Critique vs Uneducated Fear
For the most part I have relied on my experience and mistakes to largely educate me about what I do. I screwed around with Powerlifting from 1992 - 1995. Didn’t do anything spectacular but got pretty strong for a water polo /swimmer kid. I learned in High School (1989 - 1993) the importance of weight training and sport. Our coach had us lift 3-4 times per week. We were in the top 1-3 every year I was around in either swimming or water polo in our area. I dont attribute the weights to all of this, but it was part of this.
In 1998 I was deadlifting not paying attention and screwed my back up pretty good. That was when I had my first real glimpse of what moving correctly was about.
I got the endurance bug in 2002. I’ve run 70+ mile weeks coached people to 100 mile weeks, followed many endurance “experts”, did a ton of triathlons including Ironman (Canada 2004) and have coached triathletes, ran more than 30 ultra marathons and coached several ultra distance athletes, did more century bike rides than I can remember and have coached cyclists. I used to ride Como Street and Food Park every week in SoCal (those who know, know) and learned from my athletes and my experiences. I’ve monitored VO2 (bought a $5k machine almost 10 years ago), monitored blood lactate (bought that thing 8 years ago), meticulously watched HR and set “zones” for 7 years, observed RQ levels, and monitored “stress hormones”. I’ve seen people fry themselves aerobically and anaerobically. Over 10 years I’ve watched this stuff.
I did CrossFit for the first time in 2005, and jumped all in by 2006. My gym at the time (May 2005 I opened), Genetic Potential did not have one piece of “equipment” for isolation exercise. CrossFit freaked me out and my clients out at first. In transition from a boutique gym (where I trained my athletes), it was covered in said equipment, we lost ZERO clients in our move. Hell yes I was skeptical… It’s a Cult, don’t you know. Now, Bob Harper is the new Celebrity Overlord and somehow is making fat people fit with it CrossFit.
In the early years I never put down Joe Friel’s Triathletes Training Bible, and still refer to it from time to time. I’ve worked with Dr. Herman Falsetti on HR, VO2 and Lactate, and even set my original “zones” up with him. My friend, Dean Karnazes runs a shit ton, doesn’t stop moving, doesn’t sit down, has played with every diet he knows of, and still does some strength & conditioning. Nicholas Romanov believes all movement has skill, he doesn’t believe in junk mileage, likes to squat and snatch too, is a crazy brilliant Russian Scientist, and uses his own version of a “Block Training System”. I was on the Kettlebell scene for a couple of years too, and followed Diesel Crew and guys like Zack Even-esh and Jason C Brown. I approached Greg Glassman about the training model I developed off of all of this experience. So I didn’t buy into anything, hook, line and sinker. We experienced it, and brought that experience to CrossFit (2007).
We just interviewed *Mark Allen on Genetic Potential TV two weeks ago. A guy I used to follow religiously!!! I dont hate those who do Long Slow Distance. My experience from the above (and a lot more that is going unlisted) allowed me to take what works and what doesn’t work for me. I gave that away for free on a website called CrossFit Endurance. Many followed suit with the Sport Specific route and CrossFit after they saw this. That website is for most people. It might help to have A. Swim/Bike/Run/Row back ground. B. Some CrossFit experience or are getting proper CrossFit coaching. C. Want to see change. If you dont understand what most people is, it is probably you (99% of the training population). It is 100% scalable. Look that word up!
Elite athletes, let me repeat… ELITE ATHLETES have coaches and programmers and do not follow online training programs. They might cherry pick some workouts from time to time off of online programs, but they are being closely monitored by something that stands outside the forrest. That also doesn’t mean you cant get great results scaling UP the CrossFit Endurance website.
If I had not had any of that experience I would not be the “endurance guy” in CrossFit. With that said if you believe you are a credible enough expert to give critique to something you have A. never done B. have never really been through the program or C. Have an eerily similar program. You then defy all that is logical in my world. I call this uneducated fear based journalism.
If you have actually gone through this program, and put the time in to understand all of it and have some critique, We are all ears. The last time I followed a program or had an athlete go through one it required more than 3 months to understand it enough.
If you feel making uneducated fear based write ups on what we do is okay, you are doing a diservice not to me, and not to CFE or CrossFit. The diservice is to you. Being uneducated about a subject we are well versed in and putting it online makes you look really, really bad.
*FWIW, Mark Allen says he makes sure he is surfing and in the gym every week, lifting, not logging miles. Let that resonate if it bothers you before you defensively react to it. Mark Allen prefers to lift now rather than log miles for health and fitness. Mark Allen.