4

votes

does anyone else agree crossfit is unhealthy?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 18, 2013 at 9:42 PM

i'm not sure how the association between crossfit and paleo came to be, but crossfit gives the paleo diet a bad name.

crossfit promotes really bad form and i'm surprised it hasn't resulted in more deaths.

Medium avatar

(297)

on February 26, 2014
at 10:43 PM

I don't know anyone personally but I've seen some posts on here that said they do it 5-6 times a week.

A048b66e08306d405986b6c04bf5e8e4

on February 26, 2014
at 09:26 PM

My CrossFit gym is a stickler for good form

7160a3fb485cb0af573c0292fdb08144

(35)

on February 26, 2014
at 08:33 PM

I don't know anyone who does it everyday. 3 on, 1 off is pretty common. It's not like you squat two days in a row though so your muscles do have time to recover.

7160a3fb485cb0af573c0292fdb08144

(35)

on February 26, 2014
at 08:30 PM

It depends on your diet. If you're not getting enough protein, I would definitely only do 2 or 3 workouts a week.

Medium avatar

(297)

on February 26, 2014
at 06:01 PM

From what I understand, these gyms are not all the same. My experience: the trainer pushed me until I nearly fainted (I stopped before I did, despite him continuing to push me), and my foot cramped so badly I was in agony for close to an hour and could barely walk for the rest of the day. Sounds healthy to you? Not to me. It would make sense to push myself to my limit if I were training for the Olympics or the Hunger Games, but I'm not. Other people claim to have great experiences, so I guess it depends on the gym/trainer.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e

(70)

on February 26, 2014
at 01:14 PM

Totally, its overtraining obsession. Heck regular strength trainers are bad enough for this. _recovery time_. IMO people who want to train that hard need a competant psychologist more than a work out program that feuls their mentality.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on January 22, 2013
at 03:35 PM

It all depends on your purpose. Doug McGuff, Bill de Simone, Keith Norris- I think these guys can definitely get you healthy and strong safely. I've got to make do with the unsupervised stuff- and I've got to constantly remind myself my first purpose is health, and not a heavier weight or a faster running time. This is where being a wannabe athlete can really hurt you- and they tend to encourage that stuff in Crossfit, so I hope you are with a good crew.

7c8e227dd8d5bdd77febfdebaa78dc13

(185)

on January 19, 2013
at 05:50 AM

I never said cross fit sucks, I just said its so easy to do crossfit wrong. I did enjoy my time there but the risk of injury terrified me. You don't know when you walk into a crossfit center how great the trainers are, my box had trainers with pretty extensive backgrounds, but I don't think they were very well suited for beginners.

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on January 19, 2013
at 04:53 AM

Uh, I was *never* pushed to go heavy from the start. No one at my box is pushed beyond what they are capable of doing. Sounds like you had crappy trainers, and that makes people think Crossfit sucks. It doesn't.

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on January 19, 2013
at 04:51 AM

"Upper middle class wannabe athletes". How very lame.

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on January 19, 2013
at 04:49 AM

Crossfit is only bad when the trainers are bad. Crossfit is what helped me heal my back from inflammation and spasms when 6+ weeks of physio following a car accident did sweet eff-all. Crossfit owns.

D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on January 19, 2013
at 03:45 AM

Robb also thought Crossfit had a better future helping people get healthier. My understanding was that HQ wanted to push extremeExtremeEXTREME!!11!! fitness, ala Crossfit Games, celebrating puking, Uncle Rhabdo, etc.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on January 19, 2013
at 01:17 AM

Yeah - that's what I say in my first paragraph. I know he is also very open about disagreeing with some aspects of the training style and that he does things different in his gym since breaking from Crossfit. I'm not sure of the chronology though.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 19, 2013
at 01:11 AM

Heh, you sure have everybody fooled...

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 19, 2013
at 01:07 AM

Been a while since I read the drama over Robb Wolf and Crossfit. The whole stink was that Crossfit wanted to push Zone and Robb wasn't pushing the party line, I thought.

F4a6fc9f0b701e12cdf2ad5dadaeb2dd

(360)

on January 18, 2013
at 11:32 PM

There is always risk of injury....... Perfect workout for me is carrying boulders up mountains.

F4a6fc9f0b701e12cdf2ad5dadaeb2dd

(360)

on January 18, 2013
at 11:31 PM

Carry boulders up mountains.

