What’s Wrong With CrossFit in the Reebok Era?

It’s been almost a year since the announcement of Reebok becoming the title sponsor of the CrossFit Games.  I think for many, the knee-jerk reaction to the news was negative.  Corporate Reebok conjured images of those terrible “Easytone” shoes that promised you could lose your fat-mom ass without doing anything but standing around.  Despite our hesitations, the past year has seen some noticeable growth in CrossFit, and that aint bad.

Shaddup, already... Slut.

I thought we were off to a rough start with the RealFlex commercial which featured 2010 champ Graham Holmberg and NOT 2010 champ Becca Voigt.  Strategic?  Youbetcha.  Reebok couldn’t put Kristan Clever in that commercial because she looks like a man.  I think that’s as wrong as dudes wearing skinny jeans, but I understand basic marketing.

Pretty sure there's been some dongs up in there.

Then the Games came and went.  Softballs were thrown, spin bikes were spun and Froning climbed a rope with no consequence.  A new (more marketable) female champ was crowned.  Many of us tried to watch people exercise on the internet, but the feed was fucked up (not Reebok’s fault).  Recompense came months later as we watched the World Series of Exercise replace the World Series of Poker on ESPN2.  The picture below suggests we saw this coming.

OPT: Owning Poker Tournaments

At the end of the day, Reebok is nothing more than a shoe company and their efforts to create a shoe for CrossFitters is actually going well.  If you’ve seen any of the prototypes you know they’re ugly as fuck but they get the job done.  That’s what I’m into: function.  A standard WOD shoe and a hybird Oly/WOD shoe.  I’ve only heard good things about them from folks who aren’t getting paid to say so.

Yeah, but where's the "Pump"?

I’ll join all the pre-Reebok era CrossFitters in complaining about the new “HQ store”.  Yeah, CrossFit is full of the upper-middle class with disposable income but we’re not idiots.  I’d just as soon wipe my ass with their Reebok CrossFit T-shirts than pay 55 American dollars for them.  It’s not the first time I’ve bitched about this.  The old HQ store put out some lame shit from time to time, but at least we had the “INFIDEL” shirts.  Do you miss those?  I do.  Problem solved: I’ll sell the fuckers.  Urrybody’s cashing in these days.  

Speaking of cashing in, what’s the biggest problem with CrossFit’s new partnership?  The very exposure we’ve recently obtained may cause some problems.  Let me look into my crystal ball (a.k.a. the hype cycle).  Hype Cycles are used to represent new trends transitioning from the hype phase (when shit is new and everyone wants a piece) to the subsequent let-down when the honeymoon is over and so on.

There is a surge of new affiliates opening, a byproduct the mass exposure CrossFit has recently experienced.  Ultimately, it’s a good thing.  But expanding a product has the potential to bring some consequences.  Minimally-qualified trainers coaching clients ineffectively and potentially getting them injured is probably going to become a bigger issue.  The certification standards need to be addressed.  That’s always been the case and it’s always been HQ’s fault. 

Let’s not kid ourselves: you can not create a trainer in one fucking weekend.  No fucking way.  A story was relayed to me recently where a newly Level 1 certified trainer (who is in the process of opening an affiliate) did not know how to do a proper sumo deadlift highpull.  Her attempts at mastering the movement were much like an abortion of awkwardness.  This person will be training clients soon.  Oy vey.  In the end, good affiliates and coaches will survive and the hacks will eventually wash out.

Until we reach the “plateau of productivity” let’s ride out the “trough of disillusionment” while the true athletes and trainers do what they do best:  flipping the switch and going beastmode to get strong and fit as fuck.  Beyond all of our bitching and complaining, the experience we get when we’re destrominating a WOD is all that really matters.  Enjoy the Reebok era, it’s not so bad.  It can’t be worse than the other time Reebok sponsored an exercise competition:

Siberian Prison Games 2011.

  1. #1 by Robb Wolf on October 12, 2011 - 10:39 AM

    Along this line, someone asked on Quora “does the involvement of Reebok in CF mark the end of an era?”


    Lisbeth Darsh:
    Not at all. It marks the beginning of a fantastic new era for CrossFit. Nothing short of fabulous! Keep the faith!

    To see the question page with all answers, visit:

    The Quora Team

    Hmmm…seems like Orwellian NewSpeak! It does NOT mark the end of an era, just the beginning of a NEW era?!

    • #2 by EPIC on October 12, 2011 - 11:49 AM

      Orwellian NewSpeak? I think so. Typical of anyone related to HQ. Here at Beastmodal Domains we promote the adverse: crimethink. Freedom and rebellion live on.

      If it’s worth anything, the era doesn’t mean anything so long as the individual develops his own experience within training. What you do and feel after hearing, “3-2-1-go!” is all that matters.

    • #3 by Walter Ezell on October 12, 2011 - 11:52 AM

      Welcome to the 4th dimension. Time lapses over itself here

    • #4 by Drywall on October 12, 2011 - 12:01 PM

      It’s the kind of brilliant wordsmithing I expect from a community college English teacher.

