Wednesday Workout: The Great CrossFit Debate: is it “bad” for you?

Last week I came across a few articles floating around Facebook revolving around CrossFit. One, in particular, caught my attention: Why I don’t do CrossFit. Now, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while (thank you!), it should be no surprise that I’m not a CrossFitter. But, that certainly doesn’t mean I don’t like it or think it’s a bad way to workout. I appreciate it for what it is and admire the strength avid CrossFitters get from the workouts, but it’s just not the type of workout I prefer to do. I’m not saying I wouldn’t like it if I tried it, but for right now, I love teaching group exercise.

In addition to the strength and fitness gains from CrossFit workouts, I think there’s a lot of other really beneficial aspects of it:

  • Working out in groups rather than solo
  • Motivates you to push yourself outside of your normal boundaries and limits
  • Teaches you new exercises and ways to workout
  • Can become a “friendly” atmosphere where you get to know other regulars in the class
  • You go to have someone tell you what to do, push and encourage you and answer questions

It’s funny, though, because I think those same benefits from CrossFit can be found in the group exercise setting, at November Project workouts, with running clubs, etc. Basically, I think that you can find benefits from whatever workout you choose to do, but at the end of the day, you should be doing workouts that make YOU happy and push YOU in a way you want to be pushed.

Not everyone wants to flip tires, climb ropes, power lift or do a million burpees, which you’d likely do in various Crossfit WODs (Workout of the Day), but at the same time, not everyone wants to dance for a workout or run umpteen miles or workout in the confines of a group exercise studio. And you know what? That’s totally OKAY! It’s good, actually, because it is what makes working out a “sport” that reaches out to so many people- there’s something for literally everyone and it’s up to each of us to find out what we enjoy doing the most.

The reason why I decided to write about this today is because I’m just tired of seeing people lash out at the CrossFit world. To me, if people enjoy those workouts and being part of the CrossFit family, so be it! What does that have to do with yourself or your workouts? We are all entitled to our own opinions about what is right or wrong, good or bad. And, for every article that bashes the CrossFit workouts, there is likely another one out there explaining the benefits of it. My friend, Brian, shared two with me:

When I read through these, I found myself agreeing with them more than the ones bashing the “sport”. To me, the people bashing the workouts in the CrossFit world are less scientific and more just looking to state things to cause an uproar. To see how people feel about the various CrossFit articles surfacing as of late, I brought the discussion to my Facebook page and a few people had some really good thoughts and comments in regards to the article that was posted.

CrossFit Convo

The comments went on, but that was the jist of what people were saying. I love when people are passionate about workouts and what they do and when they share their experiences doing various things (CrossFit, November Project, Running, Zumba, etc.).

So, after reading through a lot of articles last week, I still feel that at the end of the day, you should be doing workouts that you ENJOY and that make you HAPPY (maybe not happy while you’re doing them, but after!)- and if that is CrossFit or Zumba or Swimming or November Project or Running- it’s up to you to be mindful of your body and know your limits. Injuries can happen anywhere and although we trust that coaches and instructors are there to protect us by showing us good form, we are all responsible for ourselves. Too much of anything can be a bad thing and rest should be an integral part of our training regime (yes, I know I don’t always follow that, but I’m trying to be better!!).

I want to hear your thoughts, though. Are you a CrossFitter? What is your favorite part of the CrossFit workouts and experience? If you don’t like CrossFit, why not? Did you have a bad experience? What type of workout would you prefer to do? Do you find yourself agreeing more with the articles bashing CrossFit or the ones promoting it?

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