100328 Why Jogging is TERRIBLE

Jogging IS terrible. “But terrible is such a strong word”. That is why I use it. It is my contention that there is NO benefit and undue HARM caused by jogging.

Let me clarify Jogging. This is the act of repeatedly running consecutive distances of 2 or more miles at a pace slower than 8 minutes/mile. If you aren’t running that fast you should speed up and shorten your distance.

People have the goal of “running a 5k” in two months from the couch, or the goal of “just finishing” a marathon, or “getting in shape”. These are not periods of life-long improvement, they are moments of stupidity and harm interposed between months or years of laziness.

Yes, I’m being harsh, but I feel strongly about this. I have treated MANY people for issues that are the result of nothing more than bodily neglect followed by abuse. They ignore their movement systems, create horrid imbalances by sitting around, then abuse these systems by putting it through an incredible load for little to no value; they wind up with shin splints, Achilles tendinosis, “runners knee”, IT band pain, or back problems.

Let me first explain what jogging is mechanically and then I’ll explain the two major ways it is terrible:

There are two distinct movements in the human system involving forward locomotion. One is walking and the other is sprinting.

  • Walking – Walking was meant to carry us for incredible distances by using very little energy. The mechanics and loading mechanism shows just this. Using muscles are TAXING to our metabolism and thus walking uses very little of them. It instead places the forces on our bones, ligaments, and cartilege. Because walking is a relatively slow cadance and there is little vertical movement the tissues handle it easily and without issue. They rarely break down from this (unless someone is abnormally heavy) and the person conserves energy and their connective tissues stay intact.
  • Sprinting - Sprinting is meant to carry us short distances extremely quickly by using a great deal of energy. Sprinting uses every muscle in our body to its fullest potential and is burns a great deal of energy. In doing so it saves our joints and bones by loading the muscles in a shock absorbing manner because otherwise the bones and joints would break down beyond repair. Thus, sprinting and walking look entirely different and should be used for different purposes.
  • The problem with Jogging is that people often speed up their walk instead of slowing down their sprint to move greater distances. Elite 100m sprinters and elite marathoners look nearly identical in their mechanics. Hell, elite marathoners are essentially sprinting for 26.2 miles; running faster for the first mile than most can for only one. Speeding up the walk leads to the two issues that make jogging terrible. It increases injury rates by increasing a load on a movement not meant to handle that load. Walking does not spare joints but is safe at low loads. Jogging is not low load. It also does not burn energy at a greater rate than walking and not NEARLY as much as sprinting. By hardly loading the muscles, jogging does not increase energy burn from walking by an appreciable rate compared to sprinting. This means, you don’t “get into shape” any faster than walking for the same distance.

Jogging is terrible because it does not help you reach your goal any faster than walking, it helps you reach it FAR SLOWER than occasional sprint intervals, and it ups your injury rate to keep you from your goal. My suggestion is to learn how to sprint and use them like seasoning while long hikes on local trails are your main course.

Post thoughts to comments.

-Corey

41 thoughts on “100328 Why Jogging is TERRIBLE

  1. Frank

    i am prime example of this. i used to run as my exercise but never really enjoyed the training part just loved the races. I did a marathon last year and was a able to complete it because of crossfit not the amount of jogging I did. I have problems with plantar fasciitis but only when i jog not when i crossfit. I am very happy to have found a way to exercise that i both love and works. I feel better than ever and I am in the best overall shape that i have ever been. Great post.

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  2. Hjudge

    What am I going to do?
    Before I started Crossfit a few months ago, I already had committed to myself running in the Chicago Marathon this October. I wanted to accomplish something big since I had a lifetime of small goals that kept me in my comfort zone, and that place had become quite unhealthy. I was inspired by other people in my life who ran long distance races, and I wanted to be as proud of myself as I was of them. Watching ‘Sprint of a Marathon’ solidified my massive goal. “I’m going to commit myself, and then I have to train to succeed’. I started working on my LD running (ummm… jogging) and a month later I was learning squats and sprinting with you guys.

    So I am hooked on crossfit now. The results have been overwhelming, and accomplishing something BIG is something that happens everytime I finish a WOD. There is nothing small, to me, about what you are teaching me yet there is this goal that I feel I can’t let go of. Its what got me through your doors, it is part of the reason why Ive been strict on Paleo (day 15 of not drinking too) and what made me put down my last drunken cigarette. Thanks to CFA I am stronger now, just after two months, than I was in my school years. I was a product of school meals, both breakfast and lunch, tv dinners I would heat up myself, and afterschool television that replaced healthy sport activities. Equally I am the product of my own bad decision making as an adult. Corey, you asked me when I first came what was my eye opener.. I think I mentioned my dad’s health to you. But I think alot about all the other moments in my life that my health kept me from experiencing life too. There were a thousand moments, I just had to make the decision.

