CrossFit for ex-gymnasts

Formerly I said that Artistic gymnasts were the fittest female athletes.

No more. In 2010 the top CrossFit women are more “fit” than the best Artistic girls.

That’s quite new.

CrossFit is a strength and conditioning fitness methodology that promotes broad and general overall physical fitness. CrossFit combines weightlifting, sprinting, and gymnastics. CrossFit says that proficiency is required in each of ten fitness domains: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy. …

Gymnastics coach and judge Jeff MacRae took me to a regular CrossFit workout at his gym in Charlottetown, PEI.

Jeff MacRae - Crossfit, Charlottetown, PEI

Conveniently, CrossFit PEI is located right beside his gymnastics club.

Jeff’s only recently taken up the sport yet qualified to National Championships for the first time in 2010. (Inconveniently Crossfit Nationals conflicted with Artistic Gymnastics Nationals.)

Jeff is certified as a “gymnastics expert” in Crossfit. Indeed he’s scheduled to teach several “gymnastics” workshops across Atlantic Canada.

Crossfit is booming. If you’ve not yet checked it out yourself, stop by your local club. My preconceptions that it would be dangerous, participants using bad technique, turned out to be unfounded. Jeff cannot recall a serious injury at his program over the past 2yrs.

9 comments ↓

#1 shergymrag on 07.05.10 at 5:29 am

What is the big news here? Crossfitters are taining to be fit. Gymnasts are training to do tricks. People doing fitness for fitness sake are bound to be more fit than people who are doing a sport and have fitness as a byproduct.

#2 Kevin Wood on 07.05.10 at 10:33 am

Jeff hosted a gymnastics seminar at CrossFit Moncton a while back. It was awesome and everyone was impressed with his progressions for teaching complex moves. Can’t wait to have him back again.

#3 PolyisTCOandbanned on 07.05.10 at 1:35 pm

I think the average NCAA wrestler has better overall fitness (of course, the exact definition of fitness is up to debate, but use some definition that you feel honestly applies) than the average NCAA gymnast. Heck, I’d say the average NCAA boxer has better overall fitness.

#4 lindsey w on 07.05.10 at 5:37 pm

I do crossfit and I am an ex gymnast of like 4 months

#5 coach Rick on 07.05.10 at 5:55 pm

That was for female athletes, TCO.

#6 josh on 07.06.10 at 12:34 am

Depends on the CF Couch. There are some (! not many) great CF Coaches out there.

#7 George N on 07.06.10 at 10:19 am

I always thought the best athletes were the Japanese fishermen Rick ;-)

It’d be interesting to see a cross-fitter on the Ninja warrior and see how they fare…

#8 Blair Lowe on 07.07.10 at 7:07 am

George, I know a few have tried out but I don’t remember if they ever got far enough to go to Japan.

#9 G on 08.30.14 at 12:18 am

I would challenge any Crossfitter to head down to their local gymnastics club and do a REAL gymnastics conditioning session with the elite girls and boys.

A) If you are a full grown adult, they will probably go easy on you.
B) You probably won’t be able to do half of the conditioning, because most gymnastics conditioning incorporates gymnastic moves like donkey kicks, continuous back handsprings, continuous kip casts to handstands, walking handstands, standing back tucks, etc. Any modification of those moves would take away from the true workout. Most adults, whether former gymnasts or not would have a hard time keeping up, and/or probably get injured in the process.
C) If you are over 16 years old, fairly muscular, and wish to do a real gymnastics flexibility session, you will probably rip any and all tendons and connective tissue in your body.

I am not Age-ist, by the by. Keep in mind that most gymnasts pass their prime at around 17 years old and are considered over the hill at around 21. There is a reason for that!

I myself am a former gymnast, played other sports at an elite level and also do Crossfit…I’ve gotta say, you’ll never find a more brutal workout than a gymnastic workout while in your gymnastics prime. Those “tricks” that Olympic gymnasts do are the result of training up to 40 hours a week. It only looks easy because they are incredibly powerful, flexible and strong.

That being said, of course Crossfitters are more “well rounded” considering that there is a weight training/more extensive cardio component. But, when it comes to body weight stuff, you won’t be beating gymnasts at their own game. Strongest, most powerful and dynamic athletes, pound for pound on Earth. Fact.

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