I have been negative about this mode of exercise in previous posts, but I will try to maintain a more balanced approach in this post. I have previously stated that physiotherapists see this mode of exercise as a avenue to gain present and future patients with the various repetitive-strain injuries they acquire through it…
Firstly, let me go through the positives.
- The exercises are far more functional in that they relate to everyday natural movements as well as the movement patterns in many sports. So there is a cross over effect.
- The positive effect of training in groups is that people enjoy the comradely atmosphere of the sessions. This helps them maintain their compliance to exercise regularly.
- The people doing CrossFit develop a high level of Aerobic fitness and general muscular endurance condition. Excellent for the many team sports.
- People build confidence of their physical abilities by slowly building through the higher and higher levels. Again this ability to achieve a level of condition that they may have never thought that they could achieve has a positive effect of long term compliance of an exercise program.
These are all good reasons to take up this mode of exercise, but what about the negatives?
- The high level of injuries people get in this mode of exercise because their bodies are not conditioned for it. This is caused by several factors…
- There are not enough highly qualified instructors in the CrossFit gyms. A weekend training course is all they need to gain an instructors qualification. There are some excellent instructors out there though.
- The classes are too large to cover checking that people are doing the exercises with correct technique.
- This last point also highlights that the program emphasizes the numbers of repetitions within certain time constraints. This causes people to endeavor to complete the required number of repetitions of an exercise without paying heed to form. This causes injuries.
As I stated, I have tried to give a balanced approach? If you are interested in taking part in CrossFit classes I suggest that you precondition yourself for it and go to have a look at several gyms who offer CrossFit classes to see which one is best for you?
One last point: if you want to do this mode of exercise as a vehicle to lose weight…this is not it. Better to do the same exercises, but take your time in recovery to gain the best ‘fat burning’ effect (you can exercise at a higher level and therefore increase your metabolic rate between exercise sessions).