CrossFit, a notoriously intense fitness program with an international following, has developed somewhat of a bad reputation. Several articles have attempted to debunk the CrossFit craze. However, CrossFitters like Jordan Loney would "never tell anyone not to do it," even though he shattered his kneecap during a CrossFit session, according to KFOR-TV.
"You can be your own worst enemy in that place," Loney told KFOR-TV, after undergoing four surgeries to repair his knee. He would tell prospective CrossFitters, however, to "Be insured. Have your insurance paid and up to date, because you don't want to be without when the time comes."
The fitness program takes "elements from weightlifting, gymnastics and endurance activities, skills such as pull-ups and rope climbs, and more traditional workout activities such as running, swimming and rowing and combines them in high-intensity workouts," according to iClubs.
CrossFit gets a bad reputation because it puts intense strain on the body. Specifically, CrossFit beginners are at-risk for injury if they don't properly warm up the muscles, perform the movements with good form or know the difference between "feeling the burn" and being in pain. But gyms often encourage CrossFit beginners to complete an introductory fitness course before diving into the program headfirst.
"Most gyms focus on the fundamentals and the mechanics of the movements before we introduce any of the intensity," Hollis Molloy, coach and owner of CrossFit Santa Cruz, told the Huffington Post in 2013. In these introductory courses, Molloy asks newbies to "do about 50% of what we tell the rest of the class to do." These opening fitness tutorials help those who are new to CrossFit to understand what it takes to do the program safely.
Knowing your body's limits can help safeguard against most, not all, of the risks involved in the fitness program. Any fitness program can come with health risks.
"If you go to a gym with reputable coaches and certified staff, in a controlled environment, it's actually fairly safe," Athletic therapist Vincent Fung told the Western University Gazette. "That being said, not all CrossFit gyms are alike... If a gym is group-based and they don't give a lot of instructions, that's where injuries can occur. It's not to say that CrossFit is dangerous in itself, it's just dangerous without proper instruction."
If you want to join the CrossFit craze, know your limits, do your research and find a gym with reputable trainers.