Can You Include Crossfit In Your Training?


-February 6th, 2012-

Those that know me will tell you I am not a fan of CrossFit. I have posted as much on Twitter and included some CrossFit videos of things I find utterly ridiculous previously.

My thought on Crossfit has always been that it includes some great exercises, just applied horribly. I stand by that! (I also stand by the fact it has some horrendous exercises!)

Yes it is physically demanding. Yes it’s really hard. Yes, some of the stuff some CrossFitters can do is very impressive. I have no problem agreeing with all those statements.

Is CrossFit how you should train to become a better, more athletic lacrosse player? NO!

Is there a place for CrossFit anywhere in your training program? Possibly! (Wait, what did I just say? I think I just blew the minds of some of the guys I train by saying that!)

CrossFit is by definition random. No two workouts are the same. It’s do as much as possible as fast as you can. It’s a very tough workout! But working out is very different than training!

Training is having a plan! Training is knowing where you want to get to and what you have to do to get there. In the Strength and Conditioning world this is called Periodization. There is no Periodization in CrossFit.

Professional Athletes from the 4 Major Sports all participate in rigorous Off-Season training programs that are designed for them to be in Peak condition when they enter the season.

There is no ‘Peaking’ in CrossFit. No building up to something. Every workout is designed to break you down. It’s why CrossFitters celebrate completing their workouts and brag about how fast they did it. Every workout is literally a challenge.

The problem with this is that eventually your body WILL break down. Whether it be developing a small nagging pain in your knee from high rep repetitive box jumps or elbow/shoulder soreness from high rep Olympic Lifts and Kipping Pullups.

Or it could be way worse like what happened to this guy. He looks to be in good shape and has good form on his Front Squat to Press (I can’t comment on the Kipping Pull Up cause I have no idea what they are!) so I’m guessing this isn’t a rookie CrossFitter.

(If you don’t want to sit through the whole thing just click on the 2 minute mark)

Yes it’s a freak accident. But it was only able to happen because he pushed through an exercise while very fatigued because he wanted to do it as fast as possible. It is a recipe for disaster. He lost his grip, but he easily could have lost his grip on the bar while it was overhead. Or his foot could have slid out from under him. Or any number of things that happen when we are tired and broken down.

And if this happened to you then you would be missing 6-8 weeks of your lacrosse season. It just doesn’t make sense to risk it, not when there is a better way!

So that’s why you shouldn’t use CrossFit to train for Lacrosse. It’s random, only breaks you down, and allows for greater risk of injury while training.

But earlier I did say it could possibly have a place in your training program, right?

Let me clarify and explain:

If you have a Periodized training program you are following, there is nothing wrong with completing certain CrossFit workouts as a challenge every now and then depending on the exercises involved.

I don’t recommend doing Fran or whatever (all the CrossFit workouts have female names), but including one of their bodyweight workouts with some jumps and sprints could be a nice addition  and change of pace as a conditioning/muscular endurance session.

And only under those circumstances would I approve doing CrossFit, as an addition to a proper Periodized training program!

Do you Agree or Disagree? I’d love to know if you use CrossFit to train and if so why!

P.S. If you want to see what a Periodized Program looks like, enter your email on the right and instantly get a free copy of 2009 NLL MVP Dan Dawson’s program he used to Peak for the 2011 Season.

P.P.S. Check out Lacrosse Training Experts and find out exactly how the BEST Lacrosse Strength Coaches train their athletes!

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Leave A Reply (3 comments so far)

  1. Lewis
    6 years ago


  2. Samantha Prestel
    4 years ago

    Please send the the Dan workout plan. I am going to be a freshman in college in the fall and will be playing lacrosse and I want to be in as good of shape as I can be.

  3. mike mozitis
    3 years ago

    Having been a former college and professional athlete I first encountered the philosophy of periodization in my strength training as a freshman in college…..and I never looked back. I found that although challenging, it doesn’t batter the body but “coaxes” it into gaining strength and/or endurance. I became a strength coach and trained my athletes in the same manner. I mixed in functional strength exercises using swiss balls for training smaller muscle groups, this further prepared and enhanced the ability of my athletes to make great gains in the big, multi-muscle power lifts as postural muscle strength improved. I would cycle in medicine ball plyos along with complex training as a mental and physiological break from traditional lifting and my athletes consistently gained muscle mass, explosive power and raw strength without injury. There is a difference between training an athlete with specific goals in mind and getting a client tired. I find crossfit to be the later, especially with those who aren’t athletic. The powerlifts I see in Crossfit are done with poor form and that is a big turn off with me. I see people sing the praise of this method of training but often wonder if it’s not their commitment to fitness(cardio on off days, clean diets etc) that benefits them the most.




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