    • #5 by cacharbe on October 12, 2011 - 12:08 PM

      Double Plus UnGood

  2. #6 by Disgustipated on October 12, 2011 - 10:46 AM

    Nice. The prison games touch at the end is very good. Where the hell did that pic come from anyway? Eh fuck it….cash in Reebok…cash in.

  3. #8 by Dave R on October 12, 2011 - 11:11 AM

    Always a good read! Yes, the trough of disillusionment will bring in some douche bags I’m sure. But when they realize that this shit ain’t easy they will give up and go back to being a huge pile of suck-fest. And I’m super excited about the shirts!!

  4. #9 by Walter Ezell on October 12, 2011 - 11:49 AM

    This made me lol. Lots of pot stirring ITT. Love it

  5. #10 by Kyle Rossetti on October 12, 2011 - 11:51 AM

    These posts are the greatest thing ever!!!! I do want an Infidel Shirt

  6. #11 by tik on October 12, 2011 - 12:22 PM

    you had me when i saw the t-shirt “i can do cock pushups”

  7. #12 by BK on October 12, 2011 - 12:26 PM

    good article; i just wanted to throw some thoughts out about what’s to come – specifically more new affiliates being coached by underqualified people. this is going to suck. i have to say i can think of a couple people that fit the description laid out in the article about some new “coaches” but all in all this is going to give new people, wanting to check out crossfit a bad taste bc its going to happen, they’re going to go to the wrong affiliate, get taught by someone who just got their level 1 or whatever and just give up on it. hell, when i started, looking at prices, if i thought the trainers were morons and were teaching me crap, i would just stay home, save my money and teach myself from videos and so on.. hopefully this won’t happen; hopefully people give the sport a real try, check out a couple different affiliates and try to find the right gym. i have no idea how we can prevent such an occurance; maybe the process of becoming an affiliate needs to be harder. all in all like you said, the true athletes that want to achieve goals, compete, whatever are going to last and those that were timid in the first place and get turned off… well maybe we aren’t losing anything anyways.

  8. #13 by Jackie on October 12, 2011 - 12:44 PM

    Love it!!!!!
    I agree with the newbs opening a gym. I also believe they should limit the amount of gyms per city depending on how big the city is and how far apart the gyms are.
    I miss the Pukie shirts damn in! NOT a fan of Rebook One shit.

  9. #14 by Justin Pearl on October 12, 2011 - 2:20 PM

    About the Facebook link to this post….. +1 for the Primus reference.

    • #15 by EPIC on October 12, 2011 - 3:21 PM

      Because fuck yeah, that’s why. Glad somebody picked up on that. Seas of Cheese was one of the greatest albums of all time.

    • #16 by Justin Pearl on October 13, 2011 - 9:05 AM

      Frizzle Fry would be my favorite album of theirs, if not for Those Damn Blue Collar Tweakers.

  10. #17 by Andy on October 13, 2011 - 8:10 AM

    I can find an affiliate, or an undercutting non-affiliate in Virginia Beach quicker than I can find a god damn Starbucks! in about a month I’m changing our 800 meter run route to one of the 3 affiliates opening up around the block from TakeOver. But all in all everyone who loves CrossFit and has the dedication to provide a quality service to their athletes deserved to open up. The problem is that isn’t the case with some of these boxes in VA Beach. I will continue this rant later but I finally found a Starbucks

  11. #18 by KR on October 13, 2011 - 8:35 AM

    True statement about the new affiliates! funny it was mentioned in the article. People freak out and say “oh no oh no, this gym closed, where are all the members going to go, so this means we all need to build 3 new boxes so people have a place to go.” well let me tell you, it is not rocket science to pick up your crap, cancel your membership, and go somewhere else. Ive done it twice. Do we really need all these new affiliates whose owners do not neccessarily know what they are doing? And if someone cannot do a simple move such as a SDLHP, how are they going to teach someone else, less experienced, how to do it? booyah.

  12. #19 by Ben Stanton on October 19, 2011 - 8:54 AM

    long time reader, first time poster.
    mate your infidel shirts, although classic in design, arent as sickness as the infidel hoodies you used to get off the hq store – you know the ones right? with the invictus poem on the back. They were great. someone stole mine/I left it somewhere so now I’m on the hunt.
    you should literally carbon copy the old ones and sell them.
    and yeah i did email the new crossfit store and tell them to sell them, they said theyd get back to me, guess it will be you that cashes in on this one and not reebok.
    the bear doing the deadlift is great. if the shipping wasnt $15 to Australia and the shirt $25 I’d consider buying it.
    keep up the good work, and get those hoodies sorted; someone has to.

  13. #20 by falconerwes on December 10, 2011 - 6:28 PM

    Well, Reebok officially took over Crossfit. How long before Rogue Fitness (currently lead supplier) gets ousted and Reebok starts making (and supplying) the specialty equipment? There’s an article on WLShoes.com about this as well.

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