Is CrossFit going to injure you?

CrossFit has become one of the most popular forms of exercise, but it's had more than it's fair share of criticism. The main question people seem to ask is - "Is CrossFit dangerous?". My simple answer is.....It can be, yes.

Any form of physical exercise comes with a certain degree of danger/risk of injury. Whether it's playing football, cricket, weight lifting, running, cycling, or CrossFit, they all pose a 'chance of injury'.

The main thing with CrossFit is it's speed. Performing exercises faster can increase the risk of injury, but lifting heavier weights during conventional weight training can increase the risk of injury too. There will be many experienced CrossFitters that perform the exercises as safely as possible, and those people will be fine. However, there will be a lot of people who join the CrossFit craze who won't be trained properly, won't be shown how to perform the exercises safely, and those people are more than likely going to pick up an injury.

I personally believe that if you want to pack on muscle, you want to train like the guys at UP Fitness do, as the results they get are awesome. If you want to burn fat, I would still personally train like those at UP. If you sacrifice form for speed, not only will your chance of injury increase, but also, you're not going to work the intended muscles as hard as you should be working them. CrossFit relies a lot on momentum. I saw a video of a CrossFitter performing her version of pull ups - the form was utterly shocking and she was not performing conventional pull ups. If she tried to perform a real pull up, she probably wouldn't have completed more than 15. It was more of a 'swinging get yourself up however you can' pull up. I couldn't see the benefit at all, she nearly knocked herself out numerous times on the bar, and was not working her back much at all.

I'm not completely against CrossFit - if it's something that you enjoy, and you have got results from, then go for it. However, I would always prefer the more traditional form of working out - weighted circuits, focusing on form and tempo of the lifts, rather than trying to exercise like a Duracell bunny.

I've followed the founder of UP Fitness for quite a long time now (Nick Mitchell), and I love his technique, approach and philosophy with training. Him and the other UP trainers are in awesome shape themselves and they have got amazing results with their clients through hardcore, 'old school' training (with a few modern tricks too). I have seen transformations of CrossFitters, and the results are okay - body fat reduced, but the overall physique is nothing compared to those trained by UP. (I'm using UP as an example, I know there are other gyms out there).

End of the day, it is down to what you enjoy and what works for you. If you want to go down the CrossFit route, then make sure you are well trained by someone who is experienced. If not, you could easily pick yourself up a nasty injury.

Lee Gregory Fitness

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