Our Manifesto


Saturdays post of the “Continental Clean” was the most viewed and shared post in the history of this blog. Most of you agreed that what you saw was hard to justify. Those who disagreed were all, not surprisingly, level 1 Crossfit trainers. One trainer was upset that I frequently criticize Crossfit so I must make something clear. I don’t need to criticize Crossfit. Crossfitters criticize Crossfit for me. I have posted four Crossfit related posts in the last few months. Two were written by a Crossfit Coach. One was an interview with an ex-Crossfit Coach and the last one was a video posted by a Crossfit coach. I am simply sharing information with those who care to read it. However, this post and the comments attached to it made me put this on paper.

Here is Our Manifesto

1- First we will do no harm.

As strength coaches and personal trainers our athletes and clients trust us to make decisions for them. Much like Hippocrates in early Greece we must first agree to not intentionally or unintentionally  harm them.

2- We will train no further than technical failure.

There is a difference between training to failure and training to technical failure. In truth even training to technical failure may be more intensity than a athlete or client needs. However, no client needs to train beyond the point of technical failure. After technique has failed the potential for injury rises drastically. Reps done after technique has failed is simply asking for trouble. You may not find it right away but it will find you eventually.

3- We will deliver the minimal effective dose

The minimal effective dose is a medical term but, the implication is fairly obvious. If one aspirin is needed, take just one aspirin. Don’t encourage someone to take the whole bottle. The key to delivering exercise is knowing how much is needed to create a training effect. Any more is wasted and, potentially dangerous.

As you can see, two of these concepts come from the world of medicine. I think we are the greatest medical society in the world and have more power to heal than any drug company or hospital. Much like Superheros we must learn to use our power wisely.

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16 Responses to “Our Manifesto”

  1. mboyle1959 Says:

    Ant- thanks for reading and posting

  2. This is absolutely fantastic, thank you for this.

  3. You hit the nail on the head once again. Too many folks are just looking for ways to make you puke and feel tired instead of better and healthier. As a Physical Therapist and strength coach I look for the minimal effective dose and biggest bang for my buck. Thank you for keeping priorities in line. If youre the biggest and strongest but constantly stay injured, whats the point?? Keep up the good work.

  4. Simple and to the point. Applies to the entire continuum of training-pre hab through elite performance. Well said Mike.

  5. After seeing you speak several times, watching the type of movements you’re clients/athletes perform, and reading the information you put out- I have benefited greatly as a trainer and coach. My clients and athletes owe a lot of success to the information you (and others) have “armed” me with. In saying that, I’ve used my power wisely to keep clients injury free and improve their health and mobility . Crossfit might be what some people are looking for, but as a trainer I use the “risk vs. reward” system- and some of the W.O.D’s provide far more risk than reward for your average trainee. Thanks for inspiring and educating….

  6. mboyle1959 Says:

    Jason- again although you did not state it, I must assume you are a Crossfitter. I am not criticizing, I am simply sharing information. I really have not said much critical about Crossfit since my podcast a few years. I let Crossfit’s own internal infighting speak for itself.

    As you are aware, I am not a fan. I know there are good Crossfit gyms but I also know that I don’t see them often. Many who I have met say ” We use the name but not the workouts”. Is that Crossfit or is that marketing? I’m not sure.

    Also, I don’t think I am wasting insulting others or criticizing. I view it as spending time showing the alternatives. It’s all in the viewpoint.

  7. Mike – I think you are only looking for the “bad crossfitters.” If you have spent any time researching crossfit in depth, you would know that CrossFit emphasizes mechanics, then consistency, then intensity. You must have the mechanics right, then consistently perform those mechanics, then finally you can add intensity. If you go into a good crossfit gym, you’ll see more people spending time with mechanics and working on consistency of those mechanics. Your problem is that you are making the assumption that just because there are a few bad crossfit gyms, then all of them are bad, this is ignorant at best.

    Lastly, in the medical community (I’m a physical therapist), we don’t look for the minimally effective dose when administering a positive thing (like exercise or something like vitamins), we look for a maximally safe dosage. We will not make change fast enough with a minimally effective dose, we will only make the change that our patients and insurance companies require if we administer the maximal safe dosage, which is very different than the minimally effective dosage.

    I like your material, but I wish you would spend more time being positive and posting information that can help everyone in their training rather than wasting your time criticizing and insulting others.

  8. Great message, Mike. Training for sensation and show is not good for the long term health of our clients. It may attract some people to programs, but those who want to commit to lifelong goals need solid leadership and examples. Cost/benefit must always be weighed.

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