    So what do i do? I don’t want to turn my back on something that I committed to. Do I just continue to do sprint drills, working on my mile/two mile/three mile times? Plan for Sprint/Walk?

    Can I be smart with my body and do this marathon?

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  3. Corey Post author

    Heather,

    If someone wanted to walk to the edge of the flat earth and back but then found out it was round, should they give up their goal?

    You have made the most progress in your short time of anyone I have seen. That is more than evident by your 60% time improvement of your On-Ramp Day 1-Day 12 comparison.

    It seems to me you should be MORE than proud of your efforts so far and should do everything you can to continue your consistency.

    In my life I have lived with the mantra “Have a plan, allow it to change”. What this means is at each moment of my life I make a plan for that life… that plan includes goals. However, if I learn something that would somehow alter that goal I allow that to occur and make subsequent changes. Your end goal is to be fit and healthy, yes? You have stopped eating junk food, smoking, and drinking because you feel these will improve your chances of reaching that goal, correct? Would you not re-engage in them if you learned they would somehow make you fitter and healthier?

    You made a goal of competing in a marathon in October. What have you learned about the development of your body? Does taking it FAR beyond it’s capacity make you fitter and healthier, or instead does taking your body TO the capacity and then allowing for rest and supercompensation make it fitter?

    Do I think you can FINISH that marathon in October, no doubt. I’ve seen far less fit individuals do it. If you will derive a sense of pride and accomplishment that will fuel your further progress then I say DO IT! Until then and after then, work on running FAST and improving all around fitness.

    You live in and around the Blue Ridge Mountains. I suggest incorporating long hikes on your days off or weekends or what have you. As a group last year we took a 20 mile day hike and will probably do this again. It was a great group and a great effort. THIS is far better for your musculoskeletal system than a 26-mile plod on flat pavement.

    Your life is yours, we’re here to help.

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  4. Dawn

    Excellent explanation. I can attest to the benefits of moving from a fast walk to a sprint, though it took much patience and repetition from Corey. 6 years of “toy-soldier running” (as Corey described my form) got me little more than painful knees, IT bands of fire, and Achilles soreness. In those 6 years I sped up all the way from 11″ miles to 9.5″ …Geesh! And spent lots of $$ on “newest, latest” shoes and gadgets. Now I just have to get my CV system to keep up with my legs. In the future my 5Ks will be for socializing –not a training goal every time I go out. And I believe the sprint will allow me to run further and better than ever before! Corey, Thanks for all the work you’ve done on/for/with me!! You didn’t give up even when I got too frustrated to think I’d ever get it. You and Shanna are the BEST.

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  5. miriam

    Corey, please explain also how a non-runner is sprinting vs. jogging? I am a non-runner and when running as fast as I can I appear to be nothing more than jogging as fast as I can up that CFA hill!!! I have called it “slogging” because I feel like I’m running in slow motion but it really is a total exertion for me as a non-runner.

    Also, I want to practice sprinting in my neighborhood. How many times and for what distance per session would you recommend for a non-runner to build up strength?

    And finally, a respectful and humble request from me as a client in the spirit of supporting our little community of diverse CFA-ers. Please do not use words like “stupidity” and “laziness” in your writing. Please do not impugne people who do things that you disapprove of. Many (not all) people do things not out of “stupidity” but out of lack of information. That’s not being stupid, that’s being uninformed. I know you are passionate about these issues but let’s not get personal, please. No one is perfect.

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  6. kate duinkerken

    People have the goal of “running a 5k” in two months from the couch, or the goal of “just finishing” a marathon, or “getting in shape”. These are not periods of life-long improvement, they are moments of stupidity and harm interposed between months or years of laziness.

    ___________________________________I can’t even read past this paragraph.

    Reply
  7. Tara

    I have also been a life long victim of plodding along thinking that I was running. I have made a lot of improvements (I think) But still as I tire, I slow down. I try to keep good form but sometimes just picking up my feet is more than I feel capable of. So in those instances, do we just walk it out when we can no longer sprint until we’ve recovered enough to give it max effort?

    Also, I’ll admit I hold back on the hill. I know that if I go all out on my first round I won’t have anything left for whatever is sandwiched in between those runs. I want to run and I want to be fast, but I need to know how to be smart about it too. It seems like this should be common sense but I’ve been known to push past the breaking point. Where is the middle ground? Do we fail if we walk?

