Ibuprofen Has Its Merits

ibuprofenOver the years, numerous medical studies have explored the idea that ibuprofen interferes with muscle growth, with conflicting conclusions. I know that there are some weightlifters who will take ibuprofen on a daily basis to combat numerous pain issues so that they can lift more comfortably, but this is something I would NEVER recommend. As a physician I am well aware of ibuprofen’s remarkable ability to shut down acute inflammation, but I am also aware of the risks of taking high dose ibuprofen over an extended period of time. I think it is also important to bear in mind that 1) there are different types of inflammation found in the body, and 2) some inflammation is actually necessary for optimal muscle growth.

The reason why I broach this subject is that I also know people who lift who stubbornly refuse to take ibuprofen under ANY circumstances, stating that it isn’t worth the impaired muscle growth. These people could be in agony from a muscle strain, bursitis, arthritis flare-up, tennis elbow or any number of conditions which arise from localized inflammation, yet will refuse to take anything. I will see them at the gym, struggling to move the weight that they are accustomed to lifting, only to cut their lifting regimen short or sharply reduce the weight lifted. Some of these people are so intent on pushing through the pain that they often make things WORSE and have to stop training completely until their injuries subside. Now that is just stupid. It makes far more sense to tackle the acute inflammation systemically with ibuprofen and rest the area for a few days so that one can return to full capacity, rather than risk even greater injury which essentially forces one to stop training.

I have recently dealt with a mild ankle sprain which I aggressively treated with ice, elevation, compression and high-dose ibuprofen for four days. Instead of being stubborn and refusing to take anything, I took 600-800 milligrams of ibuprofen twice a day with food, and also avoided any activities which required me to push off from my feet. I also refrained from doing any high impact moves which would aggravate my ankle. Was I concerned about adversely affecting my body’s ability to build muscle? Certainly not. Healing was my primary concern. Besides, there would have been no way that I could have trained the way I normally do while dealing with such outright pain, so it made sense to shut down the inflammatory process which was causing all the discomfort in the first place by taking the dreaded ibuprofen. I was smart about how I took it, and I did not take it for an extended period of time. Thankfully, it was a successful therapeutic treatment and I am glad I did it.

With all this said, I am still very cautious about prescribing high dose ibuprofen. The effects on the gastrointestinal tract are significant, so it is imperative to eat when taking this medication. I also caution people against taking too many doses throughout the day. A very real example occurred with a friend who was apparently taking high doses of ibuprofen (600-800 mg 4 times per day) without food for severe daily headaches. This practice resulted in a peptic ulcer which bled enough to cause her to pass out twice, landing her in the emergency room.

For those of you on the other side of the coin who have a habit of taking ibuprofen chronically, even if you are only taking 200 or 400 mg at a time, I highly recommend that you discontinue such chronic use. It is best to reserve ibuprofen for acute flare-ups.

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Oil and Water: Is Crossfit Detrimental For Developing Aesthetic Muscle? (repost)

I truly enjoyed writing this article which was featured on Sports Nutrition Supplement Guide. You can see the published post here: http://sportsnutritionsupplementguide.com/training/crossfit/item/1389-oil-and-water-is-crossfit-detrimental-for-developing-aesthetic-muscle#.V1HlOvmlyWg

Read on to find out what I think about Crossfit:

Could someone please tell me why this move is even necessary?  It's dangerous and incredibly damaging to the joints and soft tissues in the body.

Could someone please tell me why this move is even necessary? It’s dangerous and incredibly damaging to the joints and soft tissues in the body.

I will boldly state right now that I’m not a fan of Crossfit, and will be delighted when its novelty wears off. I’ve dedicated my life to supporting, empowering, inspiring, guiding, coaching and otherwise promoting any activity that gets people moving. This is one reason I waited to publicly write about my arguments against the principles of Crossfit. The other, more specific reason, is that it’s become more common to hear NPC and IFBB competitors ask if Crossfit will enhance their efforts to get into contest shape. If the latter is you, let me cut to the chase. Not only will Crossfit widen your waistline as a result of the constant heavy “functional” lifting, it will also cause cortisol spikes, which make your body hold onto belly fat for dear life.

