Why is the latest trend/fashion in working out so harsh and militaristic?
I had a discussion about this with a few of my friends. Here are some of my thoughts....
I'm no historian on physical culture, but I've read a few books and enough articles and web forums from other fitness sites to get some perspective. It's my understanding that today's fitness industry is more concerned about physique than actual fitness - the body's ability to perform physical tasks. If someone tells you that they're "athletic", I'm willing to bet my left nut they're talking primarily about their physique rather than their physical abilities.
Perhaps so-called "harsh" and "militaristic" workouts just seem that way in the context of today's overly physique-based "fitness" industry? Pick up any run of the mill fitness magazine and what are they filled with? Articles on how to get bigger arms, bigger shoulders, six pack abs, and killer calves. Heaven forbid we see an article entitled how to get STRONGER arms, STRONGER shoulders, STABLE cores, and EXPLOSIVE calves. Perhaps the fitness industry has undergone "pussification" (as a buddy of mine so eloquently puts it) to the point where the mere thought of pushing one's body to the limit ("limit" being when injury is imminent) is absurd?
One of the bigger criticisms I hear about CrossFit (after all the iterations of "It's too dangerous!") is that trainers and coaches have been using similar ass-kicking training methods for years. I was even surprised to learn that bodybuilding competitions back in the day used to have both a physique component AND a feats of strength component, and somewhere along the line, the feats of strength component was actually dropped altogether!