Crossfit for high school kids...

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Crossfit for high school kids...

Post by 19delta on Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:25 am

Let me start by saying that I get Crossfit. I think that, for some populations, there is a lot of benefits: for example, people who just finished up their high school or college sports career but still want to compete or older people who want to get in shape.

But I think it has absolutely NO place in a high school weight room. Unfortunately, it has gained a considerable foothold in our school. Here's my specific objections to Crossfit for high school kids:

1. There is no programming. The kids come in and do 3 movements before doing the WOD. However, there is no routine. The 3 movements are randomly selected and don't follow any pattern. Often, it is more than a week before a movement is repeated. My contention is that it is very hard to get good at doing something if you are only doing it once every week and a half or two weeks. And it is even harder to build strength in that movement at such a low frequency.

2. Low volume and light weights. Simply put, the kids aren't working with significant enough loads or doing enough reps to affect a training response. On weight lifting or power lifting movements (the 3 movements done prior to the WOD), they usually do 5 sets of 5 reps (which, of course, is pretty good). However, there are no accessory or auxiliary movements done after the 3 main lifts. So, for example, if they are doing a squat for the main lift, they won't do lunges or any posterior chain work afterwards. The squat is all they do. Once the kids get to the WOD, they do some kind of AMRAP or EMOM or something for a set number of rounds. And the intensities are always very light. Like thrusters with an empty barbell. Or doing repetitive jumps on a very low plyo box (or even a 45-lbs bumper plate). I think that everything you have kids do in the weight room has to serve a specific purpose. If you can't justify what you are having kids do...if you can't show how a movement or activity in the weight room produces a desired athletic trait, then you shouldn't be having kids do it. I don't see how the WOD encourages any positive athletic training effect at all. The result is poor overall athletic development.

3. Activity vs. Achievement. When the kids are done with the WOD, they are sweaty and out-of-breath. With that being said, are they really any better? Have they actually improved athletically? Are they stronger, faster, or more powerful? More flexible and less susceptible to injury? My answer, obviously, is no. But the kids think they are. A wear out is NOT a work out!

Generally speaking, our male athletes are very weak. But more and more of them are doing the Crossfit workouts. Our HFC is an old-school guy who wants kids doing Olys and powerlifts but I think he is ultimately fighting a losing battle. The kids prefer the Crossfit workout because they can get it done quickly and, let's face it, it is easy. It does not require them to get under the bar with heavy weight. It does not require great technique and discipline and rigor to improve and get better.

Am I off base here and missing something? Is this kind of training actually beneficial to high school kids? Most high school kids are either skinny and weak or fat and weak. So, it makes sense to me that the first goal of any training program for junior high and high school kids is to increase absolute strength. Get kids stronger by squatting, dead lifting, pressing, and pulling. Once they understand the basics, teach them how to jump and how to do cleans and snatches. But the foundation has to be strength. If that isn't there, those kids will never fully develop athletically.
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Re: Crossfit for high school kids...

Post by newcom on Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:29 am

Tried it 1 year went back to football lifting!
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Re: Crossfit for high school kids...

Post by Teetime on Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:44 am

The chicks are hotter in Crossfit than in the football weight room.

I'm just sayin'

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Re: Crossfit for high school kids...

Post by newcom on Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:01 am

Tee not always true Cool Wink Very Happy
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Re: Crossfit for high school kids...

Post by 19delta on Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:49 am

Teetime wrote:The chicks are hotter in Crossfit than in the football weight room.

I'm just sayin'

I was going to put that in my initial objections but I wanted to focus more on the "science" part of it. But, given that you brought it up, it is 100% TRUE. I think that a big reason that a lot of our boys want to do the Crossfit stuff is because they get to train with the girls.

That's why it is so insidious. It is a terrible training program for high school kids but the Crossfit cultists have found all these clever ways to market it to the very population who should not be doing it.
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Re: Crossfit for high school kids...

Post by 19delta on Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:51 am

newcom wrote:Tried it 1 year went back to football lifting!

I find that shocking. You guys have been powerlifting-based since Christ was a corporal. Who's your S&C guy...has the funny nickname? Used to run the bench press contest? I know he's a big powerlifting guy.

Why did you guys go to it and why did you come back?
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Re: Crossfit for high school kids...

Post by general maximus on Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:08 pm

Crossfit has some of the same feel to me as "Travel Ball" or a personal trainer. You are paying for it, so it must be better. The perceived elitism of it has an appeal that going to an archaic weightroom does not. It is new and fresh, so it must be better. It gets covered on ESPN, it is progressive. Heck there was even a kid here that played football for me and was a workout warrior(not good at football but he could do all the tests like VJ, Pro A, 10 dash, 300 shuttle like a champ) He is actually a sponsored Crossfit Athlete now.

What looks good on TV and in the mirror is Crossfit.........What is playing this weekend in Dekalb is effective. While both have their benefits, they are not always inclusive of each other.

