CrossFit is dangerous. I hear this all the time. Almost every day. Mostly by people who have never tried it or been to a CrossFit gym. They all had a friend who heard that their uncle’s co-worker’s daughter tried CrossFit in Panama once and she cut her hand. So, you know, super dangerous.
First off, after 11 years in CrossFit I have not found it to be dangerous at all especially when we compare it to injury rates associated with pretty much every other activity, including jogging and youth soccer. When you tell your co-workers you’re going to start jogging, do they warn you about the dangers of running? Hardly. But when you tell them you are starting CrossFit all the crazy stories and warnings come out.
Do people get injured while doing CrossFit? Sure. It happens. Just like every other activity out there. A friend of mine threw his back out tying his shoes this morning. Another guy I know tore his meniscus jumping out of his truck. Another broke his wrist during an aggressive high five. Don’t even get me started on the injuries friends have had while snowboarding, playing basketball and partying too hard in college.
Countless studies, including one from last year (Moran 2017) have shown that “the injury incidence rate associated with CrossFit training was low, and comparable to other forms of recreational fitness activities.”
As I said, of course some people pick up an injury while doing CrossFit but is CrossFit always to blame? Not necessarily. Often times, CrossFit will expose injuries you may already have or show how you may be moving in a manner that is causing you pain. How you move is important in everything you do so when you go from being mostly sedentary to starting to work out it’s not uncommon to start to experience some pain that normally goes unnoticed in your everyday life. You start CrossFit and you are starting to demand functionality from your body. We are asking you to pick things up, put them down, squat down properly (and often), stand back up, get down on the ground and get back up, pull yourself up, jump, throw things, etc., stuff you either have not been doing or just doing the bare minimum of. We teach you how to do things your body was made to do. We should expect our body to be able to do these things and do them for the rest of our lives. If something hurts while doing these tasks, great, we found something we need to work on and now we can fix it. Daily we hear how members’ knees don’t hurt while walking up the stairs anymore or how they feel more comfortable and pain free doing daily tasks. This is what we’re here for.
Basic tasks aren’t supposed to hurt. If they do, let’s figure out why and make them better.
In the end, what’s more dangerous? Finding an activity that you enjoy, will make your days better and you can do for the rest of your life or sitting on your couch all day and falling victim to everything that comes with that?
I know what I’d choose. Make a decision to get better and stay on the path. It might hurt sometimes but it’s worth it.
Coach Mike N
Currently rolling his eyes at some “CrossFit is dangerous” anecdote from a person in pain all the time from their marathon training.