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on January 18, 2013
at 10:35 PM

So what should these "wannabe athletes" be doing then? Going to a regular gym where there are no coaches looking after you? You can get hurt playing any sport and working out in any way, shape, or form. It depends on the person, the gym, and the coaches. So what is the perfect way to workout where there is absolutely no risk of injury?

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 18, 2013
at 10:11 PM

That's not what the OP is about (I think). Crossfit tolerates, encourages or even promotes bad form, weights which are too heavy, and exercises which have not been proven to be safe. That's unhealthy. Just search CF on youtube and you'll see what I mean. Yeah I know it depends on the leader of the cult or whatever the CF gyms are called, but minority of them have more than a weekend course in CF or any other fitness training (not that it's any different from other gyms).

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 18, 2013
at 10:08 PM

I couldn't agree more; glad this is brought up.

3a9d5dde5212ccd34b860bb6ed07bbef

(1782)

on January 18, 2013
at 09:46 PM

Ha. While I'm not sure about the death thing, it is the epitome of ego-lifting.

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18 Answers

8
9c645665cbff7a545afd27578396dfff

on January 18, 2013
at 10:18 PM

I couldn't disagree with that statement more! And I have several people in my life that are living examples of how CrossFit and Paleo have saved their lives, including myself! I do believe that not all CrossFit boxes are created equal and just because a gym wears the CrossFit name doesn't mean you should trust them with your life. You have to do your research, learn about the trainers and what they back grounds are, as well as how they run the box! With that said, I have also bought some Paleo books only to discover recipes with white sugar in them! Does that mean I throw all Paleo out as bad? NO! I throw that book out and move on! My mother in law, at 66 years old had a physical and all her numbers in were in severely dangerous range. She started CrossFit last January. This is a woman that never played a sport in her life! She started with very light or no weights at all and had most of her WOD's scaled/adapted for her. She also embraced the Paleo lifestyle that our trainers encourage. Today, a year later she is down over 50lbs, ALL her numbers are in healthy range and she avoided going on ANY medications! Try telling her CrossFit is unhealthy! She will laugh at you and tell you what is unhealthy was the life she was living prior to CrossFit! And she can now deadlift 100lbs. She is pretty proud of that and because we have great trainers at our box, her form is GREAT!! Not bad for a 67 year old woman!

6
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on January 18, 2013
at 10:04 PM

If you listen to Robb Wolf's podcast, you'll know that he is no longer pro-crossfit. He used to be very heavily involved with it in the beginning. I think he was also big in promoting the paleo diet within the crossfit community (which had been officially pushing the zone diet). I think he even got in trouble with the crossfit higher ups for doing so.

One of his critiques is as you say, it promotes bad form. These lifts were not designed to be done in high rep ranges, and it's very difficult to do them with proper form at those reps. Combine that with doing it as part of a time challenge and (at many gyms) poor/inadequate coaching along with someone who likely was not an expert in doing olympic lifts properly to begin with, and I think you're right - lots of room for injury.

All that said, for many people, cross fit got them off the couch and likely got them to think about food more and likely made them much, much healthier. Many of those people were probably lucky enough to get that benefit without any injury.

Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on January 19, 2013
at 01:17 AM

Yeah - that's what I say in my first paragraph. I know he is also very open about disagreeing with some aspects of the training style and that he does things different in his gym since breaking from Crossfit. I'm not sure of the chronology though.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on January 19, 2013
at 01:07 AM

Been a while since I read the drama over Robb Wolf and Crossfit. The whole stink was that Crossfit wanted to push Zone and Robb wasn't pushing the party line, I thought.

D7cc4049bef85d1979efbd853dc07c8e

(4029)

on January 19, 2013
at 03:45 AM

Robb also thought Crossfit had a better future helping people get healthier. My understanding was that HQ wanted to push extremeExtremeEXTREME!!11!! fitness, ala Crossfit Games, celebrating puking, Uncle Rhabdo, etc.

3
154830bbf289fc3b1d7149b38abab649

on January 18, 2013
at 10:05 PM

Crossfit is the best thing that has ever happened for my Heath . I was overweight and very unfit. I'm stronger and leaner than I have ever been and not 100% paleo. Crossfit promotes good form, if you lose form you should have the sense to lower your weight before injury. Since when is getting people fitter and healthier a bad thing ?