Before I get into why Crossfit is counterproductive to developing aesthetic muscle, a word to those who have found Crossfit gets them active, and has not caused them injury. Keep it up. If it’s Crossfit you need to keep you moving and motivated to be fit, don’t stop on my account. If however, Crossfit just doesn’t feel right, or your goal is to create your best body, and give you the best chance to stay injury free, read on. You’ll find that you don’t have to become part of the latest fitness craze to reach all of your fitness goals and then some.

CrossFit’s Unnecessary Nine

We begin our class with a review of the nine fundamental exercises that CrossFit is built upon:

Air Squat
Front Squat
Overhead Squat
Shoulder Press
Push Press
Push Jerk
Deadlift Sumo
Deadlift High Pull
Medicine Ball Clean

Oh boy, I can only imagine how many lumbar disc herniations have occurred in weekend athletes as a result of performing most of these movements, not to mention the rotator cuff strains and tears from the stress on the shoulders. First off, it just annoys me to know CrossFit renamed the free squat or bodyweight squat to Air Squat in an effort to be catchy and original. Then again, I see no point in getting a client to perform 200 or 300 “air” squats in a row, not unless your objective is to drive your client to complete exhaustion and overtraining. Based on what I have witnessed with the design of CrossFit regimens, exhaustion and overtraining is the inevitable outcome.

CrossFit routines also incorporate other exercises such as pull-ups and pushups. What bothers me here is that these movements are performed in a high rep range, to the tune of 100 or more. Then the client may be pushed to do tire flips or one of the Olympic lifts that CrossFit has managed to make faddish, even though they were developed over 100 years ago.

One of the calling cards to CrossFit workouts is training at “super high intensity”, which taken in correct doses are fundamental to conditioning. As it is used in CrossFit programming, the benefits are far outweighed by the negatives they incur. In CrossFit context, they tax the central nervous system to an excessive degree. Crossfit fanatics may love the feeling of being pushed to the limit, but this borders on being DANGEROUS. When the body is fatigued to the extent that it is in a Crossfit routine, the risk for muscle breakdown and frank rhabdomyolysis is considerable. No physical discipline is worth the risk of landing in the hospital.

I understand that Crossfit offers a great social environment and a feeling of camaraderie, but at what price? Every single person I know who is a fan of Crossfit has been injured while doing it. The suggested Crossfit regimen of 3 days on, 1 day off is too rigorous when you consider the fact that Olympic lifts are part of the core of Crossfit training. The body simply cannot repair itself in enough time. To fatigue a Crossfit client by having him/her do a WOD (workout of the day for those of you not familiar with Crossfit) and then stack on deadlifts for reps or 5 foot high box jumps is insane.

Benefits drop dramatically when the body is completely depleted like that. The Crossfit ideology of deplete and endure is BS. In contrast, bodybuilders and physique enthusiasts, train hard and heavy, and yes, they often train to depletion or failure, but they certainly aren’t going to attempt 100 pull-ups after destroying a traditional back workout. They understand the law of diminishing returns all too well.

Proponents of Crossfit often state that the training is functional and enhances the day to day activities which people perform. When was the last time you had to do a clean and jerk while on the job? Unless you work as a firefighter, stock room clerk or some other physically demanding work role, I seriously doubt that you are performing movements which mimic what happens while in a Crossfit box. Besides, if you’re injured as a result of Crossfit (or should I say WHEN), you can’t possibly perform any challenging physical movement which strains your injured body part.

For those of you who compete in the NPC or IFBB (or INBA, WBFF, etc.), don’t expect to be able to incorporate Crossfit into your contest prep training and sculpt your physique in the manner required for bodybuilding. I actually had a client who begged me repeatedly to let her do Crossfit two days a week despite my recommendation that she abandon it and focus on traditional weight lifting. I finally acquiesced, and allowed her to incorporate Crossfit as part of her training.