    Also, just as a $.02 I think it would be great if the coaches could maybe plan a Saturday or something when we can all get together and work on running together.

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  8. Katie

    Corey,
    This is a great article. After years of daily long, slow runs, my fitness has improved greatly by doing CrossFit 4 days a week and doing short fast runs every once in a while. On a rainy day like today, I run 2 miles on the treadmill as fast as I can. I used to jog for 5 miles instead. Your way saves a lot of time! 14 minutes on the treadmill beats 45 minutes! My former habit of jogging 40 miles per week also earned me plantar fasciitis – a painful inflammation on the bottoms of my feet. I suffer none of that with CrossFit. Thanks for your excellent coaching.
    Katie

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  9. Corey Post author

    Miriam, We’ve never had you run further than 400m and you run this in under 2 minutes each time. This means you are at a pace of under 8 minutes/mile. You are sprinting. Also, the total load(distance) of that effort is ALWAYS under 2 miles. This is so you can keep your pace. There is method behind our madness. For self-practice warm up with sprint drills (we do them often in our warm-ups). Follow this by 4-10 sprints of various distances under 200m (400m for more experienced runners) with a full recovery (3-10x work/rest ratio). Some of the workouts at crossfitendurance.com can lend a hand to improving your capacity.

    If someone sought information on the topic and were mis-led by someone claiming to be knowledgeable I will let their mis-judgment slide. However, NOT seeking information, to me, IS stupidity and laziness.

    Tara, Yes. Run hard, recover, run hard. If you can keep a good pace (again, under 8 minutes a mile) with good technique for multiple miles, by all means do so. Again, we keep distances to something you can complete under an 8-minute mile.

    As the sun shines more Shanna has planned to do more sprint drills as our strength/skill and running time trials at different distances to scale you just like we do with deadlifts or power cleans.

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  10. Becca

    Good post and well-timed. This post poses a new and different way to approach ‘training’. In the past I have followed training running schedules which I now understand to have been ‘chronic cardio’ or going out and running at a slow pace for a hour – thinking that was the way to be fit. This has led me to injury and joint/foot pain. Since starting crossfit I now understand how important sprinting is. Since January of this year I have run 3 races, a 10k, a 5k, and a 12k (yesterday in Dupont) and I did not ‘train’ for any of them in the traditional sense like I used to. I simply have been doing crossfit 3 days a week and the results have surprised me. During these 3 recent races I have felt good before it, during it and afterwards. The real difference I notice is in the recovery – sure I am a bit sore, but I am not achey and stiff like I have been in the past. Why? I totally believe that the anerobic and aerobic benefits of sprinting prepare you better (to run these distances) than going out and running for an extended time period. I also have found that since starting crossfit, running the hills in these races has been a ton easier. I found this post on Mark’s Daily Apple to be related to this topic if you are interested.
    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/i-hate-running/
    Thanks Shanna and Corey for making our butts sprint!

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  11. Micah Pulleyn

    Ummmm. This is necessary for me as I prepare for three triathlons this summer. I’ve heard myself say to folks, “I just want to finish and not get injured, even if I come in last,” as I internally wonder how the hell I’m going to even succeed at the first part. Some days I feel like I’ve set myself up for an impossible task (much less three of them) while others I feel like it’s going to be fun, I’m going to do okay. After all, anybody who can endure 40ish hours of child labor can surely do a sprint distance tri (or tri to the tri power). Thanks for the words of wisdom, Corey. As usual, I’m humbled by and in awe of your wisdom. Cheers to you! -Micah

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  12. Aidan

    Hi Corey and CFA,

    I have nothing but respect, admiration and gratitude to you Corey — you are a wonderful trainer and kind person. But I also feel that this post, while certainly informative, fails to acknowledge what committing to a race — whether a “couch to 5K” or a marathon — can mean to a person who is just realizing that they can **choose** to be fit, and how **empowering** this type of challenge can be. And I know that wasn’t your intent, but it’s just how it came across. I consider signing up for the AC-Times half marathon last year the beginning of my commitment to lifelong fitness, and have, since then, become so much more aware of my own physical and psychological strengths and weaknesses. I can now truly **use** the information about sprinting vs jogging.

