When this post went live on January 21st, I had no idea that it would receive as much activity as it has. Many people have weighed in with their opinion (some of which based on the expletive nature has been removed) – but giving props to Brad, the author of this post, he's been responding to everyone. If you want to see some of the comments from Facebook, I've posted it here:
Bodybuilders hate CrossFit – and here's 11 reasons why:
- Those butterfly/kipping pull-ups look ridiculous and they are horrible form.
- Olympic lifting is fine but it was never meant to be done at high repetitions.
- CrossFit is not a sport either. People who do CrossFit are not athletes.
- CrossFit coaches are not really coaches. They take a weekend course and then come throw you into some crazy workout. [Note: In the fitness industry the difference between “trainer” and “coach” is important. While a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer certificate requires a weekend seminar and exam, one does not earn the title of CrossFit Coach until CrossFit Level 4, which requires hundreds of hours of on the job experience, several courses, exams, a real time coaching evaluation by our seminar staff, etc.]
- Professional and Olympic athletes would never use CrossFit for training.
- The girls have big shoulders and big butts. Who wants to look like that?
- CrossFit can make you extremely sore and under the right circumstances, it can lead to Rhabdo, a very serious condition that requires immediate medical attention.
- If Rhabdo doesn't get you, there is a really good chance you are going to get injured. Have you heard about the study Ohio State did on CrossFit workouts. It resulted in a 16% injury rate. That's not good. [Note to Reader: The 16% incidence rate came from a study that has some major problems. Both CrossFit Inc and the CrossFit gym the study took place at are suing the NSCA for knowingly publishing fraudulent information there. You can read more about that situation here.]
- Besides, if I wanted to do high intensity training, I would just take one of the circuit classes at my gym. It's the same thing.
- I would never spend hundreds of dollars per month for a CrossFit membership, that's just crazy.
- And Rich Froning uses steroids.
But that’s NOT why bodybuilders really hate CrossFit…
CrossFit is bothering Bodybuilders
There is something bothering bodybuilders. More people are interested in CrossFit now than in bodybuilding.
You can’t get away from it.
The CrossFit boxes (CrossFit calls their gyms “boxes”) are popping up everywhere and people are talking about it on social media.
Regardless of the current trend, bodybuilders don’t want to drink the kool aid. Here’s why:
Bodybuilders Don’t Hate CrossFit, they hate Intensity
Bodybuilders don’t hate CrossFit, they hate intensity.
Think about most bodybuilding workouts. Typically low repetition workouts, between 1-10 reps, with the occasional super-set or burnout. What is cardio for most bodybuilders? 20 minutes on the treadmill or the bike.
They don’t like it when you are grunting in the gym or slamming weights (typically occurs in a high intensity workout).
You can still look (and smell) good after a bodybuilding workout.
Here is the difference between CrossFit and Bodybuilding
We know you think the butterfly pull-ups are horrible form. I am not going to argue that point. Checkout this video to learn about the mechanics of butterfly pull-ups and the correct (and incorrect) way to perform them.
A butterfly pull-up performed with correct form, is safer than a strict pull up with broken form.
The form argument is another discussion.
With that aside, I think everyone would agree that doing 45 pull-ups and 45 thrusters (aka the “Fran” workout) in 2:30 seconds is going to be much more intense that doing the same amount of reps with strict pull-ups and taking 10 minutes to do so.
Think about running a mile. Which is more intense: Running a 10:00 minute mile or a 6:00 mile? You are going to get two very different experiences and your body will get two very different workouts.
Running probably didn't start out as a competition until someone defined a set distance (26.2). Once people had a definition, a competition was born.
CrossFit set a definition for many movements such as Olympic lifting, endurance sports, and gymnastics movements and just like the running example above, a competition was born.
The sport of CrossFit, the athletes and the coaches
Yes, I called it a sport.
Sooner or later it will be in the Olympics. Bodybuilding will never be an Olympic event, here’s why:
If you were to look at the TV ratings for Olympic events, the top rated events are the most intense: soccer, swimming, track and field (especially the 100 meter sprint, aka. the fastest man alive), and gymnastics. In the winter Olympics the top rated events are also the most intense: snowboard half-pipe, four-man bob sled, figure skating, alpine skiing, and hockey.
