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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 12-01-2009, 03:36 PM   #1
Brian Lawyer
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Best Affiliate Programming (WOD's and Websites)

This may have already been done before. In light of all the debate about the quality of Crossfit Gyms I thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of quality affiliates for those of us who are looking for good programs to follow. For those who don’t know of the debate I speak of, here it is in a nutshell. Basically there are several affiliates who feel the brand of Crossfit is cheapened because some smuck opens a crossfit in a strip mall down the street from their gym, and his only qualifications are that he spent $1,000 on a certification, knows how to update a blog page, and enjoys working out. That pretty much describes me and about everyone else. So why would we entrust these people to develop a fitness regimen for us.

With this in mind I propose that we make cases for our favorite Crossfit Affiliates below and post links to their websites. By “make a case”, I mean post who does the programming (i.e. WOD), why they are qualified to make a program (i.e. education and experience), what you like or dislike about the program, and so forth. To further elaborate, when I say note “why they are qualified” I am NOT referring to the fact have a bunch of store bought certifications (i.e. Crossfit Cert, Oly Cert, Nutrition Cert, etc.). Seriously, I am as smart as those guys, probably smarter because I didn’t waste $5k on every certification marketed by Crossfit.

I am mostly concerned with college degrees, CSCS certs, books published, articles published, championship athletes for clients, etc. IMO, these type of things prove a coaches expertise because they are indicators that these individuals didn’t try to take a short cut in life by buying themselves a bunch of certifications, then borrowing some money from mommy and daddy to rent out a space.

With this criteria in mind here are some of my favorites:

http://www.cathletics.com/ (WFS) This is Coach Everett’s website. I know he maintains his WOD and even adjust it as needed, as you can see by his notes underneath Monday November 30 WOD. He also marks in his WOD’s the beginning and the ending of certain cycles (i.e. Bulgarian). I am pretty sure Coach Everett has a degree in something related to exercise science because I think he is a CSCS which requires at minimum a bachelors degree. Further, he has published the book “Olympic Weightlifting” and owns and edits the Performance Menu Journal.

http://coachrut.blogspot.com/ (WFS) This is Coach Rutherford’s website. I really really like the simplicity of his WOD’s. It’s three days per week no frills. Each workout should easily be around 45-60minutes including warmup. Perfect for people who don’t have 6 days per week to dedicate to working out. I am not sure about his education but he is big time on the high school level of consulting with High School Coaches for Volleyball, Basketball, etc. I assume he has a formal education. He is most well known for his articles and program Max Effort Black Box.

http://www.crossfitfootball.com/ (WFS) This affiliate has been recommended to me on more than one occasion. If you go to this link and read about the staff of CFFB then I think enough said about their experience, http://www.crossfitfootball.com/page...rts&page=staff (WFS). My only knock on this website is do you really have to make it so d*** confusing of a WOD to follow. I get it, the whole bit about look on the right for the Strength WOD and then in the middle for the conditioning WOD. Plus the scaling to 3 skill levels and the whole in-season and out-season bits. Like there are really any collegiate or professionals following a Crossfit Affiliate when they are in season. These guys could take a lesson from the simplicity of Coach Rut’s WOD page. None the less, this affiliates WOD’s fit the criteria I outlined above for a quality program.

http://www.mikesgym.org/index.php (WFS) For those interested primarily in the Olympic lifts, I believe coach burgener still maintains this WOD. I don’t know about his entire background and history but he trained his son to the Olympics, need I say more.

Unfortunately, those were the only programs I could come up with. There are some other affiliates who I thought about mentioning, for example Crossfit Fredericton, but I couldn’t justify it based on my own criteria I outlined above.

Last edited by Brian Lawyer : 12-01-2009 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:46 PM   #2
Mike Mallory
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Re: Best Affiliate Programming (WOD's and Websites)

having a bachelor's degree, and knowing many with master's in exercise science, I can attest that it holds almost ZERO credibility as far as I'm concerned.

i think I'd be more interested to hear the program designer's rationale first
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:51 PM   #3
Brian Lawyer
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Re: Best Affiliate Programming (WOD's and Websites)

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Originally Posted by Mike Mallory View Post
having a bachelor's degree, and knowing many with master's in exercise science, I can attest that it holds almost ZERO credibility as far as I'm concerned...
I know what you mean and I would like to address that for others who read this. Having a bachelors or masters degree isn't so much about what they actually teach/learn in college. For me, it proves these individuals didn't try to take a short cut in life by purchasing a bunch of Certifications through Crossfit.

