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  1. #1
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    Crossfit for the track?

    Hey guys, there's a gym near my new house that do crossfit, I've never heard about it and did a little research, it seems very cool, they mix a lot of workouts into the program and it seemed like a good program for track cycling (lots of squats, plyometrics).

    Any of you tried?

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 8bits View Post
    Hey guys, there's a gym near my new house that do crossfit, I've never heard about it and did a little research, it seems very cool, they mix a lot of workouts into the program and it seemed like a good program for track cycling (lots of squats, plyometrics).

    Any of you tried?
    1) Crossfit is sort of a joke (in my humble opinion). It is more of a group dynamic fad than anything else.

    2) The workouts are not structured (to say the least). They are pretty random. If you are going to spend the time and effort weight training, focus your efforts on specific exercises that are appropriate for your events. Pushing a tractor tire may not apply to the Standing Start.

    3) It's ridiculously expensive. Let me repeat that. It's ridiculously expensive.

    4) Every CF gym that I've poked my head into has had people using awful technique. This is anecdotal evidence, I know. Just google "crossfit fail" and you'll see more.

    5) You cannot do your own workouts. If you are there, you must be working on their "Workout of the Day"...no matter what it is. BTW, this workout was written by someone who probably doesn't even know you exist.

    I could go on...

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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    2) The workouts are not structured (to say the least). They are pretty random. If you are going to spend the time and effort weight training, focus your efforts on specific exercises that are appropriate for your events. Pushing a tractor tire may not apply to the Standing Start.

    4) Every CF gym that I've poked my head into has had people using awful technique.
    As Carleton said, that's pretty much the why. It's a class atmosphere orientated at fitness by using weight. It's more about pumping out reps and therefore lends itself to really poor form in order to pump them out. Some of the exercises are good for track but the practice of them makes the class not so good. Spend your cash on a standard gym with good weights and focus more on what will work. Good form is critical to good progress.

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    thanks for the heads up, never saw anything about it till this week to be honest, I'm glad I asked here

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    Senior Member Not the Slowest's Avatar
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    So Carleton exactly what are you saying?

    I am not sure exactly how I will deal with the off season but MY focus will be 3 fold.
    a) Improve on my weakest areas. Creating explosiveness to get upto speed faster with the breakaway, so I'm with them rather than chasing them.
    b) Leg strength. Was unable to do that last year due to a bad back injury.
    c) Improving on my Scratch racing. This will help me in Points, Tempo, Point-a-lap. Scratch seems to be my better event as is Points-A-Lap.

    I ride all year as best as the weather allows, but was thinking of Ice Skating for the legs and hips. Cross Country skiing would be nice, but the snow does not stick around here like upstate or other parts of the country.

    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    1) Crossfit is sort of a joke (in my humble opinion). It is more of a group dynamic fad than anything else.

    2) The workouts are not structured (to say the least). They are pretty random. If you are going to spend the time and effort weight training, focus your efforts on specific exercises that are appropriate for your events. Pushing a tractor tire may not apply to the Standing Start.

    3) It's ridiculously expensive. Let me repeat that. It's ridiculously expensive.

    4) Every CF gym that I've poked my head into has had people using awful technique. This is anecdotal evidence, I know. Just google "crossfit fail" and you'll see more.

    5) You cannot do your own workouts. If you are there, you must be working on their "Workout of the Day"...no matter what it is. BTW, this workout was written by someone who probably doesn't even know you exist.

    I could go on...
    Robert
    Not The Slowest, Never The Fastest, even Solo

  6. #6
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    CF is pretty much a joke in the lifting world for the reasons mentioned above, plus injury potential (extreme) and the fanatic nature of the practitioners (the one true truth, well the only one they've ever tried).

    Not a joke where:
    The gym (heretical) enforces form and uses other tools.
    Convinces and demonstrates to women that they are capable of incredibly intense hard physical work that only makes them more gorgeous...

    To the goal mentioned by the OP:
    explosive lower body and core strength.
    Heavy seemingly low rep squats and deads. Seemingly because Cross Fit and Muscular Fiction magazine aside really 8 reps is pretty high for these lifts as they involve most of the body and very systemically draining. Focus on form. Best to ask an accomplished lifter to show you, or youtube (search "dave tate squat dead") it rather then gym trainers as the certification tests are mostly myths...
    Look up: "starting strength riptoe" and or 5/3/1
    Tailor the emphasis to your goals (emphasize lower body), don't modify rep and % scheme...

