“You do CrossFit? Enjoy the emergency room”. If I had a nickel for every time someone has said that or something similar to me in just the short year that I have made CrossFit as part of my workout regimen, I would probably be able to buy a really nice new laptop.
Let’s also be clear that I have never been to the emergency room since starting CrossFit, nor have I had a CrossFit induced injury.
After about the fifth time I heard this statement, I was still super brand new and it really got me thinking about why people might be thinking this. Because the movements that we do in CrossFit aren’t really out of scope of the things we do every day.
Here’s what I mean. We were doing what seemed like 14 different types of squats, which we do every single day anyway in normal life. We were doing DeadLifts, which I do everyday in picking things up. Plus a lot of overhead work. Which, we have to put things over our head a lot anyway so. What was happening that made people think that they’d get hurt?
Well, several reasons I think. But, I didn’t want my limited opinion on this subject matter be what convinced you that CrossFit itself isn’t dangerous, but that there are several factors that can contribute to the possibility of it being dangerous. However, when executed properly, it is not only safe, but one of the quickest ways to get in shape and stay in shape.
Let’s not take my word for it though. I decided to interview a CrossFit Coach to dig a little bit deeper. Meet Haley, she is not only a CrossFit coach, but Active Military for the United States.
She has quite the opinion on CrossFit, so let’s check it out
“What is your name?
What is your C.F. Coaching Level?
Level 1, looking for level 2 in a couple years.
How long have you done CrossFit and how long have you been a coach?
CrossFit: 5 years
Coach: 1 yr and a couple months.
How do you explain to someone what CrossFit is that doesn’t know anything about it?
Functional movement (squats, deadlifts, burpees) and everything is scalable. Keep things simple because I never want to scare you off. Scaring you off takes away your potential.
How is CrossFit different from other exercise programs?
Head coach creates programming and every single day is different. The executed movements help with daily life. Example: You don’t see people doing bicep curls unless they’re eating. But you do see someone sitting on a toilet, walking stairs, and moving furniture (squat, deadlift, push press, etc.)
What made you decide to do CrossFit?
Postpartum depression. I’ve been an athlete since age 5, almost going a year of no fitness or being too sick to workout messed with my head and self worth. Walking into a gym with Aaron Burks (owner of Refine CrossFit) working out, playing “Strong Tower” by Kutless and I knew I was where I needed to be.
What is the hardest thing about CrossFit?
Eating right. New skills are hard but it’s fun so the eating right is the hardest.
What is the easiest/best thing?
Easiest: Talking about CrossFit
Best: seeing someone “get it”. Seeing someone understand the movement, a skill that they’ve struggled with, and then doing really well. Best feeling as a coach. ((Secret: when I see it, I shed a few happy tears))
Did you have specific goals you wanted to meet when you started CrossFit?
I just wanted to feel normal. Never cared for the celebrity athletes, that was never my thing. But I needed a challenge. So my goal is to always get better. Now, it’s control my eating, get better at my skills, and be the best coach I can be. I have a long way to go, but again, it’s a challenge that I love.
What have been your results from doing CrossFit?
Best shape of my life. Or I at least see what I can be and I know the steps to take….I just have to do it.
A lot of folks say that CrossFit is just a great way to get hurt. What do you say to this?
That’s the coaches, honestly. If you get hurt it’s because
1)the coach didn’t instruct the movement correctly
2)they didn’t make sure you understood the movement
3)they weren’t watching the class during the movement
4)you didn’t listen
5)you weren’t ready and the coach pushed too hard. You put your health and safety into a coach’s hand every time you take a CF class.
Our bodies are amazing, but they’re breakable. They have to be taught, stretched, and ready. If not, that leaves people unprotected. Good coaches are paramount.
There are lots of stories about people getting hurt in CrossFit. What is your opinion on why this happened?
The Coach or they got a big head. Pride can not exist in a CrossFit gym and my answer of the coach is further explained in the above question.
How do people know that CrossFit isn’t just “another exercise fad”?
People are saving their lives inside boxes EVERY SINGLE DAY. Diabetes, gone. Pain, gone. Depression, gone.
Do you think CrossFit is for everyone? Why or Why not?
Yes. I don’t care if you have triple knee, hip, shoulder replacement surgeries. You still need to be able to get off the toilet and the ground when you’re 80. Everything we do in CrossFit is scalable.
What would you say to someone that is considering doing Crossfit?
Please try it. The hardest part is walking through that door. I’ve done it for 5 years, it’s still hard. Don’t give up before you start. You’ll be thankful when you’re 90 and can still be able to play with grand kids.
If a person does decide to try CrossFit, what is their very first step to ensure safety and good experiences?
Talk to the coach and tell them your goals, fears injuries and hang ups of CF and sign your waiver because that protects everyone.
Know your limits, know when something is a injury/pain or just a muscle burn and find a friend at the gym. It’s hard being the newbie. I’ve been at a few gyms now and being the new guy isn’t fun. Give it time, introduce yourself.”
So let’s Review…
CrossFit isn’t about being dangerous nor does it try to find the weirdest possible exercise and make you try to do it. It’s about building your functional movements and it’s about challenging yourself to step out of your comfort zone.
CrossFit may not be for everyone, but the functional movements and the ideology behind CrossFit IS for everyone. The biggest thing you can take away from this is, be smart. Not every Box has amazing coaches, it’s just a fact of life, and coaches can make or break a class.
Remember that if you do try CrossFit, leave your pride at the door. If you don’t like it, all hope is not lost. There is a workout regimen for you and there are ways to mix up what you’re already doing. I have instant downloads available that will definitely spice up your gym life.
Bottom line is this, don’t be afraid to try new things and put yourself out there.
You’re a smart girl, make the decision that’s right for you.
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