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Old 09-28-2008, 02:55 AM   #121
Alex Europa
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Re: The Gray Cook/Mike Boyle interview back on the community board please

Originally Posted by Derek Maffett View Post
30 times in two or three minutes? Form breakdown is almost impossible to prevent in a metcon with such highly technical lifts. Obviously the athletes have enough strength to get through it with lousy form, and I'm assuming that any good trainer would stop his clients before they hurt themselves, but those C&J's are going to be with really bad form regardless of how light the weight may seem.
And form breakdown is inevitable in real life. Typically, operators, fire fighters, etc... don't have the luxury of setting the back and making a technically perfect (or even sound) lift in the heat of the moment. While there is inherent risk involved in training with technique breakdown, this does not make it without merit. My point was that CrossFit develops athletes with a core that is solid enough to withstand anything but the most egregious errors in technique. It should be noted that there are people that CAN do the WODs as Rx's and people that SHOULD do the WODs as Rx'd.

Does that mean that training with bad technique is good for everyone all the time, or that horrible technique should be applauded? No, and I think the community does a great job of self policing. Anytime a video is posted with questionable form, there are numerous people that point out the flaws - and as previously mentioned, the majority of the videos posted on the mainsite display notes about many of faults as well.

Lastly, I would like to point out that Coach Glassman has stated on numerous occasions that the goal should be 80/20 in terms of intensity and technique - ratchet up the intensity until you "miss" 20% of your reps. "You can't learn to drive fast if you never crash into the wall."

- Alex
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"Every man dies. Not every man truly lives."

Last edited by Alex Europa : 09-28-2008 at 02:58 AM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:25 AM   #122
Alex Europa
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Re: The Gray Cook/Mike Boyle interview back on the community board please

Just finished listening to the newest CFR podcast, and want to say that everyone is entitled to their opinion, regardless of how baseless and lacking in evidence it really is. If Mike Boyle wants to use a NY Times article, and an article that is designed to WARN people about rhabdo - which is more than he can say he's ever done to educate the public about it - as his evidence that we're cavalier and encourage death-defying workouts for the novice trainee, then that's his perogative.

I'm still waiting for a challenge to pit Boyle's best verus CrossFit's best. I'm sure his program is very very safe, but safety and efficacy are inversely proportional, so I don't think it would be much of a contest at all.

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Old 09-28-2008, 11:58 AM   #123
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Re: The Gray Cook/Mike Boyle interview back on the community board please

There’s a big difference between saying that if you’re uncomfortable with the idea of broken necks, we don’t want you around and saying that if the possibility of breaking your neck from falling on your head is unimaginable, we don’t want you around. Please.

Interpreting my statement, "If you find the notion of falling off the rings and breaking your neck so foreign to you, then we don't want you in our ranks” to show that we want to weed out the weak-willed is ludicrous, and, I think, no accidental misreading.

Look, everyone, if your kid doesn’t believe that you can be killed in a car wreck it’s immoral for you to give him the keys to the car. Is that simple enough?

I bring up Ms. Cooperman, the “journalist”, who wrote the NY Times piece deliberately. We could on the face of it say that she just didn’t get it. But here’s the rub: Stephanie Cooperman spoke at length with Captains JT Williams and Wade Rutland of Canadian Infantry School, Major Jon Barba of Colorado State Patrol and several unnamed SEAL/S who’d implemented CrossFit in their training duty. Each made ample point of the fact that CF had reduced injuries of ALL sorts across the board and dramatically. Why was this not mentioned in the article? Can it really be an accidental oversight, when the subject, tone, and tenor of the article is the dangers/risks of a fitness program? I maintain the only rationale answer is a resounding, “no!”

Were I to have to decide if Ms. Cooperman were stupid or unethical, perfectly aware of the possibility/probability of hybrid combination, I’d pick unethical.

In the case of Mr. Boyle, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt – at least for now – in questioning his intelligence.
Mr. Boyle is publicly and repeatedly stating that we are the defendants of a liability suit. He’s implied that we deserve the suit and deserve to lose, but the fact is we are not being sued. In truth, the suit he is alluding to is one where we have been asked, and agreed, to be expert witnesses to the plaintiff’s case.