    I can honestly say I would not have committed to CrossFit if I hadn’t done that race — it’s what fired me up. Even though I didn’t sprint the whole thing, and I definitely overburdened my body, I proved to myself that I could reach beyond my comfort zone and push through something that just months before I would have considered impossible. It was a great breakthrough for me and it helped me commit to fitness for life and to being more aware of the choices I make each day. It wasn’t about time, or form, and I don’t even care that I couldn’t walk down a set of stairs for three days. What I gained from training with a group of supportive people — many of them also doing a race for the first time — and each week running (or jogging) farther than I ever had — was **huge** for me.

    So, while I am sincerely grateful to learn about the physiology of sprinting vs jogging vs walking, and I will incorporate this into my own practice, I also think it’s important to recognize that so many of the choices we make –especially before coming to CFA which is truly unique– have less to do with what we actually know about our body mechanics and more to do with how we feel about ourselves. Which is **exactly** why I’m so happy to be at CFA — because it is such a supportive environment. I’m not harshing on you Corey, and I know you just want to educate us about body mechanics — keep those posts coming!! I just wanted also to acknowledge how important empowering oneself is to lifelong fitness.

    To all the elite athletes please feel free to ignore my “touchy feely” posts. To those who, like me, often struggle to overcome a lifetime of misinformation, bad choices and self-doubt, please celebrate the fact that you’ve made a commitment to CFA — we are lucky to have such great trainers.

    I do want to improve my running mechanics and I’m psyched to learn more.
    Question: when doing the 200 and 400 m runs in WODs, should we sprint all out and then walk for a few seconds to recover if necessary (instead of starting at a slower pace to try to make it all the way without stopping?). Like others who have posted, I so much need to improve my CV capacity — I know that interval training outside CFA will help — but what about during the WODs?

    Thanks as always for your support,
    Aidan

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  13. Matt Baldwin

    Well, I saw (had) this one coming! And I’m glad for it. Corey, thanks for translating a slogan on the board into an actual article. Very thought provoking. I won’t even try to defend my recent blog post in which I basically “endorsed” jogging. That has to be read in the context of the recreational economy of a small and young family. Like I wrote in the post, I’m equating going jogging with the wife and kids with long slow walking. And, until an injury proves me wrong, I honestly think that it won’t be that bad for me. Better, I think, than deliberately eating sugar or rat poison. :-)

    Corey I know from experience with you and Shanna that CrossFit is all about “Pose” running… which is a sprint technique… and that Pose can be adapted to longer distances by athletes. That’s how we ought to approach 5ks and 10ks, etc.: as long sprints. Keep your pose and you’ll maximize speed and minimize stress to the body over distance.

    I have a question: what do you make of the claims of the very similar “Chi” running technique, which, among other things, is marketed as a technique for avoiding mechanical problems and injury in what is probably best called LSD running?

    Finally, and purely by the way, I don’t know if you’ve ever actually examined a “couch to 5k” training outline, but one thing it has in common with your advice is that the preferred method for training new runners to is to get them to practice in short sessions which alternate walking with what ought to be sprinting, or at least short distances in which the athlete wanna-be is running as fast as he or she can. The typical workout length of a “couch to 5k” schedule is made up of workouts of just 20-30 minutes, including the warm-up.

    The real issue with such programs, of course, is that they ain’t constantly varied — and just training by just running is just asking for trouble. CrossFit has taught me that for sure. I can’t believe I used to be that guy who equated “going for a run” (a 45 minute plod, really) with “getting in a workout.” Furthermore, another problem with them is, without a philosophical commitment to intensity in working out, the typical athlete wanna-be is going to be tempted to run in a “jog” instead of a “sprint,” risking serious long term joint and tissue damage.

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  14. Shanna

    Tara-
    Yes, it is certainly OK and advisable to walk. During the Bele Chere 5k last summer I was slowing at the top of S. French Broad and stopped completely before turning onto Patton Ave just after the 2 mile. Walked the water stop took a deep breath and picked my pace back up. While I have YET to hit my best running times I ran 20:20 (6:33 pace) off CF training 2-4x/wk.

    I used to be the crazy runner who would go out on a Sunday night run of 2-3 miles when I realized I “only” had 47 or 57 miles in for the week. I haven’t run more than 10 miles in a week since I started CFing. I am healthier, happier and far more of an athlete than I ever was in my youth/college years. I only wish I had known about this over the hours I spent riding the elliptical, water running in the pool and spending upwards of 90 minutes in the weight room doing lateral arm raises, leg curls, tricep kick-backs and bicep curls. No wonder I was told that I was “too bulky” for a distance runner. Not to mention all the various forms of bread and pasta that I ate. haha

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  15. Shanna

    My second response is to simmply say that I was sound asleep while this post was published and it was after 2:00 this afternoon before I even read our Sunday post. I understand Corey’s point, but also recognize that he is often harsh with his words. As his wife I assure you that he never intends to offend.

