You may have seen on television that CrossFit is the new X Games. Since 2007 ATHLETES have competed for The Fittest on Earth title. Really? The Fittest? Anyway, the key word above is ATHLETES. I am sorry Body Designers, while these incredible ATHLETES are in great shape, they did not get that way by taking CrossFit classes. They all followed a specific dietary and exercise regimen that helped them build the muscle, burn the fat and create the endurance in order to compete, at an extremely high level, to be the best at CrossFit. That’s all!
Founded in 2000 by former gymnast Greg Glassman, CrossFit is one of the latest “fitness” fads to hit the market. The first CrossFit affiliated gym opened in Santa Cruz in 1995 and now there are approximately 3400. CrossFit classes are even offered at Krav Maga Worldwide on Olympic Blvd.
In case you haven’t heard of it before, CrossFit “is a core strength and conditioning program,” and “not a specialized fitness program, but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence.” While their workouts focus on endurance, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy, they do not focus on muscle development or fat loss.
Classes are instructed at a “high-intensity” and last 60 minutes. They are comprised of many different exercises including Olympic lifts; like the Jerk and the Clean, Power lifts; like the bench press and deadlifts, Kettlebell exercises, plyometrics; like jump rope and box jumps, high-speed rowing, sprinting and running. Whatever the exercises of choice the day’s instructor sets forth, the intensity is all that matters.
From my experience, it’s ALL that REALLY matters. There is very little “coaching” other than the instructor and “Alpha Trainees” screaming at those who are lagging behind. There is no spotting. There is no quitting. There is no sense to it all!
I have seen many patients come into the gym for physical therapy that have injured themselves in a CrossFit class. Yes, injuries can happen doing a lot of different activities. Right Diane? Steve? And even I have hurt myself from jumping rope too much or lifting too heavy. However, there is a difference. When “accidents” occur while precautions are in place…that’s one thing. It’s a far different thing when an instructor throws “caution to the wind” and someone gets hurt.
So my dear “Fans”, “Followers”, and “Friends”, CrossFit is not a weight loss program. CrossFit is not a program focused on building muscle. CrossFit does not promote a healthy lifestyle. CrossFit is a workout that challenges ATHLETES to raise their bar. So, if you are still interested in taking CrossFit, or any other boot camp style workout class, be an observer first, then proceed with caution. Do not push yourself beyond what you know you can do or handle.