DTR_3234 CrossFit Isn’t Fair

Olympic Weightlifting, Wrestling, Boxing, MMA, and a whole ton of other sports separate their athletes into weight classes. It makes sense too – putting two guys in the ring to see who’s the better fighter wouldn’t be very fair if one of them was a foot taller and 100 lbs heavier than the other (though it would be fun to watch, assuming you aren’t rooting for the little guy). Those sports need weight classes to keep things fair. So why aren’t there weight classes in CrossFit? I’m glad you asked.

It’s because CrossFit is the sport of fitness. Fitness is (very briefly) defined as your work capacity across broad time and modal domains. In other words, what can you actually do? Mother Nature doesn’t decide which tasks are assigned to which people based on their weight, age, strength, hair color, finger length, or anything else. If you’re hiking in the woods, glance to your left and see 2 cute bear cubs playing with each other, and then glance to your right and see the mama bear looking at you with a “wanna race?” look in her eye, it won’t matter what weight class you’re in – that bear is coming after you. I don’t care who you are, that’s just not fair.

Since I get made fun of for my doomsday analogies (“…what if you fell into a pool of molten lava, and then flaming boulders started falling from the sky…”), I’ll give you one that happens to everyone. You go grocery shopping and buy a ton of great food (all Paleo-friendly, of course). Beef, chicken, turkey, fish – dead animals of all kinds and tons of fresh veggies to go along with them. Laundry detergent, fabric softener, Cascade, toilet bowl cleaner, and 3 cases of water too. Now you’re home and you have roughly 279 plastic grocery bags and all that liquid to carry into the house. All that crap you bought weighs a certain total amount, and it isn’t going to magically become lighter or any easier to carry because you’re a “little guy” and aren’t good at lifting heavy stuff. Mother Nature doesn’t care if you’re good at something or not – you will still be presented with tasks to complete.

In CrossFit, we don’t discriminate either. Of course, we do everything we can to help you get stronger and better at things to increase that work capacity of yours, but ultimately a pullup is a pullup and a deadlift is a deadlift. If you suck at one because you’re a little guy or suck at the other because you’re a big guy, then you now know where your fitness falls short and where you need to improve. Complaining about it will not change the task (or the workout), and I can assure you that the degree of “fairness” doesn’t play a role when we’re programming the WODs.

Nope, CrossFit isn’t fair – and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Mother Nature doesn’t coddle you and neither do we. But while Mother Nature might send an angry mama bear after you just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, in CrossFit we’ll at least start you out with a teddy bear made of PVC pipe and slowly ramp you up from there.


Today’s WOD:

10 Rounds for time:

3 Muscle-ups
5 Kettlebell Snatches [Men – 53# | Women – 35#] 7 Overhead Squats [Men – 65# | Women – 45#]

  • Oliver

    I’m sure my shoulder will love this

  • Brett

    Aww that’s sweet Olly! I’m sure this will love your shoulder back…eventually get hitched…someday they’ll have little shoulder blasting babies. A true fairly tale.

  • dfaery

    Personally I’d prefer to be the CrossFitter rather than the Mama Bear. She may have animal instincts but I’m a human training to be a beast, I think that give me the advantage, LOL….Great post Tai.

  • Brett

    Did anyone catch Dave box jumping into an airborn butt slap? Casey just so happened to be in the perfect position for said exercise…what are the chances?

    Hey Casey, “SMACK HIS ASS!”

  • Tai

    Actually that’s Dustin, but I didn’t notice the interesting perspective when I took the picture. Funny…

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