    I totally understand and respect those that begin running(sometimes jogging) as a path to fitness. Open any “health & fitness” magazine and you will find some exercise program that the majority of us probably now crack some joke at. But it was only a few years ago that I ripped some of those “6 weeks to a 6 pack” or “Build that Booty” article out and posted it in my bedroom with the intent of sticking to it this time. I also avoided nuts & avocados that I loved since they were high in fat.

    Corey says to me, “Why can’t people get excited about running a fast 400m? Why is it always a 5k/10k/half/full marathon?”

    My response is that just as many of you are drawn to CFA for the community we have here. We are also drawn to the local road/trail races that bring people together to cheer participants across the finish line. There are not many people gathering multiple times a year to cheer weekend warriors to a faster 200m or 400m or even a one mile run. Not to mention the t-shirts that come with the entry fee.

    Should we change the trend?

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  16. miriam

    “If someone sought information on the topic and were mis-led by someone claiming to be knowledgeable I will let their mis-judgment slide. However, NOT seeking information, to me, IS stupidity and laziness.”

    Corey, That’s disappointing. According to your criteria, I was thus “stupid and lazy” before I came to crossfit, because I knowingly did no exercise whatsoever. I was overweight and out of shape, and I ate poorly. Bad choices? Sure, lots. Stupid and lazy? Dude, you raise 4 kids and work a full time 10 hour day professional job and tell me I’m stupid and lazy, go ahead. Please stop with the name calling, because you don’t know who or how much you are hurting some non-elite crossfitters, particularly those who still struggle with their deomons, by your harsh judgments. You are certainly welcome to your opinions, but you have a varied clientele out there who are looking to you not only as a professional coach but also a chiropractor for guidance, healing and support, not critcism. Thank you for honoring that.

    “To those who, like me, often struggle to overcome a lifetime of misinformation, bad choices and self-doubt, please celebrate the fact that you’ve made a commitment to CFA — we are lucky to have such great trainers.” Aiden, beautifully said. You are not alone, and we do have great trainers.

    And finally, I am glad to hear that I am “sprinting” and not slogging. It doesn’t feel like it, but good to know.

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  17. Corey

    As Shanna and I sit here arguing over my wording in this post (she does NOT support my language) I am realizing the errors I see in our society and how I have worked to change them.

    I do NOT endorse sitting around for a lifetime only to decide “now I’ll run a marathon” and setting out to do it. I endorse a lifetime of good choices that ALLOW you to run a marathon with a little specific training. Does this mean I will not support those who HAVE sat around for a lifetime? That is obviously not true. Heather made a decision to be healthier and her barometer for health was completing a marathon. Perhaps this article will change people’s barometer of health.

    I, too, deal with self-doubt. My doubt is whether I belong among the top CrossFitters and if “I have it” to be as good as they are. Every morning you feel you don’t belong here… I feel the same way until I again tell myself that I DO belong.

    Shanna told me that “people want to be a part of something and there aren’t any 400m races around town”. True, I suppose that is why I am so supportive of CF methodology. I feel it achieves the best possible results by being as congruent as possible to our gene structure.

    Healthy movement systems are the result of a stress and recovery balance that increases the capacity of the system. This entails moving slowly for long distances, moving heavy things, and moving fast for short distances. You must do so through a fully accessible joint range along multiple planes with varying levels of fatigue. THAT is the CrossFit Asheville program. If I didn’t think it was the best and most thought out, I would modify it; which we are constantly doing.

    Now, if building a capacity in the above manner leads to a body capable of sustaining ANY goal you have, then by all means do it.

    If you use a long distance race to measure your progress then DO IT! Just don’t put yourself into a damaging environment to achieve it. Instead, maintain consistent work ethic, nutritional choices, and life choices to build a capacity that will allow you to do it safely. We’ve only been here a year and the progress I’ve seen in people is INCREDIBLE. I have no doubt that ANYONE who stays consistent in their output will have no issue running those distances and doing so easily.

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  18. Corey

    Miriam,

    You KNOW I support you. If you feel anything I do is UNsupportive of you please let me know. However, my entire life I listened to my father get coddled by professionals asking him to compromise his choices. “If you have to eat fast food, just eat less”. If you have to have cereal and milk, drink 1%. If you don’t like exercise, just walk 1 mile.

    Well, he’s still over-weight, hates hard work, and is now being supported to get gastric bypass surgery, an invasive abdominal operation on an unhealthy 53 yr old male with diabetes, high BP, and history of heart attack. Those are a few risk factors.

