Eric Cressey is one of the best young minds in the sports performance arena and is renowned for his baseball expertise. I recently read his article (see below) on Crossfit for Baseball and found it to be right on point. I will also add, that I believe his vision holds true for all Crossfits’ “so called” sports performance entities.
Written on September 14, 2009 at 7:25 pm, by Eric Cressey
I’ve received a lot of emails just recently (as well as some in-person questions) asking me what I think of Crossfit for baseball players and, more specifically, pitchers.
Let me preface this email with a few qualifying statements. First, the only exercise “system” with which I agree wholeheartedly is my own. Cressey Performance programming may be similar in some respects to those of everyone from Mike Boyle, to Louis Simmons, to Ron Wolforth, to the Crossfit folks – but taken as a whole, it’s entirely unique to me. In other words, I will never agree completely with anyone (just ask my fiancee!).
Second, in spite of the criticism Crossfit has received from some people I really respect, I do feel that there are some things they’re doing correctly. For starters, I think that the camaraderie and enthusiasm that typifies their training groups is fantastic; anything that gets people (who might otherwise be sedentary) motivated to exercise is a plus. Moreover, they aren’t proponents of steady-state cardio for fat loss, and they tend to gravitate toward compound movements. So, good on them for those favorable traits.
However, there are several issues that concern me with applying a Crossfit mentality to the baseball world:
1) The randomness of the “workout of the day” is simply not appropriate for a sport that has quite possibly the most specific sport-imposed asymmetries in the world of athletics. I’ve written about these asymmetries in the past, and they can only be corrected with specific corrective training modalities.
I’m reminded of this constantly at this time of year, as we get new baseball players at all levels now that seasons are wrapping up. When a player presents with a 45-degree glenohumeral internal rotation deficit, a prominent scapular dyskinesis, and a complete lack of rotary stability, the last thing he needs to do is a 15-minute tri-set of cleans, kipping pull-ups, and push-ups – following by some 400m sprints. It not only undermines specificity of exercise selection, but also the entire concept of periodization.
2) The energy systems development found in Crossfit is inconsistent with the demands of baseball. I wrote extensively about my complete and utter distaste for distance running in the baseball world, and while Crossfit doesn’t go this far, in my eyes, anything over 60yds is “excessive distance” for baseball guys. Most of my guys sprint two times a week during the off-season, and occasionally we’ll go to three with certain athletes. Let’s just say that elite sprinters aren’t doing Crossfit, and the energy systems demands of baseball players aren’t much different than those of elite sprinters.
Please visit Eric’s site for the rest of the article. http://ericcressey.com/crossfit-for-baseball