Renowned strength coach and author of barbell lifting guide Starting Strength, Mark Rippetoe shares his thoughts on the CrossFit movement, appropriately dividing his commentary between the good, the bad and the ugly. While he espouses the success of CrossFit in bringing barbell-based strength training to a mainstream audience, he also reserves an fair amount of criticism for the program in terms of its fundamental direction and implementation. His points are summed up in three points:
- CrossFit picked up where the calisthenic-inclined P90X left off in terms of getting people to work hard on a consistent basis through the sheer variety of exercises offered during each workout, and further amplified it with the introduction of free weights to the masses.
- The difference between exercise and training is that the former emphasizes the work done in a single given period for the intrinsic benefit of being active, while training is a systemic series of workouts and select exercises done specifically to achieve a goal. CrossFit, according to Rippetoe, more accurately qualifies as exercise and doesn't adequately prepare athletes for the inevitable plateaus and injuries that follow their beginner gains..
- Despite a fair number of qualified CrossFit gyms and coaches, the certification system of the program also produces many more under-qualified instructors that will be unable to address the aforementioned injuries and challenges that a targeted training program would otherwise address.
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