As I had predicted, she sustained an injury, her waist widened from all the heavy complex movements which made her midsection boxy, and she became soft as a result of the cortisol spikes which the high intensity Crossfit training created. After 3 weeks of seeing all her efforts from pre-Crossfit training unravel, I asked her to reconsider her decision to engage in Crossfit. As soon as she stopped doing Crossfit, her waist began to nip in, and her body began to tighten up again. Amen for old school weightlifting!

If it sounds like I am saying you will have to decide between doing Crossfit and competing in any of the bodybuilding divisions, I am. You simply cannot create the nipped in waist and beautiful taper that defines every single bodybuilding division. If you do Crossfit, you will create a strong body (plus some injuries), but you will also widen your silhouette and carry a layer of fat as a result of all that cortisol you will release from constant high intensity training. Look at a typical Crossfit athlete. Shoulders are broad, quads and hams are thick, and the abdominal region is thick and boxy. That is what happens when compound Olympic lifts are performed on a regular basis. If that is your aesthetic ideal, by all means knock yourself out with Crossfit, but you will be destroyed on a bodybuilding stage. On the subject of Olympic lifts, even power lifters have the sense not to rep out on these movements. Yet Crossfitters, blinded by the so-called warrior mentality that leads them to do stupid things that invite injury, will rep out on movements which recruit a tremendous amount of muscle fibers and hence tax the central nervous system. I am willing to bet that the Crossfit nation contends with adrenal burnout, permanent muscle damage, and repetitive tendon and ligament ruptures on a relatively consistent basis, and that such negative aspects will eventually cause the demise of this fad sport.

I will always staunchly defend the focus and the principles behind bodybuilding. I know that NPC and IFBB competitors are true warriors and know how to push through grueling training. I also strongly believe that for the most part, most competitors are smart enough not to over train or invite injury by performing movements which are biomechanically unsound. The world of bodybuilding not only rewards strength, but it also recognizes the aesthetic ideal which all bodybuilders aspire to achieve, regardless of division. Bodybuilding is not about flipping a massive tire across a gym, it’s about sculpting and defining muscle.

“Are You Sure You Broke It?”

It’s amazing how much an injury to a small area can hurt like the dickens! I recently fractured my right great toe by dropping a 25 pound weight plate on it (oh, the hazards of being a gym rat…) and have been dealing with a tremendous amount of pain from the injury. I had done the exact same thing (albeit with a 10 pound weight plate) on the left great toe back in 2002 and experienced pain in my toe for a full year, so I am dreading having to endure the healing process again. Driving has become a major hassle, because pressing on the gas and brake pedals loads a pressure on the extremity which radiates to my poor broken digit. I am now limited to wearing flip flops and a couple of pairs of athletic shoes with larger toe boxes which accommodate the swelling somewhat. I say somewhat because the athletic shoes I have worn have created nasty blisters on the top of my toe, creating a completely different type of pain which is stacked upon the deep bone pain. Oh what fun.

When I shared the news that I had broken my toe, a couple of people had asked me if I knew it was broken, and one person kept yammering on about what to do to treat the fracture. I am a medical doctor who has seen more than my share of fractures, and I KNOW what a fracture looks like. What I don’t understand is how people can ask me if I know for sure, or how they can tell me I need to see a doctor for it. Rest assured, I am in excellent hands with my doctor: ME.

Here is a collage of images taken of my toe from 30 minutes post-injury to 36 hours post-injury. No X-ray will aid in the diagnosis, nor will it change the treatment course. Yes, it IS broken. This injury will definitely set me back with training and competing because I will not be able to perform plyometric exercises, treadmill work, calf work or lunges for a while. However, I will not be deterred from continuing to train around my injury, and will take this opportunity to develop a heightened awareness of pushing through the heel while performing exercises which target the glutes. Who knows, maybe this injury will be a blessing in disguise, a tool to help me round out a problem area?
11070823_915230171840753_242384502001139566_n

Of Crossfit Boxes And Boxy Midsections

Originally published on mensphysique.com on Monday, 04 August 2014

http://www.rxmuscle.com/blogs/the-training-room-workouts-and-tips/11345-of-crossfit-boxes-and-boxy-midsections.html
crossfit
Have I pissed off any Crossfit devotees already with the title of this article? I hope so. I challenge any Crossfit fanatic to continue with Crossfit training while being able to grace a bodybuilding stage with the tiny waist, full lats, and rounded delts which are sought after in every single bodybuilding division. When an athletic pursuit is characterized with moves like overhead squats, push presses, push jerks, sumo deadlift high pulls, medicine ball cleans, and tire flips, developing a boxy midsection is unavoidable. I find it ironic that Crossfit gyms are referred to as boxes since the term box is rather suggestive of the body shape which develops under that discipline.

