It only feels like three weeks ago when I last posted about Quora being Super Cereal about answers on its site. Now they are Totally Cereal!
Less than 9 hours after I posted an answer on why not everyone buys into the Crossfit cult, my answer was flagged as breaching policy. In that short window of time the post managed to become the second most viewed and third most upvoted despite being the newest answer. I mean, how dare someone criticise Crossfit, like every other answer given. How dare they use images to enhance the points being made, a common practice on the site. And once again, how dare anyone not answer the question without being completely cereal.
My working hypothesis is that my two banned answers were flagged as a result of being a trending answer. That meant the answers raised the ire of the Totally Cereal members. Quick, hit the complaint button and troll through to find something to make sure no-one else is ever offended. This will remain only a hypothesis, as I think it wouldn’t be appropriate to find other answers to flag that use images in their answers as I have done, as a means to test the system. I’d need to find other answers that were a mix of Super Cereal and Non-Cereal answers, as well as highlighted (trending) and random answers, to round out the testing.
Either way, check out my Totally Cereal answer on why not everyone wants to compete in the Washed Up Loser Olympics until they herniate their spines.
Why do people choose to NOT do Crossfit?
Crossfit is terrific, as long as you hate good technique, want a massive injury, and feel the need to strut around without a shirt on (guys) or in booty shorts (girls and guys).
I’ve been lifting long enough to remember when WODs were called circuit classes, so when a new fad comes along it is a little easier to maintain some perspective. Others have already highlighted some issues that I agree with, I’ll cover some of my own reasons.
The idea that high intensity and high skill exercises are done for high reps is stupid. Nothing says broken back like skill breakdown.
The video below is of the head of Crossfit programming, Dave Castro, doing a deadlift. It is laughably bad, but in the community this video is seen as hardcore rather than stupid.
I’m all for intensity and pushing yourself to new highs, but Crossfit all too often encourages people to utilise bad form or techniques like kipping to complete a workout. That is not smart.
It’s a bit of a cult
How can you tell if someone does Crossfit? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.
If someone is a Vegan Crossfitter, what do they tell you about first?
Regular exercisers are bad enough, but Crossfitters take it to the next level. It’s great that people are enthused about getting fit, strong, and healthy, but there is a difference between encouragement and community and drinking Kool-aid.
Lack of progression/Too much variety
If you want to get good at something you need to practice it regularly. Crossfit throws that rule out the window and encourages a randomness to the programming that guarantees you get good at exercising but not at any of the exercises. Even the top level Crossfit athletes train specificity into their programs and then practice events (WODs).
Bad exercises or good exercises done badly
Let me just ask what this is meant to be and whether they have a surgeon on standby:
There is video of this event at the Crossfit games. I was cringing the entire way through. There were some athletes that managed to keep a relatively neutral spine throughout, but that sacrificed them speed and reps. Events are done for speed and reps….
Others have already mentioned the high rep clean and jerks, snatches, kipping pullups and muscleups, but that only scratches the surface. Even handstand pushups are done with kipping. Overhead presses are often turned into push-presses. Instead of doing a solid set of 10 reps on a pullup they insist that people do 30… and do several rounds of that with other exercises in between. It’s like someone looked up what the most reps ever done in one clean set for an exercise was and that became the WOD number. Take the kipping like a fish flapping around on a boat deck out and they wouldn’t get half the reps, let alone rounds.
If the WOD is Crossfit’s cult program, then paleo is their cult diet. If you thought that kipping pullups were dumb, then you want to look away from the paleo diet. Not only is paleo largely ignorant of what our Palaeolithic ancestors ate, it also likes to pretend agriculture is bad. Without agriculture there would be no society, no gyms, no Crossfit, no people bragging about Crossfit…. Wait, I take it back, agriculture might be the root of all evil.
Actual dietary experts have nothing but disdain for the cult diet of paleo.
That all said, Crossfit isn’t all bad. Since they came along the fitness industry has had to try for the same level of appeal to appease the former cult members and those who can’t afford Box fees. I can walk into most gyms and find a lifting platform, something that was a rarity just a decade ago. I can actually buy weightlifting shoes without mail-order. And no one looks at me funny when I do muscleups anymore. Let’s just hope people don’t assume I’m a Crossfitter and are avoiding talking to me.
I’m no longer going to bother with Quora and will gradually migrate my answers there to this site. Click this tag to see them.