There are a lot of people who hate on CrossFit. People claim it’s: expensive, causes injuries, forces you to eat Paleo, pushes you past your abilities, the coaches aren’t competent, and will ultimately give you Rhabomyolysis thus leading to your death.
I have a beef to pick with all of these. But anyone who participates in any sport could run up against any of the things on that list. There aren’t injuries in football? Olympic athletes don’t have a nutritional plan constructed by a coach? If all coaches were created equal, there wouldn’t be such a huge fuss when a college football coach is replaced. Rhabo can show up for a variety of reasons and any extreme workout can induce it (marathon runners anyone).
The cost is something that is hard to get around. Yes, it IS more expensive than some other fitness gyms and yes the equipment can be expensive if one sets up their home gym and proceeds to complete the workout that CrossFit releases daily (go to CrossFit and you will see for yourself). It is less expensive than personal training, however. In a CrossFit class you get some personal attention. At our box, if the coaches see your form slipping, they will reduce your weights, or come over to offer suggestions on how to improve. We do spend time working on drills. They show us common mistakes and how to correct those mistakes. It’s not the same as one-on-one coaching, but it’s darn close. So you are paying for more personal attention. I know that for me, I would never have learned to properly execute a snatch from watching videos alone. The coaches are there to ensure your safety.
Injuries happen in every sport. I have spent the past 2-3 months dealing with a shoulder issue. This isn’t CrossFit’s fault. It happens; professional athletes get injured. You can trip going up/down the stairs and get injured. Heck, my husband required major surgery this past winter because he slipped on the ice and tore his quad ligament. Coaches are there to ensure your safety, so poor mechanics don’t cause injuries. Coaches will make sure you don’t put too much weight on the bar until your form is good. Coaches are there to help you scale and work around injuries should that be needed. They are there to help do rehabilitation if required.
Do a lot of CrossFitters eat Paleo? I don’t know. I know a few at my box who do. I know a lot of the athletes eat “mostly Paleo”. I also know folks who try to not eat so much junk and some folks who do CrossFit so they CAN eat some junk and everything in between. Most of us seemed to start by eating less “junk”. How far you take your nutrition is really up to you.
The coaches are there specifically TO push you. A good coach (and at my box they are all good coaches) has an uncanny ability to push you just past your comfort zone. This is someplace that most of us won’t go by ourselves. The coaches provides that last little nudge. Our coaches all have the ability to know our strengths, our weaknesses and those places where we’d rather not spend any more time. And yet, they also know when to back off, when we really have given our all. I’ve never seen anyone harassed for slowing down, dropping weights, or even stopping. Are there bad coaches out there? Sure, as in all sports some are better than others and it’s possible the box near you has one that isn’t quite as skilled, or willing to get to know their athletes’ abilities. If this is the case, find a new box!
The reason CrossFit works is down to the coaches. Their dedication, skill, hard work and love for both their sport, their livelihood and their athletes. The power of CrossFit lies in the Power of the Coaches.