The growth of CrossFit has been exponential since 2011. This high intensity workout regimen has accumulated such a colossal following, as evidenced by the sporadic increase of Crossfit gyms from 400 to north of 10,000. Crossfit has become the measure against which fitness is measured. The fittest man and woman on the planet badges are given to those who excel at the Crossfit games. But in the wake of its popularity, a backlash has been brewing, and now, the world is questioning just how safe it is.
Crossfit training is very taxing. The nature of the training itself exposes a person to injury. Executing those Olympic lifts in perfect fashion requires perfect form. This, combined with the intensity that the regimen encourages predispose to injury. For the uninitiated, the ending can be quite disastrous, especially if personal limits are continually pushed. Reports of crossfitters getting injured have become quite common, and this has stirred the debate that questions just how safe it is. Overuse injuries, slipped disks, torn rotator cuffs and tendon damage have been quoted as some of the possible injuries that can be experienced.
Pro-crossfitters have been quick to dismiss these arguments as anecdotal. While there is no denying the element of danger that exists, there haven’t been any academic studies that have sufficiently established a causal relationship between Crossfit and injury.
Crossfit, the company, has for long insisted on the importance of maintaining proper form. It asserts that if you stay within your limits, you can easily forestall any damage to your muscles and tendons. But this has been a hard sell. With the spirit of competition that surrounds it, people quickly disregard whatever warnings they are issued with, and this often leads to consequences.
Crossfit has vocally rebutted the many injury claims that have surfaced by correlating any actual injuries to muscle overuse and a lack of rest.
Is Crossfit Safe?
Suffice it to say that it is. These injury reports are just bad publicity. While the risk of suffering some damage is real, it is not unique to Crossfit, but to every kind of sport there is. If you decide to join the Crossfit wagon, you must first learn good form, and have an appreciation for your limits. You have to embrace your weaknesses and work around them. Get a good coach if you must because in the end, the benefits of participating greatly outweigh the risks.
Crossfit is here to stay, regardless of however many injury claims surface. It will remain, for a long time, the truest test of fitness there is.
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