CrossFit is a huge trend right now in the fitness industry. Although the name CrossFit is relatively new, the olympic lifting, plyometrics, and circuit training that make up CrossFit are old. Through a combination of these three things (plus more), CrossFit has created workouts that accomplish as much work as possible in short amounts of time. With my own personal experience of CrossFit, I recognize both the benefits and disadvantages.
First off, many people love CrossFit because of how challenging it can be. After completing a workout, individuals feel great and accomplished, especially if they thought they would never be able to accomplish what they just did. When you leave a workout, your muscles feel tired and you are also soaked in sweat. You feel like you just worked out hard, and most likely you did. Additionally, CrossFit has a great community where everyone cheers each other on, you rarely ever do a workout alone, and everyone pushes each other to be better. CrossFit will get people fit and healthy because of its combination of cardiovascular and strength at very high intensities.
Yet, CrossFit can also have its disadvantages. First and foremost, one of the biggest problems in the CrossFit community is inexperienced coaches. Many CrossFit coaches only have a level 1 certification which is a weekend-long certification. Since I have my Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science, my Strength and Conditioning Specialist Certification from the NSCA, and have competed and been coached in Olympic lifting, I get scared that without the proper training, coaches may be unable to instruct their trainees in perfect form. Many people criticize CrossFit because of the injury rate, and the injury rate is likely very high due to this lack of training. With the proper training, coaches will be able to instruct their trainees in perfect form for the very technical lifts that are required, thereby reducing the injury rate. It should also be noted that when people get tired during workouts, the first thing that typically goes is proper form. Therefore, with inexperienced training, a coach may program very technical lifts for parts of the workout where trainees are very fatigued, also increasing the potential for injury.
It is critical that proper form is stressed in CrossFit and that WODs (workouts of the day) are programmed correctly to lower the injury rate. CrossFit is an excellent workout, it just requires extreme attention to detail for its trainees to stay healthy and happy.
The NSCA has recently put out an article stating the protocols that coaches should abide by.
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