For those of you that are not familiar with CrossFit, it’s actually considered a sport. It has a Super Bowl like Championship once a year called the CrossFit Games. Most people don’t follow the CrossFit Games and athletes like they would their favourite NFL teams. Every year though the sport is gaining in momentum. What started as an amateurish like competition on a California ranch, has morphed into a multi million dollar event hosted at the LA Stub Hub centre and broadcasted live on ESPN. The CrossFit Games is not what attracted me to the sport though. It was my wife. Lol. Thanks darling! I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of watching people work out on TV. I like CrossFit for the community aspect and how it pushes me to become better. This past summer I managed to watch a bit of the CrossFit games. I was incredibly impressed with the different feats of strength and endurance. Some of the athletes, both male and female looked like amateur bodybuilders. I couldn’t help but ask myself:
Are these guys juiced?
$how Me The Money
The 2015 CrossFit Games winners (both male and female) took just over a quarter million dollars each. Not to mention the various sponsorships and endorsement deals by the likes of Reebok, Nike, Progenex, Rogue Fitness and others. A former work colleague of mine that was once on the Canadian National Cycling team said it best:
“Where there’s money to be made and fame to be claimed, there’s always people willing to do whatever it takes….and that includes cheating.”
The most spectacular fall from grace was none other than cycling superstar Lance Armstrong. How can someone so humble, so giving, so down to earth and such a big advocate for sensitive issue like Cancer have been such a liar and a cheater? He deceived everyone for years. Even though CrossFit doesn’t have the same following yet as the Tour de France or the Olympics, CrossFit is not immune to cheaters. Just this year there was a handful of CrossFit athletes confirmed to have failed drug testing. These athletes were not exactly big names or the ones expected to win the CrossFit Games but it begs the question:
If only a few were caught, how many didn’t get caught?
Rich Froning is an impressive man. He’s won the CrossFit games 4 times. The guys an animal. He’s also incredibly muscular and looks like he could compete in physique bodybuilding. He’s labelled the “Fittest man in history.”
He gives all the credit to his devoted work ethic. Rich has also been known to workout 6-8 hours a day when getting ready for a competition. The guy also barely eats. You see this guy lifting hundreds and hundreds of pounds, rep after rep, all day every day and the only thing he’ll eat is a nibble of a banana or a protein shake. Is this guy super human, or super deceptive? We’ll probably never know. The problem here is that CrossFit isn’t really governed by a regulating body. The organization of CrossFit in California has full control over what everyone sees. The founder and CEO of CrossFit Greg Glassman, has complete control over the CrossFit brand.
I’m sure if one of CrossFit’s star athletes was ever found guilty of taking steroids it would not be good for CrossFit’s image. I think as the sport continues to grow and gain popularity they’re going to have a growing problem with this.
So do I think the top CrossFit athletes are juiced? I’m conflicted. Looking at the 2015 Men’s winner Ben Smith confuses me though.
Ben Smith is no doubt in phenomenal shape. He doesn’t actually look like a bodybuilder though or as muscular as some CrossFit athletes such as Rich Froning, Dan Bailey or Jason Khalipa. Ben Smith just looks like one of your buddies you’d have a couple of beers with after work. He looks just like a regular guy with a job, family and maybe enjoys working out in his garage when the kid’s go to sleep. Looks can be deceiving though because Ben Smith just so happens to be incredibly efficient and good at CrossFit. As of right now, I guess we’ll never know if some of the top CrossFit athletes are taking steroids. Whether or not some are found to be taking steroids in the future, I’ll still have tremendous respect for these athletes.
The training, sacrifice and dedication that goes into being an elite athlete like this is rare. Most people are not willing to take their bodies and mind to that dark place of fatigue and exhaustion day after day.
For me it’s the cultural, community and health aspects of CrossFit that’s going to keep me involved in the sport for years to come.
Comments as always are encouraged….good and bad!
Keep the blue side up
Powered by TG Facebook Comments