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Monday, September 3, 2012

Some takeaways from CrossFit for weightlifters

This weekend at the highly successful Risto Sports Soviet System I Certification (www.ristosports.com/blog),  a CrossFitter asked me about weightlifters and disdain for CrossFit.

First, obviously, as we are deeply tied to CrossFit athletes and boxes; we definitely are supporters of the community.  Yes, Risto Sports is sort of that edgy, underground supplier of shoes and weightlifting wisdom.  Which is why, I think, most CrossFitters prefer us over big, faceless brands (on the flipside, because we have a face customers tend to take everything personally which leads to all sorts of good and bad externalities).

I think, honestly, some weightlifters disdain CrossFit because they know it takes more than a month to master a snatch and clean and jerk and, in turn, feel their beloved lifts are being bastardized(Nick Horton, theironsamurai.com has written a whole article on this). Some lifters get put off by the lifts being done in sets of more than 5 (a sin in Olympic lifting) during WODs and, especially, any varient of an Olympic lift being done on top of a medicine ball as in some "CrossFit Fail" videos.

I, personally, think that anyone who is willing to do a work out with an Olympic bar and bumper plates is my compadre.  I remember the time when the average person had no idea what a snatch or clean and jerk was and thought that weights not attached to a machine were dangerous.  So, I might not be a CrossFitter, but I can say RESPECT.

Likewise, at Risto Sports, we don't claim to be CrossFitters, and we're not going to pretend to be. What we do claim is that we can show you how to train to increase your CrossFit results.  That, the secret to being a great, competitive CrossFitter is not doing a WOD every training session (*gasp*).  I can tell you this, first hand, from when I trained with Iceland Annie, at her gym, and when she trained with us at Risto Sports' gym.

On an ending note, I thought I should post some takeaways in things that CrossFitter's do well that Weightlifters should emulate:
1. CrossFitters do Short, Intense work outs: weightlifters, especially US lifters, notoriously take way too long a break between sets.  I was once one of those offenders.  It all comes down to ATP - short breaks = best use of ATP cycle and shorter workouts.  Shorter workouts= taking best advantage of natural spikes in hormones.

2. Body fat composition: Too much fat between muscle fibers slows you down.  The average CrossFitter is leaner than the average US lifter.

3. Attitude and building a community: *US lifters don't believe they can win on an international stage, so they don't. They subsequently knock each other down on goheavy.com.  This type of regressive and negative attitude is less common at the average Crossfit box than at an average lifting gym.  * I believe I can succeed on an international stage, so I am going to change that. You can join me if you like.



7 comments:

Johnny D said...

Great post Gwen - I'm an avid CF Athlete and have been practicing the Olympic Lifts now for almost 5 years. As in any community, there is good, bad and ugly. Given a great coach, exposure over time and proper programming, I believe the CF Oly category will gain more respect. This can only be possible thanks to great instructors/athletes like you and Ivan. Congrats on your athletic success and that of the Risto Sports brand.
Regards, JohnnyD-New Species CrossFit - Detroit

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