A: CrossFit, as many are wont to point out, is not a perfect form of training, but it certainly shouldn’t be thrown out with the bathwater. In fact, it brings a lot of good to the table. Here’s a list of some of the greatest benefits of CrossFit.
1) Popularization of neurologically demanding movement patterns, such as the snatch, clean and jerk, back squat, Turkish get up, back lever, muscle up and pistol squat. CrossFit encourages people to do things that work while also being fun and useful at the same time. The days of Arthur Jones’ muscle-isolation machine circuit are over; or at least they’ve received a significant blow to the head, and rightfully so.
2) CrossFit encourages people to work hard and stop wasting time on nonsense like balancing on bosu balls; throwing out pink-vinyl-coated dumbbells; long, slow-distance gerbil-like treadmill marathons and countless other flavors of nonsense that dominate the fitness industry.
3) CrossFit prioritizes performance metrics over aesthetic metrics. Aesthetics are nice—of course everyone wants to look muscular and lean—but if you can’t access basic positions and remain strong throughout your full range of motion, then you are weak and headed for major medical problems down the road.
4) CrossFit has been a dominant influence in spreading awareness of evolutionary medicine and the Paleo diet (though I am loathe to call it that), in direct contrast to the dietary recommendations of the Food and Drug Administration, which are bunk to begin with.
5) CrossFit openly encourages everyone to get up off the couch and participate, no matter what your age, fitness level, ability or disability is. Movement is a good thing for everyone.
6) CrossFit encourages people to take control of their own fitness instead of treading water through an endless stream of conflicting nonsensical claims from every corner of the fitness world.
Editor’s note: Ben White won his first IFBB professional bodybuilding contest, the Tampa Pro, in 2010. He is also a champion powerlifter and frequently competes in the World’s Strongest Bodybuilder contest at the Olympia. His best competition bench press is 711 pounds. He is an MPH athlete, www.MHPStong.com. IM