Whether you have been doing Crossfit and now want to cross over into the world of competitive bodybuilding while still training with Crossfit, or you have been competing in the bodybuilding world and are entertaining the idea of incorporating Crossfit training into your contest prep efforts, let’s just say you can’t have both. Simply put, you cannot sculpt your physique in the manner required for bodybuilding when you are a Crossfit devotee. Not only will Crossfit training widen your waistline, the intensity of Crossfit will cause excessive cortisol spikes which makes your body stubbornly cling to belly fat and derail your efforts to become super lean for the stage.

Crossfit training develops endurance and sacrifices the aesthetic lines which are sought after in bodybuilding. We who compete know that a small, nipped in waist and a wide v-taper is the ideal no matter what the division. But when you see a typical Crossfit athlete, you will see broad shoulders without the shaping or the beautiful round caps that are seen in bodybuilding. A Crossfit athlete’s quads and hams will be thick, and the back and chest muscular but compact. Most notably, the abdominal region on Crossfit athletes is always thick and boxy. This is due to the compound Olympic lifts which are regularly performed in Crossfit. You simply cannot attain the tiny waist and beautiful lines that are worshipped in the bodybuilding world when you engage in Crossfit.

I actually had a client who begged me repeatedly to let her do Crossfit two days a week despite my recommendation that she abandon it and focus on traditional weight lifting. I finally acquiesced, and allowed her to incorporate Crossfit as part of her training. As I had predicted, she sustained an injury, her waist widened from all the heavy complex movements which made her midsection boxy, and she became soft as a result of the cortisol spikes which the high intensity Crossfit training created. After three weeks of seeing all her efforts from pre-Crossfit training unravel, I asked her to reconsider her decision to engage in Crossfit. As soon as she stopped doing Crossfit, her waist began to nip in, and her body began to tighten up again.

Bodybuilding is steeped in honoring an aesthetic ideal, sculpting and defining muscle, while also celebrating muscular strength. Crossfitters may brag that they have more endurance than bodybuilders, which may be true to an extent, but I personally would rather have the lines of an IFBB Bikini Pro than to trade that all in for the wide, tank like physique of a Crossfit athlete. If the idea of muscle sculpture is what drew you into bodybuilding, celebrate that instead of being lured into Crossfit.

Oil and Water: Is Crossfit Detrimental For Developing Aesthetic Muscle?

Original post can be found at: http://sportsnutritionsupplementguide.com/training/crossfit/item/1389-oil-and-water-is-crossfit-detrimental-for-developing-aesthetic-muscle#.VGqav_nF-K0

Crossfit-equipment

I will boldly state right now that I’m not a fan of Crossfit, and will be delighted when its novelty wears off. I’ve dedicated my life to supporting, empowering, inspiring, guiding, coaching and otherwise promoting any activity that gets people moving. This is one reason I waited to publicly write about my arguments against the principles of Crossfit. The other more specific reason is that it’s become more common to hear NPC and IFBB competitors ask if Crossfit will enhance their efforts to get into contest shape. If the latter is you, let me cut to the chase. Not only will Crossfit widen your waistline as a result of the constant heavy “functional” lifting, it will also cause cortisol spikes, which make your body hold onto belly fat for dear life.

Before I get into why Crossfit is counterproductive to developing aesthetic muscle, a word to those who have found Crossfit gets them active, and has not caused them injury. Keep it up. If it’s Crossfit you need to keep you moving and motivated to be fit, don’t stop on my account. If however, Crossfit just doesn’t feel right, or your goal is to create your best body, and give you the best chance to stay injury free, read on. You’ll find that you don’t have to become part of the latest fitness craze to reach all of your fitness goals and then some.

