There are several myths about CrossFit, usually propagated by those unfamiliar with the system. Some of the most popular ones are as follows:
Myth 1: CrossFit causes injuries
This has been attested by many physicians. However, injuries are a part of any workout or intense physical exercise. This is why we see even world-class athletes and sportsmen sustaining injuries as part of their regimen (one would assume they wouldn’t willingly risk injuries, not at the cost of their career).
Do injuries occur more often in CrossFit than other exercise regimens? That may also be true – in fact, that just goes on to show the popularity of CrossFit. More people getting injured because of CrossFit workouts means they did participate in CrossFit after all – millions of people all around the world can’t be wrong in choosing CrossFit if injuries are the only outcome. If that were indeed the case, those who signed up for CrossFit would be dropping out. But they choose to stay in the program; and the number of CrossFit followers are steadily increasing worldwide.
A good CrossFit trainer won’t put you at risk of injury. This benefits no one, neither you nor the trainer. Before becoming a CrossFit coach, every coach has to complete a certification, in which he/she is specifically instructed how to properly teach the different functional movements. They learn by actually doing the movements during the certification. They also learn how to scale up or down the intensity of the workout according to the participant’s physical condition.
And the numbers? The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research puts the injury rate at 3.1 injuries for every 1,000 hours of training. This is comparable to the injury rates found in general fitness training, power lifting, Olympic weightlifting and even gymnastics.
Myth 2: The techniques are too challenging
CrossFit derives its exercises from a variety of disciplines. Everything must be done according to the directions of the physical trainer for maximum results. This is why CrossFit is not a Do-It-Yourself or DIY regimen, you need a coach.
Some people fail to follow the instructions of their coach correctly because of exhaustion. This also causes their attention spans to wane, and they become unable to even understand their trainer’s instructions, thereby exacerbating the effect.
This can be found in other cross-technique training exercises. The problem is not with the regimen, but with the participant. A good trainer will not push you to do more than what he/she thinks you are capable of. But no one knows your body as well as you. You need to work with your coach and not under him/her. This involves telling him/her when you have had enough.
Myth 3: The community pushes you too hard
The community is a part of CrossFit. It welcomes people of all ages and levels of fitness. The intention is to make you feel welcome and participate in the Workout Of the Day according to the best of your ability.
The last four words of the previous line are what is important. The Workout Of the Day or WOD may include a 5-kilometer run, but if you are not yet at that level, you need to stop when you reach the breaking point. Not everyone may be capable of completing the run, so you need to tell your coach (he/she wouldn’t know if you have signed up only recently), and he/she will scale it down. CrossFit-trained coaches are specifically asked to tailor each exercise according to the physical capabilities of the participant.
Taking personal responsibility for your body is important. At CrossFit 1013, we especially encourage this. It is people who succumb to peer pressure from the community (everyone pushes you harder, but they have only good intentions in mind when they do this – to make you fitter) and try to do more than what their body is physically capable of that they end up too exhausted, perhaps even ending with muscles that are too stressed for you to come in the next day; or worse – injured.
Myth 4: All other exercises are a sheer waste of time
A true CrossFit participant never says this. If you are already into some form of physical activity, be it running, swimming, Pilates, hot yoga, aerobics or Zumba (or any other, for that matter), you are already doing what 96% of all Americans don’t. CrossFit participants don’t look down on others. They just believe that CrossFit is another effective workout regiment they prefer to do.
This is echoed by Rich Froning Jr., the 2015 CrossFit Games champion, who was also the winner in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. He used to be a baseball player and did the usual traditional body building type workouts targeting certain muscle groups each day, and now he believes that the flexibility of CrossFit – there are no fixed exercise or workouts – is what gives it an edge over the others. No wonder then, that sporting footwear and apparel manufacturer Reebok has thrown its weight behind it.
As CrossFit founder Greg Glassman said, fit people and strong communities can change the world!
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