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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Many of you, by now have heard of CrossFit. It was developed by Greg Glassman in 1995 when he used his training format on police, firefighters and SWAT team members in Santa Cruz, California and it has been building popularity ever since. He uses techniques that you are all familiar with, just in a timed manner with predetermined times, reps and sets. MENS HEALTH Novemeber 2011 issue does interesting article on CrossFit. Check it out 'INSIDE THE CULT OF CROSSFIT'

Those of you who train with me know how I feel about CF. Simply, I wished I had started BSF!  years ago back in the 80's when I was a competitive bodybuilder and clinical therapist. Nevertheless, instead of castigating the CF philosophy (Glassman has cleverly taken what we have been doing for decades and put a name on it. You simply know them as Circuits or what we call in the professional parlance 'metabolic circuits). Allow me to remind you or share with you the difference between BSI and CF. NOTE: This is NOT intended to be a critique. There are many true believers in CF just like there are true believers of BSI. The article in MENS HEALTH inspired me to detail what has made our training unique in the years I  started this business 26 years ago.

Lets begin.................

  • Original and customized training. CF applies the same format no matter what. So you got a bad shoulder, knee problems, etc. they would not know how to design a program, unless they got it online.
  •  We have Original Class formats that are intense and unpredictable. Think BREATHTAKERZ and REPS. 
  • We have been training using timed circuits since BSI inception for creating challenging training environments at all levels. CF promotes this as revolutionary. 
  • PUKING is not required or encouraged even though it can happen. For the record, this is the heart under stress! Puking is not an indication of how good a training program is. CF thinks so.
  • CF DOES sports performance/training and condition. We KNOW how. There is a HUGH difference.
  • We are NOT A CULT [see article above]
  • We train kids. They train kids like they train adults.
  • Their trainers are CF! Ours are educated in the field of sports performance and orthopedic assessment and rehab. BSI staff are certified by NASM, &USAT, we are educational providers for ACSM and NASM. Highest degrees earned in the field of human performance/sports injury management MS, and ATC. Combined staff experience: 53 yrs. The most current addition June 2011.
  • Certification does NOT denote competence. Even at my workshops, when I hand out certificates of completion, does NOT mean you are competent in the science of human performance and orthopedic assessment.   
  • CF training is pretty much the same...we know because we have seen it and have former CF clients
  • We don't intimidate by showing blood and bandages or puking clowns on IV (see article. I don't make this up. In fact, one local CF gym had a cat with one of those 'circle and cross bars' over it. Use your imagination.)
  • We teach multiple techniques using medicine balls, plates, barbells, chin up bars, cable tower, biomotor, kettlebells, mulitple plyometeric techniques, etc. CF uses the same format of training in ALL their gyms. The all look the same and follow the same formula. Very little creativity or variety.
  • We got Randy and Edie!!..where else can you get the real feel of fighting when Randy or Mark put on that vest....!! and if you've been to REPS then you know how Edie gets down. CF has the same format ALLLLLLL THEEEE TIMMMME!!!
  • What we have been teaching for years, CF is taking credit for science and training formulas established a long time ago.
  • ANDDDD...CF thinks there formula produces the fittest, but we have had their clients in our facility and they barely can finish a REPS, BREATHTAKERZ or classic BSI training! You, BSI client, just did not know who they were.  Even though they admit they liked it, said the training is different and more intense...[???}. We had the same challengers in Wyandotte who heard about our style of class during the spinning and Tae Bo craze. Remember that!? And they too never returned or could not finish. And these included instructors! 
  • Yes. There are hard techniques I DON'T teach to certain clients. Injury risk too high. With CF you are learning lifts where injury risks are high. At least if you get hurt at BSI we take you to the exam room, make an injury assessment and commence rehab by re-calibrating the training.
  • You all know anytime someone comes to class we warn them to take it easy, this is a very different class, with a different tempo: move at own pace. They don't listen though.......CF tries to intimidate and challenge BEFORE you even become a client! Makes me laugh- like they have the hardest training. They don't.
  • We welcome EVERYBODY;just look at our video testimonials. We pride ourselves on taking on ANYBODY no matter what their goals are.
  • CF tries to intimidate. I visited them incognito 5 years ago. My cover was that I was from out of town and looking for a training facility.... For more on what happened ask me at your next session!!
  • There is a CF gym in the area that was voted best gym in Detroit. Congratulations. Well deserved I'm sure.. Well, I was voted top 100 trainers in America by MENS JOURNAL 2 years in a row!!!!!!!!!!!... using MY OWN methods! I was honored to be on this list with some of the most popular and accomplished  trainers who have been published in juried journals and have spoken on the national level.

 I could go on. But why.? Glassman deserves to be congratulated on his success. The CF games are cool, but familiar; But don't stand on the shoulders of others who have been doing this for years and then claim it as 'the next new thing'. There is so much of this it's maddening. I often read where trainers will say they have 'the secret' to alter physiology. With the internet there are so many 'experts' who pontificate the benefits of their 'new way' of training. Training for weight loss or muscle gain is hard. Period. If you want to improve your ability to burn fat or gain muscle there must be a steady progression of multiple disciplines and techniques. Not doing so leads to plataues and injuries.  There is no magic bullet or 'new thing' out there. There is, for lack of a better word, a regurgitating of the significant research and results done by others.

In closing, I encourage you to go and try CF. What? You say. 'Skip,you just ranted on CF and now you want us to try them?!'. Yes. I KNOW we are the best. In fact, when clients have had to move due to job relocations they call to tell us that they have found a good training facility but nothing like BSI!   But its always good to have a reminder by visiting other trainers. Our former clients Downriver found this out when we left.   My staff understands our mission to be beyond the best. We are always working to bring you different training formats and techniques.

I have taken on challenges before because I know I deliver an original and superior product.  I TRAIN THE TRAINERS and have been doing so since 1984! when my methods were seen as too aggressive and too different. I was castigated in an editorial for my training methods and won an award for the same article! So bring it on! I'm still here...

Oh. One more thing. CF has some good elements to it, but it's not original or the hardest, just well marketed.

Skip Bunton
Director of Operations
Body Specs

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