The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of CrossFit (#64)

kelly couch stretch - spartan pose

This post delves into the good, the bad, and the ugly of all things CrossFit.  It answers many important questions, including:

– What are the 3 most dangerous exercises in CrossFit gyms?

– What are the most common nutritional mistakes of CrossFit athletes?

– What do elite CrossFit athletes do differently than the rest? Example: How do Rich Froning and Jason Khalipa warm up?

– Is the CrossFit Games really CrossFit?

– Is CrossFit a fad?

– What is the future of CrossFit?

The man to answer all this (and much more) is Kelly Starrett.  He’s trained CrossFit athletes for more than 130,000 hours (!) and 10 years at San Francisco CrossFit, which opened in 2005 as one of the first 50 CrossFit Affiliates in the world. There are now more than 10,000 Affiliates worldwide.

Kelly’s clients include Olympic gold medalists, Tour de France cyclists, world record holders in Olympic lifting and powerlifting, Crossfit Games medalists, professional ballet dancers, and elite military personnel.

Even if you have zero interest in CrossFit, this conversation invites you inside the mind of one of the world’s top coaches.  Kelly discusses habits, strategies, and thinking that can be applied to nearly everything.

As a bonus, I’ve also included our first conversation below, which includes disgusting amounts of alcohol, my personal doctor, and our tactics for becoming the guy from Limitless.

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

Ep 64: CrossFit's Good, Bad, and Ugly

Plus, the booze-enhanced episode on all things performance enhancement (stream below or right-click here to download):

Episode 3: Kelly Starrett and Dr. Justin Mager

This podcast is brought to you by Mizzen + Main. Mizzen + Main makes the only “dress” shirts I now travel with — fancy enough for important dinners but made from athletic, sweat-wicking material. No more ironing, no more steaming, no more hassle. Click here for the exact shirts I wear most often. Order one of their dress shirts this week and get a Henley shirt (around $60 retail) for free.  Just add the two you like here to the cart, then use code “TIM” at checkout.

This episode is also brought to you by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive results.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: If you had to pick one sport or weightlifting movement for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? Please share and explore answers in the comments here.

Do you enjoy this podcast? If so, could you please leave a short review here? I read them, and they keep me going. Thanks!

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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183 Replies to “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of CrossFit (#64)”

  1. Hello everyone.

    If I had discovered CrossFit a decade ago, I think that would have been my workout of choice. Kite surfing and snowboarding would have been my sports of choice. Unfortunately, due to an old snowboard accident, anything that loads the hip or requires a full range of movement is currently off limits.

    Tim, Kelly spoke about people with limited hip, knee and ankle range, do you or Kelly or anyone above have any suggestions for improving the range of motion in any of these joints, particularly the hips? Pilates with the reformers and rolling out daily seem to be the most helpful so far.



  2. I have a real problem with the 130,000 hours comment. What does that mean. The number seems a little disingenuous without context and would be better left out. 10 years on it’s own is great and Kelly is an excellent coach who obviously has remarkable credentials. I know because I go to his gym here in SF at least twice a week. He has the best coaches and great programming. Just don’t know the reasoning behind putting a crack in Tim and Kelly’s credibility by putting the 130,000 hours comment in the description.

    Outside of that, thank you very much for the episode and all your episodes Tim. Really appreciate this episode as well as the episodes with Pavel. Thank you.

  3. BJJ until I die or injuries otherwise get the best of me.

    Please, please please get Eddie Bravo + Josh Waitzkin together on a BJJ Mastery episode. I love a good trialogue

  4. Interesting read. Since I am way skinny than my peers. It inspires me to try even harder to train. By the way I used to play football and even play now which has kept me fit enough to jump start to these kind of exercises.

  5. Interesting talk. I like Kelly, as he is a very knowledgable guy. 130,000 hours is far below average for a team of experienced and successful trainers over 8-10 years. My own personal time working in the fitness industry over the last 11+ years is around 50,000 hours inside the gym managing programs and people, not counting workshops, CECs and my own workouts, and this is not double-counting multiple individuals within the same clock hour.

