What is CrossFit? And why we're not an affiliate | Part 2

By Blake Barnes

Tags: broken arrow | crossfit | gym All Posts

If you haven't read Part 1 of this, you should. I'm going to open this up by going over the 9 foundational movements of CrossFit. These are the movements you go over when you do go get your CF Level 1 certification. These are supposed to be considered "functional"...as in for the everyday lives of the average person. I don’t like the word functional when it comes to training. I disagree with its notion that it trains you for some very specific movement outside of the gym. According to CrossFit’s definition they claim their movements are functional. -

  1. (Air) Squat
  2. Front Squat 
  3. Overhead Squat
  4. Press
  5. Push Press
  6. Push Jerk
  7. Deadlift
  8. Sumo Deadlift High-Pull
  9. Medball Clean

Let me tell you a quick secret: if you want to be good at something outside of the gym, go do that! If you want to be a better Shot-Putter, go practice shot-putting. Obviously I think that weight training in the gym will definitely assist you in becoming a better Shot-Putter, but it won’t improve your movement in throwing a shot. Just like those guys who kill it in the weight room but ride the bench come gametime because they lack the skill. The only thing that is functional in a gym is iron sports (i.e. Olympic Weightlifting, Powerlifting, etc). So I refuse to use the word functional when it comes to training. The good think about these is that they are all good, multi-joint strength movements. I agree with some of these but some...I am very much against. The key to thinking of these as functional in everyday life situations is to imagine what in life requires the body to move like them, right? I’m not going to go over everyone. Let me pick out the two that I really don’t like in this list.


Reason #1: Unfortunately, that price is passed down to the members because Crossfit gyms will charge upwards of $300/month. That price is going to differ based on where you live. In Broken Arrow, the CrossFit gyms range from $100-$140/month for one individual, unlimited membership. The ones in Tulsa range from $120-$150/month for one individual, unlimited membership.

Reason #2: I feel like these days there are more and more gyms getting rid of their CrossFit affiliation. If you’ve been a CF gym for 8 years and have an established community, what are the reasons to pay that $3000 fee? There are a couple small things that require a person to be a part of an actual CF affiliate like if you are involved in the CrossFit Open and not a part of a CF gym then you have to record your workouts to send them in rather than just posting your results on a web page. This is just a nuisance so I couldn’t justify paying $3000 for that. I’m sure there are some other but not anything worth wasting your time about.

Reason #3: I don’t like how low of standards there are for opening up your own CrossFit gym. The only requirements is that you have to receive your CF Level 1 certification. That’s it! If you’ve never been through the CF Level 1, it’s a two-day seminar where you go over the foundational movements (yes, including the MB Clean) and then you take a written test at the end.

So “Joe Shmo” can go pay $1000 to take this test (which is not hard at all) and then open up some doors to what he is going to call CrossFit Shmo then guess what happens...people are going to start walking into Joe Shmo’s gym expecting he actually knows what he’s talking about! All he knows is some crap about some movements. He doesn’t understand periodization, injury prevention, the nervous system, the three energy systems or anything! Now I’m not saying at all that people who own CrossFit gyms are stupid heads and don’t know anything. That just not true; but you know if the standards are that low there are in fact some people out there who should not be in charge of an entire gym.

Reason #4: CrossFit quickly made their culture into a “push-yourself-until-you-die” culture. I mean, their mascot is the “Rhabdo clown.” Rhabdomyolysis is a very serious condition where a muscle gets worked so hard that muscle cells (myglobin) leak into the bloodstream. This can potentially cause kidney damage among other things. Then there was a notion that CrossFit workouts are dangerous and cause injury. I wouldn’t say that but I would say inexperienced coaches can cause injury. The injuries occur from inexperienced coaches (Coach “Shmo”) trying to push Martha, the brand new soccer mom who hasn’t done anything in 6 years, to keep going and going when she needs to be eased in to adapt to the training. That being said, I don’t want to have a negative perspective on our gym. I don’t want anyone to think I’m being a CrossFit hater for writing this so if you feel offended by these writings then I feel sorry for you. We have a great community and I can't come up with any reason that it would make our gym any better by having the word "CrossFit" next to it. This is a lot longer than I expected so I’m going to wrap up. Have a good day.