Always liked Documentaries since I saw Pumping Iron back in high school. From exercise to sports, to nature and others Docs bring in a tale of a story being unfold with real people doing real worldly things. This film I saw on Netflix The Fittest On Earth is the story on the lead up to the 2015 Crossfit Games.
It tells the story of participating Crossfit competitors from all over the world; features a few people out of around 40 total in the competition from the beach towns of Santa Cruz & San Diego, California to West Virginia and European Athletes. It is without question one of the premier events today and has some of the most dedicated, toughest and most well-built men and women on the planet.
I've known about Crossfit for some time now and have seen good, bad and downright ugly aspects of the "Sport" and my thoughts really on it are that as competitive as it is, its also one of the most dangerous and injury-prone form of conditioning & athletics. Without sugarcoating it its basically lifting, running, jumping, hard-nosed calisthenics that is taken to the extreme with some downright awful technique on exercise. The workouts are so insane it will literally kill the average person. Let me put it to you this way, it suppose to bring you to the absolute limit of your strength, endurance & coordination. Strictly timed and each workout makes you work faster than the last time.
I have mixed feelings about this film being that I couldn't take it too serious because the people being interviewed sounded like their on a reality show and no matter how much they say they love the concept of Crossfit, they'll literally do whatever it takes to win and fight off any competitor that gets in their way. Don't get me wrong, I love the competitiveness and the psychology of what these people go through, the training alone is brutal, hardcore and downright nasty. What I found really difficult was how much pressure they put on themselves more than understanding just being there is an accomplishment in and of itself. I've been in competitive sports so I get the idea that when you're on its crazy at times and its tough to maintain composure. Some of these men and women were so passionate about this that when they lost or had to withdrawl it sounded like their life just ended and there's nothing left to do.
It is an amazing film and the workouts these people went through defy the laws of human nature and were pushed so hard some have thrown up, passed out and/or had so many freaking bruises they piratically welcomed them as battle wounds. I'm all for challenging yourself and making the best of what you can do but not to this extent. I'm all for women tackling fitness and damn it I love it when they have better results than us guys do but a lot of these women had way too much muscle on their frame not the bodybuilding type but more than what's given for their height and bone structure. The injuries some of these people had were totally unnecessary and some of their technique in various exercises were horrendous and cringing. Some of them might take that as a compliment but its not a compliment when you are dead from dropping weight onto your body that broke the muscle in your heart and collapsing the lungs.
During the competition wherever they were at was hot, dry and painfully scorching; the workouts they endure was not meant to be done in that heat and not surprised if anything got broken during some of those exercises. I sympathize with them for what they do but I can't stand how they hurt themselves in the process. Is it inspiring in some form yes I will give them that; it teaches how to fight for what you want and hard work is the key. The biggest drawback is that they put so much on themselves they don't grasp the concept that losing is not total failure but a lesson and that when you have reached your limit and you can't move anymore, its time to back off. I don't know how much recovery they got in their training but clearly most of them didn't get even a fraction of what is needed. I'm not surprised also that some were on Performance Enhancers just to keep up the requirement for some of these workouts. Some workouts are doable but that's maybe in the 1.5% if that and the rest are just downright not meant for a human to do let alone not get injured from.
A positive thing for this is that it teaches what its like to put your heart and soul into something you believe in and that you'll fight to the very last breath. That's the warrior mentality and they for the most part are overwhelmingly warrior-esque. Out of ten I'd give this a 6.5 because as awesome the lead-up and the finish of the competition shows in this film, I can't give a rating any higher on the level where it also tries to make people see that regardless of your health in order to be the best you have to go beyond your actual needs of training otherwise you're not meant to be fit. That's the way I feel about it plus its not cool to beat yourself up so hard you can't grasp the concept that you did everything you possibly can do and realize that failure is a part of life and doesn't make you a two-time loser. I saw quite a few in that film that broke down and felt that because they lost they'd rather be dead. You can't win them all.