3 Common Misunderstandings within CrossFit
1. CrossFit is anti-endurance athlete.
This just simply is not the case. We embrace, teach and use running, rowing, swimming, and biking in WOD’s constantly. The only difference we emphasize is the loading order. We follow a technique first, then intensity, and last add volume stacking order and that is not usually the case within the endurance community so it is more of a case of how we teach it. CrossFit is founded upon playing sports and increasing work capacity. Muscular and Cardio-Respiratory endurance are a large part of that goal.
2. You shouldn’t low bar back squat because many Olympic weightlifters don’t do it.
This stems from the Olympic lifting world where many coaches will not use a low bar back squat because a high bar back squat has more specific transfer to the sport of Olympic weightlifting. You aren’t an Oly specialist. You are a CrossFit competitor (or another sport) if you are a competitive athlete and they aren’t the same thing. The flip side is that a power lifting competitor would get very little utility out of a HBBS. Also, these CF coaches would need to adjust their deadlifting activities all together to correspond as well with this style of programming which simply is not happening indicating that they aren’t even all that sure why they are doing it other than someone told them that was how an Oly coach once told them to do it. The bottom line is you compete at being well-rounded and ready to complete any task at any time not simply Snatch and Clean & Jerk. The LBBS has tremendous utility in terms of posterior kinetic chain development and as a CrossFitter interested in overall health and work capacity you are neglecting possibly your single best tool… that is a mistake.
3. Box Jumps are not an advanced exercise.
The inherent speed and distance covered should make this clear but jumping is so natural and fundamental to human existence that jumping is not as respected as it should be for the challenge it presents. The prescribed heights of 24″ and 20″ respectively have been around since the beginning of CrossFit and work well for many athletes. However, these heights do not consider the athletes height, weight, experience level or muscle composition. Some good rules to follow are that on high rep box jump WOD’s you should step down to minimize the impact while only minimally decreasing the cycle time. Only when you can land with solid mechanics and rebound appropriately through learning to jump during skill work sessions should you introduce them to WOD’s. Lastly, use percentages just like you do with your squat programming…i.e. if you can’t jump 40-48inches then your highest power outputs are not going to be at 24″ for the guys prescribed box height. Know your goal and know yourself because the time to hone your jumping mechanics is not during your second round of Fight Gone Bad. That is when you are testing your already established good jumping and landing mechanics on a box of an appropriate height.
Understanding these points can help you to make sense of where someone is coming from when discussing CrossFit with others who may be newer to training or from another box. Hopefully, elsewhere within the community they take the time to discuss these topics as well but that might not always be the case. That is OK too… you can always come back home to CrossFit Nittany and continue CrossFitting well into your retirement years by not neglecting endurance activities, low bar back squatting and stepping down on your high rep box jumps.