I frequently talk about CrossFit on this blog. It’s an extremely popular way of working out. Offering a full body workout which is intense and time-efficient, people are drawn to its focus on body strength, agility and endurance.
But there’s no such thing as an exercise regimen that works for every single person who tries it. We’re all different in temperament and outlook and in so many other ways. So, I wanted to write a bit about CrossFit’s pros and cons, as a way to help readers determine if it’s the right way to achieve their personal fitness goals.
Let’s examine the question.
Is it dangerous?
I get asked this question a lot. You’ve no doubt heard the whispers about CrossFit and that it’s devotees are often injured. But injury can happen in any sport or fitness program if you’re not practicing proper technique.
Whenever you push your body, there’s risk involved. That’s as true of CrossFit as it is of any other type of intense exercise. One key ingredient of the CrossFit culture I approve of is the presence of coaches to help people through technical problems that may expose them to injury. I think that’s a positive that says a lot about the way CrossFit approaches fitness.
A CrossFit coach will also modify movements to suit your physical needs and strength. You may not be ready to perform certain movements at their most intense. Coaches at a CrossFit gym will work with you to find a way of performing a modification of the movement to ensure your risk of injury is eliminated.
Coaches are something in CrossFit’s favor, so that’s a pro. The con side of this is that CrossFit is a franchise, which means mileage (and quality of instruction) may vary.
The rate of injury experienced by CrossFit athletes is instructional. As many as 50% of CrossFit practitioners have had an injury in the past year. Most of these were to the lower back and shoulders. That’s not surprising, considering the emphasis on weights and using the weight of the body to train.
What that tells us is that it’s imperative you seek out a CrossFit facility with quality coaches. Ask around. Find out what kind of instruction and support is available at CrossFit “boxes” (as they’re known) near you. People who love CrossFit will be happy to share their intel, as they love to share CrossFit and want you to have the best experience possible.
Is it for you?
I need to be honest and say there’s no cut and dried answer, but as I’ve said, the quality of coaching is key to the experience.
All I can say is you should try it to see if it’s a fit for you. Only you can determine that. I’d add that you need to be committed to the idea and not give up right away and not get too intimidated by the superhuman strength of the people you find at your local box.
Injured? Contact Back & Body for inter-disciplinarian pain relief.