The RED Zone vs CrossFit

The most common question we get from potential clients at Club USA Fitness is, “So the RED Zone is like Crossfit, right?”  My reply is always, “Well, yes and no”.  Both programs contain a multitude of functional fitness movement patterns, constant variation, and are designed to push your anaerobic and aerobic capacity to the limit while increasing your lactic acid threshold and shedding body fat.  However, we have fundamental differences in philosophy when it comes to the actual day to day programming and mindset during workouts.

Let me preface this next section by saying not all Crossfit gyms are created equal. 

The goal of most Crossfit “WOD’s” is to complete any given workout (which often includes highly technical movements) as quickly as possible.  This style of training promotes huge calorie burns and weight loss, along with gains in strength, endurance, and ultimately confidence over time.

Sounds pretty cool, right?

There is one key ingredient missing; REST.  The installation of rest in our circuits greatly reduces the risk of injury to our members.  The RED Zone style of programming does not promote a “finish at all cost” type of mentality.  Rather than quantity, movement quality is applauded.  We want you to be the best you can be at any physical activity outside the gym.  Go for a hike, a bike, a run, downhill skiing, snowshoeing, compete in an adventure race, and feel great afterward!  To be healthy and injury free, and to live life to its fullest.  That is the goal of The RED Zone. 

I was once a member of a crossfit gym.  I even spent $1000 on a weekend certification program (sshhh, don’t tell anyone) just to learn more about the allure, and fundamentals of crossfit.  I did like the camaraderie in the gym, and the workouts were challenging and fun.  I support and value the idea of people getting together in a positive environment and improving their physical condition.  Who couldn’t support that?  However, some of the form and technique I witnessed from some of my classmates was nothing short of appalling- all for the sake of posting a faster finishing time.  This is where I had a fundamental and ethical disagreement with crossfit.  It was at a crossfit competition where my thoughts were solidified.  I approached a man in his early 40’s who had just finished the competition and was hunched over like Quasimodo.  I asked him what happened.

He replied, “I have some disc issues in my back, but it’s alright”.

“Oh yeah?”  I replied.

“Yeah, they call me Humpty Dumpty.  I break into a million pieces and they try to put me back together again.”

Wow.  This poor guy won’t be able to get off the couch by the time he’s 55, and for what?  This competition had a first place prize of a few hundred dollars!  How is this promoting “fitness”?  Again, let me reiterate:  To be healthy and injury free, and to live life to its fullest.  That is the goal of The RED Zone.