WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Defense Department is considering a proposal to ban the controversial CrossFit workout program for all military members, citing the lack of a full evaluation of the exercise plan and an approved program doctrine, Duffel Blog has learned.
The exercise program — a mixture of resistance, calisthenics and aerobic exercises which stresses variation and repetition — has become wildly popular over the last decade, as many troops have become vigorous practitioners of the CrossFit lifestyle and military units have even adopted CrossFit as their official physical training plan.
In an internal memo leaked to reporters, the Pentagon outlines how it would stop military members from doing CrossFit, even in their private time.
"Service members who own personal Crossfit-specific equipment must turn it in, and receive a receipt, at their major unit supply activities within 30 days of receipt of this action," the memo reads. "Service members with membership in private CrossFit gyms must cancel their membership and receive written cancellation notice which they will turn in to major unit administrative activities for collection and verification within 15 days of this action."
The memo also mandates that military law enforcement patrol private CrossFit gyms — which will be added to each installation's off-limits establishment list — to catch any non-compliant service members.
If approved, the plan is sure to raise objections from some devotees within the ranks, as well as owners of the private gyms who will lose revenue. But many senior leaders are applauding the change, with many noting that troops had followed the same physical training plan for decades — pushups, situps, and five mile run — and that worked out just fine.
"It was getting kind of ridiculous," said Command Sgt. Maj. Francis Burns, senior enlisted leader for U.S. Army Europe, as viscous brown tobacco spit congealed in his stubble. "Suddenly there's a new PT plan, which hasn't been vetted by the Pentagon? Thank God the chief finally put a stop to it. After all, if we had let our troops split off on their own and not follow guidance from higher, we may not have been so victorious in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade."
Further plans to curtail unauthorized physical training include prohibition of the P90-X and Insanity programs, and "adventure races" such as the Spartan Run and Tough Mudder events.