Life after CrossFit is life, only better: Part One

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By Christine King

Published July 1, 2016, DelrayNewspaper.com

Crossfits (referred to as “boxes”) are quickly popping up everywhere. Since Greg Glassman founded the company in 2000 there are now over 13,000 boxes; roughly half in the United States. The foundation of the workout includes high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, girevoy sport, calisthenics, strongman and more.
Sound intense? You betcha! The WOD’s (workout of the day) are severe, not for the faint of heart and definitely not for beginners. CrossFit begs to differ as their website reads “the program is designed for universal scalability, making it the perfect application for any committed individual, regardless of experience.” Further, in reference to modifications CrossFit states, “We scale load and intensity; we don’t change the program. The needs of Olympic athletes and our grandparents differ by degree, not kind.”
I’ve owned a fitness company for 20 years. That philosophy is the most ludicrous and dangerous approach in guiding anybody to an improved fitness level. Program design for a client wishing to achieve certain goals involves an appropriate, well thought out plan based on the findings of their initial assessment, medical history review and discoveries of limitations that may impede progress. Only then is it appropriate and safe to recommend a proper course of direction and explain suitable options for both personal training and class selections the client finds fun and motivating.
CrossFit requires most newbie’s to attend two or three “introductory sessions” to learn basic movements: burpees, air squats, rowing and a few other necessities. However in no way does it prepare the client for Olympic lifts, box jumps, speed training and tire flipping along with other hazardous and dangerous exercises beginners and seasoned fitness enthusiasts should not do at all.
The rapid growth of the boxes is in part due to the low cost of opening the box ($3,000 annual dues, a few thousand dollars’ worth of equipment and $1,000 for the two day certification required to guide people through workouts). CrossFits also don’t have air conditioning. The box gets as hot as 95-110 degrees.
The consumer is led by an inexperienced individual who only holds a two day certification. Professional Personal Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors have years of education and experience under their belt. As an industry we’re here to help and not hurt people.
Less than qualified instructors have caused CrossFit members numerous injuries. The box mentality is to push until you drop. It’s all about the clock and the finish, not about safety. The consumer is unfamiliar with proper form of Olympic lifts, plyometrics and more during their first week.
(See next month’s issue for Part Two.)
Christine King is a Medical Exercise Specialist, Fitness Expert, and President/CEO of Your Best Fit Inc. She and her team have helped thousands of people recover from injuries, look and feel better and improve their overall wellbeing. She can be reached at Christine@LifeOnlyBetter.com. www.LifeOnlyBetter.com