    Was I headed in that direction? You bet. I remember getting winded walking up the stairs to my dorm room. I stepped on one of those “BF% scales” that read 28% and said “those things are so inconsistent”. Haha. I remember getting my blood pressure checked at a screening and making excuses for the really high reading. Heavy drinking, late nights, fast food, and lazy inconsistant workouts definitely catch up to you.

    Yes, I am passionate. I am passionate about people making the right choices for themselves. I am passionate about people being honest with their past choices and moving beyond them.

    Before going to chiro school I had lost 25 lbs simply by cutting down on all the drinking. The eating and late nights didn’t change, and neither did the workouts. I had subscribed myself to a gradual decline in health until I found hard work again with CrossFit. From there I found how to improve my eating and three years later I have no clue who I am. I am literally an athlete that I never imagined I could be and am a professional in the industry.

    My biggest fear is that I don’t get my point across to someone like my dad. Someone who could change their lives but was told a compromise is a good step and they never get where they need to go. So if I use terms like stupid and lazy, I mean them. That does NOT mean I am being in ANY way unsupportive of you now. Your decisions and your decisions. My father has his reasons too.

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  19. David H

    My oh My what a can of worms we opened here. Right or wrong, my journey into getting “back” in shape was a rocky torturous journey. I pushed to hard, was too obsessed at times, over-trained, over-strained, and have dealt with the consequences of those actions. But, and a big But, I probably would never had had the desire to start Crossfit and leave the “Globo-gym” if the driven individual I had become, felt that Crossfit was the “safe” smart way to get in shape. I turned to Crossfit looking for that fire and edge, the “elite fitness” that inspires so many to take on the dreams of marathon type distances (be damned the consequences). Crossfit to me was another way to push my lazy, out of shape body(mind if truth be known), out of the quagmire that my life had become. Now in retrospect, I believe Crossfit as a whole, accomplishes more than any other exercise regime, in providing a safe, fulfilling way to pursuing excellence in health and life in general. I do not necessarily believe that every affiliate benefits from the level of training,(and passion of our couches), but I do believe that Crossfit has the ultimate goal of developing the individual as a whole. But all that being said it’s our community that is our true strength. The community of Crossfit takes it’s strength in placing a group of people together at a very vulnerable time, after GRACE for instance. When a person is totally wiped, everything about themselves is bared to the core, that is when true bonding can begin. This is the same strength that elite military training instills. It amazes me that such a wide diversity of individuals can form such bonds so quickly and completely. By it’s very nature Crossfit breeds passion, passion in oneself and passion for our fellow athletes. Corey’s comments which I understand can sound harsh come from this passion. But that is what Crossfit inspires in us, to develop that drive, passion for all aspects of life. I believe like an adrenalin junkie we become addicted to the intensity of living in all aspects of life that Crossfit instills. That’s why it’s compared to joining a cult, drinking the cool-aid. As I was penning this missive I see that Corey responded with the above response, which kind of takes the wind out of my sails. But, since I have already placed so much time in writing this I’ll post it anyway. Love to you all my brothers and sisters in this the struggle of life.

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  20. Kim S

    A very spirited thread of posts and I just can’t resist sharing. I’ve been running (sometimes sub 8’s but mostly not) for close to 20 years and (I don’t usually put this out in the universe)haven’t had any injuries. I admit I have the usual limitations as a result of my running like tight hips and hamstrings but I like the way I feel after a 6 mile run. I like the social aspect of running with friends and I know that mentally I feel more balanced when I run. I’ve belonged to “a” gym for over 20 years too. My gym workouts had become boring and routine. I yearned for something better, more challenging and varied. When I found out about Crossfit, it sounded like the answer and I was right. Almost every WOD, I push myself to my max potential and I have the CFA coaches and community to encourage and support me. I’ve met so many awesome people at CFA from all walks of life. I’m confident that the common thread is we all care about our health and realize that diet and lifestyle are the key to vitality. At 45 I see friends I’ve known my whole life finally coming to terms with their poor diet and lifestyle choices; obesity, high blood pressure, diebetes, etc. I am grateful for my health and do not take it for granted. I appreciate that I can be a part of a group of like-minded people. I hope to be running and doing crossfit at 80.

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  21. T-Bone

    I had a really long response planned out in my head as I drove back from Chapel Hill to Asheville. And, then I logged on and saw 22 responses, and some of what I want to say has already been said and responded to. But, I feel very strongly about this, and I have to say something.

