to do.If you have never done crossfit this is the place to be, you will not be disappoint. For all the people who are against crossfit come try it and you will be addicted,you have nothing to lose!

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  10. I don't believe Crossfit put a name on anything, it combined a wide range of functional fitness, increased the intensity, and supports good health inside and outside of the box. And if your fear is to get hurt because of bad technique then ask a coach and do some independent research as oppose to assuming your doing the movements properly on your own. That is putting you at a higher risk of injury. Also, regarding the cheaters, the way i see it is let them cheat. They are simply cheating themselves. As for me? I'm gonna bust my balls and get so good that it won't matter if they cheat. My true score will still beat their lie. I have yet to meet a true cheater and don't consider this a problem at sea city. But that is my personal outlook on that. Lastly if your worried about the affiliate providing unqualified trainers, then check out the main site, they have an article that gives you step by step instructions on how to find a good affiliate with good trainers. And personal opinion again... Sea city coaches are each motivated, knowledge, and passionate about what they do. please don't take that as an attack. These are also just my personal thoughts regarding your particular topics.

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