CrossFit’s Unnecessary Nine
We begin our class with a review of the nine fundamental exercises that CrossFit is built upon:

Air Squat
Front Squat
Overhead Squat
Shoulder Press
Push Press
Push Jerk
Deadlift Sumo
Deadlift High Pull
Medicine Ball Clean
Oh boy, I can only imagine how many lumbar disc herniations have occurred in weekend athletes as a result of performing most of these movements, not to mention the rotator cuff strains and tears from the stress on the shoulders. First off, it just annoys me to know CrossFit renamed the free squat or bodyweight squat to Air Squat in an effort to be catchy and original. Then again, I see no point in getting a client to perform 200 or 300 “air” squats in a row, not unless your objective is to drive your client to complete exhaustion and overtraining. Based on what I have witnessed with the design of CrossFit regimens, exhaustion and overtraining is the inevitable outcome.

CrossFit routines also incorporate other exercises such as pull-ups and pushups. What bothers me here is that these movements are performed in a high rep range, to the tune of 100 or more. Then the client may be pushed to do tire flips or one of the Olympic lifts that CrossFit has managed to make faddish, even though they were developed over 100 years ago.

One of the calling cards to CrossFit workouts is training at “super high intensity”, which taken in correct doses are fundamental to conditioning. As it is used in CrossFit programming, the benefits are far outweighed by the negatives they incur. In CrossFit context, they tax the central nervous system to an excessive degree. Crossfit fanatics may love the feeling of being pushed to the limit, but this borders on being DANGEROUS. When the body is fatigued to the extent that it is in a Crossfit routine, the risk for muscle breakdown and frank rhabdomyolysis is considerable. No physical discipline is worth the risk of landing in the hospital.

I understand that Crossfit offers a great social environment and a feeling of camaraderie, but at what price? Every single person I know who is a fan of Crossfit has been injured while doing it. The suggested Crossfit regimen of 3 days on, 1 day off is too rigorous when you consider the fact that Olympic lifts are part of the core of Crossfit training. The body simply cannot repair itself in enough time. To fatigue a Crossfit client by having him/her do a WOD (workout of the day for those of you not familiar with Crossfit) and then stack on deadlifts for reps or 5 foot high box jumps is insane.

Benefits drop dramatically when the body is completely depleted like that. The Crossfit ideology of deplete and endure is BS. In contrast, bodybuilders and physique enthusiasts, train hard and heavy, and yes, they often train to depletion or failure, but they certainly aren’t going to attempt 100 pull-ups after destroying a traditional back workout. They understand the law of diminishing returns all too well.

Proponents of Crossfit often state that the training is functional and enhances the day to day activities which people perform. When was the last time you had to do a clean and jerk while on the job? Unless you work as a firefighter, stock room clerk or some other physically demanding work role, I seriously doubt that you are performing movements which mimic what happens while in a Crossfit box. Besides, if you’re injured as a result of Crossfit (or should I say WHEN), you can’t possibly perform any challenging physical movement which strains your injured body part.

For those of you who compete in the NPC or IFBB (or INBA, WBFF, etc.), don’t expect to be able to incorporate Crossfit into your contest prep training and sculpt your physique in the manner required for bodybuilding. I actually had a client who begged me repeatedly to let her do Crossfit two days a week despite my recommendation that she abandon it and focus on traditional weight lifting. I finally acquiesced, and allowed her to incorporate Crossfit as part of her training.

As I had predicted, she sustained an injury, her waist widened from all the heavy complex movements which made her midsection boxy, and she became soft as a result of the cortisol spikes which the high intensity Crossfit training created. After 3 weeks of seeing all her efforts from pre-Crossfit training unravel, I asked her to reconsider her decision to engage in Crossfit. As soon as she stopped doing Crossfit, her waist began to nip in, and her body began to tighten up again. Amen for old school weightlifting!

