Why CrossFit Is Not For Everybody
CrossFit is an extremely high-performance sport, and it’s not suitable for every body. It should not be treated as simply a type of training modality such as boot camp or group training. It’s highly physically demanding sport and often requires specific acquired skillsets and knowledge in order to prevent injury. Would you jump on the ice and play competitive hockey without any experience skating or knowing the rules? I think not. To make matters even worse, CrossFit trainers can often be certified by attending a simple two-day certification course with no background in personal training or coaching.
The CrossFit culture has become one of pushing the body to the point of near exhaustion. Performing risky exercises in a fatigued state is extremely dangerous and greatly increases the risk of injury. For example, olympic and power lifts are not meant to be done in sets of 30 or for longer time periods. These are extremely technique-oriented and are meant to be explosive and powerful over very short periods of time with plenty of rest. These need to be closely supervised and not in a group setting. Unfortunately these precautions are often not followed in most CrossFit circles and now the injuries are starting to pile up:
- An Ohio State University study found that 16% of CrossFitters had dropped out due to injury.
- In 2014, a CrossFit athlete suffered a paralyzing accident during competition.
- A professor of exercise science at Kennesaw State University in Georgia (Yuri Feito), analyzed data from hundreds of CrossFit participants, and found a whopping 51% had experienced an injury in the prior year, ranging from minor sprains to muscle tears to broken fingers. Of those, 10 – 15% warranted a trip to the hospital.
Ultimately, you must be the one to decide if CrossFit is for you. Ask yourself: Why are you doing CrossFit in the first place? Are you planning on competing in the future? If not, then it might be time to re-assess why you’re putting yourself at such a high risk of injury. If you are simply looking to train fast, get strong, lose weight or enhance performance, there are better techniques – much safer ones – than trying to mimic elite CrossFit athletes.
Photo courtesy David Castillo Dominici / freedigitalphotos.net