Thursday, 2 January 2014

Crossfit - Is it bad for you?

There are a lot of articles out there telling the world how horrible Crossfit is for you.  How medical professionals are seeing an increase in Crossfit related injuries.  There are articles making negative comments about pregnant women Crossfitting, articles about rhabdomyolysis, you name the injury, there seems to be a Crossfit related article to go with it.

I read all of the articles because I like to be informed. If what I am subjecting my body to on a daily basis is bad for me, I would like to know how, and why.  The more you read, the more you see that for every negative comment/study about Crossfit, there is a positive comment/study about Crossfit.

As a Crossfitter I find myself sitting here and asking myself "Is the sport dangerous?" and "what is it that keeps me Crossfitting?"

Here are my thoughts on what is being said about Crossfit: (My comparisions are primarily to running, because I am a runner too)

  • A rise in Crossfit related injuries - all sports have injuries, do they not? As crossfit is growing, and more people participate, would it not be expected to see a rise in injuries?
  • Pregnant women crossfitting - dont pregnant women run? Doesn't a pregnant women run in nearly every major marathon? Many having their baby shortly after finishing the race.  Are you not not told when pregnant that as long as you feel ok, you can continue your current exercise regieme?
  • Individuals having to quit because of overuse or injury - In my opinion this is directly related to the athlete. Nobody tells you that you have to lift the prescribed weight. You do what your body can handle, and guess what, this changes day to day.  It is the athletes responsibility to know their own limitations.  Individuals get injured in many sports due to overuse - especially runners. I think runners probably suffer oversuse injuries more often than crossfitters.  The do the exact same movement over and over and over again every single day.  Crossfit has a variety of movements and it changes everyday.
  • WODS involve lots of olympic style weight lifting where form is imperative (to avoid injury) - this is why the gym offers an intro class. You learn the fundamental movements. They teach you the basics, without weights. Before every workout, you warm up with NO weights and you practice the fundamentals of each movement.  The coaches move around the room and correct your form.  When your out for a run, is someone correcting your form and watching your foot placement to avoid injury?
  • The Competitive Nature of Crossfit Cause Athletes to Push too Hard to the Point of Injury - once again, doesn't this happen in every sport.  Do you not look at your garmin when you run and pick up your pace to finish that extra second faster? Does a hockey player give up when they see someone moving to the puck faster than them, or do they push a little bit harder?  Most Crossfitters are not the "elite" featured at the Crossfit games, the only person your competing against is yourself!
I could talk forever about the negative press Crossfit is receiving, and how in my opinion, the risks are no greater than any other sport.  Have I been injured at Crossfit? Nope. I missed the box once doing box jumps, but that was just a few small bruises -- AND it was my own fault!!!  I didn't take a break, I thought I could do 50 straight box jumps.  

Crossfit maybe a competitive sport. You compete with yourself.  I wouldn't blame it on crossfit though.  I think the sport attracts people who are intense and like to work hard.  People who are more passive go to Orange Theory ;-)   I put the same intensity into my running as I do crossfitting (and I suffer a lot more injuries running)

For everything in life you need to be informed.  Listen to the good and the bad and make the desicion that is right for you.

So, we come to my other thought "What keeps me Crossfitting?"

  • Its pretty simple.  I love it!
  • I love the intensity of the workouts
  • I love challenging myself to do things I never thought I could do
  • I love knowing I am becomeing stronger - and seeing results
  • I love the olympic lifting (especially power cleans - reminds me of my younger years as a collegiate athlete)
  • I love that everyday you can celebrate some small improvement
  • I love the team spirit - everyone is soooo supportive of one another
  • I love the people - such a great group of people that I work out with every morning at 6am
  • I love the fact that it is OK if I can not do the prescribed weight 
  • I love the fact that everyone is welcome regardless of their fittness level - workouts are scaled to meet you where your at
  • I love the fact that I get to wear awesome socks to workout in
Do I really need to say anymore?!?!  Anyways, I just thought I would add my 2 cents into the Crossfit debate. 

If you are local an interested in taking a free class check out they offer monthly free classes.

Chat soon!!!

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