Common CrossFit Misconception #2

I know you’ve heard this one. You may have even said it a few times. But is it really true? Does it hold up to scrutiny?

People are always injured during CrossFit

…or something similar. The issue with myths is that there is always a bit of truth in them, and this example is no different. Let’s look at the stem of this myth.

Anytime you move your body, you put yourself at risk for getting hurt. Walking across the street, wrestling with your child, carrying groceries, and simply picking something up off the ground all carry risk for injury. The reason we still do these things is because life requires it. But we can do things to reduce the risks associated with those movements.

People can and do get hurt doing CrossFit. There are many reasons why this happens, but let’s look at ways we, and many other CrossFit boxes (CrossFit slang for ‘gyms’) do to reduce these risks.

  • Hiring certified training staff – all CrossFit boxes should have a certified (CF-Level 1) coach facilitating each class. The coaches have been trained and are continuously being trained on proper movement patterns.
  • Modifying movements – all workouts can and will be modified for each person based on skill level, flexibility, mobility, strength, and many other factors.
  • Providing initial fitness assessments – Each new member should go through some type of assessment to determine their current level of fitness to determine any modifications needed.

Now that we have reviewed a few things CrossFit box owners and coaches do to reduce risks, here are a few things you as an athlete can do to help your coach reduce your risk even further.

  • Listen to your coach – The hardest thing for many people is that they see John/Jane Doe doing something and they say, “yeah, I should be able to do that, let me try”. Nooooo!!! Take it slow, swallow your ego and listen to your coach!
  • Form must always come before intensity – Intensity is a tricky word. Intensity can mean lifting heavy weight, but it can also mean lifting light weight quickly. In both instances ‘intensity’ should not be performed until your form is perfect! Again, listen to your coach. Your goal is to PERFECT your form first. That is much easier said than done.
  • Don’t “fight through pain”  You will soon learn the difference between discomfort and pain. Discomfort caused by using new muscles or pushing your body in different ways can be ok. Pain is your body saying something is wrong. Talk to your coach about what you are feeling. Your body can be sore and you should be somewhat uncomfortable during the workout, but pain is an indicator to stop before it gets worse.

Finally, people get injured all the time. I have heard of people tearing their ACL or MCL playing basketball, softball, running, skiing, and even playing horseshoes. I have been around CrossFit for 4 years and in my experience have never heard of an knee ligament injury caused by CrossFit. Could it happen? Yes. But every time I hear a coach get on someone about proper knee position in a squat, I know that person is less likely to get an ACL/MCL injury in life.

CrossFit and its core principles are about injury prevention and functional movement.

Tomorrow, we’ll tackle #3!

Misconception #1


Common CrossFit Misconception #1

We’ve heard it all, and it increases at this time of year when people are beginning to ponder New Year’s Resolutions. What I’m referring to is reasons why people can’t do CrossFit. They are numerous and they often depend on the individual, their personal experiences and their stage in life. In every misconception, there may be some truth, but you must look at the whole picture to decide the truth for yourself. This week we’ll look at 3 CrossFit misconceptions. Let’s look at the first CrossFit misconception.

#1 I’m not in good enough shape.

Nine times out of ten, when I talk to someone who has never done CrossFit, this is one of their reason for not trying it out.

This is caused by two problems. The ESPN coverage of the CrossFit Games and fear of the unknown.

First, people think of CrossFit and they automatically relate to the yearly CrossFit Games broadcast on ESPN for the last 5+ years. These peak athletes, compete for a gruelling 4-5 days of everything under the sun. They are incredible, low body-fat percentage having, 600lb deadlifting, swimming, rowing, running, and climbing, top of the top athletes. Statistically, there is less than one of those for every 10 CrossFit boxes in the world. They are rare. Not impossible to find, but rare.

With that in mind, saying you need to “get in shape” before stepping into a CrossFit box is like saying I just need  a little batting practice before stepping to the plate at the World Series. Like saying let me get into better shape before stepping into the ring with Mike Tyson.

Stop it. Every athlete in a CrossFit box near you likely has very similar goals. They want to shed weight to be able to chase after their kids. They want to get in better shape to get off blood pressure meds. They are in their 30’s and 40’s and don’t like the way they look in the mirror.

That brings me to the second part, fear of the unknown. Don’t believe what I’m saying? Check out your local CrossFit. See the athletes that walk in there day in and day out. They are just like you. All shapes and sizes. Grinding it out, day by day to get fitter and healthier.

Misconception #2…It’s dangerous. We’ll dismantle that tomorrow.

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