I have always looked at “trendy” workout programs with an educated mind and a great deal of skepticism. The average fitness enthusiast and customer cannot see past the fantastic marketing to figure out if this program or that program is right for them. They just see some good-looking paid models and they want to look like them and do what they are doing. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with watching the late night infomercials of these pretty people working out. But please remember, they are trying to sell you something!!
Hope I haven’t lost you yet. You’re still wondering what this has to do with Crossfit. Well here you go. Recently my personal workouts have gotten stale and boring. I realized that I needed a change; I needed something new. Enter Crossfit. Over the past 2 weeks I have done about 7 self-run Crossfit workouts and I am not ashamed to tell you-- I’M HOOKED!
Don’t get me wrong; I am sticking to my guns when I say that Crossfit is not for everyone. In fact, it can be pretty bad for a lot of people. It all depends on your experience and your body’s ability to perform functional movement patterns. If you have experience lifting weights and can perform the major Olympic lifts (clean, clean/jerk, snatch) correctly you are one step closer to benefiting from Crossfit. But those are not the only prerequisites you should think about. If you are considering Crossfit as a change of pace or already participate in Crossfit workouts, you need to complete a Functional Movement Screen to avoid injury. The Functional Movement Screen (FMS), created by Gray Cook and Colleagues, looks at how the body is functioning and compares that to how the body should be functioning.
What does this all mean? A Functional Movement Screen will tell us if there are any asymmetries in your movements. It also allows us to see where there are dysfunctions that limit proper functional movement. It means that if your body is not doing what it is designed to do CORRECTLY, then completing many of the Crossfit exercises may leave you injured now or in the future. By completing the repetitive explosive movements in Crossfit exercises you are risking harm to your body if the structure and muscles of your body are not properly functioning first. I also know that most people fall into the habit of trashing form and function to complete the round or the exercise as they get tired. This is where you must have a strong grasp of what proper form is and be confident that you’re body is moving properly to avoid hurting yourself. I am pretty sure that the average Crossfit instructor has little to no knowledge of FMS or real proper form. I’ve witnessed many Crossfit instructors not say a word as their participants exhibited form that can and will send somebody to the hospital. So, beware! But remember, there are good instructors out there, you just need to find them.
I’ve learned there may be some merit to those “trendy”, popular programs and I guess I am not a true Crossfit Hater like I thought I was. Honestly, I have become more pro Crossfit over the past couple weeks than I ever was before, however, I strongly believe that Crossfit is not for everyone and most people doing Crossfit need to also do corrective work to make sure their body is prepared for the rigors of Crossfit. We strongly believe that our clients should do corrective work before beginning ANY exercise program. But I do think Crossfit is a great change from the “same old routine” most people are doing. Remember, “to build a house we must first lay a Solid foundation.”
- Joshua Conn, owner of Solid Fitness (www.solidfitnesstraining.com)
P.S. I look forward to comments regarding this article, I know I have some friends and acquaintances that are very serious about Crossfit. Bring on the responses.