A Conversation That Needs To Be Had About CrossFit.
by Eliot Marshall
I will start by saying that if you can find a world class trainer like Loren Landow then there is no other exercise program, routine, or methodology that can come close. People like him are true masters of their craft. However, this is very difficult with schedules and things of the sort. Now back to the topic, CrossFit. I have received numerous messages about Kevin Ogar. It is a truly sad story. For those that don’t know, during a competition Kevin made a mistake during a heavy lift and became paralyzed. He was performing the snatch, which is an Olympic lift not only specific to CrossFit. The question is what /who is to blame for this injury. The popular and easy thing to do is to blame CrossFit. The reason CrossFit is popular is because it is genius. It has put globo gyms, mediocre trainers, and fad exercise routines out of business. CrossFit has taken fitness and built a community around it. This is very similar to what martial arts has done, hence why I chose to put it in my martial arts academy. With CrossFit, you see actual results. Everybody wants to look good naked, and if you follow the CrossFit ideology it happens. It provides both a workout program and a diet that are very easy to follow.
“Constantly varied functional movement at high intensity.”
There are no curls or calf raises or abductor machines. There are push ups and pull ups and squats and dead lifts and cleans. Things you need to do in your everyday life.
Notice “high intensity” is last. If you are going to a good box then that should be greatly stressed (more on this later). Peoples’ biggest problem is they get stuck in a routine that they like. CrossFit doesn’t allow this to happen. I prefer to lift heavier weights and not do body weight stuff (I’m 235 lbs). Some days I get to do what I like and some days I don’t. Again this comes back to the box you are at. When doing safe exercises, ie air squats, push ups, and sit up, the intensity can be there from the start. However, when doing the Olympic lifts the intensity needs to be brought down. As I said, this all depends on the box that you are at. And here is one of the mistakes with CrossFit. I am a box owner. I technically have the credentials necessary to teach CrossFit, however I am no where near qualified to do so. So we (Amal Easton and I) hired an expert in CrossFit, Georgia Carroll, so we can take care of our people. This isn’t always the case. You can take the weekend seminar and get your cert and open your own box. You will have no clue how to program, do the lifts, teach the lifts, or realize when somebody is beyond their abilities. You will push the intensity before the technique and people will get hurt.
Here We Go.
The second you choose to walk out your door rather then sit on the couch all day your risk of injury infinitely multiplies. I have competed at a lot of things: karate, basketball, and at the highest levels BJJ and MMA. If you choose to compete at anything your risk of injury increases. You are trying to push yourself to the limit, as Kevin was. On another note, even when you aren’t competing accidents happen. I recently met a person who broke their back riding moto. Should moto not be allowed? Christopher Reeves fell off a horse. By everyone hating on CrossFit, then logically we shouldn’t allow horseback riding. How many people die or seriously injure themselves skiing every year? Let’s get rid of that too. You all can see where I am going with this. By the logic of “you can get hurt doing it so don’t do it,” then we will all sit around, get fat and die of heart disease. Like I said to open, if you can find a Loren and you can make it work, then by all means do it. I believe they are very few and far between. If you are going to exercise then be aware there are risks to them all, even Zumba. If you are going to do CrossFit understand you will be lifting weights, which can cause injury. Do your research. Find a good box to go to. Make sure not only that the instructors are experienced, but that the person in charge of the program is as well. Loren gave me great advice when I was fighting: “Red is high intensity, yellow is medium, and green is light. At the end of every week you should average yellow.” Now get up off your asses and go take some risk. We are all going to die, and we don’t get to do this life again.
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