CrossFit: What is it about?

By Alexa Bernard and Daniel Wells

History

CrossFit was founded by former gymnast Greg Glassman, and the first CrossFit affiliated gym opened in Santa Cruz in 1995. CrossFit itself is a strength and conditioning fitness methodology that promotes broad and general overall physical fitness using a myriad of exercises more commonly found in the activities of weightlifting, sprinting, and gymnastics.

Pros

  • CrossFit uses multi-joint movements which research has shown to have a positive effect on bone density as we age, along with keeping the central nervous system healthy.
  • It challenges a variety of bimotor qualities due to the different modalities it uses.
  • Due to its high metabolic demand, CrossFit increases Exercise Post-Oxygen Consumption, enabling one to burn more calories at rest.
  • It may also increase muscle mass and strength.
  • Every workout is different.
  • Borrows from other modalities.

Cons

  • Slightly more prone to injury
  • Maybe too intense
  • Very complex
  • Reduces individual attention

Contraindictions

“I need to get in shape before I try CrossFit.”

“I’ve never worked out before and CrossFit looks too intense.”

“CrossFit is too hard.”


These are three objections that CrossFit coaches hear all the time when speaking with regular folks who are interested in CrossFit but have some misconceptions about how the program works. Anyone can do CrossFit, and can put together programs to fit them, just like any other workout.

Participant Testimonies

There is a longstanding, endless and circular argument that surrounds CrossFit when it comes to injuries. It usually starts with someone outside the CrossFit community making a fairly nebulous claim, such as “CrossFit causes rhabdo” or “Kipping pull-ups are bad for the shoulders.”


But those who are avid CrossFitters say that CrossFit is not dangerous, that injuries occur in any sport, that the alternative of sitting on the couch and vegetating can be much worse, and ultimately, that there is zero evidence that there is any data-driven causation between CrossFit and injuries.

Required Certification/Education to Coach

There are 2 levels of certification. Level 1 is a beginner course and certifies you to teach beginner level classes and about methodology and technique. Level 2 is an intermediate course and certifies you to coach professional level courses.

Example of Workout