A cultural phenomenon, CrossFit offers a fitness lifestyle of high intensity training and a focus on nutrition. Chances are also high that you’ll likely find people to train with at your local gym just by uttering the word. But lets take a peek behind the curtain and explore some of the negatives associated with CrossFit. What are the cons you can expect as you pursue this elite fitness regimen?
High Risk of Frequent Injury
The chances are high that if you partake in CrossFit, you will injure yourself. Especially since the community glorifies pain as some sort of proof that you are improving or strengthening your body. This false conception encourages potential ‘Crossfitters’ to push through actual physical pain or exhaustion to complete as many reps as quickly as possible, resulting in avoidable accidents, over-extended muscles and joints, or worse, torn ligaments or fractured bones due to improper use of the equipment and improper care of your body.
Your high school fitness teacher focused on the importance of form every class. Constantly reminding you when you would drop your pelvis during planks, or when you dropped too deep in a squat. It might not have seemed important at the time, but focussing on having the right form during exercises helps to promote good body posture, ensuring the correct muscles are being stimulation, and preventing injury. CrossFit inherently, by design, ignores all the teachings of your old gym teacher. The CrossFit community, and most CrossFit instructors, emphasize number of reps over time as opposed to consistently executing the correct form for the exercises. As mentioned earlier, this can lead to injury to your ligaments, joints and muscles, but more importantly your posture. Your high intensity deadlift might feel like you’re accomplishing a lot, but as your back begins to tire, your shoulders and legs will begin to compensate.
The movement is too fast for your mind to comprehend, assuming form is something you are even paying attention to, resulting in sore joints, backs and possible blisters. Again, this can all be prevented if you are aware of and prioritize proper form and safety, however not all CrossFit instructors are educated or trained in such areas, and most people who follow the CrossFit program, access their workouts online and on their own without an instructor. Which leads us to the next point.
If you already regularly visit your local gym, you’ve likely seen these animals improperly using the equipment, executing exercises or workouts incorrectly, or socializing with other gym-goers like a bragging bully during recess, making fun of how you use the monkey bars and kicking sand in your face. Chances are, these people are CrossFitters. The CrossFit community, because of its decentralized nature and focus on being ‘The Fittest on Earth’ tends to attract these narcissistic individuals. Most gyms frequently must have ‘talks’ with their patrons about their behavior and interactions. The social stigma brought upon by these ‘louder’ Crossfitters puts a bad stereotype for their community that only serves to alienate CrossFitters.
In the end, CrossFit does have its benefits, as long as you focus on your form and safety with each exercise, respect the equipment and the other people around you, then you should have no problem. Many alternatives and similar programs to CrossFit exist that might be more your speed that you could explore. Whatever you decide, just reminder to listen to your body and understand when you’ve reached your limit.