Many people are often unsure if CrossFit is for them or not. They hear rumors that CrossFit is dangerous and you will get hurt. However, is that really the truth? If you are reading this and you are you interested in CrossFit, I will spill the beans early go try it!
It ultimately comes down to if you enjoy it and you feel it is a fit for you. CrossFit is not going to be for everyone, but there is very little in the world that is for everyone. You only truly know if something is for you by doing it. People have different preferences so there is no one correct exercise routine for everyone, just like there is no one correct diet. If you don’t enjoy doing it then you are less likely to stick with it. Now CrossFit does get a bad rep, we hear it is dangerous and you will get hurt, but it is not that cut and dry.
Danger Zone: CrossFit
Stuart McGill a world renowned low back expert put it best when talking about CrossFit: “I don’t think dangerous is the right word, but certainly injury risk is appropriate”. Yes it may have an increased injury risk but going to a regular gym you have an increased risk of injury. At CrossFit boxes there are coaches there to help teach proper lifting technique in order to help reduce that risk of injury. We face risks everyday of our life but we do things to help reduce the risk, such as wearing a seat belt. CrossFit is no different, training proper technique and not using poor technique when fatigued greatly reduces the risk. Some lifts for individuals increases risk of injury due to their anatomy, but instead of pushing through it go talk to the coach to come up with a variation you can do instead. This will help to reduce the risk of injury.
McGill found that some people’s anatomy puts them at increased risk of injury if they deadlift/pull from the floor, but instead of saying you can’t deadlift/pull anymore he had them perform the task from blocks or higher up instead of the ground to reduce the risk of injury. It doesn’t mean you can never deadlift/pull from the floor but should save those times for when you need to or during competition. It is all about reducing risk of injury by improving quality of movement and determining if there are any exercises that you should do a variation instead. These are all things good CrossFit coaches do and can help with.
Do CrossFit athletes get injured? Yes but individuals that go to the local gym get injured as well. In a study on CrossFit injuries they found CrossFit athletes had an increased injury rate within the last 12 months with the low back and shoulder accounting for more than 45% of the injuries. However, the involvement of coaches on their form and guiding them through the workout greatly reduced the rate of injury. So finding a CrossFit gym with a knowledgeable coaching staff can go a long way to reduce the risk of injury.
So is CrossFit for you? Unfortunately there is not a simple yes and no, if you are interested give it a try to see if it would be something you enjoy. If you would rather cycle, swim, run, or power lift than, maybe CrossFit isn’t for you. However, don’t let other people talk you out of trying CrossFit because they “heard its bad for you” if it is something you are interested in. It doesn’t matter gender or size CrossFit can be done by anyone, you just have to find a gym that meets your needs and you feel comfortable at. As well as find coaches that are knowledgeable with programming, can teach you how to perform lifts properly and/or adjust workouts as needed. Every CrossFit box is different so if you didn’t like one then visit another to find the perfect fit for you, CrossFit has strong communities that help to keep you motivated and build a great atmosphere.