Crossfit Reflections

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

20 responses

  1. Agree on all counts. I’m definitely old school and intuitive: do it right, do it thorough, do it on your body’s schedule.

    If anyone tried to bark orders at me, they’d have a ten-pounder up their ass in about two seconds. I hear it’s a great forearm workout.

    1. Ah ha…that made me laugh. Yeah…I’m not into being timed or barked at! I know people who just love crossfit and have gotten good results doing it but it’s just not for me. I’m very intuitive too….which is why I’ve avoided a lot of injuries over the last 23 years in the gym.

      1. “…I’ve avoided a lot of injuries over the last 23 years…. ”

        Precisely. But it’s amazing how many people seem to think pain and suffering is some sort of badge of honor.

        How many times have you heard someone brag about the long, horrible hours they’re putting in at work or how expensive and inconvenient their new dietary restrictions are or how little sleep they’re getting due to their busy schedule? Are any of these things healthy or desirable at face value? Hell, no. But we give out points for pain, take them back for ease and pleasure. If you only have to work a few hours a week, can eat anything, and you sleep as long as you like on a daily basis, you keep that shit to yourself…or risk a public flogging.

        What I’d like to know is, if we’re inherently supposed to work smarter, not harder, how come we only hear applause for the hard parts? Humans, thy name is counterproductivity.

      2. Points for pain. I don’t want those!! I’m all about working smarter but it’s something I had to learn through trial and error (particularly in terms of my fitnesss life). I’ve learned to give myself applause not wait for the peanut gallery to tell me how I’m doing. Geez….I sound like an old granny. That’s OK…my grandmother was a great woman! Wishing you a lovely day!

  2. This is awesome. 🙂

    1. Hi! Thanks so much! I keep watching those crossfit classes and I just don’t think it’s the path for me. That being said, I’ve seen some people get really good results doing crossfit. It just doesn’t seem fun (or safe) for me.

      1. Yes! I feel the same exact way! I have a commenter that ranted about how unsafe it can be and he loves crossfit.

  3. I took a Crossfit demo once and I really enjoyed it. It’s so expensive though. The box I went to had very good coaches who were watching my every move and form. I was thinking of doing it just for a month or so for stamina. The moves are definitely not slow and controlled because you’re being timed. That part was intimidating.

    1. I’ve seen people get some very good results doing crossfit. I think it makes a BIG difference having good coaches (and enough of them) to watch and see that people are using good form. I think I might be too tempted to let go of form to make time. If you try it out for a while, let me know what you think! I’d love to have more insight.

      1. I think because of the fee, I won’t be joining. After all the taxes and into fees, I could only afford to eat cereal.

      2. Man cannot live on cereal alone…and you do eat some really yummy looking meals at your house. Can’t give those up! I wouldn’t either. I LOVE to eat good food.

  4. Your absolutely correct on that observation. My sister who is a personal trainer, competes in physic and gym owner has countless members ask how to train around the shoulder injury they got doing cross fit.

    1. Ah…your sister’s experience seems like what I’ve observed over the last month at my new gym. I think it’s probably just fine if you have a very knowledgeable coach watching you and making SURE you’re doing the exercises properly and that you aren’t using too much weight. I just know myself and it looks too taxing and like it might lead to me injuring myself. I have seen some people get great results doing crossfit…but I’m not sold for myself.

  5. I’ve been doing CrossFit in addition to my weights/running routine. I like most challenges in the training. However, there are lots of unnecessary routines without sense and they are just plain reckless.

    1. Hi Al! I think it’s cool that you do crossfit. I’m not sure about it for me but I’ve seen some great results for other people!

    2. Hi Al! I tried to reply to you last week but the WordPress app was acting funny. I think it’s cool that you do a little crossfit. I’m chicken after seeing other people in the gym attempt it. They use such bad form sometimes. It’s great if you have a good coach or just a good sense of what you should and shouldn’t do. I don’t trust the coaches at my gym to watch carefully enough.

  6. Great blog Doc. Valid points and concessions. The concept of crossfit is good but some of the exercises and execution of the exercises are hazardous at best. It can be a great HIIT workout but proceed with caution.

    1. Hi and happy Thursday! I haven’t given crossfit a try yet. I’m not sure I will but I see crossfire gyms opening up all over the place. It’s really popular. I might have enjoyed it more in my 20’s….now, I don’t think it’s for me.

    2. Hi and happy Thursday! I haven’t given crossfit a try yet. I’m not sure I will but I see crossfit gyms opening up all over the place. It’s really popular. I might have enjoyed it more in my 20’s….now, I don’t think it’s for me.

    3. Hi there! I tried to reply using a WordPress app when I was in the mountains but it kept posting my replies to other people as comments on my blog. Weird! I’ve seen some aerobic classes that use weights in a reasonable way and some crossfit classes where they used weights in a way that seemed like begging for trouble. I know the crossfit coaches are supposed to watch for that kind of thing but not all of them do. Unless I run into a coach I trust I think I’ll leave the crossfit option on the table. Hope you’re having a great day!

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