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Today’s post came up on the CFJ blog way back in September 2014. It was written by one of the CrossFit HQ office crew. It was his (lighthearted yet very true) take on the stages CrossFitters go through. Russ wrote this three years ago after he had been involved with CrossFit for a long time. It is still as funny, as true, and as apt today!

The Four Stages of CrossFit

By Russ Greene

1. Bad Form, Great Gains:

Like everyone, he starts out inexperienced. He doesn’t know how to squat well, let alone snatch. Still, he takes minutes off of benchmarks and adds 100+ pounds to lifts.

Even if coaches are absent, he makes incredible progress, so he tells all who care, and even those who don’t, about CrossFit. Often Stage 1’ers think that all other sports and programs are pointless.

2. Better Form, Slower Gains

After months or years of trying the athlete greatly improves his form on the basic movements. He may even seek out expert coaching from a specialist. Despite the improvement, he’s no longer a beginner, and the gains don’t come as quickly as they used to. It takes more time and effort to make the same changes.

3. CrossFit Snob

Having discovered concepts such as “torque,” “hollow body position,” and “fascia” the athlete now thinks he understands fitness. Despite his own experience, he now thinks that specialty or expert coaching is necessary for a good CrossFit program. This stage is often accompanied by an increase in esoteric practices and a decrease in hard work on basic movements (thousands of hours of Estonian snatch drills and intimate moments with lacrosse balls, not a lot of basic intervals and couplets).

The snob looks down at everyone who’s in Stages 1 and 2. He starts talking about “bad” coaches and “bad” programming.

4. Enlightenment

After years of suffering, the athlete matures from the snob stage and emerges as an Enlightened CrossFitter. He now knows that inexperienced coaching and poor form are necessary steps in the pursuit of excellence. After all, millions of people have turned their lives around and improved their health with less-than-perfect coaching and programming.

He realizes that the real enemy isn’t internal rotation or 5 days a week of hour-long metcons.

In short, he has learned that, “The real enemy is the couch.”

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