    Alternatively:
    Olympic lifts.
    However these are VERY advanced and VERY form sensitive and probably be the last thing anyone starting lifting should consider. If you do, they are awesome for explosive power and an amazing energy systems workout. However, really, get a coach. NOT a trainer, a actual coach. When done right, they are beautiful to see, fluid and just "right"... When done wrong they are dangerous to self and anyone near the drop zone.

    I find it astounding how little respect people give to lifting. I see newbies in the gym doing the most amazingly weird interpretations of Olympic lifts when they haven't any experience at all. Usually they disappear never to be seen again. It would be like me entering a bike race...

    Personally:
    I've been lifting pretty seriously for 5 years. I pulled and squatted 550 for strict doubles which is not all that bad for a man my size and age. I would not do Olympic lifts unless I found a coach or an awesome lift partner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Null66 View Post
    CF is pretty much a joke in the lifting world for the reasons mentioned above, plus injury potential (extreme) and the fanatic nature of the practitioners (the one true truth, well the only one they've ever tried).

    Not a joke where:
    The gym (heretical) enforces form and uses other tools.
    Convinces and demonstrates to women that they are capable of incredibly intense hard physical work that only makes them more gorgeous...

    To the goal mentioned by the OP:
    explosive lower body and core strength.
    Heavy seemingly low rep squats and deads. Seemingly because Cross Fit and Muscular Fiction magazine aside really 8 reps is pretty high for these lifts as they involve most of the body and very systemically draining. Focus on form. Best to ask an accomplished lifter to show you, or youtube (search "dave tate squat dead") it rather then gym trainers as the certification tests are mostly myths...
    Look up: "starting strength riptoe" and or 5/3/1
    Tailor the emphasis to your goals (emphasize lower body), don't modify rep and % scheme...

    Alternatively:
    Olympic lifts.
    However these are VERY advanced and VERY form sensitive and probably be the last thing anyone starting lifting should consider. If you do, they are awesome for explosive power and an amazing energy systems workout. However, really, get a coach. NOT a trainer, a actual coach. When done right, they are beautiful to see, fluid and just "right"... When done wrong they are dangerous to self and anyone near the drop zone.

    I find it astounding how little respect people give to lifting. I see newbies in the gym doing the most amazingly weird interpretations of Olympic lifts when they haven't any experience at all. Usually they disappear never to be seen again. It would be like me entering a bike race...

    Personally:
    I've been lifting pretty seriously for 5 years. I pulled and squatted 550 for strict doubles which is not all that bad for a man my size and age. I would not do Olympic lifts unless I found a coach or an awesome lift partner.
    some great info there, check out Dr.Ken and the Steal Tip, it is a real old school good form, heavy weight, power based program.

  8. #8
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldprobmx View Post
    some great info there, check out Dr.Ken and the Steal Tip, it is a real old school good form, heavy weight, power based program.
    I LOVE old-school no frills gyms that have a no bullsh*t approach.

    I found one here in Portland that has no signup fees, no contract, no ID cards, no automatic bank draft payments. You join on a handshake and pay daily/monthly on an honor system. Your smiling face is your ID card because they say, "Hey, what's your name." if they don't know you. Good stuff.

  9. #9
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    Just thought I'd chime in.

    I have a few friends that do crossfit, and they swear that form is of the utmost importance in their classes. Maybe some gyms just suck?
    PedalRoom

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  10. #10
    JMR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaytron View Post
    Just thought I'd chime in.

    I have a few friends that do crossfit, and they swear that form is of the utmost importance in their classes. Maybe some gyms just suck?
    Yeah, but do they actually know what good form is??

    JMR

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    I took one cross fit class, I can do a solid 21 pull ups with good form, the workout they proposed was 100 pullups in a determined time with a combination of front squats. I was like 100 pull ups really how the hell is this going to happen. Then I realized when it started FORM was out the window these people were wanking themselves around so much to try these "pull ups" and this was on the 1st pull, I modified the program and did sets of 5 with good form and in the allotted time I maybe got 30 in. And then the squats everyone was grunting and growning and throwing the bar down on the floor like they had just lifted 800 pds. I never went back to Cross.

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldprobmx View Post
    I took one cross fit class, I can do a solid 21 pull ups with good form, the workout they proposed was 100 pullups in a determined time with a combination of front squats. I was like 100 pull ups really how the hell is this going to happen. Then I realized when it started FORM was out the window these people were wanking themselves around so much to try these "pull ups" and this was on the 1st pull, I modified the program and did sets of 5 with good form and in the allotted time I maybe got 30 in. And then the squats everyone was grunting and growning and throwing the bar down on the floor like they had just lifted 800 pds. I never went back to Cross.
    Yup.

