CrossFit training is something that has caused a multitude of questions for the human body and its capabilities. The most prominent question has been, Is CrossFit training really safe? For those who have no idea what CrossFit training is, according to website crossfitdefined.com, CrossFit training is defined as “a core strength and conditioning program designed to elicit as broad an adaptational response as possible.” According to the website previously mentioned “CrossFit is not a specialized fitness program but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in the following ten recognized fitness programs, cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.”
CrossFit training is a great thing, when conducted in the right manner. The series of exercises that you do will definitely get you in great shape because of the extensive exercises that one would be involved in. This type of training promotes competiveness, high intensity and accuracy.
University of Indianapolis strength and conditioning Coach Steve Barrick shared a few of his concerns with CrossFit training, one of them being that there is little to no progression.
“I think the biggest thing for me, CrossFit, there is little to no progression. So what I mean by that there is no periodization. There is no gradual improvements being made in terms of volume and intensity,” Barrick said. “The thing about CrossFit is that there is usually some good initial progress. But eventually it becomes over training and over training leads to injury. It depends on who’s running that particular box. If you have somebody that understands it and can program it, well then it might be beneficial, but then is it really CrossFit. You know because CrossFit initially is a kind of a random shot in the dark type of thing. There’s good and bad in all realms of strength and conditionings fields.”
So what is so bad about CrossFit Training? This has been an ongoing question. Working out is something that I believe is very important, being an athlete myself. The most important thing when accessing working out in general is knowing your body. Knowing your body while participating in CrossFit training activities is something that is of extreme importance. The biggest concern with CrossFit training according to an “ESPN” titled “CrossFit debate not going away”, is the increasing amount of drastic injuries that people obtain from CrossFit training. A lot of athletes, CrossFit trainers along with workout fanatics are firm believers in the having the “No pain, no gain” mentality. This mentality, in my opinion, has caused the confusion between training hard and training through pain and how detrimental not listening to the signs your body are showing can be.
Barrick explained that there are pro’s in CrossFit from a cardiovascular and endurance standpoint but CrossFit training in regards to athletes participating in the rigors of the activity should not be allowed. He believes that athletes should not participate in the activity but stick to their circuit training regimens.
“When you talk about working with athletes and keeping them healthy and being conservative to an extent it’s a very touchy subject sometimes and everyone has a different opinion on it…I truly believe CrossFit for athletes is a no, no. If I am training for a sport then I don’t want to do it by CrossFit. If I want to be good at CrossFit then I participate in CrossFit. That’s what I try to tell our athletes,” Barrick said. “It is a trend now that’s become so popular. Because if you watch “ESPN” and the CrossFit games that has [become] everyone’s visual of CrossFit and that’s the one percent that’s not what CrossFitters look. That’s what people have to understand Circuit training is not CrossFit training. If you take all the principles of a well thought out strength and conditioning program that’s going to help people get better and then you look at a lot of these CrossFit workouts over time and what they do it doesn’t meet that criteria often times not.”
CrossFit training can be safe in retrospect. Being aware of your body can prevent injuries that can be life altering. Knowing the right balance of intensity and endurance to ensure your body is going to continue to be in great shape is something that you should be aware of as a CrossFit trainer. In my opinion, people become so involved in the competition portion that they forget about what is important. It is great to be able to train at a level average individuals may not be able to, but at what expense? Having aches and pains, that in hindsight, can be considered as injuries, and continuing to train at such an intensive pace can really be detrimental. That is what would be considered to make CrossFit training something that is unsafe. Individuals may feel that “you can get hurt in any sport,” while that response may be true, you know your body better than anyone else, and being aware of the signs your body is giving you will make the difference with any type of training.