CrossFit gets a bad rap in the fitness industry, mainly from non-CrossFitters, with regards to safety and injuries. However, we need to hold our horses and have a look at what the sport entails: high intensity combinations of conditioning, strength, weightlifting and gymnastics. That’s what makes CrossFit what it is.
People will share horror stories of CrossFit, mentioning times that people have gone too hard during a workout and suffered an injury, but a lot of that isn’t the fault of CrossFit, but the risk attached to taking part in a high-intensity sport.
I remember the first time that I took part in a CrossFit community class, having had a background in racket sports and weightlifting, and how I felt within hours of the class finishing. I always thought that I was reasonably fit, but I ached for several days after my first class. I complained to my wife incessantly and that’s the point she said to me “well it’s CrossFit, it’s going to hurt”.
There is no disputing that when successfully completing a new movement in a CrossFit class, or beating your previous time or score, you feel as though you are untouchable and can touch the sky. There is a sense of jubilation and you want everybody know how good you feel about your accomplishment. Whether it’s a new PR on deadlift or successfully stringing together your first double unders, your head is held high. But sometimes, when you’re least expecting it, you can sustain an injury.
A common injury that can happen during a WOD is caused by box jumps. The most common injury sustained from box jumps is scraping your shin against the side of the box because the jump take-off wasn’t successful. A Google search for “box jump injuries” can be the stuff of nightmares (so probably best not to do that). Most of the times with that type of injury though it can just be misfortune and doesn’t mean it will always happen.
During a Chipper or AMRAP workout when you’re required to do as much work as possiblewithin a certain time cap, body parts will be screaming. Take a look at Hero WOD “Murph”, one of most popularised CrossFit WODS:
- 1 mile run
- 100 pull ups
- 200 push ups
- 300 squats
- 1 mile run
By the end of the squats your legs will be burning and you’ll then still have to a complete a final 1 mile run! Having recently completed Murph, I can safely say that the toughest part of the workout was that final run. There were times when the other athletes and I didn’t feel that we’d physically be able to finish the workout, but that’s when the adrenaline kicks in and the impending glory kicks in, driving us to the finish line.
Upon finishing that workout, many athletes’ hands are torn from the pull ups, chests and triceps burn because of the push ups and legs are in bits from the running and the squats, but the reward is that you’ve completed one of, if not the, most gruelling workouts in the sport altogether.
CrossFit is great for the community element that is present at all of the boxes around the world, making it feel like you’re working out with your best friends. Each day, we turn up and endure pain and discomfort in the WOD, but that’s the price we have to pay for this lifestyle. The feeling of finishing a tough WOD reminds athletes that the pain experienced during the session was worth it and that the high you’re experiencing is well deserved. The pain is temporary, but the satisfaction will continue.