Every so many years another fad in the fitness industry comes along and rallies a crowd of people to hit the gym. Most of those fads never really bother me and I don’t give them thought. Over the years my clients would ask me about this or that workout and I would explain to them why I did not train them in that manner.
But this whole CrossFit fad… it is degrading the idea of exercise into something it is not. I can already here all the naysayers. “You are just a hater!”, or “You are just mad because CrossFit is taking money out of your pocket.” Yes I am in the fitness/performance training industry and yes I own my own gym (Southlake, Texas). Yes I am in the business to make money, but I am also a truth seeker and want to bring truth to a population that is very misinformed about exercise.
To be honest with you CrossFit will help me in the long run. My clientele consists of people who have been hurt doing various forms of training (marathoners, Crossfitters, Bootcampers, Cardio Queens, EX-Athletes) and come to me so we can restore functional movement without pain. Then we get them crazy strong and fit without injury!
In fact, I landed a new client just a few months ago that complained she never felt her glutes while deadlifting. Only her hamstrings and low back would get sore. This is a perfect example of why general group fitness with complex movements is a bad idea. Upon doing a Functional Movement Screen we discovered her glutes were inhibited. We worked on doing some neural activation and pattern work to get her glutes back in the game. When she was cleared to deadlift again she felt the glutes like never before.
I had a friend of mine start doing CrossFit this year and after just a couple of months he complained to me about shoulder pain. After screening him I discovered he had injured part of his rotator cuff because he lacked the necessary shoulder mobility/stability to be doing repetitive heavy overhead lifting.
My main concern is educating the population, so here are some fundamental reasons why CrossFit is not a fundamentally sound program.
CROSSFIT: THE SPORT OF FITNESS – Wrong!!! Fitness is not a sport. Turning exercising into competition is a recipe for disaster. It will produce injuries instead of preventing them, which is one of its fundamental uses.
CROSSFIT: INJURIES ARE A PART OF TRAINING – Wrong!!! Injuries are a part of training poorly. Proper training is a way to prevent injuries while increasing components of fitness.
CROSSFIT: OLYMPIC LIFTING TO FAILURE AS FAST AS POSSIBLE – Wrong!!! Doing complex compound movement like an overhead snatch was never meant to be done as fast as possible or to fatigue. Olympic lifting is a sport in itself and you train to do them with precision, not for time or fatigue.