3
97f2b9de6ad204bde85df4ac3b9c0d53

on January 18, 2013
at 10:05 PM

I believe this to be a very, very, uneducated statement. CrossFit is unsafe if not properly coached and or executed. Just like going to 24 hr fitness and bench pressing. If you do it wrong you will hurt yourself. If you use to much weight you will hurt yourself. How it gives Paleo a bad name is beyond me. It is true that SOME CrossFit gyms do push a Paleo Diet. If anything this gives Paleo more credibility because a buisness centered around Health and Fitness is urging members to eat better. The actual CrossFit go to diet is the ZONE, not PALEO. Independent gyms use the Paleo because well, we all can agree, it's the most Ideal.

Can CrossFit cause Injury? Yes, but so can Hiking, Running, Baseball, Football, etc... Get my point? What you see on the CrossFit Games and people doing a TON of weight is 5% of the CrossFit Community. Majority of CrossFitters are normal joes, who want a better workout.

2
86219793028cfa1e49e643e3229ba83a

(20)

on January 19, 2013
at 07:13 AM

Crossfit changed my life. My triglycerides went down 100 points and I lost 30 lbs all in one year, and have never felt better. Paleo definitely had a lot to do with it but so did crossfit. It depends on the crossfit trainers. Mine are amazing and never push me beyond my comfort zone. They won't even let me overhead squat or snatch with even the 35 lb bar because my shoulder is so tight from a surgery that my form is compromised. They are amazing and I have never looked so forward to working out in my entire life.

2
7c8e227dd8d5bdd77febfdebaa78dc13

on January 18, 2013
at 10:36 PM

I don't think its unhealthy if done right, but that's part of the problem, its so easy to do it wrong. I tried out crossfit last year for 3 months, and as a not very strong beginner you are pushed from the very start to go heavy. I didn't even have bad forum, as I had done weightlifting years before where perfect forum was stressed, but I ended up pulling my back muscle in my 2nd week in trying to dead lift 100 lbs. As a beginner and having not done such exercises in years, I should of never of gone so heavy even if I could lift it. After my 3 month paid trial was over I never wanted to go back, I was terrified I was going to hurt myself again or someone was going to drop a weight on my foot (everyone throws them to the ground, and our box was pretty small), or someone was going to accidentally throw a heavy kettlebell at me.

I saved myself a lot of money and just bought a pull up bar and a bunch of kettlebells and do my weightlifting exercises at home. I feel much safer and don't push myself beyond what I truly believe I am capable of and I've gotten some pretty good results.

7c8e227dd8d5bdd77febfdebaa78dc13

(185)

on January 19, 2013
at 05:50 AM

I never said cross fit sucks, I just said its so easy to do crossfit wrong. I did enjoy my time there but the risk of injury terrified me. You don't know when you walk into a crossfit center how great the trainers are, my box had trainers with pretty extensive backgrounds, but I don't think they were very well suited for beginners.

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on January 19, 2013
at 04:53 AM

Uh, I was *never* pushed to go heavy from the start. No one at my box is pushed beyond what they are capable of doing. Sounds like you had crappy trainers, and that makes people think Crossfit sucks. It doesn't.

2
75d65450b6ff0be7b969fb321f1200ac

(2506)

on January 18, 2013
at 10:17 PM

I did Olympic lifting as a teenager circa 1970-1972 and I consider myself now to be too old to take on Crossfit. What I've seen of Crossfit is quite ... extreme. Doing fast, repetitive Olympic lifts strikes me as a recipe for disaster. Back injuries must be very common.

Having said this, I can see the allure of Crossfit for those who want a serious challenge and who are over-achievers. But if Crossfit was around 20-30 years ago I wouldn't have taken it up.

_Lazza

2
7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on January 18, 2013
at 10:14 PM

The reason Crossfit and Paleo seemed to go together is because, for a very long time, Robb Wolf was a part of Crossfit. He traveled everywhere taking the paleo message to the Crossfit trainers, but back at HQ the guys were being tempted by that dude that created the zone diet and evil corporations. You can eat five fries AND make tons of money promoting rancid protein powder!

HQ guys were seduced. Major blow up ensued. There are still cool people in Crossfit, but as an official party it is now all about being the toughest guy on the block and proving it by how much you can beat yourself up in the gym.

So, folks get on here and say I am doing Crossfit four times a week, and they always have a question. That question is usually best answered by saying stop doing so much working out.

It is a crap shoot. You may walk into you local Crossfit and get some awesome people who will train you well, or you may need shoulder surgery in under a month. It also costs a lot of money, so it is also basically a boutique for the upper middle class wannabe athletes.

97d98cdf2f18fa2c0bd8567ea1159609

(1047)

on January 18, 2013
at 10:35 PM

So what should these "wannabe athletes" be doing then? Going to a regular gym where there are no coaches looking after you? You can get hurt playing any sport and working out in any way, shape, or form. It depends on the person, the gym, and the coaches. So what is the perfect way to workout where there is absolutely no risk of injury?

F4a6fc9f0b701e12cdf2ad5dadaeb2dd

(360)

on January 18, 2013
at 11:32 PM

There is always risk of injury....... Perfect workout for me is carrying boulders up mountains.

F4a6fc9f0b701e12cdf2ad5dadaeb2dd

(360)

on January 18, 2013
at 11:31 PM

Carry boulders up mountains.

74786bbe8254844304a33943290c4d6d

(1663)

on January 19, 2013
at 04:51 AM

"Upper middle class wannabe athletes". How very lame.

7bf306ada57db47547e9da39a415edf6

(11214)

on January 22, 2013
at 03:35 PM

It all depends on your purpose. Doug McGuff, Bill de Simone, Keith Norris- I think these guys can definitely get you healthy and strong safely. I've got to make do with the unsupervised stuff- and I've got to constantly remind myself my first purpose is health, and not a heavier weight or a faster running time. This is where being a wannabe athlete can really hurt you- and they tend to encourage that stuff in Crossfit, so I hope you are with a good crew.

8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e

(70)

on February 26, 2014
at 01:14 PM

Totally, its overtraining obsession. Heck regular strength trainers are bad enough for this. _recovery time_. IMO people who want to train that hard need a competant psychologist more than a work out program that feuls their mentality.

2
1debb32be7c688b28086fdd3f65fd028

on January 18, 2013
at 10:04 PM

I don't believe that CrossFit promotes bad form; it just depends on the coaches that work at each gym, as well as each individual athlete, specifically. The coaches we have at the CrossFit box I attend are wonderful at taking the time to teach each athlete proper form prior to allowing them to lift heavier and perform more repetitions. While some of the workouts (otherwise known as "WODs") are timed or ask one to perform as many reps/rounds as possible ("AMRAP"), it's up to each athlete to determine his/her level of fitness and whether or not he/she wants to risk injury just to finish a few seconds faster than if he/she would've having used proper form.

As for its link to the Paleo diet, it just makes sense that when attempting to become more lean and allowing muscle to recover more quickly, one would want to eat in a way that would allow more efficient fat-burning capability. Also, the Paleo diet promotes exercising in a more "real world" way than merely lifting a few weights and running on a treadmill a few times a week; CrossFit provides the style of exercise that transfers more to the "real world" setting (i.e., squatting to lift heavy items, or climbing a tree or whatever). I think that's where the link between the two occurs, and it sort of just continued along that path as this whole movement with both CrossFit and Paleo blew up.

Just a perspective from someone who went from eating like crap and moving solely from the couch to the refrigerator for most of her life to now going to CrossFit 4+ times per week and eating about 99% Paleo. Both have been life-changing for me, and I plan to continue with both. :)

2
D853a73d2747df1b19e2825f79dfed14

(38)

on January 18, 2013
at 09:58 PM

I don't agree that crossfit gives paleo a "bad name". If anything, crossfit has served as a conduit through which to share the paleo lifestyle with others who may not have found it on their own.
I can tell you I've heard people be critical of CF, but never has that critisism extended to paleo nor have I heard of someone critical of paleo blame any shortcomings on crossfit.

1
83df7aac9f6571df27c17a8765da7b8d

on January 19, 2013
at 05:57 AM

I think it can be unhealthy, obviously as other have said above it depends completely on the calibre of the box. Looks like you can become crossfit certified in a very short time, without any other PT training/experience.

Saying that they don't always go hand in hand. I know a guy who allegedly xfits but eats bags of crisps and microwave dinners for lunch.

