CrossFit regular workouts are going to hurt you and cause you very dangerous injuries, unless you are a professional athlete. Shocking truth behind it.
What is CrossFit?
It is a combination of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more. It is a crossover of strength training, bodyweight exercises, endurance training, speed training and explosive plyometric exercises. Workouts typically involve three different factors to the extreme: many reps, heavy weight and lots of speed.
CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. All CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more.
CrossFit is one of the biggest trends in the fitness industry. It can give you great results in a relatively small time. It is very interesting and inspiring way of exercise, but the problem is it is very dangerous for the most of individuals, especially for average working men.
Why it is so dangerous?
CrossFit is a great idea, it is very motivating, variable way of exercise and I must admit very effective. It is addictive. You can get lots of strength and to become a lean and bulky in a relatively short amount of time. The big problem is that in practice, on a long run, it will hurt you for sure, and for someone can cause permanent injuries and dangerous health problems.
1. High risk of injury
Even the founder of CrossFit Greg Glassman mentioned in his New York Times interview: “It can kill you. I’ve always been completely honest about that.”
There was a survey made in 2013 about the injuries during CrossFit training and the result is the following: 73.5% had an injury and 7% of the injuries required surgical intervention. The injury rate was 3.1 per 1000 hours.
The injury rate is like the sports like Olympic weightlifting, Powerlifting and gymnastics, but even lower in the contact sports.
The problem is that the average person doesn’t do the Olympic weightlifting and power lifting. You are trying to find a way to be fit and healthy and to be a professional athlete. Most people that are doing the CrossFit are average persons with small or no experience in any sport. Injury rates in similar fitness exercises like weightlifting, bodyweight training and HIIT are much lower, even in sports like rugby.
The most common injuries are:
- Shoulders pain
- Lower back pain
- Knee pain and meniscus tears
- Heart and lung problems
Pain in your shoulders is usually caused by performing exercises like push-ups, pull-downs in the wrong way. You need to watch how you position your arms. Positioning it too wide and doing uncontrolled, fast movements. CrossFit usually has its own version of these exercises. Kipping pull-ups are particularly often used and doing them too much is going to hurt your shoulders.
Check the example of Kipping Pull-up, the way how the CrossFitters are doing the pull up.
Please check the article Pull-ups – How, Why And Where to Do Them to find out how to properly do them. Read also How To Do Push-ups, to check do you know to do the proper push-ups. Take a rest, especially if you feel pain.
Lower back pain
Lower back pain is usually caused by doing improper Olympic lifts, deadlifts and squats. All three exercises are complex and you need to be very careful in performing them.
Olympic lift is very complex and potentially dangerous exercise. You need years to master it, especially with bigger weights. If you are over 30 and never performed this exercise, it is best to avoid it.
Knee pain and meniscus tears
Knee pain is caused by doing heavy wall balls, improper heavy squats and box jumps.
To avoid knee pain first learn how doing a squat properly. By doing more squats your thighs and glutes will become stronger and this is the best prevention from knee pain and meniscus tears. Also, do the stretching after exercises and have enough rest.
Heart and lung problems
Too much exercise can cause more harm than good to your body. CrossFit has the tendency to motivate members to forget about pain and dizziness and to keep your exercise no matter what. This can cause serious problems with your heart and lungs. You can even get the heart attack.
You need to listen to your body. If you feel any pain, dizziness, your body is signaling you to stop and to take a rest.
Rhabdomyolysis is caused by the extreme muscle breakdown which releases toxic substances to the kidneys. This could be very dangerous.
As I already mentioned, you need to take a rest between workouts. As a beginner, start with 3 times a week and each workout not more than an hour. Afterwards you can have 5 workouts a week.
2. The lack of proper form of exercises
CrossFit uses different exercises from Olympic weight lifting, gymnastics and other sports that are very complex and demanding. Professional athletes have been learning and doing this kind of exercises for years with the supervision of professional trainers. Performing of all exercise is 100% controlled and despite of this, they often have injuries.
CrossFit, in the other hand, always forces speed and proper form often suffers. The movement of the exercises is not fully controlled. Since it's become the global trend, there are a great number of members and often lack of experienced trainers. The fine, technical details of the complex movements are not always given the amount of attention that they need.
All workouts are very competitive and hyped, and the speed is always emphasized comparing to form. Performing the exercises in a wrong way with many reps and with great weight for sure can cause damage to your body, even if the effects don’t show up for years.
3. Encouraging members to avoid pain
Other CrossFit members and even trainers encourage you to avoid pain. In a gym, there are sometimes puke buckets. Pain and dizziness are signaling that you reached your limit and you need to stop and take a rest. You cannot become strong and fit overnight, progress slow but steady.
My advice is to avoid CrossFit, because it is too dangerous for the average person. It is a great idea, but it can cause serious injuries and can damage your health. Here in Fit over 30 you can find similar ways of workouts, but without danger for your body.