    On April 1, 2009, I weighed 174 lbs. I took a picture of myself that day. It’s a picture that has been circulated around the internet thousands of times. It’s a picture that was shown to a client at CrossFit Local by a coach as I trained there this weekend. Sometimes I think the entire world has seen that picture. It was my wake up call.

    What changed EVERYTHING for me was my decision to run in the Falafel 5K at the end of April after I took that picture. I chose running because it was easy and free. I knew no matter how slow I was, I could still do it. And, as out of shape as I was, I still had my competitive nature from my athletic days…and there was no way I was going to be LAST in that race.

    So, it doesn’t matter that I had kids and got busy and made excuses for 4 years. What matters is that I made the decision to change, and I followed through on it. Corey, you said as much to me one day when we were discussing diet. You said I should be proud to be one of the few people who can say “I started yesterday” when someone asks me when I started eating clean. I’m not the person who says “I’m going to start next week or after my birthday or for the New Year…” like so many people do.

    I refuse to see the decision to run a 5k as a compromise. You either want to change or you don’t. It’s going to be a different journey for every person, but everyone can get there. And, if your journey is one 5k or one hundred 5ks, then so be it.

    If I hadn’t made the decision to start training for that 5k, I wouldn’t have found CrossFit when I did…perhaps, I never would have found CrossFit. And, honestly, I don’t want to think about what my life would be like right now in that case.

    Reply
  22. Carolyn

    As a non-elite, new cross-fitter, I was pretty upset by the post and debated for the last few hours as to whether to comment. I feel the need to speak up.

    As I read the comments, I see two different conversations. The first is about jogging/sprinting. The information is so very helpful. As I told Shanna last week, I don’t know how to run. I can plod up the hill, but I never learned proper mechanics. Had Corey” post not had that pesky 3rd paragraph, I suspect we would all be thrilled with the education.

    Alas, that 3rd paragraph spurred the second conversation about “stupid” and “lazy.” I get the point that it is “stupid” for a couch potato to get up, walk outside and try to run a 5k. In an ideal world, people would seek information about running before starting, but the reality is that the day you make the choice to care more for your body, the first thing you want to do is act by going to the gym, the park, etc. Most people don’t go to their computers and Google “running.” That” probably a good thing since much of the information out there is conflicting and overwhelming.

    Shanna and Corey are great coaches and have already taught me so much in just the last 8 weeks. They’ve been incredibly supportive while still pushing me to do more and better. I have not felt judged for my physical condition. Unfortunately, this post has shaken me. The term “lazy” discounts what I do with the other 23 hours of my day. “Stupid” validates the fear and intimidation that I felt when coming Crossfit as an unhealthy person looking for a way to be better. I certainly don’t think that this was the intent of the post, but nonetheless…

    Couple of random thoughts: The person who needs to have a goal to work towards, like a marathon, is exactly the person who would thrive in Crossfit. The challenges and goal setting are perfect for the person who needs benchmarks for motivation. In fact, they probably would be thrilled to hear that running 400m fast is better for them and who embrace that challenge. Don’t make these people angry. They could be your future clients.

    Final thoughts: To the person who after years of inactivity decides one day that this is their year do something they never thought they could – like a 5k or marathon – I say good for you. You are braves and strong, not lazy and stupid. Your choice to set that goal may very well lead you to long, healthful life. And if you are that person and are reading this blog to decide whether or not to join Crossfit, just let that 3rd paragraph slide. It is a great place to be. Even if you are slow, weak and clumsy, you will do great and amaze yourself on a daily basis. And I will be thrilled to train with you.

    Reply
  23. Aidan

    T-Bone — congratulations on your 1-year wake-up-call anniversary. You are an inspiration! And your post emphasizes what I personally feel is really important to keep in mind — that we all come to CrossFit from different places (physically, mentally, emotionally). But once here, we can all move forward together. Thanks.

    Reply
  24. Dale

    WOW! Way to write an inflammatory post. 21 comments by 6pm. Now that is setting a new Crossfit standard.

    I enjoyed reading all of the comments. I enjoyed it so much that I have insert my two cents.

    Before I do so, let me say I have a new found respect for Aidan. What an excellent comment in reply to this post and I think you have done an wonderful job of helping me relate to people who have decided to make major life changes.

    Now, I have to defend Corey here because I can relate to his viewpoint and no one else seems to want to jump in that corner. (I have often looked scornfully at the fat person, slogging along the sidewalk and thought ‘they won’t be doing that next week, that’s why they look like that.’)

    Corey did not call anyone stupid or lazy. He said “these are not periods of life-long improvement, they are moments of stupidity and harm interposed between months or years of laziness.”

