Stop Being Babies: A CrossFit Open Rant

This past year, as we all know, CrossFit has drawn a line in the sand. They have decided without a shadow of a doubt that what they care about most is lifelong fitness that is attainable by all. To prove this point, they have really hacked away at the core of the CrossFit Games season, in an attempt to show people that the Games is secondary in their eyes, and far less important. Sure, this upset a lot of people, myself somewhat included, but like I said they drew a line in the sand, fitness for all is what they really care about.

That being said, the sport of fitness is still a thing, and Greg Glassman and Daveyboy Castro are once again attempting to find the fittest man and woman on earth through multiple stages of a grueling competition. As always, one of the biggest portions of that is the Worldwide Open. People from all walks of life signing up to compete against one another, to see if they are the fittest. The fittest will advance, and the weaker go back to the drawing boards. This is a COMPETITION

Photo Courtesy of CrossFit Inc

Photo Courtesy of CrossFit Inc

In every competition, there will be people who fight for the top, and people who can’t hang, who aren’t even close. There will always be tiers of ability in competition, that’s how it works. The same year that the Philadelphia Eagles had a parade to honor an NFL championship, the Cleveland Browns were bumming over a 0-16 perfect losing season. Competition is never equal. So can someone please explain to me why half the population of open competitors feels the need to complain whenever a movement comes up that they lack the capacity to do or do well?

My goodness. This has gone on for years and years, and this year is no different, which I find to be shocking. Every year CrossFit will release a workout with a movement and every year people bitch and moan about said standard or movement. 

“Those dumbbells are too heavy”.

“That 4 min cap on phase 1 is bullshit, I’m here to get a workout and I know I won’t make it past the first round, that’s so dumb”.

“I can’t do muscle ups, thanks CrossFit, now I get to workout for three rounds and then stare at the bar”.

Good lord. Cry me a River, build me a bridge, and get OVERRRR it people. This is a competition to find the fittest badasses on earth. CrossFit themselves has very clearly said this is a separate entity from their march towards fitness for all. We have the affiliates, the seminars, the videos of oldies working out in their living rooms, and then we have the Games. If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.

Somewhere along the line, all these average competitors decided it was all about them when it very clearly isn’t. Can’t squat clean more than 135/95? You aren’t strong enough to do well in 19.2. Can’t do a bar muscle up? You aren’t skilled enough (and maybe strong enough) to do well on 19.4. Can’t handstand walk? 19.3 is probably not for you. 

Photo Courtesy of CrossFit Inc

Photo Courtesy of CrossFit Inc

CrossFit as a sport takes the pyramid of fitness and expands on it. This pyramid has all the components that makeup CrossFit, including weightlifting, gymnastics, and metabolic conditioning. The Open and Games programming takes the basics of these skills and mixes them into a competition to see who can do the common uncommonly well. So help me GOD if you try to say that handstand walks or muscle ups are not the basics. Watch an Olympic gymnastics ring or bar routine, or a floor routine. Yeah, those skills are basic, as basic as basic gets. 

To be fair, HQ has begun to release scaling options so all can participate. That’s fine and dandy, but many people still complain that the scales aren’t easy enough. Again, this is a competition. It’s quite possible that you don’t belong in it. CrossFit is clearly saying competition is for the few, and fitness is for all. It’s time we start listening. If you can’t do it, ya can’t do it. Either take the year to work on it, grow, and smash it next year, or note the trend in the community and just don’t sign up. But complaining about movements and standard because you as an individual can’t do it well is on the soggy side of pathetic.

A person complaining that they can’t do a movement in this competition is similar to someone signing up for a competitive triathlon (think an Ironman) and then they are irate when they have to swim in open water for a few miles. Oh I’m sorry, did you think that the basics of swimming were to swim 25 yards to the end of a pool, grab the edge and gasp for air? Nope, sorry, not even an 8-year-old swimmer has to do that. If you can’t swim well, you won’t be a great fit for a triathlon. If you can’t CrossFit well, you are a bad fit for the open. Deal with it