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George Mounce 02-03-2009 04:36 PM

Military leaning away from CrossFit?
A guy I work with who knows I do CrossFit WODs sent me an email today.

Here are some excerpts from that email, I have XXXXX'd out names. Yes some of it is blatantly rumor that has spread, I get that. Some of the information is flat out wrong, and that is sad to see. No, I'm not out to get CrossFit. I do the WODs.

But rumors spread fast and it is interesting that the military is turning away from CrossFit, even as G. Glassman just gave a lecture to the National War College. I believe that CrossFit HQ really needs to do something about its image in light of the fact many of the military do, and perform very well with the CrossFit program. I bring this to light for the community in the hopes that I am not banned from doing a CrossFit workout at my base gym when I can't get home to my home gym.

CrossFit needs support, it needs trainers who train form first, intensity second, and most of all it needs better PR to the higher ups in the military.


Mr. XXXXXX, per our conversation yesterday ACC does not recommend or support CrossFit being in our facilities. CrossFit is an extreme workout program that is not for everyone (despite their claims) and goes against the exercise recommendations of the major certifying bodies in the industry (Cooper's, ACSM, NSCA). Their founder, Mr. Greg Glassman states that proper form is not a concern and is overemphasized when it comes to exercise. That is absolutely not true, because without proper form injuries occur. Not only do they not emphasize proper form while exercising, a lot of their exercises are contraindicated (risk outweighs the benefit) and they urge
people to push themselves past their capabilities. Their mascot is Pukey
the Dog and a badge of honor is to meet Pukey meaning you have pushed
yourself to the point of throwing up. This mentality has brought several
lawsuits against CrossFit. (See links). (wfs) (wfs)

We have asked ACSM for a position statement and they are working on it.
Below is an e-mail from NSCA with their take on it. In our annual
conference in San Antonio this past year, we learned the Navy, Army, and
Marines are having issues with CrossFit too.

See below about the major issues about the Crossfit program. The AF FPMs
have major reservations about it on a scientific and functional level. The
AF Portal has a link. I want to emphasize that just because the link is on
the AF Portal does not mean that the AF endorses it. Proceed with extreme

I was contacted back by NSCA about the Cross Fit program and they are in the same boat of no support for the program. I am forwarding what Mr XXXXX of the NSCA stated about it.

You are right on with crossfit. We have our reservations from both a
scientific and functional point of view. As far as the military goes, the
Marine Corps is going away from it and so is the Navy. The Navy has a
lawsuit against them right now. As far as SF, USSOCOM is going away from it
and most of my traveling is to SF Groups around the country. CAG and DEVGRU do not use crossfit. Crossfit advertises that most of these communities use this method but the truth is they are starting to pull away because of the high injury rate. When it comes to SWAT, I am on the fitness committee for the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) and they do not endorse Crossfit. There will be some articles coming out this year warning SWAT not to get caught up in the Crossffit cult.

I will Keep you in the loop on where all this is going. Thanks for your

Kristi Folowell 02-03-2009 05:05 PM

Re: Military leaning away from CrossFit?
I don't think the whole of the military is moving away from it, but I do know that a lot of military members (or more precisely those I know) shy away from it, because they hear the rumors that it is unsafe. Also because it is difficult and challenging. I have talked to a lot of military members that do CF and those that do not about CF. The truth of it is, many of the ones that get injured do so because of lack of training in mechanics and not easing into the program. It states very clearly on the mainsite in the start here section that one must work mechanics then consistency and then intensity. Unfortunately, you know as well as I do that there are not a lot of people who heed that. Then when they get injured it is because of Crossfit and not the fact that they failed to heed the warnings of the program. I explain this to a lot of people. I explain that if grandmothers and children can do the program then a 22 year old should have no problems. But the difference is the 22 year old wants to do everything right now, not take the time to learn things properly (just a generalization no one bite my head off if you are 22 and did things properly). I have corrected a lot of service members doing Crossfit style workouts on their own in the gym in regards to form. I explain to them that before they try to throw a lot of weight around they must learn the proper way to do so. I have had service members come up and say they got an injury doing some type of Crossfit workout or lift, so they don't CF anymore. Then I asked if they learned how to properly do the lift or did they just try to outlift their buddy and let testosterone get in the way (sorry guys) and the answer is usually the latter. So, its not CF's fault but that of the Soldier. Unfortunately they need to blame someone or something and not themselves. I have been doing CF since 2006. I have had injuries and they are usually because I am clumsy and drop a bar on my leg or something equally stupid. Is it CF's fault? No, but other SM have tried to blame it on that. They say it is because of my crazy workout program and they knew it would hurt me. To which I explain that I am clumsy and prone to banging into or falling off of stuff on a regular basis with or without CF. The problem the military is going to run into is the safety issue and the ability to train properly. They will listen to all of those that say the program is unsafe and start throwing around the lawsuit issue without fully looking into the program and how it is conducted. I had hoped with Coach's presentation at the War College it would make a bit of headway, and perhaps it will. Those of us in the military who do CF will just have to be certain that we are helping out others getting into the program and ensuring that they are going about it the correct and safe way; and that we are dispelling some of the bigger misconceptions or rumors. Sorry if that was long winded and a bit convoluted. By the by, pukie the dog? That is just silly.

