CrossFit Training is Not (Sport) Specific!

CrossFit TrainingYesterday an article on The Problems With CrossFit (link at bottom of page) started flowing through the Strength Coach community and I thought I’d share it.

CrossFit is popular, especially in the lacrosse world where Reebok is a main sponsor.

If you’ve read any of my posts in the past (like this one, or this one) you know I don’t think lacrosse players should be doing CrossFit to train for the sport of lacrosse.

As CrossFit is ‘half training/half cult’ I get to hear from many players about how I’m wrong.

Because they are doing CrossFit and the workouts are brutally hard and intense which obviously means they are making them better players right?

I like the article I mentioned as it lays out the positives to CrossFit as well (yes I agree there are some positives!).

These positives include:

  • The use of Olympic Lifts
  • Not using machines
  • Tough workouts, not just going machine to machine at a Golds Gym without breaking a sweat
  • Multi-Joint movements like squats and overhead presses, not curls and tricep extensions

However these positives are outweighed by more negatives if you are a lacrosse player training to improve at your sport. Here’s a quote from the article:

See, Crossfit does not train you for anything specific—their one brilliant stroke of marketing genius was to declare themselves “The Sport of Fitness,” making it an end in itself. You’re not doing those 1600-meter bear crawls and timed rope climbs to get in shape for anything; you’re doing them to get better at doing them so one day you can go to the Crossfit games and do them alongside a dozen other people in front of a small crowd. The simple counterpoint to Crossfit is that if you are training for something specific, you’ll want to train for that thing, rather than training for “what if you’re caught in a burning building and you have to climb out while carrying someone on your shoulders and then run away at top speed and then throw a kettlebell at an angry dog that chased you,” as Crossfit does.

It goes on:

Do you want to be a powerlifter? Don’t do Crossfit. (As your MAIN WORKOUT.) Do you want to be a distance runner? Don’t do Crossfit. Do you want to simply add muscle bulk at all costs? Don’t do Crossfit. Are you training for a specific sport which requires you to sharpen very specific physical skills? Don’t do Crossfit. Instead, train for what it is you actually want to achieve.

The list is pretty long and I actually disagree with one of the negatives posted by the author. He states Group Training is a negative.

I think having a group of people to cheer each other on and push you to get better is a good thing and CrossFit has done that extremely well.

The only other main points I would direct you to please read would be:

  • #4. Their Pullups Suck (Kipping pullups, there can’t be an exercise I hate more and the author explains why very well!)
  • #5. You Will Get Injured (I hope everyone can realize why that isn’t a good thing if you are training to be a better lacrosse player!)

CrossFit is great if you are a 20-something in good shape already who only has 30 minutes at your lunch to workout and you don’t play a specific sport. The workouts are intense and short. They are tough and will get you in good shape.


There’s a reason I have yet to see a Professional Athlete outside the Lacrosse world promoting he trains in the off-season using CrossFit. Imagine Sidney Crosby trying to improve by completing WOD’s all summer. Or Derek Jeter? Or Peyton Manning? Or Steve Nash? Not a Chance!

So why is it acceptable for lacrosse players?

P.S. Here is the Link to the Article. It contains foul language so if you are offended by that please do not open: The Problem(s) With CrossFit

About the Author

Sean Holmes

The owner and Head Strength Coach of The Dynamic Athlete is Sean Holmes. Sean is also the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Toronto Rock and a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) and a youth speed and agility specialist (YSAS).

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