We have made rhabdomyolysis awareness and prevention, like infant drowning, and outfitting the USMC with workable fitness gear, a CrossFit corporate cause. Our rhabdo work, including the graphic of Uncle Rhabdo, have been very well received among more than a few nephrologists who deal with this illness professionally. The Uncle Rhabdo character has been a hit among these MD’s to whom we’ve sold/given dozens of T-shirts. They recognize us a world leaders in rhabdo awareness and prevention. They find the character funny and an effective educational tool. You can find some of these nephrologists posts among the comments on the day we released the Uncle Rhabdo character.

Assuming a cavalier, reckless, and callous disregard for rhabdo in our efforts is like thinking that Smokey the Bear makes fun of burned animals. Again: foolish, stupid, or some combination? You decide.

Misters Boyle, Cosgrove, Cook and the bulk of the NSCA stalwarts are finding their positions within the professional fitness community being eroded by the CrossFit community and it’s coaches and athletes. Communities that were once attracted to their offerings are increasingly less interested. We’re doing for the NSCA what Google has done for Yahoo.

I’d rather have an intelligent argument/debate/discussion on the merits of our approach, but Mr. Boyle has made it publicly clear he’s not interested.

Better yet, I’d like to test our methods vis--vis Mr. Boyle’s but he has balked at that as well.

It’s easier for him, and the only realistic strategy he has, to make up imaginary lawsuits, imaginary injuries, and cast aspersions on our corporate and individual characters than it is for him to discuss, analyze, or God forbid, compete against our methods. Mr. Boyle and his colleagues at the NSCA have come to see that they’ll only win this battle for market share and mind share through political means and not on any rational/logical basis.

It may be of some interest to note that in our strategy sessions with in-house legal counsel, well over two years ago, during a “how are the barons of the fitness industry going to play their lousy hand” discussion, I offered that the soldiers of the NSCA would start playing the “dangerous” card, and that we’d find them enjoined in lawsuits as expert witness, all too eager to decry the dangers of CF and that logic, science, and fact would do play no role in these charges.

This is a battle for mind share. The NSCA has long stood unchallenged in its authority and reputation. CrossFit is a threat to the organization, its offerings, status, minions, and their revenues. If our methods were lacking they’d have published a comprehensive corpus of scientific support for that reality.

This is dirty and it’s going to get a lot dirtier. Mr. Woods is a very capable moderator, a brilliant man, and a man of immense integrity. He’s also not fighter, whereas, I am. I’ll not remove him regardless of his dislike for fight. When this war is over, maybe he can help broker the truce/surrender, but David, my Brother, you’re not suited for understanding or challenging men of ill will or temperament. In the meantime I’m going to skate the fine lines on our policies for engagement here and challenge both the intellectual capacity and the ethics of those whose professional status and survival depends on ignoring fact, data, science, and reality.

Some of you will quickly and rightfully refer to this as “personal attacks”, or as Mr. Woods described, “insults”, but when the facts have been put forth repeatedly – institutional adoption of CrossFit by municipal, state, and federal agencies has demonstrated it to be uniquely effective, efficient, and safe – only to be ignored or denied, then “personal attacks” are a reasonable and rationale second line of action.

One last thought. Mr. Woods says that Mr. Boyle and I have “differences of opinion”. That’s not correct. Mark Rippetoe and I have differences of opinion; Mr. Boyle and I have differences of opinion like a mugger and his victim have differences of opinion.

Last edited by Coach : 09-28-2008 at 12:09 PM. Reason: Blackberry from Australia formatting crap
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:31 PM   #124
Leonid Soubbotine
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Re: The Gray Cook/Mike Boyle interview back on the community board please

Everyone should read the debate CF Vs Boyle that Coach posted, before posting in this thread.

Very insightful document.

"We've spoken with the hockey players who claims he gave them their worst season ever, we've met the Army guys who were told they needed to do push-ups from their knees. (You can find reference to both of these instances from the comments on the first Boyle/CrossFit WOD post)"

That's one of the reasons I think this is such a hot topic - the fact that military operators and athletes can lose lives/careers based on Boyle's "judgment".

It's hard to argue that CF is the best program there is for the military/ff/leo personnel and people advocating "safer" and less intense protocols are actually putting those people in danger.