We have a great strength guy who has us on a good path and program. We are very protective of the culture we are trying to create. And that culture does not include doing whatever you want since it looks cool. If that was the case, no one would ever run anything but the Spread. It certainly looks cooler to the outside world than wing T.

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Re: Crossfit for high school kids...

Post by 19delta on Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:08 pm

general maximus wrote:Crossfit has some of the same feel to me as "Travel Ball" or a personal trainer.  You are paying for it, so it must be better.  The perceived elitism of it has an appeal that going to an archaic weightroom does not.  It is new and fresh, so it must be better.  It gets covered on ESPN, it is progressive.  Heck there was even a kid here that played football for me and was a workout warrior(not good at football but he could do all the tests like VJ, Pro A, 10 dash, 300 shuttle like a champ)  He is actually a sponsored Crossfit Athlete now.  

What looks good on TV and in the mirror is Crossfit.........What is playing this weekend in Dekalb is effective.  While both have their benefits, they are not always inclusive of each other.  

We have a great strength guy who has us on a good path and program.  We are very protective of the culture we are trying to create.  And that culture does not include doing whatever you want since it looks cool.  If that was the case, no one would ever run anything but the Spread.  It certainly looks cooler to the outside world than wing T.    

I don't know why 2 people negged you. I think you summarized my antipathy towards Crossfit perfectly.

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Re: Crossfit for high school kids...

Post by mc140 on Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:51 pm

Virtually every sophomore through varsity boy and girl athlete in our school takes weightlifting class. Our cross country girls can do power cleans.

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Re: Crossfit for high school kids...

Post by crusader on Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:57 pm

I was in the weight room only to satisfy coaches. Did the standard bench, inclines, deadlift and leg extensions - tops and bottoms. And curls for the girls, as Schott called them.

At home, I carried shingles, dug drainage trenches, turned over the garden, spread (literally) tons of dirt around the house (to avoid basement flooding), pushed a wheelbarrow, collected and buried apples from five trees, chopped wood and swung a hammer. At work in a restaurant, I carried heavy stuff - tables, racks of dishes - and sometimes worked in 120 degrees in the dish room and emptied 55-gallon trash cans into dumpsters.

Right before the season, I'd really focus on bench, squats and the mile - that's how we were judged to be in shape or not after no coach contact for two months.

The other "work" I did throughout the rest of the year was responsible for my overall strength, I believe. Is that not the goal of crossfit?
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Re: Crossfit for high school kids...

Post by 19delta on Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:22 pm

crusader wrote:I was in the weight room only to satisfy coaches. Did the standard bench, inclines, deadlift and leg extensions - tops and bottoms. And curls for the girls, as Schott called them.

At home, I carried shingles, dug drainage trenches, turned over the garden, spread (literally) tons of dirt around the house (to avoid basement flooding), pushed a wheelbarrow, collected and buried apples from five trees, chopped wood and swung a hammer. At work in a restaurant, I carried heavy stuff - tables, racks of dishes - and sometimes worked in 120 degrees in the dish room and emptied 55-gallon trash cans into dumpsters.

Right before the season, I'd really focus on bench, squats and the mile - that's how we were judged to be in shape or not after no coach contact for two months.

The other "work" I did throughout the rest of the year was responsible for my overall strength, I believe. Is that not the goal of crossfit?

My understanding of Crossfit is the goal is to help people develop a basic competency in 10 areas of fitness. It don't know what they all are right now and I'm too lazy to google it. But, even Crossfit purists will admit that because Crossfit is so generalized and broad, most people will never get really good at anything. The end goal is just some vague idea of being "fit".

And again...that is GREAT for a formerly competitive athlete looking to stay in shape and maybe even continue competing. Or middle aged men and women who don't want to pull a muscle when they are raking leaves. But it is TERRIBLE for a junior high or high school kid who has not built a foundation of strength through ground-based, compound movements done with a barbell.
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Re: Crossfit for high school kids...

Post by 19delta on Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:29 pm

And I should add that the people who are REALLY good at Crossfit...the people who win the big money on TV...they do a hell of a lot more than Crossfit and they all come from an elite athletic background.

Rich Froning was a D-1 baseball player. Mat Fraser was a weightlifter before an injury sidelined a good chance to make the US Olympic team (and both parents were Olympians...good genetics!). Most of the elite Crossfitters have a foundation in weightlifting, powerlifting, or athletic training.

They aren't just showing up at the local box and doing Fran or Murph... Rolling Eyes
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Re: Crossfit for high school kids...

Post by OldTitan on Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:14 pm

I agree 100%. It is yet another struggle we face in the off-season.
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Re: Crossfit for high school kids...

Post by tincup1215 on Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:17 pm

I had quite the extensive talk with our MS staff on these workouts and kept asking them to justify the benefit of these workouts with middle school kids. They couldn’t, and understood my point of I’m not going to tell you what to do, but you should be able to justify what you’re doing. And the absolute worst answer I’ve heard is “well that’s the way we did it in high school”.
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