Jillian vs. CrossFit

Apparently today Bob Harper, Biggest Loser Trainer, made an appearance on The Doctor’s. Jillian Michaels is now a co-host on the show since leaving The Biggest Loser. As some of you may know, Bob has been getting into CrossFit lately. He trains at Brick CrossFit in California. I follow him on Twitter (because I am a nerd) and love hearing his comments on the WODs and his experience! Very cool!

Bob brought out a CrossFit challenge today for Jillian and friends. Everyone must first go watch the video here before reading on.  The work out consisted of four movements: max reps for thirty seconds of 20 inch box jump, 55# or 65# sumo deadlift high pull (couldn’t tell if it was a men’s bar or ladies), push press (same bar) and ball slams with a med ball.

First, I was so excited to watch this video. So many people love and adore Bob and Jillian. I think it is so great that Bob has been “Pro CrossFit”. You can even see it in his training if you watch Biggest Loser. How cool if Jillian got on board too! They would be able to expose a whole other group of people to CrossFit and get them excited! The CrossFit Games Facebook page originally posted the link to the video and spread like wildfire through all my CrossFit friends on FB. After watching the video, I proceeded to read the comments on The CrossFit Games Facebook page. I was shocked.

Negative. Negative. Negative. I don’t care if it is Jillian Michaels or someone no one knows, snarky comments about someone’s first CrossFit experience are simply uncalled for and awful. As a trainer or member of the community in general, it is not our job to judge. We are supposed to support and encourage. Isn’t that what is so great about CrossFit? The community? The encouragement?

Do you really think Jillian Michaels does SDLHP’s and max rep push press on a regular basis? No. Do you really think she is going to breeze through box jumps like some of us do? Probably not. She doesn’t train that way. I didn’t train like that before CrossFit either. 55# used to be very heavy. Now I look at a 55# bar and smile, but I have also been doing this five days a week for the last three and a half years. There is a learning curve. It isn’t like she has been going around talking about how awesome she was going to be at CrossFit.  Sheesh!

Social media is great. It allows us to share things with others that we normally wouldn’t be able to share. However, we also have to be very smart. Others look at our comments. Others will notice our judgements. Others will be scared away from something that could change their life because they don’t want to be ridiculed. No, I don’t think Jillian Michaels is going to cry and get her feelings hurt. She is a tough girl. She can take the criticism. However, what about the people who train in your box? If they see you commenting harshly about someone like that, what do they suspect you say about them?

I’m not exactly sure why all of this bothered me so much, but it did. I expected a welcoming “way to give it a try!” to be the majority from our community. I expected people to say, “Look at what Jillian did!  You must try it!”

Thank the Good Lord that my first CrossFit workout was not on video. I was in decent shape, but a long ways from where I am now. I probably worked out very similarly to how Jillian works out on a daily basis. Cardio, free weights, etc. I had muscle, but I wasn’t CrossFit fit yet. Pull ups were hard, barbell overhead squats were not fun, I panted and gasped. We have all been through it, maybe some more  than others. Maybe it has just been too long since we have all experienced it and fail to remember what that was like in the beginning.

We are not better than anyone who doesn’t CrossFit. We are not better than those who we beat in our own gyms day-to-day. We are a community of people who encourage each other to live a healthier, better life and to do things today that we could not do yesterday. Let’s show that to those outside the community.

I would also like to see what Jillian can do with a year of CrossFit under her belt. Interesting. I personally hope she sticks with it! Remember everyone, good trainer does not always equal great athlete. You can be a great trainer, but not be competitive and you can be a great athlete and really suck as a trainer.

P.S. I think Bob would be an excellent CrossFit trainer. I loved hearing him encouraging Jillian to keep moving. Awesome!

22 thoughts on “Jillian vs. CrossFit

  1. Thank you for this post! I first saw the video due to a thread on another site where people were criticizing Jillian and calling her weak. That really infuriated me. Most people don’t kick butt on their first Crossfit workout even though many are already in great shape walking into a box for the first time. I found this attitude to be very obnoxious and ignorant and it made me happy to read a rant by somewhere who shared my sentiments.

  2. These are words to live by – seriously! Thank you for saying them!
    “We are not better than anyone who doesn’t CrossFit. We are not better than those who we beat in our own gyms day-to-day. We are a community of people who encourage each other to live a healthier, better life and to do things today that we could not do yesterday. Let’s show that to those outside the community.”

  3. Great article. When I first saw the video my first reaction was that I felt stronger myself knowing that the workouts I do weekly can give even the most seasoned trainer a solid workout. I hope she stays with it and can expose more people to the life style of CrossFit.

  4. your post reminds me a genuine hospitality. I write & think a lot on how I can be hospitable. And I happen to Crossfit as well. I agree with you so much. Hospitality is welcoming anyone we meet into our space, table, home, community. Thank you.

  5. Thank you for this post. After reading some of the ridicule on Facebook I was disheartened and disillusioned by many “paleo” gurus. It was the same feeling I got after reading some comments after the Ancestral Health Symposium. Those outside the community need to feel welcome and not be afraid they will be made fun of. It’s the same thing that happens on forums when a “newbie” asks a question. There’s always someone who comments with a flippant sarcastic remark. Again thanks for having the courage to stand up and say something! ~Vanessa

  6. Wow wow wow! This story reminds me of my own crossfit experience. My local crossfit gym is owned by a couple with huge egos and it disgusts me how successful they are at milking people for their money and making fun of people who are not “crossfit” athletes!! I know. I was one for a year as was my unathletic 15 yo son. But, we did our best and pushed on until the owner told me to take my son and leave, we were not meant for crossfit. Now, I do crossfit at home and follow the WOD app. My son has lost 40 lbs and is doing what he can. The athletes were in us, we showed up, paid 250/mth and because we didn’t fit the mold, were kicked out. I just hope Karma is real!!

      • Thank you! But all is well now…probably the best thing that ever happened actually. Really negative energy is worse to be around than going at it alone with other “misfits” from whole9 cyberspace. Lol. Still, I’m sold on the crossfit method!!!! Take care!!

  7. I disagree. This is not about a video of someone’s first Crossfit WOD going viral and making snarky comments about it. This is about Jillian Micahels. She is a person who pruports herself a fitness expert, is downright nasty to her clients on her TV show, and got owned by a “warmup” level Crossfit WOD. You reap what you sow and Ms.Michaels deserves all the comments that come her way.

    Do you remember when videos of Charles Barkley’s first Crossfit WOD went viral? He too got owned but joked around about being by a girl and heaped praise and humility about Crossfit and his experience. Not one negative comment was made about Mr. Barkley or his Crossfit experience.

    • I do remember seeing Sir Charles. And actually, there were very negative comments about his weight and general athletic level….not his CrossFit skills. Still not OK. I still believe CrossFit is a different animal than any other fitness program. We have college level athletes get owned by their first WODs too….we don’t laugh at them. Just because Jillian is a TV personality doesn’t mean we “know” her. I understand where you are coming from, I just don’t agree. I don’t believe she deserved to be ridiculed like that, but that is my opinion. Also, she was very lighthearted about the workout and her performance. I think she realized it was the real deal and again I hope she sticks with it.

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  9. Great article. I love positive people like Jillian and Bob. I’ll stick to the positive side of the fence. Much more enjoyable and motivating for me.

  10. Pingback: Wednesday 11.23.11 « Crossfit South Bend blog

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