    Real quick, there are two glaring issues with this interview:

    1.) Kelly defends Crossfit as an all-around amplifying training system; but he then points out even among the ELITE Crossfit competitors, the only totally well-rounded competitors (those who could ALSO really throw a ball) were total athletes PRIOR to training Crossfit.

    2.) Kelly argues that the principle of Crossfit is that you can be better at all endeavors, essentially intimating that there is no such thing as sports-specificity with a cost (e.g. – Rich Froning at 190lbs can snatch 300lbs). You do know that WOMEN in the 165lb weight class regularly snatch 290lbs, don’t you?

    So, the summary is this: yes, there are some great minds within the Crossfit world. But the word “Crossfit” has become entirely meaningless; and they don’t do ANYTHING novel. Every sports training system is ancient. There are people like Kelly who as an individual consolidate some of the best information; but Crossfit is a gimmick and holds no special rights on programming, certainly not the best. Perfect squat mechanics existed long before any of the Crossfit founders were born, and there are mountains of Russian papers on movement dating back 70+ years.

  6. The good, the bad, and the ugly? This was a big ad for crossfit! No real questions challenging the noted “ugly” side of crossfit. Weak interview.

    1. I agree 100% What was “the bad”? The fact that people rush into it too quickly? So, basically, the system has no flaws, just individuals who pursue it incorrectly? I’d love to hear you interview a respected expert with serious concerns about Crossfit, and believe me, there are a LOT of them out there.

  7. Great podcast Tim; thanks for shedding much needed light on the good and bad of Cross-Fit. But more importantly how human movement and correct posture is the key to long term function and fitness. I should know I have successfully re -habed my shoulder with osteo arthritis and improved my range of motion and strength by 60% in 18 months.


    Melissa Curtiss

  8. Hi Tim, a great podcast, I can identify well with the ideas described, although from perspective of self-defence/martial arts, where we are doing similar “revolution” in technique.

    If we look at self-defence alone (thus ignoring combat-sports), many of the styles advocate strength and blind agression. It’s certainly an asset in the beginning, but if you want to dedicate years of practise, you need to have ways to develop technique. From what I’ve seen, this is poorly understood by many teachers of many styles, and/or practised in the wrong context.

    If you’re looking for expertise in self-defence, I highly recommend books from Keith Kernspecht (martial arts grandmaster and university professor in one person). His work is mainly about what works, why, and how to learn it better and faster.

    I think he’d fit the type of people you’re working with.

    Keep up the good work!

  9. Hindu squats would be the activity I would choose. Why, well because it is gentle, strengthening, and works all the major muscles in a functionally full ROM action!

  10. Tim – listened to every podcast so far, always a highlight of the week, ironically as I mellow out of productivity mode…since there so much to take in and note! The show is a beautifully eclectic fount of life knowledge, and funny too. From this episode, I’m hopping straight to Mizzen & Main…and then to the ref to the overhead press warm-up! Thank you for the show, Kevin

  11. Hi Tim, would you consider doing a show around sales? I know you’ve written about it but your perspective would be interesting.

    ( I mean like what you did at TrueSAN, not the process of book selling)



  12. Really interesting interview. I’ve always been a little bit sceptical of crossfit, mainly because of how easy it is to get wrong – there are loads of ‘crossfit fail’ youtube videos demonstrating some appalling technique and generally unsafe practice going on at some affiliated gyms. It’s great to hear a top coach addressing some of the concerns – like talking about requirements for safe movement *before* loading up. If done right crossfit does seem like one of the best ‘all round’ work out systems I’ve come across. It’s always interesting to hear from top coaches in any sport!

