This Post is republished from. John Filippini is our Barbell Club coach here at TTCF, and his insight into the sport of Weightlifting, and its complex relationship with CrossFit is highly valuable.
Weightlifting in the United States is currently going through a massive growth phase, largely thanks to the popularity of CrossFit – a phenomenon that (love it or hate it) has completely revolutionized the fitness and sport industries in its 15 year history.
But will it last? Is this simply another short golden age before weightlifting fades into the background again in American culture? Will CrossFit’s hotly debated injury rate cause it to implode?
It’s a complex question to ask and clearly no one has the answers, but I feel like a proper understanding of this requires awareness of the differences between sport athletes and weekend warrior fitness enthusiasts. Keeping the sport from fading away again has more to do with successfully nurturing the SPORT, rather than the trends in how weekend warriors choose to train.
(Before going too much further, special thanks to John Flagg with East Coast Gold Weightlifting for sparking the idea for this article in my head!)
CrossFit has come under a lot of scrutiny regarding potential injury rates. This article is NOT about debating whether or not there’s grounds to that. Just like any other category of training you can think of however, there are coaches that successfully avoid injury for their clients, there are coaches that are coaches that are too foolish or inexperienced to avoid it, and there are good coaches that occasionally get stuck with clients that will push beyond recommendations no matter what. If you push hard enough for a training methodology that always avoids all injury, I bet you’ll also find a methodology that isn’t that effective.
CrossFit comes under fire for this partially because they took a stand on a major value of theirs – libertarianism. There is no doubt that they have seriously stuck to their guns there over the long haul. CrossFit training is an open source model – at the local level anything goes. There have been injuries along the way, gyms that have failed, and unqualified coaches (depending on your point of view). But it’s also left room for a VAST amount of innovation in the fitness industry.
Ah, but this is the training, the average Joes/Janes and the weekend warriors. What about the sport – The CrossFit Games?
Here you see a lot more regulation from the top. Sponsorship, promotion, advancement opportunities, quality control of officials. And by the time an athlete gets to the finals of the Games (likely even the Regionals) – they are without a doubt ready to be there.
Interestingly however, there’s still an element of open source at the grassroots level with the CF Open. This is first and foremost a recruiting tool, quality control and retention come second. They make it excessively easy to convert new people from average gym goers to first time competitors.
Keeping a sport from fading away has more to do with grassroots efforts to convert talent at the local level from weekend warriors to competitors. CrossFit definitely has its injuries just as all sports do, but the sport itself has fantastic recruiting tools, fantastic retention incentives, and fantastic showcasing of the best talent to restart the cycle. That sport isn’t dying out anytime soon, though the training program’s place in general population fitness will no doubt evolve (as it is already beginning to).
My prediction is that the CrossFit brand (as we historically know it) is shifting from training methodology to sport – boosted by their smart decision to make the grassroots level completely open source. I would predict that “CrossFit” for average people will continue to evolve and look different to avoid the ebb and flow, while the sport becomes more and more of what it already is.
The CF gyms of today train people differently than the CF gyms of 8 years ago, and the CF gyms of 3 years from now will change even more. But the CrossFit Games? Those are here to stay, with just enough change to keep things interesting.
So you’ve come to make some change, huh? Is it weight loss? Better your overall health? Get stronger? Improve performance? Whatever the case may be, when it comes to the human body your results are determined a lot more by the food that you eat and not just by exercise. Staggeringly, eliciting any change is about 80% nutrition/20% exercise. That means if you haven’t included a diet change in your plans, you may not be very successful in your goals.
Arguably, one of the biggest factors to consider is protein intake. It is fundamental to muscle growth and tissue repair. Especially given the intensity of Crossfit programming, muscle repair is crucial to avoid injury and sustain training.
Protein is also huge for weight loss goals. One of the biggest issues people face when dieting is staying full. Many people fail in adhering to their new plans because of hunger pangs. Protein has a high satiety factor and helps keep a feeling of fullness. The other benefit is preserving lean mass. While trying to lose weight, it’s typical for dieters to under consume protein as well. As a result, some weight loss could be important lean mass and not fat. This may appear that the scale is tipping in your favor, when really progress is being lost.
So what is the answer? There is no clear cut answer unfortunately. Because everyone has different goals, starting points, and metabolisms many factors need to be taken into consideration. Fortunately this question has been asked many times before, and the wheel doesn’t need to be re-written. Mark’s Daily Apple has done a great job of breaking down the needs and researching the RDA’s as well. We recommend taking a peek there before making any big changes.
You walk through the door, the music is blaring and people are moving fast. You see the hard work painted on their faces as they lift, push, pull and run. What have you gotten yourself into? Before you can turn an about face, you get pulled into a conversation by someone who’s smiling but looks like they are in on a joke that you aren’t quite aware of. Welcome to Tough Temple!
Starting CrossFit can be an intimidating process. Don’t let if scare you off. What you see happening when you first walk in is an example of where you WILL be, not where you start out. We want you to feel welcome and supported in those first days in the Box. We know what you are feeling, we were all there when we started out. So what should you expect?
Brand New to CrossFit? Foundations is for you…
Everyone who starts their journey in CrossFit has a lot to learn. The unique combination of weightlifting, gymnastics, and cardiovascular exercise is unlike anything else in strength and conditioning. Our Foundations Program is designed to teach you the fundamental movements that you’ll commonly see in our regular programming. Each class begins with an educational piece covering relevant principles of exercise and nutrition that will help you understand the method behind all this madness. Over the course of 6 classes, you’ll build upon the previous material, culminating in your graduation to our CrossFit Workout of the Day or WOD classes.
Want to Lift Heavy Things? Barbell Fundamentals is where you start…
Olympic Weightlifting consists of the Snatch and Clean & Jerk movements, with Squats, Deadlifts, and other accessory exercises used to increase strength. Our Fundamentals course is designed to take you through the progressions of lifting technique, building proficiency in each position and movement before adding load. Each class builds on material covered in the previous classes, resulting in deeper understanding of technique over the duration of the program. After you complete Fundamentals, our Barbell Club provides an awesome group atmosphere that fosters growth and accountability. Open to all levels, the Barbell Club offers those who want it the opportunity to compete locally and Nationally in the sport of weightlifting.
Need a little One on One attention? Correct:Ex has it all…
Our personalized training programming is build upon a solid knowledge of Corrective Exercise, Mobility, and Performance training. Our coaches will construct a program entirely to fit your needs and goals. Learn what you need to know to resolve those nagging aches and pains that prevent you from moving and feeling the way you want. Shore up weaknesses that cause you to under-perform during group workouts. Have a specific performance goal you’re trying to achieve? Let us help you map out a plan to get there! And best of all, work out at times that best fit into your busy day.
Have questions? We are always here to help! firstname.lastname@example.org