    Crossfit emphasizes lots of reps. I think they do this for the "wow" factor when they hype each other up and when they talk to others. "Yeah, yesterday I did 100 pullups, 100 sit ups, 50 power cleans, etc..."

    Anyone who has done any decent amount of weight training can tell you that neuromuscular fatigue kicks in after only a few reps and when that happens, form goes out of the window. Even if you know good form, your body simply can't control the muscles. Now, combine that lack of control with heavy weights and a fanatical "can't quit" attitude and it's a dangerous recipe.

    For major lifts like squat, dead lift, etc... 5 reps is all that is needed to stimulate muscle growth...which is the whole point in lifting weights, right

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    JMR
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Yup.

    Crossfit emphasizes lots of reps. I think they do this for the "wow" factor when they hype each other up and when they talk to others. "Yeah, yesterday I did 100 pullups, 100 sit ups, 50 power cleans, etc..."

    Anyone who has done any decent amount of weight training can tell you that neuromuscular fatigue kicks in after only a few reps and when that happens, form goes out of the window. Even if you know good form, your body simply can't control the muscles. Now, combine that lack of control with heavy weights and a fanatical "can't quit" attitude and it's a dangerous recipe.

    For major lifts like squat, dead lift, etc... 5 reps is all that is needed to stimulate muscle growth...which is the whole point in lifting weights, right
    EXACTLY!!

    Check out this article I came across and sent to some of my friends who are currently crossfit mad... http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...lympic_lifting

    Of course they dismissed the article completely.

    JMR
    Last edited by JMR; 09-05-13 at 05:17 PM. Reason: missed a word.

  14. #14
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMR View Post
    EXACTLY!!

    Check out this article I came across and sent to some of my friends who are currently crossfit mad... http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...lympic_lifting

    Of course they dismissed the article completely.

    JMR
    That's the #1 problem I have with crossfit...the fanatical devotion (the "group dynamic" that I mentioned earlier). It's strong. THIS is why people jokingly (or seriously) call it a cult...because it actually has attributes that cults have. Google "crossfit cult" and see what others have to say about it. It's not pretty.

    People get into crossfit in order go get fit and wind up staying due to the cult-ish environment...again, much like other cults.

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    here is some interesting stuff on cross
    http://breakingmuscle.com/crossfit/t...ke-you-a-coach

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Wow...and that article was written by an advocate of crossfit.

    Regarding the crossfit "Level 1" trainer certification, here are some snips:

    You can be a coach, or you can be “Coach." The former is a title bestowed upon you by the certification process; the latter usually takes years of honing skills, relationships, methods, curriculum, and practical experience to achieve. And the idea that you can wander into an L1 Certification course just a CrossFitter on a Saturday morning and emerge Sunday afternoon as “Coach” is pure fantasy.

    Here’s what usually happens. You begin CrossFitting and shortly thereafter, begin to consider getting your L1. You start to think about how you would coach. You start planning your warm ups, in your head, and start creating WODs. You know just how fantastic a coach you are going to be. You are going to set the world on fire with never-before-seen novelty workouts that will blow your clients’ minds!

    Then that fateful day comes, after you have passed your cert and begun covering classes in your local box, when you start getting the inevitable questions. “Can you watch my snatch and tell me what you see?” “Can you show me the best way to set up for a deadlift?” You watch a student failing a clean repeatedly, but you’re just not sure how to help them fix it because you can’t spot what they are doing wrong. The bottom line is that you are no more qualified to coach on the Monday after your cert than you were going in.

    How do I know this? Simple - because I was the world’s ****tiest CrossFit coach for easily two years.
    I met a guy at my L1 Cert who had literally started CrossFit three weeks earlier. He told me so. He specifically said, “I don’t even know what I am doing here.”... That guy could have started coaching the following Monday. L1 certs are a dime a dozen.
    This is a 2-day class that costs $1,000.

    $1000. This feeds into the idea that if it costs more, it must be worth more. Same goes for the monthly CF dues.

  17. #17
    Italian Stallion mcafiero's Avatar
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    I'm loving Crossfit, got me out of my slump (you remember that from 2011 Nat's, Carleton), and my core and legs are stronger than ever. All we do (at least at my gym) are olympic lifts. Well, for the most part. It's high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and in Feb, when I start training again for the track, I'll be in the best shape ever going into training season.

    The owner of the gym is great and said I can bring over my rollers and trainer so that when I make the switch to sprint training, I can still get out of the house to do it.

