How Do You Compare to the Fittest Athletes in CrossFit
How Do You Compare to the Fittest Athletes in CrossFit?
The following are some of the questions asked by our readers:
1) What is your opinion on the best way to compare all those elite athletes that compete at different levels? Are there any methods or ways that you think would be better than others? (i.
e. training programs, nutrition plans, etc. )
2) What are the most common mistakes made by those who want to become an elite athlete? (i.
e. overtraining, not doing enough cardio/strength work, not eating right, etc.)
3) How do you feel about the current state of fitness in general? Is it getting better or worse? If so what changes would you like to see happen in order for it to get better again? (i.
e. more classes, more coaches, more gyms, etc.)
4) Why do you think there isn’t a bigger movement towards strength training in the fitness industry? (i.
e. Crossfitters are always talking about how they’re going to start their own gym!)
5) Who are some of your favorite athletes that have excelled at various sports? Why do you think they’ve been successful? (i.
e. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, LeBron James…etc. )
6) Do you have any tips for those who want to become a professional athlete? What are some of the most important things they should know and do to help them reach that goal? (i.
e. training, nutrition, schooling…etc. )
So what is it like being one of the fittest people in the world?
Well, it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Let me explain.
The fitness industry is an ever-evolving one that is constantly growing and changing. The thing about the fitness world though is it’s always going to have its hits and misses. Some things are going to work and others aren’t. While Crossfit has become extremely popular, it definitely isn’t a golden ticket to being a professional athlete. Sure, there are a few who have reached that goal, but they are the exception and not the rule.
While it is important to have strength and endurance, it is just as, if not more important, to have proper technique. This is especially true in Crossfit since so much of it is based on weightlifting movements. Having proper form not only prevents injuries, but allows you to get the most out of your workout and see results quicker. While I am all for heavy lift days, these should be done progressively. This means that you should start with a weight that you can lift properly and consistently for that day.
This will allow you to have quality over quantity.
Another thing I’ve noticed is a lot of these Crossfitters are extremely underfed. While I know it’s cool to be a vegan or eat “clean”, this isn’t going to make you an elite athlete. Elite athletes need more calories than the average person of the same size. In addition, protein needs to come from all different sources and in substantial amounts. There’s this huge emphasis on eating “clean”, which I feel isn’t helping people because not everyone has the means to do so.
Foods that are processed aren’t inherently bad, as long as they’re eaten in moderation. Another issue I’ve noticed with a lot of Crossfit athletes is they tend to not really take care of themselves off the field. It’s cool to beat your body up as much as possible and doing things like competing multiple times a week, but recovery is just as important. Your body needs time to rest.
I think that’s one of the downfalls of the sport. It’s extremely taxing on the body and there isn’t enough emphasis on proper recovery. People tend to want more out of Crossfit without putting the work in, which will only lead to burnout and injuries.
So in conclusion, it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I think if people really want to be professional athletes, they need to look past Crossfit and find another sport that they can fully dedicate themselves to because there’s a difference between being in shape and being a professional athlete.
NOTE: This is a guest post from 2014. This young man has obviously trained hard since then and turned into an elite Crossfit athlete, winning the Empire State Games last month. I’m very proud of him. Congrats, Sebastian!
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Sources & references used in this article:
- She’s a Beast: A Critical Analysis of the “Ideal” Woman CrossFitter in Fittest on Earth and Road to the Games (S Neufeld – 2019 – opus.uleth.ca)
- CrossFit: Fitness cult or reinventive institution? (MC Dawson – International review for the sociology of sport, 2017 – journals.sagepub.com)
- A Physiological Profile of Intermediate Crossfit Athletes: A Pilot Study (L Birnbaum – Journal of Sport and Human Performance – journals.tdl.org)
- Effect of grit on performance in Crossfit in advanced and novice athletes (M Cazayoux, M DeBeliso – Turkish Journal of Kinesiology, 2019 – pdfs.semanticscholar.org)
- Strong is the new sexy: Women, CrossFit, and the postfeminist ideal (MS Washington, M Economides – Journal of Sport and …, 2016 – journals.sagepub.com)