This year, the format of CrossFit Games 2019 has changed dramatically by Greg Glassman Quotes. Upcoming changes were announced in August, immediately after the Games. But only six months later, innovations became clear in details.
I will not list them. Now there is already a lot of information, both in the original and in translation. You can read the article Innovations in the season CrossFit Games 2019. I want to reflect on the causes and possible consequences.
Next is my version, based on the information found and personal conjectures.
Offset focus CrossFit Inc. with a sports component to wellness
Glassman, the founder of the brand and the creator of the concept, has never been particularly interested in CrossFit’s sports side. He once formulated the concept of physical fitness based on high intensity, group format, multi-joint movements, and a variety of loads.
Glassman came up with a new definition of physical fitness: performance in a wide range of duration and the nature of motor tasks. He also redefined the idea of health. First, remember the “Pathology-Normal-Preparedness” scale.
On this scale, the norm is a state of painlessness, when the indicators are within the age and sex norms. This is not health. Health is a state of preparedness when all indicators are at the super-levels that create a certain margin of safety and health.
This concept was so cool that it easily conquered the hearts and minds of people around the world. In its very essence, it contained a competitive moment, because it was built on performing for a time competitive movements from different sports. And it just so happened that the sport that emerged from fitness began to grow at a gigantic pace, and dragged up the fitness component as well.
CrossFit Games, which emerged as an athletes’ sidewalk, eventually became a powerful tournament. Athletes who train in their free time and compete as “weekend warriors” have been supplanted by professionals who train full-time and make a living from sports. The scale “pathology-norm-preparedness” has become a “pathology-norm-pathology” due to the large number of injuries and doping scandals.
Meanwhile, Greg Glassman gives the impression of a man driven by the idea of a revolution in fitness. It is now fashionable to discuss changes in the format of CrossFit Games 2019 through the prism of financial well-being of CrossFit Inc., and their income from affiliations and training. But Greg Glassman continues to say what he said 10 years ago, and even more. Only then did he contrasted CrossFit with network fitness. Now he contrasts CrossFit health care system as a whole.
Greg Glassman made a fortune on CrossFit. But he looks the same as 10 years ago: a baseball cap, a shirt, faded jeans. And yet – no hint of a sense of self-importance. But in the eyes of all the same fire of holy war with all that is meaningless in fitness and healthcare.
Competitive crossfit – the reason for the success of CrossFit Inc.
As in any war, half measures are not effective. If you want to be heard – question all foundations. Contrast yourself with everything. Traditional fitness is a waste of time. Isolating exercises and simulators are meaningless. A regulated training program is a useless routine.
We are for functional movements that allow us to perform high-power work. We are for the constant variation of the training stimulus and the achievement of a comprehensive working capacity. We are for constantly high intensity in everything. We are CrossFit.
But any extremes have sharp corners.
For example, you add multi-articulation to any movements, including pull-ups, and invent a butterfly. Or wind the intensity, making acyclic movements in cyclic and large volume. No matter what it is: plyometrics or weightlifting. Or do you vary the training stimulus almost to the level of chance, ignoring the principle of progressive overload. As a result, you are trapped in the grip of these extremes, and sometimes you train very competently, and sometimes you convulsively kipping various movements with fictional functionality. These are obvious restrictions on the growth of brand popularity, causing a powerful wave of criticism from the outside.
But competitive CrossFit pulled up the concept of fitness and the CrossFit brand, for two reasons.
Athletes, similar to supermen and capable of almost everything, “sold” the priority of training for functionality, not appearance. People, desperate to pump up the press and banks with the help of simulators and 3 * 8, enthusiastically switched to 21-15-9 and a bar with a horizontal bar, in the hope of the functionality of athletes from YouTube and “back” in the form of a press and cans.
I can not speak for the whole world and all people, but here’s how the scheme of the emergence of a new affiliate CrossFit Boxing repeatedly looked like:
- Someone will learn about CrossFit (the film “300 Spartans”, videos on YouTube, then national competitions, then local ones);
- This someone starts to train where he can (at home, in the basement, in a rocking chair nearby, in a local fitness club, and then in some crossfit box);
- This someone gets the idea, studies all the available materials, goes and learns at CrossFit Level 1;
- This someone starts to train other people, seeking to broadcast the “joy of elite fitness” to as many people as possible;
- This someone opens the hall, on their own or borrowed funds.
Familiar? I have seen a lot of such examples.