    When I started, my max squat has increased through the roof! And before going to Crossfit, I was using horrible form. They have helped me get better form and I'll be less likely to injure myself. Same with deadlifting. Max DL is strides ahead of what it used to be. Carleton, try it for a month before you bust on it. And your remarks about it being a cult is rediculous. People just love the workouts, that's all. You could say that Track Racing is a cult just as well, and Carleton you'd be no exception.
    Last edited by mcafiero; 11-20-13 at 09:28 AM.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member bmontgomery87's Avatar
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    Crossfit largely depends on the "box" (gym) you train at. There are good coaches who are full of knowledge, and there are guys who got out of the Army, paid 1000 dollars for a weekend crash course, then got a small business loan to start a gym.

    The programming is very random. Crossfit is its own sport, so while crossfit programming makes you better at crossfit, it doesn't really make sense to use it to prep for another sport. I'm sure the group atmosphere is fun (I've participated in a workout at the local box before), but it's extremely overpriced.

    Look up a decent gym in the area, and join it.
    Squats and deadlifts will build leg strength.
    You can throw in some box jumps to work on speed and muscle recruitment if you'd like.
    Do lots of compound lifts, lots of back work, and don't spend hours doing curls.


    If you think it's worth the 100-200 dollars a month, give it a go and see how you like it.


    and mcaifero, that's some awesome progress man.
    Last edited by bmontgomery87; 11-20-13 at 08:42 AM.

  19. #19
    Italian Stallion mcafiero's Avatar
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    I'll use this as an opportunity to prove (or disprove) that Crossfit is good to train for sprinting in the off season. My last best 200 was an 11.3. I think I'll hit a sub 11 this year. But maybe not. And if not, I'm still loving the new me and it doesn't really matter! The owner of my gym (http://www.tabatatimes.com/matt-hathcock-relentless/) is one of the best, so I feel good about where I'm at and he supports me in deviating from the regular workouts to cater more specifically to my training. It's work the extra $$$ because the gym is HUGE and has about 10-15 squat racks, I never have to wait for anything like I did at 24 hour fitness.
    Last edited by mcafiero; 11-20-13 at 09:27 AM.
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  20. #20
    Italian Stallion mcafiero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    1) Crossfit is sort of a joke (in my humble opinion). It is more of a group dynamic fad than anything else.
    You could say that about Track Racing! Especially us Masters!

    2) The workouts are not structured (to say the least). They are pretty random. If you are going to spend the time and effort weight training, focus your efforts on specific exercises that are appropriate for your events. Pushing a tractor tire may not apply to the Standing Start.
    Core strength is strength that is not given enough credit in track racing. Most of crossfit is core strength training. It will benefit your sprinting.

    3) It's ridiculously expensive. Let me repeat that. It's ridiculously expensive.
    uhhhhh Track racing is NOT????

    4) Every CF gym that I've poked my head into has had people using awful technique. This is anecdotal evidence, I know. Just google "crossfit fail" and you'll see more.
    Just google "crossfit fail" to find a complilation of people using bad form that was created by a crossfit hater. I bet a track racing hater could go out and create a ridiculous sprinter fail video that makes all of us look equally stupid. And I don't know what gyms you've poked your head into, but at ours we aren't allowed to put weight on our bars until we show perfect form consistently. For me, that meant THREE MONTHS of doing Power Snatch and Cleans with just a bar. It was embarrassing, but kept me from getting hurt.

    5) You cannot do your own workouts. If you are there, you must be working on their "Workout of the Day"...no matter what it is. BTW, this workout was written by someone who probably doesn't even know you exist.
    Yes you can. And the owner of our gym writes our workouts. They allow me to "sub box jumps for pullups", etc if I want to. What are you talking about?

    I could go on...
    Please, enlighten me!
    Last edited by mcafiero; 11-20-13 at 09:30 AM.
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  21. #21
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Mark, you wrote:
    in Feb, when I start training again for the track,
    Most serious track racers train year-round for the track.

    Quote Originally Posted by bmontgomery87 View Post
    The programming is very random. Crossfit is its own sport, so while crossfit programming makes you better at crossfit, it doesn't really make sense to use it to prep for another sport. I'm sure the group atmosphere is fun (I've participated in a workout at the local box before), but it's extremely overpriced.
    +1


    Mark, you got fit. That's awesome. That doesn't make Crossfit a great way to train to be a track racer.

    With that logic, Crossfit will have you ready to be any kind of athlete:
    - Track and Field
    - Boxing
    - Baseball
    - Football
    - Soccer

    Being fit is just a common thread among ALL athletes.

  22. #22
    Italian Stallion mcafiero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Mark, you wrote:


    Most serious track racers train year-round for the track.