Like Suvorov said "Hard in training, easy in battle"
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Old 09-28-2008, 12:56 PM   #125
Jason Lopez-Ota
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Re: The Gray Cook/Mike Boyle interview back on the community board please

So Coach, you are saying that Uncle Rhado is to Crossfit as the HIV positive muppet 'Kami Sesame' is to South African Sesame Street?

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Old 09-28-2008, 01:11 PM   #126
Anthony Bainbridge
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Re: The Gray Cook/Mike Boyle interview back on the community board please

Does Boyle really lack that much knowledge about CrossFit and Rhabdo or is he playing dumb so he can stir the pot?
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:15 PM   #127
Robert Wolf
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Re: The Gray Cook/Mike Boyle interview back on the community board please

I've circled this thread for a while and have started writing and then deleting several posts. The reason I've deleted them is it's damn hard to NOT make this personal. The Boyle/Cook/NSCA camp has:

1-Ignored 3rd party data as to the safety and efficacy of CrossFit in a variety of situations. This reminds me only too well of the fat-phobic dieticians and doctors in the world who say "low carb diets are dangerous..." then ignore all the evidence to the contrary. These two scenarios are also similar in that there are LIVES AT STAKE and in that the high-carb camp, Boyle/Cook et-all are going to save us from the impending doom that is a guaranteed from crossfit...or an insulin managed diet. Amazing. Ignore both data and observable results and plogh blindly ahead.

2-Stated that there are some "ok" people in CrossFit, but to align yourself with the organization is to fall to the lowest common denominator. We have no progressions, no screening methodology...fascinating.

I do not recall either of these guys observing my practice, or that of ANY other clinical setting where CF methodology is at use. I'm willing to test my methods against theirs in any format they like. We can bring in 3rd party validations, video the whole thing...any format they like. Since the kipping pull-up is such a danger on the shoulder lets make it all shoulder rehab...impingement, full shoulder replacement, RC repair...I'm in for anything. end stage of shoulder re-hab IS the kipping pull-up. I wonder how my clients in their late 70's are able to continue on such a dangerous and obviously injurious program?

If all of Crossfit is lumped together on this, then I'd like to make myself available for the Cook/Boyle camp to verify just how dangerous and ill prepared we crossfit trainers are.

Here is the kicker: If the agenda was about facts and actually protecting people from a perceived danger, they would engage us in the facts, or a competition of methodologies. It is a simple matter to track relative rates of both training improvements and safety...the winner would be obvious. This however is not the case. The agenda is about trying to damage, hopefully destroy this movement. We have changed the minds of countless physicians, physical therapists and researchers who are interested in the FACTS. they have engaged, questioned, asked for information and personal experience. Mike Boyle has no such interest, or, none expressed thus far.

I think it's a hazardous thing for Coach to make this a personal issue...but when you consider the stakes and the fact these people are not interested in factual, informed debate, it's almost impossible NOT to make it personal.
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Old 09-28-2008, 01:52 PM   #128
George Mounce
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Re: The Gray Cook/Mike Boyle interview back on the community board please

Sorry, I don't have it wrong, I have a difference of opinion. Plus my argument wasn't that one NFL lineman is the best. Its that a whole bunch of them are better than the majority of CrossFitters, and I've been to 5 affiliates and a level one cert to date, and that's enough of a sample. Believe me, they are. The Santa Cruz trainers and the games CrossFitters are the best at CrossFit, don't get me wrong, but they do not constitute EVERY person doing CrossFit.

I personally am on the side of CrossFit when it comes to the suit, I think people should use their brains. I also believe that Coach makes a lot of things way too personal and way too public. There are plenty of loyal people who believe in your methods, but to use them as pawns to push an agenda whether it is legal or personal, that's going across a professional line.
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Old 09-28-2008, 04:48 PM   #129
David Wood
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Re: The Gray Cook/Mike Boyle interview back on the community board please

Boy, there are just so many levels on which I could respond to this, I can't even pick one.

My principal reaction is to express gratitude to Coach Glassman for continuing to contribute to this thread, and in particular, to manage it by BlackBerry. I am (alas) all too addicted to mine, particularly in our current times of business "turmoil", but I would never have been able to complete a message as long, as articulate, and as typo-free as that. It's sort of irrelevant to the thread, but if you've ever had to peck out a long e-mail on one of those friggin' little keyboards, you know that that was pretty amazing.