All such cases began with an enthusiast who was infected by the concept of readiness for any possible workload. And one more common feature: I don’t know of a single case when such an idea appeared in a person while watching a video about a person with excess weight, who with the help of berpie and trusters threw off 40 kilograms. But this is all one side of the issue.
The other side is as CrossFit itself. What was the quality – you can see at the CrossFit Games 2007-2010.
Now in many boxes, ordinary people perform movements better than the “top” athletes in those years. It is very useful to see sometimes what CrossFit was at that time. Stay the same – and the concept would not have flourished. And even completely wilted.
In pursuit of advantage, competing athletes had to train more. They improved the technique of classical weightlifting and gymnastic movements. They developed techniques for performing especially crossfit movements like throwing a ball at a target, double jumps, multi-repetitive weightlifting and gymnastics. They returned the principle of progressive overload and made friends with high variability.
It is top athletes who showed everyone that crossfitters can tear and push with good technique. That weightlifting can be safe and beautiful. What can own a wide range of skills and perform out in the face of fatigue.
Schemes of the development of motor skills, progression of development of strength and endurance, means of preventing injuries moved into the pits.
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If there were no competitive crossfit and the inevitable improvement of competitive skills associated with it, we would still observe the quality of movement of ordinary people who train 3-5 times a week for an hour. Low quality, confirming that it is safe to use multi-articular movements with high intensity is impossible. It was the “technologies” of training competing athletes who began to use in ordinary halls that confirmed the opposite.
The reasons are clear, the prospects are not.
The decision of Glassman to return the accents from the sports component to the wellness personally seems to me logical, given the beliefs of Glassman himself. But from the point of view of the future of the brand, not everything is clear. In my personal and very subjective opinion, such a shift in emphasis would rather harm the popularity of the brand, and here’s why.
When Glassman was just beginning his crusade, and CrossFit only declared itself, having several hundred clubs in the network of affiliates, opposition to the rest worked. All the rest then were traditional fitness formats built on bodybuilding and low-intensity cardio.
Now everything is different. Look at the world fitness trends of recent years. Among others, these are high-intensity interval training, group format, mini-group format, functional training, training for people of old. Reminds something? Maybe CrossFit?
These are global trends. You know almost everyone does it. And in such circumstances, the question arises. What is unique about CrossFit?
CrossFit CEO and founder talks about the kipping pull up: link.
Multi-articular exercises? – Not. Only, maybe, butterfly-pull-ups, but this is a dubious achievement. In addition, it is the competitive CrossFit that justifies the very existence of a butterfly and a kipping, variations of berpie, push-ups in a handstand with kipping, multi-repetitive bounces, etc. Squats, traction, presses are now used everywhere.
Quality standards “elite” fitness? – Not. The company operates on the principle of affiliation. You pay for the use of the brand, but you get nothing more and do not have to demonstrate the level of quality. Glassman always said that “the cream will still come up,” meaning the market’s self-regulation and the quality of the training. But how to distinguish that which has surfaced from that which does not sink? Given that there are already quite a lot of franchise systems providing the halls with all the necessary processes and controlling the quality of the training.
High intensity? – Not. EMOM is just an interval valve, AMRAP is just a circular one.
There is no obvious answer about exclusivity. As a result, we read the story about Marty in CrossFit magazine, which, 5 weeks after the stroke, came to crossfit boxing and needs to be scaled with a jump to the bollard. Well, what, in vain did he come to the crossfit, or what? We must give him a crossfit. My colleague Roman Aniskin wrote well about this story. You can read it in his blog.
And when on the channel CrossFit publish a video of the grandmother, which rises from the chair, you need to understand – this is a trend. The need of age-related people is the function of basic patterns, balance, reduction of sarcopenia, and increased bone density. This means training with the burden of its own body weight and external burdens in the basic motor patterns like squats, bends, lunges, burdens and benches.
But if the intensity, functionality and methodology of training in general are not exclusive to CrossFit, if they are global trends, then why affiliate with CrossFit? Glassman is not alone now in holy war for health. All fitness together trying to compete with streaming services, video games and fast food.
In my subjective opinion, people affiliated with the idea of exceptional physical form, which CrossFit can give. With the idea that a person can be universal in readiness, flawless in relation to controlled factors and anti-fragile in relation to difficulties. This is a kind of exclusive, which CrossFit has. But this idea is broadcast through the sports aspect and the most prepared people of the planet. Only in this way does it have any meaning. And shifting the emphasis from the competitive side to the wellness, you can lose this exclusive.