Every Crossfitter loves making fun of Crossfit. In fact, the more of a dork you are the more you probably enjoy the jokes at the expense of your cult. I definitely fall into that category. To steal a line from the Naked Exerciser, I pretty much beat off with a hook grip.
I’m glad that there are actually funny people out there making fun of Crossfit. Its like having a comedian come to your office that knows all of the gossip and inside jokes. That combination of real comedic talent and something so inherently strange and self righteous makes the world a better place.
Also, having, for lack of a better term, watchdogs with a wide internet following calling bullshit on things like partner thrusters with someone koala-fying a barbell, neck supported ring push ups, and a wide variety of other inexplicable acts of idiocy that goes down at Crossfit competitions is great.
However, I think the line between satire and advice gets blurred too much with diet.
I love the fact that there is at least one voice that tells people that eating one cookie at Grandma’s house is not going to make the difference between an insulin injection and winning the CrossFit Games. Well, maybe the insulin injection for most people.
One of the most annoying things for people who have been around CrossFit for a while is when people come to the sport or the gyms with no athletic background and think that there is a simple, six week plan to a Reebok sponsorship.
News flash, if you were ever picked last for basketball in middle school you will never see yourself thrustering on a jumbotron. Unless you’re doing the more interesting version of the thruster, than maybe you can be elite in a more intimate pursuit.
While that cookie won’t make a difference in your unrealistic, untenable, and unbelievably misguided goal (you will probably go to the grave with as many CrossFit Games appearances as my first cat)*, it will make a difference in your overall, health, well being, and performance.
The same “hey guess what you’re not Rich Froning” is a two way street. You can’t do the things he does, train like him, or eat like him.
One of my favorite coaching stories goes like this:
We get a new member coming in. He’s a middle aged dude. Very out of shape with a well-cultivated, decades in the making beer belly.
He tells me he saw a poster of a guy who CrossFits and he’s interested in getting a six-pack like that before his wedding in four months.
He asks me what he has to do to do that.
Standard coaching practice is to launch into the standard “Eat Paleo and this is how we train abs more effectively in CrossFit” speech.
Instead I ask him if he had a six-pack in his 30’s.
He says no.
I as him if he had one in his 20’s.
He says no.
What about when you were a skinny teenager.
Again with a no.
I let him know that there are probably some plastic surgeons across the street.
What he was asking for is not possible. Dashing delusional hopes is probably not the best tactic, but if you let someone believe in something that’s impossible and they give it their all then you are a charlatan.
Eating Paleo won’t make you a super hero. On the flip side, what you eat does have an effect. You are equal parts not Jon North, not Rich Froning, and not anyone else you can name.
Eat the way you know is going to make you look, feel, and perform the best. Give it an honest experiment over several weeks and you know that the beer, pizza, and lulz diet won’t make any of those things happen. This is just as true as the fact that a monastic Whole Billion Challenge won’t make you Brad Pitt’s abdominal double in the Fight Club sequel.