Re: goals and elite fitness vs. elite athletes
Steven, you are correct. Elite athletes will almost always skew training to one extreme or another. They will use performance enhancing drugs and basically do whatever it takes to be competitive. Sometimes sacrificing their long term health. Luckily, greater then 99% of the population are not elite athletes and don't have to go on line for their training advise! If your reading this from the Olympic Training Center, I would think following your coach's advise would be the way to go. For the 99% of the rest of us, we should be doing a CF type program. Life throws a lot at us, this rewards general training. I'd say a large percentage of Crossfitters could beat Lance Armstrong in a Bench Press contest. He'd smoke the best Crossfitter at a bike race, laughing all the way.
The average person should not eat like an endurance athlete, it's unhealthy and they probably know it. But the way they eat, fuels their performance. For an elite level athlete, it's "do everything to be competitive, even if it is unhealthy."
I do think sports like: Basketball, baseball, tennis, MMA, boxing, and LEO/MIL benefit from CF type programing. Sports that reward excellence within one fitness parameter will not benefit as much, ie: Strength, power, endurance: Swimmers, runners, powerlifters, olympic lifters, etc. So it is not accurate to say you cannot use CF to train elite athletes. There are elite MMA and boxing athletes using CF or CF "like" programs right now. It depends upon the sport.