It is unfortunate, but true. You are only good at what you train for, and that’s it. This post was spurred from some recent discussion that was brought up on an old article “Is Rich Froning the Fittest Man Alive?”
This a an excerpt from the conversation that was started from that article:
Go ask a triathlete who is the fittest man in the world and see what answer you get. You see what CrossFit did was create a standard of fitness. They did not create THE STANDARD of fitness. The claim is more a gimmick. It all depends on your definition of fitness. CrossFit created their definition and that is their standard.
Rich would embarrass a triathlete in the CrossFit Games.
A triathlete would completely embarrass Rich in a triathlon.
Rich would embarrass a decathlete in the CrossFit Games.
A decathlete would completely embarrass Rich in a decathlon.
CrossFit is still out to set THE DEFINITION of fitness. But it hasn’t been done yet. Until then you are good at what you train for and that’s it.
You see where I am going with this….
No doubt Rich was the best CrossFitter in 2011 and he will win the 2012 CrossFit Games this year, so 2012 as well.
Fitness is, believe it or not, subjective. Fitness is what you want it to be so everyone’s different definition will determine what you think, or who you think, is the fittest in the world.
I actually agree with CrossFit’s definition of fitness, so I was just playing devil’s advocate.
So what do you train for?
Lifting heavy things? Running 26.2 miles? Parkour?
We all have our reasons, but how about training for life?
General Physical Preparedness
General physical preparedness (GPP), as described by Verkoshansky and Bompa, prevents injury, increase work threshold and is the basis whereby sport specific training may be conducted at levels consistent with elite performance. Historically GPP has consisted of sled drags, complexes, and body weight calisthenics performed at high intensity with resultant improvements in aerobic and anaerobic endurance, enhanced recovery, above normal neuroendocrine response, and accentuated hypertrophy.
Basically, you are ready to do s*** all the time. CrossFit is the best training program for not just GPP, but ELITE GPP. Even the meatheads need some GPP to be able to handle the training and workload needed to squat 1,000lbs. They don’t focus on it forever, but they do it and they know it is necessary.
Why not train for general physical preparedness for the sake of being generally physically prepared?
Unknown and Unknowable
CrossFit claims to train for the unknown and unknowable. You don’t know what is coming today, tomorrow or even in the next hour…but be ready for it.
CrossFit will get your ready for life and it will get you to an elite state of GPP.
CrossFit is best for two types of people:
- The weekend warrior who is getting fit for the sake of being fit. Why? Because a proper month’s worth of CrossFit programming will destroy any other type of general conditioning program.
- The Elite training to compete. The CrossFit Games is now a place for those who want to compete in fitness. A crazy concept, but it has given a home to a new breed of elite athletes. These athletes can not jump the highest or run the fastest but their “GO” will destroy most other competitors.
Besides athletes, I believe the general population not only has the ability, but also has the need to become an athlete of sorts. Human beings are built to naturally be athletic creatures, we’re not built to sit around and work in offices then come home and flop on the couch. Human beings should develop and maintain a somewhat athletic skill-set that allows them to be more mobile, stronger etc. There are so many people engaging in single-sided activities that they believe is making them more physically efficient. This is seen in the millions of people who go jogging every day. This is very narrow and only prepares the person for more jogging. General Physical Preparedness is a broad scope of training, by focussing on all energy systems and patterns of movement the human body can do more tasks all the more efficiently.
Never quit training and never forget the value of health. But have a purpose for training. Train for life. But most of all TRAIN FOR WHAT YOU WANT TO TRAIN FOR…. because that is all you will be good at.