Secondly, I am grateful to all who have continued to maintain a civil discussion. I am *always* happy to see Robb Wolf posting.

Clearly, many CrossFitters are engaged in a genuine life-and-death struggle against enemies that would subjugate us (at best), and kill us, if possible. Against such real enemies, nothing but total warfare is necessary and appropriate. Negotiations are not an option. The challenge is recognizing whether that's an appropriate response to what we are dealing with here.

I share Coach's perception of the "old guard"'s reaction to CrossFit . . . . these guys are currently at Step 2 of the process that goes like this:

How does a comfortable "establishment" respond to a new paradigm that will upend their comfortable world:

Step 1: Ignore it
Step 2: Attack it furiously
Step 3: Pretend it was your idea all along

(There are probably other versions of this cascade floating around; this is the one I remember).

I believe that the scorched-earth, my-enemies-are-evil-and-must-be-crushed tactics (that genuine warfare requires) are neither necessary, nor even useful in this battle, and it does a grave disservice to CrossFit's long-term goals to employ them.

Yes, they are attacking us, many times dishonestly. Yes, CrossFit needs to be able to call them on their intellectual dishonesties and laziness, their choice of willful ignorance rather than honest investigation. But presenting them as fundamentally evil, or inherently stupid, serves no useful purpose. Our "troops" may be stirred up, but people also become unpersuadable when they've been insulted.

We've had many different inspirational quotes presented on the board in various threads. Two of them apply to my role here, and I've struggled to ensure that I would find myself on the right side of them:

"There is no passion like that of a functionary for his function."
- Georges Clemenceau

"The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it."
-Norman Schwarzkopf

I have asked myself which I am (as a Moderator here) . . . a functionary jealously guarding his "function" (with implication that it serves no real purpose beyond keeping me busy), or someone who knows the right thing to do and is doing it, even if it means calling a friend, and a man who I admire hugely, on a violation.

Coach, you have my resignation "on your desk" (figuratively) at all times; you know can accept it at any point.

I believe we established the "no insults, no flaming" clause in the AUP for this board for a very good reason . . . we were experiencing all too much of the kind of degradation that many (most?) discussion boards slide into. I won't apologize for enforcing it.

And, if you suggest that I'm not a "fighter", perhaps you're mistaking a preference for one set of tactics over another for cowardice. I run a pretty significant business (not as large as CrossFit, but not trivial). I have plenty of competition, and I understand that sometimes you have to "fight" if you want to make a payroll. But I also know the difference between what I do and genuine warfare.
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Old 09-28-2008, 05:33 PM   #130
Robert D Taylor Jr
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Re: The Gray Cook/Mike Boyle interview back on the community board please

I could be naive here, but it seems that this battle is already won. I've worked with SEALs, trained with them, and had them as clients since I left the Boat Unit. They know about CF and at the least they incorporate the philosophy in their own programs. Since I left the Boat Unit, I've been back to visit, and the gym looks like a CF affiliate, they're on board too.

The Navy Times included an article that was favorable enough to concern the "risk averse" elements in my beloved Navy. The boards are full of Sailors that found out about it through that article. One of the largest military hospitals in the world has partnered with a local university's exercise physiology department to compare regular Sailors results beteween CF and some other system designed by SOF that sounds like CF but different.

Muscle & Fitness wrote a favorable article, I see folks doing CF regularly, and more doing "CFish" stuff i.e. Oly lifts at the base gyms I frequent. Certs sell out all the time.

It seems success is the best defense for CF right now. My peers, who are not gym rats, have heard of CF, they wouldn't know Mike Boyle if they tripped over him, Gray Cook either. I understand the concern that they are intellectually dishonest, but it seems, only to themselves. The fact is nobody who depends on their fitness cares what these people are saying. The NSCA may, but, so what? CF has become the entrenched system, they want a piece of it, but they have nothing CF wants or needs.

Maybe there's no reason to go to the mat with these people, they're irrelevant. Never wrestle with a pig, you just get dirty and the pig kind of likes it.

David, there's no confusing courage with cowardice. The boards are a better place for your efforts.
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