To crossfit or not to crossfit

One thing I’m not too fond of in the industry is crossfit. I got into crossfit when I was in college, my prof was really into it and I wasn’t exactly sure what it was but it was a lot of fun to do, I actually think this may have started my chain of problems in exhausting my adrenals soon after. I loved the intensity of the workouts, and it was a great workout in a short period of time. Thankfully enough I didn’t actually go to “crossfit centres” to do crossfit workouts and I’m glad I was never exposed to that but I’ll go into that shortly.

1. Crossfit’s purpose is rather skewed. They advertise their program as being used by many elite athletes and that their workout is “elite” yet depending on where you read, you will also read that crossfit is for people who want to get into fitness and who are looking for a new way to get fit. Well….a program for an Elite athlete will never be used by a beginner, simply because it will be too hard and will cause injuries and it just won’t work… the level of the person has to be considered. Which brings me to my next point.

2. The type of methodology that is used by crossfit is very intense puking type workouts. Not only it is supposed to be intense, but you should also lift heavier, push heavier, etc which for a beginner that’s not possible. How many people who have never worked out in their life before and who do not have a stabilized core, are pushed into doing heavy squats and deadlifts right away? Recipe for disaster. This is one of the biggest reasons why I don’t recommend Cross fit workouts to just anyone, I don’t even use the word Crossfit at all in my work. Crossfit workouts use exercises that are very advanced, pushups are advanced, especially for a beginner, same thing with pull ups, if you’re a woman goodluck cause you’ll feel you’re never good enough for crossfit due to the amount of body weight exercises that are incorporated into their workouts. Olympic lifts are DEFINITELY advanced, and if it’s your first session of crossfit you should get the broomstick, and probably continue for a month after until you have mastered technique. My chiropractor’s friend got him into crossfit, I was wary of what he was going to tell me, he said he felt so pressured, he knows his body very well and they wanted him uping his weight and on his squats and deadlifts particularly and he told them no, he wanted to stick with teh weight he was working with because he didn’t want to injure himself. I gave him huge props because that’s how crossfit works. They don’t allow enough time for technique when it comes to the olympic lifts, intensity is good yes but not when you are compromising your technique for weight and intensity.

3. Crossfit is not olympic lifting, yet you see many pictures that define it is as so. Crossfit simply uses intense exercises such as front squats, snatches and deadlifts in their program because they are great and incorporate a lot of muscles. However, these are for NO beginner, these require a good eye and one on one guidance for every time you perform the exercise until you know  it can be done right, and even then it should be spotted very carefully to make sure that form is not being compromised. In Crossfit, how is this possible when many of the workouts are being done for time? It’s about how many you can do in a short period of time, well unfortunately many people lose their form in the heavy lifting which is the most crucial aspect. This is probably one of the biggest reasons I don’t like crossfit.

4. Because the methodology of crossfit is “push harder, lift heavier, have to get a better faster time!” when newbies join, it’s a recipe for injury, many of them fall into this wanting more too soon, they get pushed in addition to pushing themselves, and form is never critiqued/valued enough so that poor form follows and so do injuries. If after one crossfit workout you can’t sit on the toilet for about 1.5 weeks and you also can’t move you elbow past 45 degrees for 2 weeks, there’s a problem because that’s how injuries happen. Over working a muscle too fast, too intensely.

5. Crossfit leaves no room for beginners, hence where the “elite” terms comes from. If you’re looking to just lose weight cause you’ve been out of it for 5 years, stay away from crossfit, go ask a personal trainer to design you a more weight loss beginner friendly “crossfit type” workout because any good trainer can make one up in about 5 minutes and it’s awesome! Crossfit is very intense circuit training.

6. Crossfit certifications, first of all, there are NO prerequisites, that’s the first flaw, which means any person without any background in fitness or kinesiology can come in and guess what, they can to train you about the biomechanics of a squat and deadlift, no thank you. I’d rather have someone who has a proper background and a proper established cert train me.

Do I recommend crossfit? Absolutely not. Crossfit sadly has developed a sort of cult brain washed followers, because of that many crossfitters will not be open to others outside of crossfit and what they have to say. Crossfit has a time and a place in a person’s fitness life, whether or not it is actually Crossfit or “crossfit” Just make sure you have someone who takes their time with you and values teaching you instead of pushing you beyond your limits in about your 3rd session.

If you’re an experienced lifter and want to get into something like crossfit, eat your heart out!!! If you know what your limits are and know how to pace yourself, by all means, go feast yourself. 

 

 

 

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  1. #1 by resiliencesc on October 5, 2011 - 01:28

    I have to agree and disagree to a point.

    Agreed Upon Points:

    1. Crossfit certs don’t require any real prerequisites. Quite true and leads to a VERY wide array in quality of trainers at any one Crossfit gym. However, most other certifications (barring those that require you to have a bachelor’s degree) require nothing more than a person to pay the fee and take the test…they still don’t confer an actual level of understanding or ability to apply proper training. Having taken other certifications (as well as the Crossfit Level 1) I can tell you that simply possessing them in NO way confers any ability or intelligence about training.

    2. Crossfit’s purpose of being USED by elite level athletes and professionals and being FOR everyone is a bit skewed…but only because it doesn’t target the specific needs of individuals at different levels. An elite level swimmer/runner/lifter CAN benefit from some GPP-type training but gets far more benefit from sport specific training (SST). A beginner level soccer mom needs GPP-type training AND an increased focused on technique till she gets to a point where she can preform the movements at varying levels of intensity and volume without large amounts of supervision.

    Disagree on these points:

    1. Crossfit, as a whole, isn’t dangerous. Trying to preform Crossfit on your own without logically thinking it through or following someone else’s programming without first looking to see if it is safe and effective is dumb…simply put. You can find bad training at Crossfit gyms, 24 Hour Fitness gyms, and every other fitness facility. Every. Single. One.

    Crossfit can be scaled to the point where I’ve seen (and coached) classes with elderly folks in them (60+ years old) and not a single person has been hurt and they’ve been able to see progress and gains.

    I’m running out of laptop battery power, so I can elaborate further if desired at a later time…but here’s the simple breakdown…

    1. The issues you’ve brought up aren’t Crossfit-specific, its all the same for every workout/gym/training plan out there…you’ll always have bad sides of it and if that’s all you choose to expose yourself too ,that’s all you’ll ever “see”.

    2. Crossfit (and other HIIT methodologies) are SAFE and EFFECTIVE when properly coached and utilized. Poor implementation of even the best program is dangerous, its not specific to Crossfit. I can switch out the word “Crossfit” with “P90x”, “Body Building”, “Gold’s Gym Trainer’s Plan”, “Biggest Loser”, and more and the EXACT SAME things would apply and be found across the internet. Its not the training plan its the person/people implementing it in your specific case..

  2. #2 by Julian Joly on March 8, 2012 - 21:33

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