    If I had to pick one sport for life, it would absolutely be rowing. The rowing stroke is a full-body exercise, not dissimilar from a power clean or deadlift. In order to get it right you need to have good balance, body awareness and core control, all of which are really important! Sweep rowing has the disadvantage of being asymmetrical, so probably not the best sport to do for life (especially if you can’t row both sides), but sculling is symmetrical. The feeling you get when you take a ‘good’ stroke is fantastic – the boat flies, and stays absolutely balanced allowing you to just drift forward to take the next stroke. It’s an amazing feeling, especially in a crew boat as you have to be totally synched up with your teammates to achieve it. You also have to push really hard every stroke to get it right, over the course of a session that will usually last 1.5-2 hours (usually including some technical work, but the majority of a session will be cardiovascular training) so you learn to push yourself consistently for a long time. You also develop the ability to focus on the details of a single motion for a couple of hours at a time. It’s a really great skill to have in life! But in terms of what rowers and scullers train for – the big races are 2km side-by-side races, and the most interesting thing is that because rowers are facing backwards there is an enormous psychological advantage to being at the front of the pack because you can see the people you are beating. Equally, it’s incredibly disheartening to lose sight of your competition when they get over a length up on you. Once they’re a length ahead and you lose contact you have no way of knowing where they are, which is incredibly difficult to come back from. So in a race rowers have to explode out of the blocks and reach their anaerobic threshold in the first minute of the race. Which will then continue for at least 5 more minutes. So it’s ultimately a strength-endurance full-body sport – you have to cover all your bases!

    That said – one single lift would absolutely be the overhead squat. You need to have an absolutely stable core to get this motion right and that’s so important for having a strong body. IMO core strength is the most important thing to focus on for a healthy body.

    Great podcast, thanks for sharing it!

  13. Smashed it with this podcast.

    It’s like you read my mind Tim.

    The questions I’ve been asking about Crossfit all answered.

    I’ve been training in a box in Dubai now for 5 months with a great coach and purely looking at my range of motion and dude do I “suck”.

    One question, any recommendation for genetic testing to see how my body handles macro nutrients?

  14. My go to exercise is sex. Long walks are the next best thing. Tim it would be great if you could interview some sexual athletes. I guess Peter North comes to mind.

  15. Very interesting podcast. I have been looking for something to help me stay in shape in the off season for Football Referee and keep me in the right shape playing Hockey. I am thinking I might give Crossfit a go. Sounds like it is very important to get the right trainer. Any suggestions on how to find the right trainer at the right Crossfit gym?

  16. Thanks Tim and Kelly. I have both Kelly’s Supple Leopard book as well as well as Pavel Tsatsouline’s Simple & Sinister (referenced in a previous episode). I noticed some differences in the positions between the two books for basic movements eg Kelly’s advises straight feet for a squat/deadlift and Pavel suggests feet at an angle. Similar differences in head position (down vs looking ahead). Anyone with any advice on how to navigate these waters? Thanks.

  17. As someone relatively new to CrossFit, I enjoyed this podcast. I appreciated the long discussion about mobility issues. That, in fact, is what has most impressed me about CrossFit. I learned quite quickly that my many years of lifting weights on my own–with bad form–combined with sitting at a desk much of the day (day job is as an attorney) destroyed my mobility. But I am getting it back and enjoying the process.

    I tend to want to throw more weight on everything, but the coaches are adamant that I master form and mobility before doing so. All those years of power cleans dominated by my arched back have created some bad habits.

  18. The burpee! Push-up at the bottom, jump at the top, 5 minutes will sort you out and shred you up! I agree with the Aussie Rules comment too, played for years and to be a competitive senior player you need to be strong, very fit aerobic, fast, agile, you need to tick all the boxes!

  19. Kelly Starrett is great. However, there aren’t many Crossfit box owners or coaches that are doctor’s of physical therapy or have his expertise with mobility and position.

    I know I have physical problems. I’ve only been to two boxes here in Greenville, SC but I’ve never had anyone diagnose say my snatch position or squat to the degree you guys talked about. Nor was I given specific “remedies” for whatever my problem might be. I suppose I could do as much self-diagnosis and treatment as possible using mobility wod, but then what am I really paying $100+ a month for at a local box?

