Living on the Edge

How does CrossFit affect your body?


CrossFit, The Sport of Fitness

Crossfit is designed to enhance the 10 components of fitness, these components are:
cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, accuracy. The definition of CrossFit is: various functional movements at high intensity, but many of these movements are harmful to your body if not performed right, many of these functional movements will harm your musculoskeletal system because of the constant exercise of muscles. Other systems will include respiratory system

The Musculoskeletal System

Injuries, Sprains and All That Pain

Many CrossFitters have tight, torn or sprained muscles and broken bones. The amount of people who are unable to perform these movements to perfection is everybody, in CrossFit you can always improve. The musculoskeletal system can be effected by the three main parts of CrossFit: olympic lifting, high skilled gymnastics and high intensity interval training.

Olympic Lifting:

The main parts of you body that are affected by lifting are your lower back, shoulders, hamstrings and hips. Weight lifting causes catabolism or muscle breakdown, this happens when you finish your workout your body goes into a process of growth and repair and if you don't eat protein after you workout your carbohydrates eat your muscles when your carbohydrates are supposed to eat your fat so you have to eat within 30-45 minutes so that you don't have muscle breakdown. But lifting also cause anabolism and muscle building and over a period of time strength and explosive power is increased after lifting.


The common parts of the body that is most affected by these movements is the hips and the arms. The hips are constantly exercised for the use of creating momentum. You use your hips to kip. The arms are affected by all the body weight movements such as handstand walking or handstand push ups requiring your arms to sustain weight in a overhead position. Some of the positive effects are body weight strength, muscular endurance, coordination and flexibility.

Interval Training:

The various movements causes all of your body to ache, you might not feel it during the workout or after because of all the adrenaline and endorphins making you feel satisfied with the work you have done but you'll wake up in the morning with pains. Interval training also has some positive effects as well, for example reduced chance of heart disease and increased cardiovascular and respiratory endurance.

The Respiratory System

Inhale, Exhale, Repeat

CrossFit is very exhausting, because of the constant exercise you need to remember to breathe in and out. This might be a very simple thing to do but even elite CrossFitters forget to do this. Shallow breathing can affect the heart rate causing your heart to pump blood faster around the body to provide oxygen, it can increase stress and weaken your core over a period of time. Poor posture and subconsciously sucking in your stomach in the idea of looking thin can also affect your breathing. Sucking in your stomach reduces the amount of air getting to your chest when you inhale. Bad posture

Here are some ways to stop this problem:

  • To correct bad breathing: ears behind shoulders, this will not only improve your posture and your breathing this will also improve your eyesight because your not leaning in so close to your work whether it's on your computer or on paper.
  • Try to implement breathing techniques outside of the of the gym, make sure that when you breathe your stomach inflates as well as your lungs.
  • Try taking a mindfulness course to focus on your breathing following the instructions of the course doing at least one lesson every week.
  • Take a yoga class every once in awhile that focuses on breathing and relaxing, this can also positively impact your musculoskeletal system, stretching the muscles improving your sleep so you can get some rest and faithfully show up to your local box the next day.
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Breathing Exercises

  1. Lying down on your back, your feet against the wall and your legs are bent at 90º degrees, have a friend place their fingers slightly above your diaphragm but not touching your body inhale and exhale making your stomach meet your friends fingers with your back touching the floor. Repeat with their fingers at your lower back and sides.
  2. Do the yoga pose, child's pose. Cross your legs, relax your arms and drop your torso so your chest is touching your legs. Feel the breath against your legs.
  3. Lie face down with face resting on your hands and your stomach touching the floor. Breathe in and out feeling the breath against your hands.

The Economic Factor

Paying Premium Prices to be in Pain

Opening an Affiliate:

Crossfit affiliates are spread over 142 countries around 7 continents in the world. There are over 13,000 affiliates around the world. Opening a affiliate have pro's and con's. Some of the pro's are:

  • The upfront investment in a CrossFit box is at least 50 times less than a your local or traditional fitness club. Fitness clubs have to make the club look like others in it's chain whereas CrossFit gyms could have there own look to it.
  • CrossFit gyms have a great sense of community and word of mouth is very powerful in the community. Normally that sense of community is lost in your fitness club.
  • Your gym can be located in any commercial area.

Some of the con's are:

  • CrossFit memberships are normally more expensive that a fitness club, or a bootcamp. This is because the box has to pay monthly affiliate fee not forgetting the rent, electricity fee and other bills.
  • There will be the noise complaints due to the loud noise of dropping weights and blasting music.
  • A few exercises need more space than the CrossFit box can provide such as tire/pig flips, distance running, sled/pushing/pulling.

Solution and Conclusion

Forging Elite Fitness

CrossFit has prided itself on it's training methodology, forging elite fitness is one of the trademarks of CrossFit. Just because CrossFit is painful at times doesn't mean that it's bad for you. First of all do a trial class, if you love it great. if you don't that's okay too. CrossFIt might not be for everyone but that doesn't matter everyone should try to stay fit in what ever way they can.

Ways to solve this problem:

  • Find the right coaches who know when your form is failing and can tell the difference between enough is enough and keep it going.
  • When someone shows up to your gym to sign up, before you say: "Sure you can, when would you like to come in?" make them do an on ramp. An on ramp is around 4 PTs (personal training sessions) where you learn the more technical movements, mainly weightlifting so that you don't injure you back.
  • Have the right equipment. Try using wrist wraps, knee or elbow sleeves to protect your joints from getting too overworked.
  • Don't come in to the gym when you're injured. Take a few days off so that your body can recover and so that you don't jeopardise your body for the sake of coming to the gym.
  • Stretch before and after a session using a roller, massage ball or go treat yourself to a massage.
  • Before going to crazy with weight check with your coach if your form is correct so you can move up in weight.
  • Your WOD's (workout of the day) should target different muscles groups on different days so that your not overworking muscles.

In conclusion, CrossFit is great. It may not be for everybody but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't try it. Always try to stay fit, look after yourself and have fun.