Originally Posted by Joe Cebulski
Whether it's the failure of the current scoring system, drug testing, or in this case...understanding how to peak your performance, crossfit can gain a lot from the decades, if not centuries of trial and error other sports have weathered.
On this topic, I think Crossfit is having an identity crisis.
If the idea is truly to be prepared for the "unknown and unknowable," then periodization isn't such a great idea. For deployed military, law enforcement, firefighters -- Crossfit's original target audience -- the need to work at full capacity can arise at any time, with little or no warning. For this audience, "specializing in not specializing" makes a lot of sense. You might want to cyclically bias your programming toward different areas, but you don't want to abandon any single area for any length of time.
(How well any particular programming -- such as the CF.com main page -- accomplishes that goal is another issue, and not one I want to tackle here.)
But if the idea is to be prepared for the Crossfit Games -- a specific event that takes place at a specific time and place -- then periodization is as valuable, even essential, as it is for any other sport.
The problem is that the potential pool of let's call them recreational Crossfitters is much larger than the potential pool of professional Crossfitters. The more Crossfit grows (or strives to grow), the more it will need to draw from the recreational pool.
But that means scaling for a wide range of abilities, rather than throwing people into the deep end and letting them figure it out. It means programming for a vast array of different needs and goals, some of which are extremely specialized. And it means embracing periodization as one way to reach those goals.
All of these are essentially impossible to do in a one-size-fits-all daily WOD. That impossibility manifests itself everywhere from the main page being viewed as increasingly irrelevant, to individual affiliates struggling to fit individualized programming into the group class model.
CFHQ is trying to bring the "occupational athlete" model to the masses, and it doesn't fit. They haven't yet figured out how to resolve the conflict.