The sport of CrossFit has rapidly became one of the fastest growing sports on the planet with the fitness industry taken by storm and the champions of today now well known athletes. The top Games competitors are not only well known amongst the CrossFit community but around the world and are widely considered amongst the world’s best athletes.
Despite it’s rapid growth and epic following, the sport of CrossFit has come under scrutiny, it’s not specific enough to create adaptation for athletes in certain sports, and that as a result CrossFit cannot benefit sports men and women in other fields. On the face of it this seems like a valid argument, If you want to be a great CrossFitter, do CrossFit, and if you want to be a great Football player then play football.
Whilst CrossFit is a sport, it’s also much bigger than that, and surely there can be some crossover between CrossFit, which in my mind is also a revolutionary fitness tool, and sports around the world. I started by looking at my own training, my journey as an athlete and how my results and goals have changed as my training has developed.
I started my fitness career in the Army and always had a keen interest in Bodybuilding, which was not well catered for in military life, so after 6 ½ years of service decided I would pursue a career as a Personal Trainer and follow my new ambition of completing a Natural Bodybuilding competition. After months of mundane bulking programmes, Back and Bi’s, Chest and Tri’s I competed in my first competition and whilst I enjoyed the day I instantly decided that this was not the sport for me…..Back to the drawing board. I was pretty strong so decided Natural strongman was my new focus, however my outright strength seemed to be slightly off the requirement and once again I switched focus to Strong Athlete, a competition pitched somewhere between strongman and CrossFit. I did well, coming 4th in the UK and it seemed I had found both the sport and training tool that would help me be the best athlete I can be.
A year ago a friend of mine introduced me to CrossFit, a girls sport I said, smaller weights and funny pull ups, not for me. After a week I decided to give it a go, more to shut him up than to actually go through the training on a full time basis. It sucked and it sucked hard, every time I cracked a movement he introduced me to another, and it felt like I would never get better at this sport because there was just too much to it. The improvement came, along with, eventually, Double Unders……Well, let’s say they’re coming much quicker now….sort of.
The fact is though, I look at my training, physique and lifts now and I find myself in amazement, I am stronger now than when I trained as a strongman and strong athlete, I am bigger than when I trained as a bodybuilder and I’m more athletic and agile than I ever was as in my Rugby days. Since starting CrossFit a year ago my Deadlift has increased by 30kg, I can Muscle up and can Push Jerk 130kg, targets that weren’t even on the radar previously.
My point is that whilst CrossFit might not help you bend a free kick into the top corner from 40 yards, it has definite crossover into any sport that has a physical requirement. We often challenge local sports teams to throw down against us, and recently threw down against the local university Rugby team….lets say we beat them……in fact let’s be honest we absolutely crushed them. Would we beat them in a game of Rugby, hell no, but could they be better Rugby players if they were as fit and strong as the team we fielded against them…you better believe it. As a result of the competition the team actually completed a few CrossFit session and have implemented some of the training into their long term periodization, JOB DONE!
I thought hard around how to summarise this article and how to best articulate these experiences to you, and the best way I could come up with is one sentence.
IF YOU WANT TO GET BETTER AT YOUR SPORT…..GET BETTER AT THIS ONE