So, there was this one time when I was a kid that we ordered pizza and the whole family got sick. So we got food poisoning from the pizza. I have never eaten pizza again, because I believe that ALL PIZZA IS POISON! Now, not only is that a complete lie (LOVE pizza), but it is just a totally stupid statement. I got a bad haircut from this barber once, so I’m never cutting my hair again because all barbers suck. Again, preposterous. But this is the EXACT “logic” that is being applied to the “CrossFit” form of fitness. Now, as a pre-emptive statement, I am neither defending NOR condemning CrossFit. More and more, I am reading article after article about “Why I will NEVER do CrossFit”. And they are all the same. They tout the increased injury rate. They advocate that they are thrown into workouts with little training. They say that the proprietors are able to get certified in a weekend.
Is there validity to some this stuff, of course there is. Is that a broad condemnation of the entire industry, NO! To each:
Increased injury rate – First off, there is NO statistical data that suggests that crossfitters are any more or less prone to injuries than anyone else who works out. How many gym rats have torn pecs and biceps or chronically achy knees ? Secondly, as a whole, the injury rate of workouts (regardless of type of gym setting) pales in any comparison to that of ANY competitive sport. You are infinitely more likely to injure yourself in a pick up basketball game or rec-league softball game than at the gym.
Too little instruction – I firmly believe that one of the biggest problems with CrossFit over the last 5 years or so, especially is their growth rate. I think that, like every business, they were prepared for growth. Just not at the rate that they have. This has opened the door for people to get into the “Club” with too little training and experience. There are currently over 2500 CrossFit affiliates worldwide. Are you seriously going to believe that none of them, or even the majority of them just throw people into their high intensity form of workouts without regard for teaching and expecting proper technique? Having been in the industry in the position that I am in for so long, I have seen lots of things come and go, and have had the opportunity to meet many owners of many different gyms. I can tell you, that there are tons of Crossfits out there that are wonderful teaching and learning environments. Just because someone had a bad experience at one, doesn’t mean that they’re ALL bad. It just means that that one is. And just like most other types of businesses, it’s not the well-run ones taht get all the attention, it’s the one or 2 renegades that are poorly operated. You just have to find one around (Lord knows that they’re popping up like dandelions) in which you have a good experience and feel comfortable.
Lack of knowledge from owners – To own a Crossfit gym you must have a Level 1 Certification. It is a weekend class. Do you know what you need to open any other gym? Nothing. Do you know what it takes to become a personal trainer for a lot of people? A weekend. That doesn’t mean that they do or don’ t know what they are talking about, and refers back to my previous point. You have to find QUALIFIED professionals and not just CERTIFIED professionals.
Listen, like I said, I am neither defending, nor condemning CrossFit. I would write the same opinions about people who categorically bashed Planet Fitness, Curves, or anything of the like. This just happens to be a hot button topic right now. It’s OK for everyone to have their own opinion. If you don’t like CrossFit, don’t go. There are tons of other options out there. If you do, great! But don’t base YOUR bad experience as a complete denunciation of the entire company. Are there bad eggs? Every bunch has them. But they make up the exceptions, not the rules. It’s OK to be ignorant, just don’t open your mouth and prove it.