    Let’s be honest with ourselves even if it is hurts. We have all had “moments of stupidity” in setting exercise goals and trying an unrealistic training schedule to achieve those goals. Is running a 5k bad for you? No. Is trying to “slog” your way through a race to end up injured and unable to train for the next few weeks bad for you? ABSOLUTELY.

    This is the essence of what Corey was saying. There was no name-calling or finger-pointing. If its difficult to hear, it is because we internalized what he said and it rang true.

    I think we can all learn from this post and set more realistic goals of ourselves. If your goal is to finish a marathon, great for you. However if you cannot complete that race at pace that would be considered running, then you are not ready for it.

    Be real with yourself and set goals that are achievable and healthy. I think we all came to Crossfit for the same reasons. WE ALL WANT TO LIVE HEALTHIER LIVES. A healthy life encompass long distance racing, sub 2 minute Fran or any other goals of the sort. If you want to do those things, good for you but take some time, examine your goals, measure your progress and determine if you are ready to attempt them. Don’t jump into something and hurt yourself.

    Don’t have a “moment of stupidity” and hope that it will overcome “months or years of laziness.”

    No one will let you attempt to summit Mt Everest if you have never attempted to even climb Mt Pisgah. Set reasonable goals that will help you achieve something grand. Be patient. Most of all do things that will make you healthier.

    Reply
  25. miriam

    Dear Corey and CFAers, to close this interesting can of worms, and to make peace before I come to the 5 am. class tomorrow, Corey knows darned well that I love Crossfit and that I love my coaches. I know that he is not talking about me. I just want to impress upon our passionate and most excellent coaches that there are all kinds of CFA clients out there, from elite athletes who work out every day with confidence to reformed couch potatos who are scared and embarassed to come to class two or three times a week. Critical posts will scare people away, and I for one (selfishly) want non-athletes like me to join crossfit and feel great about themselves regardless of the not so great choices they have made or are still making. All should feel welcome. I want nothing more than CFA to succeed. Plus, I am almost the age of Corey’s dad, so I get to say shit like this. :-) So thank you, Corey, for your heartfelt response. Your dad has made his choices and you have made yours. Let it be. One thing I have learned in my ripe old age is that you can’t change other people (especially your parents) if they don’t want to change themselves. All you can do is share your knowledge, but in the end it is NOT your responsibility to change other people. Some are not ready, some are in crisis, some will not believe you. It is what it is.

    Shanna, clearly you need to be awake when Corey posts his Sunday Sermons. I say this lovingly as a wife and a business woman, and Corey, my curmugeon of a husband will back this up.

    And finally, very helpful to know that I should be running my ass off during the sprint WODs and walking if I have to. I, like Tara, wasn’t sure if I should be taking it slow in order to “run” all of the repeats vs. running hard and walking if I have to. Sounds like the latter is the way to go.

    Love you all, Miriam

    Reply
  26. Dale

    I expect to see some running in the WOD tomorrow. All this hype, we can’t let people off easy now. Its time to be running the full block again!

    Reply
  27. M3

    i’d really like to see the word ‘elite’ eliminated from CFA vocabulary. if we really are one group, focused on the simple, single goal of improvement across the spectrum of desire that is unique for each of us then we are all ‘elite’. the only, truly important issue, is that each of us wants to improve from the place we started and that we want to help each other improve in whichever manner or to whatever level we each want.

    Reply
  28. Corey

    I can honestly say I’m very impressed by the posters yesterday. I read and re-read my posts MANY times before submitting anything. I mull them in my head for weeks or months often before posting. As such, I usually stand by my wording.

    I’m always amazed when some folks get offended but can understand how it happens. I don’t beat around the bush.

    But neither do y’all. I appreciate all of your feedback and look forward to further great debates.

    Cheers
    PS Yes, this is 4am

    Reply
  29. T-Bone

    Just to go back to one thing that Corey said that I believe with all my heart: Your decisions are YOUR decisions. No one else’s.

    It is nice to appreciate the support that our coaches and our fellow athletes offer us. But, sometimes, we need to appreciate OURSELVES more. You are the one who chooses to walk into the gym day in and day out. You are the one who chooses to push yourself during a WOD. No one else can do the work for you. That is your decision. Be proud.

    Reply
  30. David H

    What Elite means to me is anyone who give all of themselves to something over and over again, with no reservations.

    Reply
  31. miriam

    I am writing this only because I’d like to see us at 40 posts, a record for CFA. Truly a vacuous post. My pleasure indeed.

    Reply

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