People want to watch intensity.
Because the more intense a sport is, the more difficult it becomes. People like to see how far you are able to push the human body and that comes from intensity.
Take a look at a bodybuilding competition versus a CrossFit competition.
You will see the difference: intensity
Last time I checked, Olympians were considered athletes and so are people who do CrossFit.
Lets look at some of the elements of CrossFit: A mix of Olympic lifting, running, rowing, gymnastics and more. Are any of those in the Olympics?
As for the coaches, this is where you have to be smart and do a little research. All coaches are not created equal. Why do some coaches produce the top athletes and teams while others don’t? Good coaches and bad coaches.
If you wanted to go to the Olympics for gymnastics, you probably would look around your area to see who the best coaches are. If one of your local coaches has taken someone to the Olympics, that would probably be the coach you would want to pair up with (even if it was a commute to get there).
My recommendation to find a good coach: Visit the CrossFit games website and look at which CrossFit boxes are producing the top teams in their region on the leader-boards. If a box is consistently producing top results year after year, they are more likely to have good coaching.
Who wants to look like a CrossFit athlete
Bodybuilders look great. Men and women who do bodybuilding workouts have great bodies.
With CrossFit you can have a great body and functional fitness.
My wife was a gymnast and one thing that has held her back from CrossFit is that she does not want to look bulky. I reminded her that her gymnastic body was more muscular than her current body and she looked great as a gymnast.
Top CrossFit girls do a LOT of Olympic lifting, so they tend to be bigger than most CrossFit girls. The same is true of the top CrossFit guys.
Just choose a goal and start attacking it. Do you want to be a competitor or do you want to just have functional fitness?
This is who will get Rhabdo
Or was this an isolated incident that all football players and teams can learn from?
Just like the example above, Rhabdo is always a risk when you are performing low to medium weights at high repetition and also at high intensity. Learn from it and move on. The entire college football community moved on and so should we.
People at the highest risk for Rhabdo are typically people who have taken a break and are still in great shape and then jump right back into some crazy workout their first day back. Be smart about training.
If you have taken some time off, ease back into the first week of training.
A football player wouldn't quit the game due to the risks of rhabdo. Don’t avoid achieving élite fitness because you are concerned about the risks. If you are concerned, learn the warning signs and move on.
The cost of CrossFit is worth it
Yes, your gym membership costs a few dollars a month and a CrossFit gym membership costs a few hundred. But guess what, its worth it.
If you ever got the chance to workout with a team of any kind, you know the competitiveness of the group always pushes you harder.
This extra 5-10% push will help you achieve results faster, give you motivation on a daily basis, and will make your experience much more fun.
Don’t forget about the experience. Why do you go to the movies and pay so much money for a movie ticket and popcorn?
For the experience.
The experience of CrossFit is much more fun and desirable in a CrossFit gym with people around, with the proper equipment, and with trainers to guide you.
Steroids – the debate continues
I am sure there are people in CrossFit who use steroids.
It's a competition.
The higher the stakes, the more people will tend to cheat. It happens in all levels of athletics and I think we would be naïve to say it doesn't happen in CrossFit.
But, CrossFit upholds very strict standards. They have a drug policy and they definitely enforce it. So just like any other athletic event, its your body and it’s the risk you take.
Rich Froning has never been caught using steroids. So to this point, he is all natural.
Come and drink our kool-aid
My challenge to bodybuilders: Its time to man up.
I know you put in work at the gym and you are highly motivated. But its time to get off that comfort zone couch and see what you can do with this machine you call your body.
Take a little sip of the kool-aid before you pour yourself a glass.
Start doing some thrusters and pull-ups each week and then attempt to do Fran (21-15-9 of thrusters and pull-ups) in your gym and see where you stack up.
You will hate it and love it at the same time.
It's a thin line between love and hate.
Author Bio: A little bit about Brad Chase
“I am a catholic, a husband, a dad, and a CrossFit athlete. Thanks for reading my article. I have been doing CrossFit since 2007 and I have a Level 1 certificate which makes me clearly qualified to talk about CrossFit. I have competed at regionals on a team in the Northwest and in Canada West. I also created a warm-up and mobility generator called WarmobilitY.”