Is CrossFit Really Dangerous?
Is CrossFit Really Dangerous?
CrossFit has become a worldwide phenomenon since founders Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai introduced the fitness program in 2000. Its intense training has grown a devoted following, but an increasing backlash claims the regime pushes practitioners too far, leaving them vulnerable to injury.
Personally, I like a good CrossFit fail video like anyone. I could spend this article writing about all the safety issues I have with CrossFit. I could also write about the issues I have with yoga, running, standing, spinning, sitting, outdoor boot camp or any activity we do repetitively without variance. CrossFit is no different than any other activity that when done to the extreme will present any body with serious issues. There is no one type of movement that will give our bodies everything we need to move well and live pain or injury-free.
When we fall in love with a certain type of exercise, it’s often because for a time it is giving our bodies what we need to become stronger, more resilient, more alive and vital. We often get attached to something that might have served us at one point but stops serving us after a time. We need to adapt to our bodies changing needs.
The issue with CrossFit devotees (or any devotee) is that when we fall in love, we can become blind to the potential pitfalls. When issues start to present themselves, we choose to stay in denial that any one thing can’t fulfill all our needs. Questioning our devotion when we start to find faults isn’t encouraged in any tribal or cult-like culture such as the one that CrossFit has so successfully created. You’re either in or you’re out. That being said, not all CrossFit locations are not created equally, and many are more progressive than others.
CrossFit has done some great things for the fitness industry and introduced many functional fitness tools into mainstream. While they call their locations a box, they are anything but a big box gym franchise (you know which ones I mean). There’s no pressure sales or shifty membership contracts. When you walk through the door, you’re entering a community. Just last month, I ran into one of my former celeb clients who said that this community environment was the main pull for her and that she loves the encouragement she’s given to find her strength. She was one of the last people I thought would be all over CrossFit.
Is it really my place to start critiquing something people love? Besides, being physically inactive and sitting at a computer all day presents as many opportunities for injury as CrossFit.
Whenever a fitness trend peaks in popularity, there is the inevitable moment of negative press and fear-inducing stories that get shared widely on social media. Not only does this confuse people who don’t know what the hell they should be doing to be fit, it also gives sedentary people yet another reason to procrastinate implementing exercise into their lives.
I want to be part of creating positive change, not feeding the negativity in the media. My challenge to any fitness experts, chiropractors, physiotherapists or sports medicine doctors who have specialized in criticizing CrossFit? Why not put your energy into creating a new movement that captures the attention of millions of people like CrossFit has but complies with your safety guidelines and training methodologies? I’m working away at that in my small corner of the world.