To Crossfit or Not To Crossfit

We’ve all ended up in those controversial conversations where we wish we could just leave and never bring up the subject again. Some of those subjects are: politics, abortion, religion, and the newest topic to add to the list – crossfit? Okay, crossfit isn’t that controversial but it certainly has a lot of people talking. People are either on the crossfit bandwagon or they are sooo far away from jumping in on the action.

There are a couple blog posts popping up all over Facebook about being “anti” crossfit and others that are about being “pro” crossfit. Here are links to two articles, one being anti and the other being pro –

http://www.dailydot.com/opinion/why-i-dont-do-crossfit/

http://derzfitlife.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/response-to-erin-simmons-why-i-dont-crossfit/

As some of you may have read in one of my earlier articles I just recently started doing crossfit. I totally understand where both of these articles are coming from. The “anti” crossfit article makes a good point about the new trend being potentially dangerous. Crossfit does involve difficult workouts including Olympic lifts and your endurance will certainly be tested. But aren’t other workouts and sports dangerous too? Saying you’re going to get injured doing crossfit is like saying you will drown while learning to swim. Sure you could drown while swimming but with guidance and instruction you will be equipped with the knowledge of how to stay afloat. With proper instruction, guidance, and form, you are less likely to get injured doing crossfit, as Mycal Anders talks about in his pro crossfit article.

Erin Simmons, author of “Why I Don’t Do Crossfit”, talks about her experiences trying crossfit involving being yelled at by coaches, not getting enough guidance, and lifting too much weight. In the short time I have been doing crossfit I understand how these things could happen but my experiences have been much more positive. After going through a two week on-ramp program (consisting of six training sessions to learn the lifts and other basics), the coaches still go over the lifts with me before starting the WOD (workout of the day). I love that they remember I’m new and need a little bit more guidance than some of the vets. They also discuss what weight I should be lifting for that particular WOD. They tell me what weight they are comfortable with me lifting and ask me if I feel that is okay or too much (or sometimes not enough). We always discuss the option of starting out lighter and adding more weight on. Do my coaches yell? They definitely raise their voices but with an encouraging tone. I don’t feel as if I’m getting scolded at to go faster, I feel like I’m being cheered on to keep going and not give up.

I strongly believe that the best way to approach crossfit is to give yourself time before trying it. Give yourself time to build some strength, work on your endurance, and don’t assume you’re going to get injured because there’s a good chance you won’t. Spend time researching what crossfit is before signing up and really look into where you’re thinking about joining. Once you figure out if this is something you want to try, start using parts of crossfit WODs in your own workouts to get used to what it is going to be like. I would have felt extremely overwhelmed and frustrated going into crossfit if I didn’t already have prior knowledge and experience lifting. Anyone who is looking to go above and beyond working out should give crossfit a try. If you try it and love it, prepare for the reactions, “Oh crossfit….that’s dangerous, be careful.” All we can say to that is…haters gonna hate.

Kristen Malm

Kristen Malm is a twenty-something year old Monmouth University graduate with a B.A. in English. After living on the Jersey Shore for 4 years, she is back home in CT looking for what to do next. She is obsessed with coffee, Gossip Girl, and brunch. She is also a seasonal (spring & summer) sushi and fro-yo addict. Kristen has joined in on the crossfit trend and may or may not become addicted…we will see (she probably will). Kristen enjoys history (it was her minor in college), traveling (she went to Ireland with high school classmates and England with college classmates), and watching MMA (there is just something about the anticipation of a person possibly getting knocked out…). She cares for her cat like its her child and loves listening to Spanish music even though 99% of the time she doesn't know what they are saying. Follow her on Instagram @kristenamalm !

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