Strength of Evidence Podcast Episode 6: The Crossfit Analysis (Guest Starring Jen Sinkler)

“Crossfit” gyms have made a huge impact in strength training in the last few years, but not everyone is embracing the trend. On one side of the argument, proponents claim “elite” training and results, while critics claim increased injuries and haphazard training without focus. Who’s got it right?

Jon and Bret welcome back special guest Jen Sinkler to discuss her experience in CrossFit workouts as the panel looks at the newest papers and studies to find out who has the facts in their favor!

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What do you think? Is CrossFit a good approach to strength training and fitness, or is it just a good way to get hurtt? Join us in the discussion by giving us a “like” on our Facebook page!

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15 Comments

  • Jake M. says:

    Great podcast as always. Tito Ortiz would say something like that. Good stuff!

  • Rob M says:

    Nice Podcast. I’ve been tempted for a while to do a documentary on CrossHurt… I mean CrossFit. I think Jen said it best when she said it’s largely undefined and every gym does it differently. Having said that, seems like more and more of the clients I am getting these days have a similar story, they got caught in the hype of CrossFit, got injured and want a more logical approach that’s geared specifically for them, an approach that won’t get them injured in the wake of trying to be stronger leaner healthier and happier. I do however really admire the cult like attitudes of their followers, they will defend CrossFit like it is their faith. Another thing I like about it is that they hype up hard work, it’s unfortunate that the execution of CrossFit is in my opinion poor. I think A.C. once wrote something like even a bad program will work if you are working hard enough. Perhaps in the years to come CrossFit will evolve into a system that’s safer and easily applied so even the 2 day “certified” trainers can’t screw things up or better yet national laws prevent anyone without a college education to be a certified trainer. Until CrossFit evolves right now I think there just far better options out there to get results without the high risks of injuries. And if I get clients who just want pain and hope to puke I’ll just throw cayenne in their eyes and give them a cup full of salt Mentos and diet coke along with a solid progressive program.

  • Ross Eathorne says:

    Everything in life has a good, neutral and a bad. Crossfit is no exception. It motivates people to operate at intensities that makes them puff and have sore muscles – qualities that if applied consistently creates results. The community and small group atmosphere the workouts are performed in contribute to high compliance of members = results. An equation not exclusive to Crossfit, not commonly not found in commercial gyms but found in sports clubs and teams. People like/need connection and fostering that is one of the greatest goods I see (after 20 years in the fitness industry). The Crossfit games and the broad range biomotor abilities tested I would argue has to be the most challenging to program, to train for and to compete. The combinations are not for the faint hearted, instead they are for the elite, just as a world championship or Olympics are for the elite. It is a sport.
    Now the bad aspect is the top down method of the workouts, that is attempt the elite version of the exercise or workout of the day and if you fail regress by one step. A bottom up approach would be to to assess a persons weakness and assign a progression based on this and then build it up to the full version. The “on-ramp” and Crossfit level 1 certification helps to address this area of concern.
    A competitor in any sport needs a periodisation of skill, strength and fitness to reach a podium. Strength and conditioning coaches could open up a whole new market demand by promoting this to crossfit competitors. A fitness enthusiast that wants to lose weight and tone up just needs to raise the metabolism on a regular basis, random programming helps break the boredom of traditional gym programmes. These people I venture to say are not target market for strength and conditioning coaches.
    I have criticised Crossfit as crazy and dangerous programming, took their well polished level 1 course and am applying my knowledge to the bad and using their good methods to improve compliance and my business.
    Remember we are all in the business of fitness and the less energy spent “in-fighting” and spent encouraging an increasingly sedentary population to move the better.

  • charlie says:

    the podcast with Jen Sinkler, sounded like Lou Gerhig giving his farewell speech at Yankee Stadium. Don’t know if this is the place to report that…

  • Brian says:

    My favorite part was the teaser about a future podcast on the Attentional Focus, I am currently reading Keith Lohse’s Dissertation on the topic, can’t wait for you guys to do this.

  • Dwayne says:

    This podcast was worth every minute. Appreciated the ability of the hosts to attack the topic with the goal of being as unbiased as possible. I did Crossfit, at a box, for a couple months. Now, I am working at a globo gym full of Crossfit haters, mostly the other trainers. However, this podcast helped solidify the fact that Crossfit does offer some benefits. I am not going to be prescribing Crossfit programming, but I see myself throwing in a Crossfit style workout every couple weeks to spice things up. One of my favorites right now is :

    As Many Rounds As Possible in 10,15, or 20 mins (based on abilities and how long I have been with the client.)
    3 Push-Ups
    6 Sit-Ups
    9 Squats

    A Crossfit workout is a great tool because it can be used as a repeatable benchmark workout. I let my clients know that they will be performing the same workout in a few weeks, so they can see how much they have progressed.

    Does anyone know of any Crossfit gyms that are offering excellent programming? I am not looking to join a gym, I would just like to visit their website, check out the WOD’s and observe different types of programming.

    Looking forward to the next podcast!

  • Adam says:

    When I first saw this study ahead-of-print, I swear it had data on muscular power output (my recollection has the subjects decreasing significantly, which might make sense given Crossfit is cardio with weights). After hearing the podcast and rereading the study, I thought I was crazy, but I found the Facebook conversation where I posted the link, and other commenters noted the change in power I mentioned…I guess ths was this edited out of the final paper?

  • Darren says:

    Hi Bret,

    love the podcasts, shame they are not a bit more regular though. Could you tell me what was the study which you guys featured that had all the injury drop outs?

  • Shane says:

    Great podcast! Really enjoyed it and learned a ton.

    Didn’t you say you had links to the studies up somewhere around here?

  • Great podcast Bret, I try and teach my trainers daily that soreness/fatigue is a terrible indicator of a quality workout and something reserved for novice trainers unconfident about their programming skills. Thanks for hitting on this!

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