Ahhh, CrossFit, a potentially excellent form of fitness that had been butchered by inexperienced people looking for a magic bullet. For many it has become (in my opinion) another fad way to get lean quickly but not a sustainable form of exercise – I have yet to meet someone who has been doing CrossFit for more than two years. Before you berate my judgement, I would like to point out that I support most forms of exercise so long as it provides physical, mental and health benefits. To each his own, as I am fond of saying, but only if it doesn’t leave you injured, or worse (check out this NYT article).
So what is CrossFit? Developed by Greg Glassman, CrossFit is “a fitness regimen… which optimizes fitness (constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity)” as well as a “community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together”. According to the official CrossFit site it is “a regimen of constantly varied (CV), functional movements (FM) performed at high intensity (@HI) in a communal environment”. Certainly sounds cool. So why am I hating? Rather than offer a long-winded discourse on the pros and cons (because I could go on and on), I have listed my opinion in point-form and included additional sites for you to do your own research.
- Physical activity
- Pushing body to physical limitations
- Sense of accomplishment
- Structure and commitment
- Focus on diet (Paleo)
- Cult mentality
- High potential for injury
- Pushing body beyond physical limitations
- Structure and commitment vs. enjoyment
- Violation of training principles
- Inexperienced coaching
- Not functional fitness (muscle ups?)
- Obsession with dieting
As with any form of training, especially that which involves repetitive high intensity Olympic-type lifts, you should consult a certified trainer (in this case a CrossFit coach) to give you guidance and watch your form. This is NOT an exercise modality to be taken lightly as it can lead to injury when the movements are performed incorrectly.
- Spartan Fitness: Why we don’t WOD part 1
- The New York Times: Getting Fit, Even if It Kills You
- The Huffington Post: Injured by Crossfit
- CrossFit on Wiki
- CrossFit: Forging Elite Fitness
- Youtube CrossFit Promo