Father Andrew's Hot Body Gym

November 4, 2009

Mark’s Daily Apple on CrossFit – Finally!

Filed under: real talk — Tags: , , , , — Mara @ 6:10 pm


The Sandbag Carry at CrossFit Games 2008

Pretty much since I first started reading Mark Sisson’s site and seeing the type of exercise he recommends – sprints, heavy lifting, no chronic cardio – I have been wanting to hear his take on CrossFit, since he seemed to have so much in common.

Finally, that day has come.

In his recent series on fitness, his third part is about Physical Fitness Standards used by any and all. He explores various army, navy, and firefighting PT tests, which are certainly not to be scoffed at, but his personal fave is CrossFit.

Here’s what he says about CrossFit’s multi-faceted and personalized standards:

For my money, this is the way to do it, especially compared to the way military and law enforcement test their recruits. CrossFit (and other similar fitness methodologies) is constantly evolving, and its athletes evolve along with it. There’s always that drive to best your personal benchmarks, to improve and to grow. Typical fitness tests, on the other hand, are usually one-shot deals; a police recruit could conceivably train just enough to pass the entrance exam, only to go to pot once he’s embedded in the force and comfortable with his place (funnily enough, CrossFit is hugely popular with police, military, and firefighters).

Now, I think CrossFit is on the right track, but it’s not for everyone. The overall, well-rounded approach to fitness is generally superior, though, (for most people’s purposes, which do not include dunking on a ten foot hoop or catching a touchdown pass) to the sport-specific training. Does the average person need to be able to complete the WOD in record time? No, absolutely not, but he or she should be able to squat down to pick up their kids, pull themselves up into a tree (using their feet, if need be) to climb around, go for a quick run with the dog, lift a heavy suitcase overhead, walk up several flights of stairs without breathing hard, and swim without sinking.


It’s no coincidence that military and fire-fighting training programs are more and more turning to CrossFit’s infinitely variable, cross-modal techniques to make sure their personnel are ready for anything!

Well, if there was any doubt, Mark is now one of my favorite people-whom-I’ve-never-met. Now when can we get him talking about treating your body like a temple?

BONUS: Check out Mark Rippetoe’s (and old-time CrossFitter) Barbell Strength Standards, to which Sisson links.


1 Comment »

  1. great review! Thanks for posting to Rip’s standards. Those are a very helpful tool!

    Comment by joshuaeller — November 8, 2009 @ 1:21 pm

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