Is CrossFit Really All It's Cracked Up To Be?

Ever since it hit the fitness scene not long ago, CrossFit has garnered both intense praise and heavy criticism. In some circles, people stand behind its supposed life-changing health benefits, while in others, folks swear it shouldn’t be done at all.

So, are the risks associated with such an extreme lifestyle centered around CrossFit worth all the supposed health benefits? According to fitness expert Erin Simmons and RhinoCo Fitness creative director David Tao, the answer is a mixed bag.

Simmons starts off the conversation on the other side of the CrossFit fence. “I can’t say I’m a fan of CrossFit,” she said. “A lot of the time you’ve got this WOD -- this 'workout of the day' in CrossFit speak -- and coaches may or may not be there watching it. ... The coaches may only have a weekend of training."  For many workout gurus, this lack of training raises a red flag in regard to the legitimacy of the workout. 

Simmons goes on to say that it will often takes many years to learn and then properly demonstrate the right form for these complex types of lifts-- ones that, she says, are the coaches and the CrossFit participants are not given enough time to master.  

Tao shares similar safety concerns, but the well-versed CrossFitter said the workout can vary from location to location. Considering he had to endure wrist reconstruction following a tough break while performing the exercise not long ago, his continued support of the intense workout speaks volumes.

“CrossFit oftentimes is seen as this one-exercise methodology, but there’s not just one CrossFit WOD," he said. "CrossFit gyms are independently owned and operated, and the experience that people get at these facilities will vary greatly depending on the experience level of the coaches and the gym operators.”

He goes on to say how the times he was hurt while doing CrossFit were because of his own poor choices-- like not working out with a certified CrossFit coach-- rather than a fault of the technique itself.

“I was working out by myself, pushed myself to limits my body wasn’t ready for, and I've since learned my lesson," Tao finishes.

Always remember to consult your physician or chiropractor before taking any health advice.

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