Last I checked anyone who paid the fee and attended CFlevel I, burgener lifting cert, Rip lifting cert, Nutrition, running, etc. becomes "certified".
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:24 PM   #4
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: Best Affiliate Programming (WOD's and Websites)

(A reasonably good idea with a good intent, but this could get out of control quickly if people just start chiming in with their opinion of how good their affiliate is without being able to build much of a case beyond "we really have a great time together, and I've finally gotten into shape!!")
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Old 12-01-2009, 04:29 PM   #5
Brian Lawyer
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Re: Best Affiliate Programming (WOD's and Websites)

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Originally Posted by Mark E. Wallace View Post
(A reasonably good idea with a good intent, but this could get out of control quickly if people just start chiming in with their opinion of how good their affiliate is without being able to build much of a case beyond "we really have a great time together, and I've finally gotten into shape!!")
I did notice a similar thread to this posted recently where a gentleman was looking for an affiliate that had a CFSB program. Unfortunately, he did not outline a criteria for the quality of program he was looking for and as a result what you noted above is exactly what started to happen. Therefore, it is up to us to regulate. Those are the people we will rip a new one when they post their affiliates here. I think I outlined a pretty clear expectation above and the four example affiliates I listed should give a good indication of what quality of programs we are looking for.

Last edited by Brian Lawyer : 12-01-2009 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:04 PM   #6
Leonid Soubbotine
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Re: Best Affiliate Programming (WOD's and Websites)

I would define BEST first and then delve into addressing what is exactly BEST at the time for an athlete.

Best programming will always be customized programming adjusted to the needs & level of an athlete.

Example:

You have 2 guys.
One is a powerhouse with 315 lbs heavy triple power clean, 500+ deadlift, 240+ lbs at 5'10. Can't run much, pretty new to CF, not really good at gymnastics, quite inflexible.

One is 6'7" @ 175 lb, 6 kipping pull-ups, real fast, not very strong but quite athletic with real good vertical jump.

So which website is best for them?

I think first you need to find out what are they trying to do.
Then you can start thinking on what's best.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:44 PM   #7
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Best Affiliate Programming (WOD's and Websites)

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Originally Posted by Leonid Soubbotine View Post
I would define BEST first and then delve into addressing what is exactly BEST at the time for an athlete.

Best programming will always be customized programming adjusted to the needs & level of an athlete.
This. As I see it, the biggest weakness of the Crossfit main page is that it is necessarily limited to a single general purpose program. The biggest strength of a good affiliate is its ability to provide customized programming for its members. The "best" affiliate is the one that helps an individual member to meet his goals, whatever those goals may be.

For example, several of the affiliates you cite have a strong strength bias. There's nothing wrong with that, but what about an affiliate with a gymnastics bias? Or one that works primarily with an elderly population? They might not be your cup of tea, but that doesn't mean they're "cheapening the Crossfit brand."

Katherine
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:15 PM   #8
Grant Scalf
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Re: Best Affiliate Programming (WOD's and Websites)

I will second Leonid and Katherine's sentiments. We have a blanket program that is specifically set up to have certain elements chosen by the coach based on what the athlete needs. This can be anywhere from skill work with Olympic lifts to femur external rotation to improve squats. There are a million things you can choose to do with each client. The main page does this. I think it is more important to tackle each clients weaknesses as they will make the most improvement the quickest there.
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Old 12-01-2009, 08:55 PM   #9
Steve Loeding
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Re: Best Affiliate Programming (WOD's and Websites)

First, let me say that simply having a "degree" doesn't mean crap. It means you can read and take tests. If the degree requires 4 years of college with practical applications involved, then yeah, I'd give that a bit more credit.

Second, in CrossFit, we have classes of 6-12 people. Generally 1-3 classes a day. CrossFit by definition is a non-specializing program - we build strength, endurance, stamina, power, etc in all athletes. If an individual wants to lose weight, it's on that individual to eat healthier based on the coach's recommendations. If a person is interested in getting stronger, than maybe the general classes are not for them = personal training sessions. Many women do not want to be super strong and would be turned off by the CFSB programming. Setting specific goals is fine but in the context of the class setting it is more difficult to cater to individual needs.

BTW - I've seen "certified" personal trainers (NASM / ISSA etc) in action and they suck.

The reality is this - if people go to a CrossFit gym, enjoy themselves, are getting more fit, and see improvements, don't get injured, are learning how to clean, squat, press correctly, then they are getting quality programming - no matter if it's from a CrossFit certification or an "educated" trainer.
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Old 12-01-2009, 09:51 PM   #10
Alex McRobie
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Re: Best Affiliate Programming (WOD's and Websites)

i get what you mean by good general programming but the different goals and focuses of affiliates is what makes their programming different.
i.e. it is hard to compare Pmenu to CFFB programming wise.

here are a few goal related affiliates that offer goal related programming IMO.

Military Athlete - for Military Athletes basically, Rob Shaul knows his sh*t and now has a huge following throughout the military, not quite sure of his qualifications but i know from speaking with military guys that it works.

SealFit - obviously for BUD/S but also for anyone with any interest in being ULTRA FIT, all of the guys that run this are former SEALs and know what they are doing.

OPT - has to be mentioned. the fact that James Fitzgerald personalises every single program is something in its own, he programs for you and your own goals, wether they are general fitness, the games, or whatever.

CFE - run by Brian Mackenzie and Carl Borg, both ultra distance athletes and CFers, they run a program that is for endurance athletes

MaxFit USA - Max Mormont from CFFB, he is an Olifter that competed/s (dont know which) at a national level (i think). he programs for Olifters, CF games competitors AND general crossfitters.
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