CrossFit: A Cult?

I hate CrossFit.  I absolutely hate it.  I despise everything about it.

Well, at least that’s what I’m told.

To be honest, I’ve been told that a lot.

The funny thing is, I don’t hate it.  In fact, I even wrote an entire blog post about all the things I like about it.

I’ve stated before that there are things about it I disagree with and that I think there are potential dangers with it, but guess what? If you tell me that Nickleback is the greatest band ever, I’ll disagree with you, but I wont hate you for it.  And as far as potential dangers go, anything can be dangerous if done carelessly.  Driving a car, shaving, not checking the expiration date of the milk.

So, somehow, a couple of comments that weren’t pro CrossFit, despite an entire article discussing the many things about it I like, have turned me into a hater.

It’s funny how people jump all over the negative and completely ignore the positive.  I say “funny”, but what I really mean is “frustrating”.

I even had someone send me this article explaining how they were sure I would like it because they knew I hated CrossFit.

They “knew” it? Because of a couple sentences, they were able to sum up all of my thoughts on one of the biggest fitness movements in the country?

That’s the problem with a blog.  It’s short.  It’s brief.  It’s certainly not all-encompassing, but people respond as if it is.

I could write a 1,500 word post (which would be loooong for a blog) about programming for fat loss and it wouldn’t begin to scratch the surface of what I would have to say about it.  I even had a fat loss seminar last fall where I talked for almost four hours about fat loss and I felt like I left a ton of things out.

I think it’s safe to say that if I put something up in a post, it doesn’t cover every thought I have on the subject.  Unless it’s about deadlifting.  Then all I have to say is that it’s awesome and you should do it.

The article that was sent to me was titled “Inside the Cult of CrossFit”. I was about half way through reading it when I realized I had read it before over on the Men’s Health website.  I guess I wasn’t interested in it enough the first time for it to make much of an impression.

Anyway, the article bashes CrossFit for a variety of reasons.  Reasons that have been brought up in a hundred different articles over the last few years.  In short, I didn’t think it was anything new and certainly not anything worth taking the time to write.

What did strike me about the article was the “all or nothing” attitude about it.  CrossFit=bad.  CrossFitters=cult followers.  End of story.  I whole-heartedly disagree with that sentiment.  I also think it speaks to a larger issue within the fitness industry.

After politics and religion, it seems like exercise is the thing people can be the most dogmatic about.  What they do in the gym is what they do and good luck trying to get them to do anything else.  And if you disagree?  Well, then you my friend are an ignoramus.

It’s polarizing. It’s close-minded.  And it makes the whole industry weaker.

Yes, there are things that I think are dangerous, or foolish or completely false that I will speak out about.  I feel like that is a responsibility of mine.  And, yes,  there are a few people in the industry who I wish would go away.  However, it’s an entirely different thing to write off an entire movement, to deem it a “cult” whether it be CrossFit, Zumba, body building, powerlifting, etc. simply because there are elements you disagree with.

In my opinion, and I guess this is my point, is that anytime you close yourself off to something entirely, you’ve probably missed out on something that could be of great benefit to you and your goals.  And in case there is any confusion, that’s not a good thing.


4 thoughts on “CrossFit: A Cult?

  1. Great thoughts!
    It would be like people telling me that “Doug, you hate organized religion” because of some things I’ve said I dislike about overindulgence in it. Wait, I’ve invested my life into various aspects of organized religion. So that makes me a hypocrite, right?!
    I believe the bottom line may be this. We are often ‘better’ at reading between the lines than we are at listening to the real sentiment of what is being said. It’s easier to look for things we can argue against rather than things we are willing to argue for. Why? Because one day, a person might just be called a hypocrite for what they believe and many people seem to find it easier to defend their negative opinion than the positive.

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