Response to Erin Simmons, “Why I Don’t CrossFit”

This post is in response to a blog post that’s gone viral written by Erin Simmons, an ex-track athlete from Florida State who is currently an aspiring fitness model. If you want to read her blog follow this link:

I will just hit the “wave tops” of the inconsistencies and fallacies in her post.

First of all, from what I can tell, the ONLY credentials (and if I’m wrong, please correct me) that she has is that she ran track at a high level for Florida State University. Her blog is not backed by any formal education in fitness, no degree, no certifications: just a few shitty experiences at a bad box with inattentive coaches and a buddy who didn’t know anything about training properly.

I would like start off by saying, before you present an argument, it’s probably a good idea to acknowledge the other side. Which I will do right here. You have some very valid points. It is true, the problem with the fitness industry as a whole, is that you can become a “credentialed professional” in a weekend. That is not exclusive to CrossFit. Yes, there are some fitness enthusiasts and people who have been working out for a long time but have no idea, or lack any formal training in how to adequately program or properly coach certain movements or workouts. To that point, outside of CrossFit, how many times have you walked into GloboGym and bared witness to abundance of idiots counting reps while texting, putting middle-aged or ill-equipped clients on stability balls and attempting to squat, or even risking excessive muscle damage through the improper use of eccentric exercise.

If you want to look at research, and the health hazards of fitness, you’ll notice that ill-trained marathon runners are at much GREATER RISK of rhabdomyolisis, an oh so popular scapegoat for people with negative opinions of CrossFit, which is more often than not a result of high-volume eccentric muscular contractions. Yet, I don’t see the Boston Marathon being cancelled any time soon. More importantly, your blog seems to be based on a couple terrible experiences, while the articles you cite don’t acknowledge proper implementation of periodization and variability in programming. Instead of going after practitioners individually and holding them accountable for their programming, according to your sources, we’re all fly by night “weekend certs” that operate under the mantra, “Harder is better than smarter.”

You say in your article that you never did deadlifts as a track and field athlete. That makes perfect sense, as the rate of force production in a heavy deadlift is too slow, which could indeed impede your ability to rapidly accelerate out of the blocks and down the track. But that’s a matter of opinion that could be argued either way from one coach to the next.

This brings me to my next point, you don’t seem to understand the PRINCIPLE OF SPECIFICITY. The reason that professional athletes (Olympians, NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, etc…) do not subscribe to CrossFit, and why strength and conditioning professionals don’t necessarily prescribe its methodology to their athletes, aside from the negative stigma of CrossFit in the NSCA or other professional fitness organizations (ACSM, NASM, etc..),  is that it is not specific enough to stimulate the appropriate adaptations to improved performance in a given sport. An NFL defensive back does not need muscle ups in their training. Nor would I prescribe heavy deadlifts to an Olympic swimmer. Not because they are dangerous, but simply because, they do not NEED these movements to improve in their given domain. Still, plenty of professional athletes, Knowshon Moreno and Dana Stubblefield, to name a couple, use CrossFit to AUGMENT THEIR TRAINING PROGRAMS, as one of CrossFit’s cornerstones is its lack of specificity, “preparing one for the unknown”.

Next, you propose that CrossFit does not translate to body control. How do explain the gymnastics component (pull ups, muscle ups, toes to bar, handstand push ups, handstand walks, etc..), and the development of proprioception through the manipulation of external objects (barbells, medicine balls, kettlebells, etc…)? To include the movement of one’s body itself, all of these things require the development of body awareness and the improvement of motor control to become proficient in the execution of these movements.

For someone who has performed at such a high level and trained under so many prominent strength and conditioning professionals, it truly surprises me that you even allowed yourself to fall subject to such questionable training practices as you’ve so eloquently alluded to in your narrative.

When looking for a CrossFit Box to train at, as I told a friend in Florida today who is interested in trying CrossFit, there are a few things people should look for. Did you ask yourself the following questions?

– Is it run by credentialed, and more so, experienced coaches and trainers. Furthermore, are they able to explain the rationale for the programming in place?

–  Invest in your experience, and look at the programming history (if posted), then go in and simply observe a class. Are the coaches attentive? Are the classes too big for a single coach? Are the workouts properly scaled for members’ respective fitness levels and experience?

So while I can appreciate your argument, I won’t jump on your bandwagon. As someone who competed at a high level for a long time, and continues to compete presently, there are acceptable risks associated with whatever flavor of fitness or sport you choose to become a part of. The golden rule being, IF IT HURTS, DON’T DO IT! Your ill-fated experiences, in my opinion, are more a consequence of lack of attention to detail, sub par programming, and terrible coaching than they are a byproduct of CrossFit itself.

For those who don’t claim to be such well established athletes or lack any real athletic experience past little league baseball, professionals like myself and my staff are on a mission to provide the best quality training out there. Do us all a favor and don’t condemn an entire community just because of a couple bad personal experiences.

Lastly, I am not trying to reel you back into CrossFit. That’s not the purpose of this message. If it’s not for you, it’s not for you and that’s perfectly fine. I just want to increase your awareness. There are a lot of us that own or train at CrossFit gyms, who are credentialed, who have dedicated our lives through formal education, internships, mentorship programs, and the exploration of other genres of fitness to accumulate a wealth of knowledge and experience that makes us the most effective trainers, coaches and programmers available. I’ve got a Bachelors and a Masters in Exercise and Wellness, as well as becoming a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the NSCA. I taught group fitness, personally trained, developed and implemented strength and condition protocol for athletic programs, and built effective training systems for bodybuilders, figure and bikini competitors. Not to mention I’ve programmed for MMA fighters and Regional CrossFit competitors alike, but most importantly, the members of my box day in and day out. The vast majority of which have achieved overwhelmingly positive results.

I appreciate your time and consideration and wish you nothing but the best in your pursuit of fitness modeling.


Mycal Anders, MS, CSCS


Copyright © 2014 Next Level Performance and Fitness Consulting, LLC. All rights reserved.

65 thoughts on “Response to Erin Simmons, “Why I Don’t CrossFit”

  1. