The draw to CrossFit, especially in the early days, was that you were receiving a ton of actual coaching for a fraction of the price of personal training. As CrossFit’s popularity exploded, boxes started opening up on every corner. Now CrossFit is a household name, but people still wonder: is CrossFit bad for you? Will it cause injuries?
In the early days, because CrossFit got so popular, some people who didn’t actually care about helping members just saw an opportunity to make a quick buck.
These people really did not put much time or effort into becoming a coach. They didn’t have any knowledge of proper movements, form, and so on. And problems followed…
This situation caused major issues for the CrossFit community. A problem it created was the notion that CrossFit is bad for you and can even be dangerous.
Could a person get injured doing CrossFit? Of course, but a person can also get injured doing any sport, or not doing sports at all.
Were all CrossFits a hotbed for injuries and a lifetime of knee issues like your doctor told you would happen if you did CrossFit? Absolutely not. It all came down to the coaching.
The rise of YouTube
Another thing that was happening during the early days was that the popularity of YouTube, Facebook and other social media was starting to rocket.
CrossFit was new, different, exciting and unique. Seeing average people swing on rings, throw bars and weights around, jump over boxes and climb ropes grabbed people’s attention. I’m not sure CrossFit would be where it is today without the help of social media and YouTube in the early times.
However this attention was not all good, because if there’s one thing humans love to see more than someone do something amazing it is to see carnage and violence. Videos of people falling off rings, dropping bars on themselves, destroying their shins on boxes or plummeting 15 feet to the ground after a rope climb was too good to miss.
The baggage: is CrossFit bad for you!?
Once this happened, CrossFit became known as a surefire way to get injured. And yes, many people were injured.
Thankfully that has changed. Most of the coaches that didn’t actually coach are gone and this has benefited the CrossFit community greatly. However, there are still some poor coaches out there who don’t really coach or coach poorly.
There are three types of coaches, and for today’s subject we will divide them only by their abilities to prevent, address and understand injuries. Having a great coach is such an important part of your fitness journey.
A bad coaches:
- Doesn’t review movements, scaling or modifications.
- Doesn’t pay attention to members during class.
- Gives the same cue 5 times even though it has not fixed the issue the previous 5 times.
- Allows members to move poorly without any corrections.
- Tries to make every person move exactly the same way. Age, skill level, height, weight, etc do not matter to these people.
A good coach:
- Goes over the WOD.
- Has knowledge but overloads the athlete with it.
- Breaks down complex movements the same way for everyone.
- Watches movements but can only offer a number of cues which may or may not help.
- Knows when people move poorly but does not research and learn why they are and how to correct it.
- Gives members attention, but allows their attention to be drawn everywhere all the time instead of focusing on one or two people at a time.
A great coach:
- Goes over every movement, scaling options, and modifications.
- Implements those in the class for members of all different skill levels, ages, etc.
- Modifies so all athletes are getting the same stimulus without being pushed to injury or pain.
- Knows that change takes time, and understands deeply ingrained movement issues will take time to adjust and heal.
- Gives each member at least one correction or approval each class.
- Helps members understand their skill level might be different than they believe and adjust the difficulty to help progress an athlete.
- Does not allow poor movement patterns, scales the movement, weight, reps, time or time to keep athlete moving properly.
- Has a variety of cues they are able to use and change based on the athlete they are with at the time.
- Not only can do certain movements, T2B, MU, butterflies, but can teach them as well.
- Studies and learns about how to improve people’s athleticism while sifting through “snake-oil” fixes and movements while keeping the time tested models in place,
- Pays attention to all members, not taking favor to more advanced athletes or those who show potential.
- Actually coaches, answers questions, offers movement advice and fixes, and creates a learning environment.
So is CrossFit bad for you? Not if you have the right coaching and environment for your growth.
Finding a box you love and a coach who will help you advance not only as an athlete but a human should be your top priority. There are thousands of CrossFit boxes out there. Try them all until you find the right match.
At Buffalo Nickel CrossFit, we’re proud to say we’re a box full of great coaches. Contact us to try out our coaching style today.