  20. I’m really glad you mentioned that you don’t do certain moves because of your own unique physical conditions. I similarly don’t do a number of movements that are crossfit staples, like clean jerks, because I have an unrepaired labral tear in my right shoulder. When it first occurred three years ago I considered surgery, but both the cost, as well as the impact it would have on other areas of life (including playing music in my band) made me decide to see how well it would heal on its own. Three years later it has still not healed completely, but it has healed enough that I rarely suffer pain and can do a wide variety of exercises that allow me to do intense full body workouts. However, things like benching, back squats, bodyweight pull-ups, and clean jerks are still out of the question. For me, that raises the biggest concern with Crossfit, which is following a universal, pre-assigned workout without taking into consideration whether it really is the best workout for you as an individual. Adding fuel to that possibly fire is the macho aspect of crossfit, which basically says, “refusing to do an exercise is a sign of being weak, lacking commitment to the system, and laziness.” I think a good trainer will recognize this, but I also think there are a lot of trainers who won’t, which puts the client at significant risk.

  21. Kelly mentioned in this and the previous podcast that he had done genetic testing and found that he didn’t handle saturated fat well, so he’s off bacon, etc. Does anyone know what test that is and where its done? Is that just something 23andme offers?

  22. Tim,

    I thought of an idea for your podcast.

    Do a podcast soley based around the idea of quick fix ideas for improving energy for people who suffer a higher than average amount of daily fatigue.


  23. In the pod cast the talk about looking at your genetic strengths and weaknesses. Does anyone know a good resource for that type of testing?

  24. Short Hill Sprints.They are extremely potent! Maybe 10-15 yards on a moderate steep incline for 8 minutes straight the rest being the walk back down!!!! Small chance of injury, makes the lungs and heart work harder than usual.

    Tim Ferris, I heart you brother….Constantly reviewing the 4HB and currently reading the 4HWW! I feel like I have an edge on the world who hasn’t read your material. The last two days I have been doing the gaze comfort challenge. Staring into peoples eyes as they get super uncomfortable as I speak to them!!! HAHAHAHA I have pink eye in both eyes this week! It’s great!

    Very Respectful,


  25. I have a lot of respect for CrossFit athletes but I’d love to see greater regulation on the quality of individual gyms and trainers e.g. More gyms like Kelly’s and less poorly run facilities.

    This alone would really help improve the reputation of the sport and reduce the amount of injuries coming from it.

  26. Motivation Monday!

    I do love long walks, but I also like jogging, but I have gotten out of shape lately. I need to start exercising again. Since I was reprimanded by the Missouri Medical Board for reporting patient harm to the ACGME and the Joint Commission I have had difficult affording going to the gym. The Medical Board did not even review a single patient chart and they appropriately said it was disrespectful of me to disrespect them. That is true, but I respect patients more than them, and if the Pathologist is going to lie to the ACGME about breast cancer care, I have no choice but to tell the truth lest I become a liar too.

    In summary: walking, because I can still use twitter on my iphone and send text messages to this woman I have a crush on 🙂

  27. Hi Tim,

    I recently watched the documentary ‘Forks over Knives’ and was left at a loss. With all of the information out there I find it difficult to form a solid fact oriented opinion (does that even make sense) regarding Nutrition.

    Since The 4 Hour Body I have followed your work and become a fan. I don’t see anything on your blog -coming from you, addressing the documentary.

    I understand speaking out about a specific topic such as this specific documentary is not as easy to do for you as it would be for a random joe, however I am still curious to hear your thoughts. Specifically about animal products such as meat, eggs, dairy, etc. From what I’ve read and listened to from you, you don’t seem to be alarmed about their daily consumption.

    As a person who values your opinion I would really be interested in hearing what you have to say regarding the topic.

    I apologize the bulk of this has nothing to do with this podcast, I have not finished listening to it yet but I will give my thoughts so far if you are inclined to listen.

