January 01, 2007
Coach Greg Glassman replies to an assertion by Mike Boyle (“Body By Boyle”) at a Special Operations Medical Association Conference that CrossFit’s use of “high-rep Olympic weightlifting” renders it “dangerous.”
If safety is your sole or even your primary concern, your athletes’ fitness potential will be soundly blunted. Where fitness is your sole concern, safety must be given reasonable priority. Safety, efficacy, and efficiency are clearly, mathematically, interdependent. It would be foolish to think otherwise.
Olympic lifts “Highly technical”? Rubbish. Only compared to the rest of weight training. There are thousands of gymnastics movements fantastically more technical than the clean and jerk and the snatch. In any case, CrossFit, with high rep weightlifting, has been shown in clinical and institutional settings to be dramatically safer than the traditional run, sit-up, pull-up, jumping jack, push-up, lather, rinse, repeat, PT.
Mr. Boyle’s problem with CrossFit is that his program got left behind. Think tipped over rice bowls, not dangerous lifts. The methods and results of our program have been duplicated around the globe and by thousands. The point is not that we have fans but that the program is knowable and capable of duplication.
I want to see fitness programming move away from worthless testimonials, incessant back biting, and endless marketing hype and move into the arena of offering measurable, observable, repeatable evidence of efficacy, efficiency, and safety. This is evidence-based fitness.