If it sounds like I am saying you will have to decide between doing Crossfit and competing in any of the bodybuilding divisions, I am. You simply cannot create the nipped in waist and beautiful taper that defines every single bodybuilding division. If you do Crossfit, you will create a strong body (plus some injuries), but you will also widen your silhouette and carry a layer of fat as a result of all that cortisol you will release from constant high intensity training. Look at a typical Crossfit athlete. Shoulders are broad, quads and hams are thick, and the abdominal region is thick and boxy. That is what happens when compound Olympic lifts are performed on a regular basis. If that is your aesthetic ideal, by all means knock yourself out with Crossfit, but you will be destroyed on a bodybuilding stage. On the subject of Olympic lifts, even power lifters have the sense not to rep out on these movements. Yet Crossfitters, blinded by the so-called warrior mentality that leads them to do stupid things that invite injury, will rep out on movements which recruit a tremendous amount of muscle fibers and hence tax the central nervous system. I am willing to bet that the Crossfit nation contends with adrenal burnout, permanent muscle damage, and repetitive tendon and ligament ruptures on a relatively consistent basis, and that such negative aspects will eventually cause the demise of this fad sport.

I will always staunchly defend the focus and the principles behind bodybuilding. I know that NPC and IFBB competitors are true warriors and know how to push through grueling training. I also strongly believe that for the most part, most competitors are smart enough not to over train or invite injury by performing movements which are biomechanically unsound. The world of bodybuilding not only rewards strength, but it also recognizes the aesthetic ideal which all bodybuilders aspire to achieve, regardless of division. Bodybuilding is not about flipping a massive tire across a gym, it’s about sculpting and defining muscle.

Hand X Band For A Stronger Grip And Great Rehab For Tennis Elbow

handxband_diagram
If you think about all the grasping and gripping you do in your daily life, such as opening doors, driving, working out with weights, etc., it’s pretty obvious that you use the muscles which flex your fingers far more often than the ones which extend (or straighten out) the fingers. Over time, this results in overdevelopment of the finger flexors relative to the extensors. A new product called the Hand X Band enables you to selectively exercise the finger extensors, establishing muscular balance and increasing strength. These clever bands are inexpensive, durable, and effective.

The Hand X Band is great for athletes who want to balance their strength and muscular development, but it is also excellent for upper extremity rehab.

You can order direct from the site: http://handxband.com

Oil and Water: Why Crossfit Is Detrimental For Bodybuilders

I will boldly state right now that I cannot stand Crossfit, and will be delighted when its novelty wears off. There are substantial reasons for my argument against the principles of Crossfit, especially when it comes to speaking to NPC and IFBB competitors who believe that Crossfit will enhance their efforts to get into contest shape. Not only will Crossfit widen your waistline as a result of the constant heavy lifting, it will also cause cortisol spikes which make your body hold onto belly fat for dear life.

Here are the nine fundamental exercises which Crossfit is built upon:

Air Squat
Front Squat
Overhead Squat
Shoulder Press
Push Press
Push Jerk
Deadlift
Sumo Deadlift High Pull
Medicine Ball Clean

I can only imagine how many lumbar disc herniations have occurred in weekend athletes as a result of performing most of these movements, not to mention the rotator cuff strains and tears from the stress on the shoulders. I also find it pretty annoying that Crossfit renamed the free squat or bodyweight squat in an effort to be catchy and original. What’s more, I see no point in getting a client to perform 200 or 300 “air” squats in a row, not unless your objective is to drive your client to complete exhaustion and overtraining. Based on what I have witnessed with the design of Crossfit regimens, exhaustion and overtraining is the inevitable outcome.

Crossfit routines also incorporate other exercises such as pullups and pushups. What bothers me is that these movements are performed in a high rep range, to the tune of 100 or more. Then the client may be pushed to do tire flips or some of the asinine Olympic lifts that Crossfit holds so dear to its faddish foundation. I am NOT impressed with the super high intensity workouts that define Crossfit. They tax the central nervous system to an excessive degree. Crossfit fanatics may love the feeling of being pushed to the limit, but this sport is downright DANGEROUS. When the body is fatigued to the extent that it is in a Crossfit routine, the risk for muscle breakdown and frank rhabdomyolysis is considerable. No physical discipline is worth the risk of landing in the hospital.

