Monday, June 9, 2014

CrossFit Bashers, Can You Be More Constructive? | Eva M. Selhub, M.D.

I remember this time last year, I spent a weekend going to watch the CrossFit Northeast Regionals competition. It was truly an amazing experience. I couldn't decide where to feast my eyes, the athletes competing, or the athletes in the spectator stands. The entire Reebok CrossFit One field was swimming with fit people. It was such a thrill for this doc to witness, especially since the night before I found myself walking amongst an ocean of obesity in the streets of Boston's North End.
In my two years of being part of CrossFit, I have witnessed more couch potatoes getting fit either because of CrossFit or because they were influenced by my or a friend's change in fitness level from participating in CrossFit. My friends and parents, for example have stopped eating high levels of grains and sugars and have started exercising regularly. Do you have any idea how many years I have been trying to get them to do so? This time around, I didn't push them to do anything.  They merely started because they saw how much healthier and fitter, not to mention happier I became.

Greg Glassman has said from the first days I was exposed to what he was teaching - "It's the results that matter."

So CrossFit has a "high injury rate"?  Well, not according to the insurance company CrossFit built to protect CrossFit affiliates (  But suppose it is true that some folks get injured because they do CrossFit, and of course that is true, the bigger question is "compared to what"?

You would need to know the injury rate per hour of activity, and the effectiveness of the program.  We evaluate risk in a context.  Cars are the most dangerous thing for humans.  If you had a friend who chose not to drive due to the danger of cars, you'd think they were a loony.  Why?  Because we judge the utility of cars to be worth the risk.  Likewise, if CrossFit is the most effective physical training system, folks might easily judge a high injury rate worth the risk.  Others might not see it that way.  As the man said, "you pays your money, you takes your chances."  So I like this author's perspective, and I hope as she does that we can find better critics for CrossFit.

In the mean time it is time to get my WOD on!

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