    I’ve been listening to this podcast while I have been washing dishes and performing other random cleaning duties in my new place. I hate doing this type of multitasking but most of the time I find it nearly impossible to just sit and give my full attention. The topics are very interesting, and extremely intriguing, I just feel like I should be doing something productive at the same time. That’s my problem anyhow. I like the episode, but in regards to finding useful information and applying it immediately after, it seems like it is more difficult to do with this episode than others. It seems like this only happens with certain people. Others interview magnificently (in my opinion) and almost seem to be chunking out nuggets of gold with every breath (Tony Robbins comes to mind…is that fair though).

    That’s my take so far. I have not finished the podcast but it has been the impression I have gotten so far.

    Thank you for our time.

    -Austin, TX

  28. I enjoyed the content, – – but the sound of the wine flowing (seemed like it was really flowing) was annoying, not sure if others feel that way but if all of your episodes will be like that going forward I will most likely stop listening


    Hey Tim, I’ve been a silent follower since 2007. 4WW has had the most dramatic impact on my life to date and I am extremely grateful of your work. I just finished your entire podcast series and it has provided a lifetime of inspiration and amazing perspectives on staying productive.

    Kudos and Thank you.

    Either way – There are a few topics I would LOVE to hear on your podcast (and I’m sure there are others looking for your analysis of X topic), and rather than blankly requesting it.. I thought it would be a great opportunity to present to you a decent way to further monetize on your podcast:

    [Dollar-Amount Vote Casting] of Podcast Topics/Suggestions

    – So for example, I can “Vote” by paying $100 to ‘boost’ a suggested topic or someone who I would like to see on your podcast. Each week popular desired topics will be bumped/voted up and trend until it is picked up by your team.

    Excited to see how your series progresses!


  30. I heard a lot of things about crossfit, the do’s and don’ts. I am glad I have read this blog post about CrossFit, it helped me understand it. And about kelly starrett, as a trainer, he’s a beast. Trained about 130,000 hours is too much, but then again, if you love what you’re doing, then that’s great! Keep up posting blog like this! 🙂

  31. Tim,

    3 Items:

    1. Regarding “Gym to Sport”. Have you considered Interviewing surfer Kelly Slater? He seems to be an amazing intersection of someone who is at the top of his game in sport, fitness, health, business and mental focus. Could be super insightful.

    2. Thank you. All the info and insights you learn & share is helping me create new effective habits for life. Your podcast among others has been a killer resource for life changing behaviors.

    3. My “Gym to Sport”? I love running outside. Recently I combine running with simple body weight movements like push-ups, pull ups, burpees & squats. I think the burpee will be my go-to. My sport is surfing. A few hundred burpees should help my pop-up!



  32. Did they talk about how to become the guy from “Limitless”? I listened to the podcast specifically to hear about that portion and either I missed it or they didn’t talk about it.

    If they did, does anyone know the point, the time within the podcast, where they did? Cheers!

  33. Well I think CrossFit is a good way of losing weight….and do more. Only, I find it a dangerous thing to do. I mean, carrying weird lifts, exercising using equipment that we are unfamiliar with. Well, yeah, we have all those trainers and such, but, still….Well, we all have our own ways of doing things, so I think we just let CrossFitters be. Haters be hating, CrossFitters be smiling.

  34. Hi Tim, I’m a new listener and enjoying your podcasts. Learning something every week. Having said that, I found the interview with Kelly Starratt to be full of industry jargon. I think the interviewer is obliged to challenge the so-called “expert” using techno-babble, get definitions, and bring the conversation back to the real world. Thanks for your other good interviews.

  35. Good interview Tim. Fast-paced and to the point. It now makes much more sense why squats and core work are essential. The previous interview that included lots of wine was more entertaining, but this one more informative. 🙂 – Mike

  36. Great episode. Love Kelly’s insights on nutrition as well as the distinction between CrossFit as a sport and CrossFit as a fitness program.

    Still, I have to challenge his statement regarding what separates the elite in the sport from the rest.

    Given his biases and his practices, it makes sense that Kelly would pick movement and position as the most important variable.

    And, obviously, these areas are hugely important.

    I would say, though, that there is a “buy-in” requirement for mobility and motor control in various positions below which your performance will be extremely hampered – but, beyond that, it is not a major variable in separating the elite from the sub-elite.

