One of my former BJJ instructors threw up an interesting statement on his FB page a few weeks back with regards to CrossFit. He said, “CrossFit only gets you good at CrossFit.” Granted, he was touting his own brand of training geared more specifically to jiujitsu, and also oddly enough, was the first person to program Fran for me one day after rolling about 8 years ago.
I thought that the statement was rather asinine and want to address it here rather than on Facebook.
Does CrossFit only get you good at doing CrossFit? Let’s get into it.
The most important thing to remember about CrossFit with regards to questions like this is what CrossFit really is – a highly effective, general physical preparedness program. No stretch of the imagination there.
So let’s take two jiujitsu fighters and use them as an example here. Let’s for arguments sake say they are twins and therefor have the exact same genetic make up, and have also been training in jiujitsu for the exact amount of time so their skill level is identical. Let’s also add in that neither of them have been involved in any kind of strength and conditioning program of note and there are no other extraordinary differences to note.
If we take one of these guys and add CrossFit to his training regimen and don’t add it to the other what will happen?
If they’re both continuing to study jiujitsu at the same rate, I believe that the CrossFitter will begin to dominate. Why? Due to the identical skill levels and genetics, physical conditioning will be the only factor changing between the two individuals. The CrossFitter will see gains in strength, endurance, balance, and coordination that his twin brother will not due to his outside training. This will transfer over to his jiujitsu game, a physical activity, as nothing happens in isolation.
I believe that anytime you are involved in a sport, no matter what that sport is, strength and conditioning eventually plays a role, it has to. This is the reason that every major sport has some aspect of the two as part of their program.
Thus my conclusion here would be that CrossFit doesn’t only make you better at CrossFit, but also transfers over to other sports – even jiujitsu.
Now let’s throw in another factor. Let’s say that Brother A goes to jiujitsu class three times a week and CrossFit three times a week and Brother B just goes to jiujitsu class six times a week. Now what’s going to happen?
I can only hypothesize, but would imagine that fairly soon, Brother B is going to start choking the shit out of Brother A, even though Brother A will be seeing stars in a stronger, and fitter body than his brother.
So wait, does that mean that CrossFit only does get you better at CrossFit?! Did I just blow my prior argument?
If we go back to the original definition of what CrossFit is, you’ll see why this works. It’s a general physical preparedness program, not a skill specific program. Increasing one’s general conditioning does benefit all athletes, but only to a point.
When the game that you are playing, or the sport that you are engaged in, requires a high level of specific skill, conditioning will only take you so far – and then the limiting factor becomes your skill level. This is why I can’t out surf Kelly Slater, nor hit a goddamn golf ball into the air – even though my Grace time is probably faster than Kelly’s and all of the old dudes at the driving range with air under their balls.
Let’s add one more mix to the equation since I know it’s a burning question and I’ll tackle it tomorrow.
What happens to the brothers if they both train in jiujitsu three times a week, but one adds three days of CrossFit, and the other adds three days of jiujitsu specific conditioning.
5rds for reps
BW Bench Press