Over the years, I’ve contemplated trying crossfit. There are many people I know who swear by it. According to them it’s the best thing since sliced bread. At times, there’s a little good natured friction between the crossfit crowd and traditional lifters. If I had to pick a side, I’d stay in the weight room doing what I do. I don’t think crossfit is for me. That’s not because I don’t think it’s an effective way to exercise but it requires things I sincerely don’t want to do.
First, I’m not fond of getting my heart rate into the upper ranges when I’m doing my gym thing. If I’m sprinting at the track, no problem, but I don’t like doing that as part of a lifting exercise. I do work diligently but I don’t like the feeling of truly exhausting myself consistently in workouts. I like to lift hard and leave the gym feeling my muscles have been challenged but I don’t want to droop for the rest of the day. I use workouts to generate, not deplete, my energy for other things.
I also don’t like being timed during exercise. Sometimes I go fast, sometimes I go more slowly depending on how I feel. Daily competition for time doesn’t interest me and I think it has the potential to encourage injury as you start to fatigue. Form is always important. If you deviate from proper form (and there are times I purposely allow it for myself) you have to do it with intention and strict attention so you don’t get hurt. Trying to do a series of exercises fast, leaves a lot of room for sloppy movements.
The one other concern I have is that crossfit involves a lot of jerky movement. I say this from observing the crossfitters at the gym I used to attend. There seems to be a lot of “throwing” the weights around. I’m sure this isn’t what’s supposed to happen and that good supervision and training would lessen the prevalence of this but it’s easy to slip into less-than-perfect-form when you’re doing some of their movements. Beginners, those improperly trained and people over 40 (me) would be at particular risk from injury when tackling these exercises.
Even though crossfit isn’t for me, I have seen people really change their physiques doing it. It’s another choice for people who want variety in their workouts. Lots of people love it. I say…more power to them! When you find something that floats your boat and gets you to look forward to exercise, it’s a wonderful thing.