    I see this as similar to the 40 yard dash in the NFL combine: if you’re a running back, and you run a 5.0 40, we have a problem. But, taking you from a 4.4 to a 4.3 doesn’t really mean that you’re going to be better at football.

    [That said, I do think that movement mechanics have a significant impact on long-term athlete development, total CNS load on training, and injury prevention that kind of torpedoes the 40 yard dash comparison, but, in terms of immediate performance, I think it is still valid. Lots of great athletes have big movement issues, but they still regularly crush people who are just as strong, just as aerobically fit, and who move much better than them.]

    I would argue that the true separator in the sport is “fatigue repeatability.” You can have people who are massively strong with insane aerobic engines, great positions, and beautiful movement who struggle with the sport of CrossFit. The thing that they can’t do is a specific type of fatigued repeat performance. Conversely, you can have people who are super high threshold, super tight, not *that* strong, move like shit, etc. who do very well based upon the demands of the sport.

    This is getting awfully long for a super late comment, but a few tests that can lay this out (courtesy of OPT):

    1. 8 min to build to a max power clean


    Rest 2 min


    8 min AMRAP:

    Power cleans @ 90% of A

    *”Good athletes” will have a respectable power clean and hit 30+ reps. “Great” athletes will have a more than respectable power clean and hit 40+ reps.

    **Many “conventionally” good athletes will have a high power clean and get zapped bad trying to repeat 90% – they’re too “explosive” to be good in the sport of CrossFit.

    2. 15-12-9:

    Power cleans (115/75)

    Lateral barbell burpees


    Rest 12 min



    Power cleans (115/75)

    Lateral barbel burpees

    *No pacing the first one.

    *”Good” athletes will have a major drop-off between the first and the second attempt. “Great” athletes will have a faster time on the first one than a “good” athlete, and only drop-off by <10% on the second one.

    3. 20×5 unbroken chest-to-bar pull-ups for time

    *This isn't just muscle endurance, but tests the capacity to recover quickly between challenging muscle endurance activities. "Great" athletes will chip away at a consistent pace for all 20 sets – "good" athletes will blow up at some point and lose their technique/eccentric control.

    So, given the baseline "buy-in" requirements for the sport of CrossFit (strength, aerobic engine, ability to hit the positions demanded), the true separator of the elite from the rest is this concept of fatigue repeatability. It allows them to turn CrossFit into a repeat sprint/muscle endurance sport (rather than a lactate shit show), and they're way way way better at recovering quickly from high CNS output as well as from starting to "dig" into uncomfortable muscle endurance. So, they can do something tough, step back, shake it out for 5 seconds, then do the same tough thing again and again indefinitely.

    This capacity can be aided by good positions, good muscle endurance, good aerobic system, good sleep, etc., but I see it as something of an independent trait based upon how their body and nervous system processes fatigue.

  37. Two years ago I read the 4HWW – well, the first few chapters of my son’s book – and a month later was on a plane by myself to England to stay in a 15th century inn and hike around the Cotswolds for a couple of weeks. Fantastic! I would love to do more of that stuff but right now am managing my kids and household on my salary alone. I am a physician assistant, and I happen to deeply love my job, am able to work four days a week, but would like more income and more time off… any other medical professionals out there that have adapted these techniques to medical practice (can’t really outsource seeing patients…?).

  38. This cast was really inspirational. Thank you!

    How do you go about objectively evaluating a CF gym and trainers? What is the diagnostic tool for that?

    I really value the the diagnostic approach with incremental progression with the laser focus on mechanics and form to drive performance. Kelly’s energy and maniacal process on mechanics is infectious.

    Please don’t tell me to rely upon certifications of the coaches. I’ve seen too many “paper tiger’s” in other fields to use that as the only criteria.

    I’d love to hear a Part 2 cast that addresses this question!!

    Thanks for all you do Tim!