Gabriel desGarennes 02-03-2009 05:05 PM

Re: Military leaning away from CrossFit?
Higher ups generally don't like crossfit because they don't understand it. Clearly none of these people understand it. Will the military embrace it on a Higher lvel? probably not but hopefully. But thats nothing new, this is why w ehave operation pheonix.. If the military supported it they would outfit them themselves.

Injuries?? I've had countless injuries before xfit. Not one since.
We dont care about form? Give me a ****ing break, crossfit has done more for form than any other mainstream workout program.

Steve Richards 02-03-2009 05:08 PM

Re: Military leaning away from CrossFit?
True or not true who knows -- All I can say is I implemented this program into our fire department, as well as owning an affiliate and you know how many injuries I have seen -- zero.. No injuries.. So there claim of people getting hurt doing crossfit is outlandish. Not to mention and chucklehead can go into the gym with no training put 250 pounds on the bench and hurt themselves... People are anti crossfit --- but they know little about it

Gabriel desGarennes 02-03-2009 05:23 PM

Re: Military leaning away from CrossFit?
Its soooo true steve..

Aside from the obvious injuries that can happen from a BB routine, how about just how much overtraining goes on.

Most people dont realize that their "split" routines use alot of the same muscles 5-6 days a week.

Andrew H. Meador 02-03-2009 05:32 PM

Re: Military leaning away from CrossFit?
Mostly, those in the military who say that they "do crossfit" are just kidding themselves - throwing around logs and pulling tires for 20 minutes doesn't equate to the CrossFit method. Doing pushups and sit-ups doesn't equal CF. Doing only metcons doesn't equal CF. I've given up on explaining it to people unless they're really motivated to learn. Mostly people ask me about it when I dust them, and then they lose interest when they realize that it's not an easy way out. I usually just tell them to try out my parallettes, and they get a lazy attitude and say naw, I'd rather just lift and go on a run. :rolleyes:

George Mounce 02-03-2009 05:38 PM

Re: Military leaning away from CrossFit?
Don't get me wrong, I love the CrossFit methodology. I think it sad that such bad information gets forward and none of the good stuff shines through.

On the same note, injury rate data collected by the military is pretty sound, CrossFit related or not. As far as affiliate-collected data, I have only the word of mouth of affiliate owners and trainers...there isn't anyone collected data as a whole. In a couple of years, if you see a good number of CF related injuries in the military you can probably bet it won't be allowed.

Jason Lopez-Ota 02-03-2009 05:46 PM

Re: Military leaning away from CrossFit?
In the Air Force paper the other day there was a picture of a bunch of Air Force men and women doing crossfit in an Air Force gym. I am not 100% sure but I think it is a crossfit-specific gym.

Gabriel desGarennes 02-03-2009 05:53 PM

Re: Military leaning away from CrossFit?

Originally Posted by George Mounce (Post 510102)
On the same note, injury rate data collected by the military is pretty sound, CrossFit related or not

George how can the military have crossfit related injury data if they do not support crossfit?

I was looking at the military data on rhabdo the other day. And an OVERWHELMING majority of the people who got rhabdo were the non combat troops. I doubt these troops ( have no facts to support this) were doing crossfit, but i'd pretty much guarentee that if they did do crossfit they would have a much lower chance of actually getting rhabdo.

Tish Traster 02-03-2009 05:53 PM

Re: Military leaning away from CrossFit?
My son exited Parris Island with a "hip injury" (tight IT band...) and he did ZERO CrossFit while there!

I injured my back while working in the medical field. Conventional treatment called for surgery followed by physical therapy and pain medication. I'm sure that would have lasted for years. I found CrossFit, I gradually worked my way into the program, cured my bulging disc syndrome by strengthening my core. Having a weak core caused my injury in the first place. I have been pain free since and thanks to Coach Glassman, in better shape than when I was in my 20s and I'm 45.

Yeah, people will shy away from CrossFit....because over 80% of people shy away from anything that is "hard" or "hard work" in general.

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