1
2e5dc29c61f97d335ffb990508424719

on January 19, 2013
at 03:23 AM

It's all about keeping chronic inflammation low. Too much exercise = too much inflammation = bad. We live in a society where exercise is admired. Crossfitters can do too much. That is the problem. Read about Philippides syndrome http://www.hughston.com/hha/a_16_4_4.htm

1
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on January 18, 2013
at 10:06 PM

Yes and I asked something similar in Crossfit vs Reality.

1
94e89cc96d5a58b71f36b369b8082999

on January 18, 2013
at 09:53 PM

"Unhealthy" is probably the wrong word. There's some really good arguments that high-rep olympic lifts can lead to injury. On the other hand, it gets people to do a solid mix of heavy compound lifts, intense conditioning intervals, and endurance work.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on January 18, 2013
at 10:11 PM

That's not what the OP is about (I think). Crossfit tolerates, encourages or even promotes bad form, weights which are too heavy, and exercises which have not been proven to be safe. That's unhealthy. Just search CF on youtube and you'll see what I mean. Yeah I know it depends on the leader of the cult or whatever the CF gyms are called, but minority of them have more than a weekend course in CF or any other fitness training (not that it's any different from other gyms).

0
D41ce736cfc4e7362093793f579f846b

on March 03, 2014
at 08:03 PM

As a personal trainer myself I'm not a fan of crossfit. With their WODs they encourage people to do lifts that they're not fully ready for or capable of doing with correct form and technique. When you couple that with the intensity that crossfit workouts are done at (AMRAP, competition etc) it's a recipe for injuries. Here in NZ, the ACC (accident compensation cover) has had an alarmingly high number of claims in the last 2-3 years with crossfit listed as the cause of the injury. I'm not saying that it hasn't successfully made a lot of people very fit, but that needs to be offset by the number who have been injured because of it,

0
Medium avatar

on February 26, 2014
at 06:01 PM

From what I understand, these gyms are not all the same. My experience: the trainer pushed me until I nearly fainted (I stopped before I did, despite him continuing to push me), and my foot cramped so badly I was in agony for close to an hour and could barely walk for the rest of the day. Doesn't sound healthy to me at all. It would make sense to push myself to my limit if I were training for the Olympics or the Hunger Games, but I'm not. Also some people claim they do it every day, which is definitely not healthy, since you need to give your body time to recover. So I guess in the end it depends on the gym/trainer as well as trainee's preferences.

7160a3fb485cb0af573c0292fdb08144

(35)

on February 26, 2014
at 08:33 PM

I don't know anyone who does it everyday. 3 on, 1 off is pretty common. It's not like you squat two days in a row though so your muscles do have time to recover.

Medium avatar

(297)

on February 26, 2014
at 10:43 PM

I don't know anyone personally but I've seen some posts on here that said they do it 5-6 times a week.

0
8b9c2dcd3dfc929a0428d3d6dac4918e

(70)

on February 26, 2014
at 09:01 AM

Seems like overtraining to me. Too little recovery.

7160a3fb485cb0af573c0292fdb08144

(35)

on February 26, 2014
at 08:30 PM

It depends on your diet. If you're not getting enough protein, I would definitely only do 2 or 3 workouts a week.

Medium avatar

(297)

on February 26, 2014
at 06:01 PM

From what I understand, these gyms are not all the same. My experience: the trainer pushed me until I nearly fainted (I stopped before I did, despite him continuing to push me), and my foot cramped so badly I was in agony for close to an hour and could barely walk for the rest of the day. Sounds healthy to you? Not to me. It would make sense to push myself to my limit if I were training for the Olympics or the Hunger Games, but I'm not. Other people claim to have great experiences, so I guess it depends on the gym/trainer.

0
27b7a8c8af63626646f29e343ff26adc

on February 26, 2014
at 06:15 AM

Bad Form? I don't know what box you are referring to but it is not mine. The coaches are well educated and watch form closely. If you can't get the form right you will practice with a plastic pipe until you get it right to avoid injury with weight. No matter how long everyone in the class has been going there for we go over form for everything, everyday. I am starting paleo but it wasn't something my box got me into. They don't promote it that much but even so, I don't think paleo gets a bad name because of crossfit. Paleo is a way of life and just because crossfitters do it doesn't mean it is a bad thing. Crossfitters see great results with their workouts and changing their diet makes it even better and paleo is almost common sense. If anything crossfit promotes in for what it is.

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