“CrossFit Hate” is an odd phenomenon. There are lots of people out there who throw out all sorts of bazaar accusations about CrossFit in general, and we’ve even heard the occasional jab at CFM. Just listen and you’ll hear the same thing. When you do, though, keep this in mind: the overwhelming majority of the CrossFit Hate comes from within the fitness industry (and the remainder comes from the misinformed). Yes, it’s the “trainers,” “fitness coaches,” and “boot camp instructors” out there throwing around fake and harmful information about CrossFit, all while being massively unqualified to comment on CrossFit at all (much less teach you how to “tone up” without even knowing how to properly perform an honest squat).
This occurred to me a while back when I had a conversation with former classmate of mine – Let’s call him “Dale”. Three years ago Dale started an irrigation company that has grown from a backyard hustle into a massive enterprise worth tens of millions of dollars. I was talking to him about his growth and popularity, and he credits his success to hard work, honesty, and simply having great products. He laughed as he said “The industry HATES US, but our customers love us.” Keep in mind, Dale is an innovative, ambitions, young man who jumped into an industry full of stale, elderly, companies that never wanted to change the status quo. Since then, the older companies have resorted to slander and fake news about Dale’s company.
Why is that?
It’s not complicated, actually. It’s because Dale’s customers are getting better value than his competitors can offer. Dale offers better prices and/or better products, and his competitors simply can’t keep pace. “Hate” is the only thing the rest of the industry can do to try to keep up.
Maybe we’re bad at business, but we’ve never really emphasized marketing here at CrossFit Merced. We do an occasional ad, and we give a lot of donations to local charities, but we’ve never had a targeted campaign designed to attract a potential client. We’ve certainly never disparaged any other fitness programs to attract their clients. Even so, we still get our fair share of CrossFit Hate – from people who have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about.
Think about what Dale said – “our customers love us.” We’re certainly liable to take criticism for our mistakes, but don’t you think it should come from the people who actually understand what we do? Wouldn’t it be better to take a recommendation from someone that has been here at CFM putting in great effort and using great technique for a year? We certainly think so.
We feel a lot like Dale – we get a lot of hate from the people that can’t keep up. CrossFit Merced brought an entirely new model for fitness. We teach multiple complex disciplines and we focus on capacity and health – not aesthetics (digression: isn’t it cool how the aesthetics follow when you get your priorities straight?). We offer specialized coaching for fractions of what you pay at specialized facilities. We offer a prime location and a beautiful facility because we took risks that others weren’t willing to do. We take the time to teach multifaceted and complex techniques that require our coaches to actually be experts on the subject. Our competitors can’t offer these things – they can’t keep up. They’re either expensive – or repetitive – or simplistic – or can’t teach barbell instruction – or gymnastics fundamentals – or they offer their service in a shed – or they’re just too lazy to do anything besides adjust the pin in the machine that you’re using to “tone your glutes”. So in response, they send out the CrossFit Hate.
Regarding specifics, you may have heard “Ouch, be careful doing CrossFit – you’re going to get hurt.” Really? If everyone who did CrossFit got hurt then why are we still around after 9 years? Why do we have 8-year clients that continue to improve? How could we possibly retain any clients? And, on a broader scale, how would the CrossFit community as a whole get to 15,000 affiliates worldwide? It’s unbelievable – people continue to talk about injuries in CrossFit like it’s the boogeyman – but nobody has ever actually seen the boogeyman. (note: injuries are not entirely avoidable in anything you do, but we can do our best to avoid them. We wrote about it HERE… and HERE… and HERE.)
So, next time you hear the CrossFit Hate, let’s all try to stay classy and respond without reciprocating any negativity. Feel free to defend us if you must, but don’t feel obligated to. We understand that our gym might not be for everybody, but we’re going to keep going – like Dale – giving a better product at a better value. We are going to keep teaching squats and pulls and presses and high intensity – and all of our CFM community is going to continue to get better – at everything. With that in mind, the CrossFit Hate may be fake, but it won’t stop any time soon.
Test week continues…
20 minutes to establish a 1RM
(Push Jerk is ok if it promotes a more stable midline)
30 Overhead Squats (45/35)
30 Pull Ups
*Compare to 9/26/17
Dball over Yoke x 20 Reps for time – Heavy