    +1


    Mark, you got fit. That's awesome. That doesn't make Crossfit a great way to train to be a track racer.

    With that logic, Crossfit will have you ready to be any kind of athlete:
    - Track and Field
    - Boxing
    - Baseball
    - Football
    - Soccer

    Being fit is just a common thread among ALL athletes.
    It's a great supplement is all I'm saying. If you don't agree with that, fine, but I think it will show in my performance on the bike. I'm not saying that it should replace sprint training. But most serious athletes SHOULD take an off season. There's a wealth of studies that support this. Most pros and olympians do. It may be shorter for an olympian than a hobbyist like you and me (let's face it, neither of us are going to the olympics). Do the same old shat all year long and you'll find yourself bored out of your mind with no improvement.

    Mostly I wanted to put an end to these typical hater comments that you're spilling out in this thread. For someone wanting to train for track racing, who wants to take advantage of the off-season to lean up, build core and leg strength, crossfit in my opinion is a great way to do it.

    I'll let this season determine if it was beneficial or not. My hunch is that I am going to be WAY faster.
    Last edited by mcafiero; 11-20-13 at 11:16 AM.
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  23. #23
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcafiero View Post
    It's a great supplement is all I'm saying. If you don't agree with that, fine, but I think it will show in my performance on the bike. I'm not saying that it should replace sprint training. But most serious athletes SHOULD take an off season. There's a wealth of studies that support this. Most pros and olympians do. It may be shorter for an olympian than a hobbyist like you and me (let's face it, neither of us are going to the olympics). Do the same old shat all year long and you'll find yourself bored out of your mind with no improvement.

    Mostly I wanted to put an end to these typical hater comments that you're spilling out in this thread. For someone wanting to train for track racing, who wants to take advantage of the off-season to lean up, build core and leg strength, crossfit in my opinion is a great way to do it.

    I'll let this season determine if it was beneficial or not. My hunch is that I am going to be WAY faster.
    Crossfit had its reputation long before this thread was started.

    Mark, have you ever been on a Track/Road racing training program for more than a few months during the racing season? Most Road/Crit/MTB/Track training programs have year-round programming. Heck, most sports in general. Only track & field comes to mind as one that is split into bi-annual Indoor (winter) and Outdoor (summer) seasons with 2 peaks scheduled during the year.

    http://www.amazon.com/Periodization-.../dp/073607483X

    That being said, rule #1 to be successful in Masters Track racing: Don't Be Fat.

    Mark, you aren't fat. You will be faster.

    On the contraray, I am fat. I won't be faster

  24. #24
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Congrats on the new baby!

  25. #25
    Senior Member Quinn8it's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcafiero View Post
    I'll use this as an opportunity to prove (or disprove) that Crossfit is good to train for sprinting in the off season. My last best 200 was an 11.3. I think I'll hit a sub 11 this year. But maybe not. And if not, I'm still loving the new me and it doesn't really matter! The owner of my gym (http://www.tabatatimes.com/matt-hathcock-relentless/) is one of the best, so I feel good about where I'm at and he supports me in deviating from the regular workouts to cater more specifically to my training. It's work the extra $$$ because the gym is HUGE and has about 10-15 squat racks, I never have to wait for anything like I did at 24 hour fitness.
    I can see both sides of this argument...

    admittedly my only real exposure to CrossFit is from "girls of crossfit" videos- but that exhaustive research has led me to believe that crossfit makes people lean and strong- 2 qualities that are good for track racing..

    Carleton is a very focused athlete operating at a very high level- he has had expert coaching from more than one of the best coaches in the country. I dont think CrossFit is really going to benefit him- i assume he has a strength program that is really good at maximizing the aspects that he needs..

    it looks like Mcafiero is advocating CrossFit for more of an off season base program. I would think that in a more classic program where an athlete is doing an offseason this is a decent option-
    it seams that the higher rep scheme, supersets with limited recovery, and calisthenics drills would bring an aerobic aspect to the program that would be valuable and applicable to off season/foundation work- in addition to strength gains..

    that said- at least as it applies to me- i don't see this being the type of program that gets a rider to sub-11"



    one other thing that should not be overlooked is different peoples needs for some level of group motivation..
    i personally am that rare breed that can hunker down by myself in my cinder block garage up in the hills and lift at a fairly high level, some people cant focus at a commercial gym without a training crew- and plenty of people need an even bigger group (like CrossFit).. different people need different things..

    if this is what gets them lean and strong, its probably not that bad.....
    Last edited by Quinn8it; 11-20-13 at 12:07 PM. Reason: clarity

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