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Old 08-09-2011, 08:29 AM   #1
Ryan Earle
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Defranco on Crossfit for Athletes

source: http://www.defrancostraining.com/ask...-athletes.html YOU MUST ANNOTATE ALL LINKS WHETHER WORK AND FAMILY SAFE.

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I'm going to preface my answer by saying that I have nothing against crossfit for the general fitness population. I know many police officers, fire fighters and weekend warriors who love the quick, challenging workouts associated with crossfit. I will also take Crossfit gyms over "carpet & chrome" health clubs any day of the week!!! But, with that being said, I am not a fan of Crossfit for high school, college or pro athletes. Here's why...

There are a bunch of reasons why crossfit isn't optimal for athletes, but my biggest problem with crossfit for athletes is that there is no specific focus to their workouts; it's a "Jack of all Trades" type of mentality. I've seen crossfit workouts that consisted of 20 meter sprints, 30-rep sets of snatches, high rep 'kipping' pull-ups, squat jumps and handstand push-ups. This type of training isn't optimal for athletes because athletes need to develop specific physical attributes to excel at their sport.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:43 AM   #2
Chris Mason
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Re: Defranco on Crossfit for Athletes

I think many athletes can and would benefit from a strength biased CF routine. They would get the dual benefit of increased explosive power and general conditioning.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:13 AM   #3
Mark Boyle
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Re: Defranco on Crossfit for Athletes

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Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
I think many athletes can and would benefit from a strength biased CF routine. They would get the dual benefit of increased explosive power and general conditioning.
They would benefit.

But they would likey benefit more from something taylored specifically to their sport.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you do Westside do you not? Would you be willing to switch to a strength based CF routine for your sport? Do you think that would be as good for you?
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:06 AM   #4
Brendan McNamar
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Re: Defranco on CrossFit for Athletes

Defranco is correct.

You have to remember where he is on the training spectrum.

nothing > globo gym solo > globo gym personal trainer (maybe) > CrossFit > Defranco's

He is private, by appointment only. Custom plans for athletes specific sports. He is not doing GPP for a wide audience.

CrossFit Football is better then what the average high school or Division 2 or lower college player gets. It is not good enough if you are going to the Combine and trying to get drafted. This requires specialization which is not CrossFit's purpose. This also involves dedicated athletes that their whole life revolves around their sport.

I have a friend who is ex NFL and a track specialist. He gets paid to coach guys in basically the first 3 steps off the start in the 40 yard dash. Now that is specialization. He points out moving up a place or two in the draft equals big money so they pay him to try and gain a 1/10 of a second.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:11 AM   #5
Shane Steinert-Threlkeld
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Re: Defranco on Crossfit for Athletes

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Originally Posted by Mark Boyle View Post
They would benefit.

But they would likey benefit more from something taylored specifically to their sport.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you do Westside do you not? Would you be willing to switch to a strength based CF routine for your sport? Do you think that would be as good for you?
He also wrote the CrossFit Conjugate article in CFJ which gives exactly such a strength-biased CF routine.

Mark, what bone do you have to pick?

FWIW, I think De Franco's analysis is mostly right. I also have a huge amount of respect for him, his gym, and the athletes he has produced. Although strength-biased CF would be an improvement for most athletes, the people DeFranco trains are not "most athletes", but football players preparing for the NFL combine and similar level athletes.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:16 AM   #6
Matt Thomas
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Re: Defranco on Crossfit for Athletes

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Originally Posted by Shane Steinert-Threlkeld View Post
He also wrote the CrossFit Conjugate article in CFJ which gives exactly such a strength-biased CF routine.

Mark, what bone do you have to pick?
Why does he have to have a bone to pick just because he disagrees? I think it's fair to ask if you wanted to get better as a high level power lifter would you do CF? It's a somewhat similar comparison.

Not saying I agree one way or the other, and I'm interested to hear what Chris has to say. I just think it's fair to have strong, healthy, disagreements. It leads to much more interesting and much more productive discussions.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:23 AM   #7
Mark Boyle
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Re: Defranco on CrossFit for Athletes

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Originally Posted by Brendan McNamar View Post
Defranco is correct.

You have to remember where he is on the training spectrum.

nothing > globo gym solo > globo gym personal trainer (maybe) > CrossFit > Defranco's

He is private, by appointment only. Custom plans for athletes specific sports. He is not doing GPP for a wide audience.

CrossFit Football is better then what the average high school or Division 2 or lower college player gets. It is not good enough if you are going to the Combine and trying to get drafted. This requires specialization which is not CrossFit's purpose. This also involves dedicated athletes that their whole life revolves around their sport.

I have a friend who is ex NFL and a track specialist. He gets paid to coach guys in basically the first 3 steps off the start in the 40 yard dash. Now that is specialization. He points out moving up a place or two in the draft equals big money so they pay him to try and gain a 1/10 of a second.
Agreed.
I'd go a bit further and say the specialization may be a good idea for very good HS athletes as well. It may mean the difference between getting a scholarship and having to pay your way. My understanding is that Defranco trains a fair number of kids in this position.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:32 AM   #8
Mark Boyle
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Re: Defranco on Crossfit for Athletes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane Steinert-Threlkeld View Post
He also wrote the CrossFit Conjugate article in CFJ which gives exactly such a strength-biased CF routine.

Mark, what bone do you have to pick?

FWIW, I think De Franco's analysis is mostly right. I also have a huge amount of respect for him, his gym, and the athletes he has produced. Although strength-biased CF would be an improvement for most athletes, the people DeFranco trains are not "most athletes", but football players preparing for the NFL combine and similar level athletes.
I have no bone to pick.

I like the idea of crossfit and while I don't do it myself, it would be good for someone like me (early 30s, still play a few sports for fun, wants to stay healthy etc.). I think crossfit football would be fine for a HS student who plays football for fun (possibly along with several other school sports).

I do, however, think that it is not an optimal choice for an athlete who is serious about their sport. Most of my posts relate to this since in most other threads saying "I agree" doesn't really add much. High level sports require specialization which is the antithesis of crossfit.

Crossfit is certainly better than nothing, and it would be better than the typical bench + curls routine that a lot of people do. But I don't believe it can compare to an expertly designed program that is tailored specificly to an athelete's needs.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:33 AM   #9
adam adkins
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Re: Defranco on Crossfit for Athletes

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Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
I think many athletes can and would benefit from a strength biased CF routine. They would get the dual benefit of increased explosive power and general conditioning.
This is the beauty of Crossfit. The phrase "strength biased CF routine" encompasses virtually every good program an athlete could possibly do. If Crossfit isn't defined as mainsite (and I don't define it that way) and can be defined to mean anything.

Heck, I could classify what defranco does as a strength biased CF routine.
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Old 08-09-2011, 10:37 AM   #10
Alex Carey
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Re: Defranco on Crossfit for Athletes

Crossfit is tailored to prepare you for the unknown and the unknowable. But what if you knew exactly what beast you needed to be prepared for? I agree that adding in some Crossfit principles would be beneficial to just about anybody, but if you're an athlete with a specific sport, then training tailored to help you perform better at that sport is necessary. You're not going to groom a HS offensive lineman for the NFL simply by doing Crossfit.
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