Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CrossFit vs. the globo gym

Article below from Crossfit Journal. Sept. 1, 2002.

“The ideal gym would be located close to home or work, well equipped, clean and manned by knowledgeable and helpful staff. Our ideal gym would also not be overly crowded yet available to friends and family that we’d like to workout with. An ideal gym would be supportive of hard-core fitness a la Crossfit. As long as we’re dreaming it might also play only the music we want to hear.

Many of us are blessed with gyms we love dearly. If that’s your situation, great! For the rest of us our gyms are very different. Often the drive to the gym is 20-30 minutes coming and going, the music is worse than annoying, the staff are less than worthless, the place is packed with selector-ized equipment for which we’ve no use and the few pieces of equipment that you want to use and in near constant use.

Commute, parking, filth, rust, crowding, music, staff and members each can make what for us is an essential activity difficult or impossible. The “Spa” (big tip-off) in our neighborhood has over the years banned Olympic Lifting, all jumping, plyometrics, walking lunges and believe it or not- have as a matter of policy fostered an antagonistic attitude to serious training. No grunting, sweating, yelling or dropping weights allowed.

Our experience in not unique.

In part the problem is one of business model. Your average neighborhood health club or gym is predicated on a low to minimum wage, unskilled staff supervising hapless members. The idea is to fill the space with machines, staff it with high school kids and let “Muscle and Fiction” provide the technical guidance. The predominant model in commercial facilities is the bodybuilding model: all machines and isolation work. Machines and isolation movements require little or no knowledgeable instruction or coaching whereas serious Strength and Conditioning requires less equipment and considerable expertise on the part of the coaches.

You can see this in the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s, landmark Essentials of Strength and Conditioning where schematics of a university strength and conditioning facility and a commercial health club are shown. The schematics speak volumes. You’ll notice that the commercial facility is littered with equipment whereas the university strength and conditioning facility is sparse by comparison.

This has led some people to create a garage gym with everything you need.

Thank you CrossFit for that!

At KING CrossFit, we don't care how much you bench press or how big your biceps are. We have no machines, no mirrors, no cables, no chrome, and no gimmicks. CrossFit is not a bodybuilding program; we train for life, not looks. We leave the vanity and ego outside our gym and we focus on encouragement of one another and TEAMWORK. Our workouts will humble any ego that slips through the door. This atmosphere fosters positive peer influence, camaraderie, motivation and friendly competition. KING CF builds a sense of belonging and FAMILY. We offer a high level of personal attention with the addition of quality coaching that yields an intensity level that is unparalleled to all other gyms.

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