I understand that Crossfit offers a great social environment and a feeling of camaraderie, but at what price? Every single person I know who is a fan of Crossfit has been injured while doing it. The suggested Crossfit regimen of 3 days on, 1 day off is too rigorous when you consider the fact that Olympic lifts are part of the core of Crossfit training. The body simply cannot repair itself in enough time. To fatigue a Crossfit client by having him/her do a WOD (workout of the day for those of you not familiar with Crossfit) and then stack on deadlifts for reps or 5 foot high box jumps is insane. Benefits drop dramatically when the body is completely depleted like that. The Crossfit mentality of deplete and endure is pure bullshit. Bodybuilders, in contrast, train hard and heavy, and yes, they often train to depletion or failure, but they certainly aren’t going to attempt 100 pullups after destroying a traditional back workout. They understand the law of diminishing returns all too well.

Proponents of Crossfit often state that the training is functional and enhances the day to day activities which people perform. When was the last time you had to do a clean and jerk while on the job? Unless you work as a firefighter, stock room clerk or some other physically demanding work role, I seriously doubt that you are performing movements which mimic what happens while in a Crossfit box. Besides, if you’re injured as a result of Crossfit (or should I say WHEN), you can’t possibly perform any challenging physical movement which strains your injured body part.

Rich Froning World Champion Crossfit Athlete

Rich Froning World Champion Crossfit Athlete


Sadik Hadzovic IFBB Men's Physique Pro

Sadik Hadzovic IFBB Men’s Physique Pro


For those of you who compete in the NPC or IFBB (or INBA, WBFF, etc.), don’t expect to be able to incorporate Crossfit into your contest prep training and sculpt your physique in the manner required for bodybuilding. I actually had a client who begged me repeatedly to let her do Crossfit two days a week despite my recommendation that she abandon it and focus on traditional weight lifting. I finally acquiesced, and allowed her to incorporate Crossfit as part of her training. As I had predicted, she sustained an injury, her waist widened from all the heavy complex movements which made her midsection boxy, and she became soft as a result of the cortisol spikes which the high intensity Crossfit training created. After 3 weeks of seeing all her efforts from pre-Crossfit training unravel, I asked her to reconsider her decision to engage in Crossfit. As soon as she stopped doing Crossfit, her waist began to nip in, and her body began to tighten up again. Amen for old school weightlifting!

If it sounds like I am saying you will have to decide between doing Crossfit and competing in any of the bodybuilding divisions, I am. You simply cannot create the nipped in waist and beautiful taper that defines every single bodybuilding division. If you do Crossfit, you will create a strong body (plus some injuries), but you will also widen your silhouette and carry a layer of fat as a result of all that cortisol you will release from constant high intensity training. Look at a typical Crossfit athlete. Shoulders are broad, quads and hams are thick, and the abdominal region is thick and boxy. That is what happens when compound Olympic lifts are performed on a regular basis. If that is your aesthetic ideal, by all means knock yourself out with Crossfit, but you will be destroyed on a bodybuilding stage.

On the subject of Olympic lifts, even powerlifters have the sense not to rep out on these movements. Yet Crossfitters, blinded by the so-called warrior mentality that leads them to do stupid things that invite injury, will rep out on movements which recruit a tremendous amount of muscle fibers and hence tax the central nervous system. I am willing to bet that the Crossfit nation contends with adrenal burnout, permanent muscle damage, and repetitive tendon and ligament ruptures on a relatively consistent basis, and that such negative aspects will eventually cause the demise of this fad sport.

I will always staunchly defend the focus and the principles behind bodybuilding. I know that NPC and IFBB competitors are true warriors and know how to push through grueling training. I also strongly believe that for the most part, most competitors are smart enough not to overtrain or invite injury by performing movements which are biomechanically unsound. The world of bodybuilding not only rewards strength, but it also recognizes the aesthetic ideal which all bodybuilders aspire to achieve, regardless of division. Bodybuilding is not about flipping a massive tire across a gym, it’s about sculpting and defining muscle.

(Please also check out sportsuppguide.com for a posting of this article there.)