  39. I want to follow up a post I made last week regarding sponsoring Mizzen + Main. I couldn’t find my previous post (thankfully), but I offer my apologies…

    Tim, I was contacred by the CEO of Mizzen and offered every way possible to rectify the problems I had with them. He was very responsive and specific in his reply, apology and explanation of why I had such a rough experience. He mentioned that he was contacted by you because of my frustrated post.

    While he is growing a small company with astronomical growth, you have to receive and manage infinitely more communications on a daily basis. I’m not sure how you do it, but it not only restored, but boosted my trust in you and what you do, say, and endorse.

    Thank you.

    I wish you and Mizzen + Main nothing but the greatest of success in what you’re doing.

  40. Thanks for this one. I never thought of my experience in terms of total hours. I guess I need to do some math. Clients yes. The most impressive number is the number of long term clients – 5 years or more. Also walking is the best exercise for anyone and everyone. Most underrated training move = front squats.

  41. I am just curious as to what the drink at the start of the episode is. Great cast and has gotten me really thinking about mobility and position before teaching strength in sport. technique rules all. slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

  42. For barbell lifts I would have to say deadlift can be unsafe if done improperly and for kettle bells, the Turkish getup is at the top of my list.

  43. Yikes! After studying directly with the man who coined the term Yin Yoga and being one of those people who could never squat down with heels on the ground, or even close to bum near the ground, I have to correct some major problems here. Please refer to Paul Grilley’s simple article called Assessing Range of Motion in Squatting Poses here:

    I can assure you, as an early adolescent girl on the ball field being told to “get your ass on the ground” while squatting, there was very little in my life that would have caused my inability to dorsiflex my ankles beyond just genetics. My dad is built the same way. I love my ankles! I can’t squat worth SHIT, but man, I’ve been jogging my whole life for the love of it, never super competitively, but those low-movement bones in my ankles will be there till my demise. When I squat down, I don’t feel tightness in my butt or in my calves or achilles. I feel constriction in the front of my ankles. Constriction of bone-on-bone. In time, enough slow pressure on this joint may improve my dorsiflexion, but we’re looking at minimal gains. To imply so many times throughout this interview that people *should* be able to move in the same way is just aesthetic alignment, not functional alignment. You want people to look the same in the same exercise, even if they feel it in the same muscle intended to be strengthened. That’s superficial work. You need to ask people where they are feeling it and design the exercise to work their butt, their abs, etc. You won’t get success with the people you are judging to be in bad postural patterns if you think their bones are going to up and move with some years of crossfit. Obviously you are successful, but in this, you came across as naive. Look at some bones of humans. Here are some photos but like I did in first year uni, feel free to find some cadavers to show you that some people *are* limited by bone structure, and it would take a lifetime to change that with minimal gain.

  44. I LOVED this podcast. It cleared up some misconceptions and it gave me some new-found respect for mister Starrett. (Not that I didn’t dis-respect him- I just distrust Cross-Fit.) Having been injured in a Cross-Fit gym, under supervision of a trainer no less, I am not eager to go back – but I am eager to learn more of mobility. What the podcast touches on is I believe very important work – you have your Ido Portale, your Systema, and now your MWOD. Excellent.

  45. Great podcast. Always lots of interesting stuff learned from athletes and coaches. I have a recommendation for a future podcast guest: Dr. Andreo Spina and/or Dewey Nielsen. They both use a mobility method called functional range conditioning that fits in nicely with this theme.

  46. I know I’m a little late to the party here, but I was a bit disappointed that the subject of an interview titled the Good, Bad and Ugly of Crossfit was Kelly Starrett. He’s a super knowledgeable guy, and I’ve benefit greatly from the knowledge he shares. However, given Kelly Starrett’s affiliation with the Crossfit organization, it’s not surprising that we didn’t really hear much in the way of bad and ugly in this podcast.

    I think we all owe a debt of gratitude to Crossfit for bringing strength and conditioning into the mainstream, but the organization/it’s methodology is certainly not without fault. I think there are a number of experts out there that could bring a balanced point of view to this topic. I hope Tim would be willing to explore this other side.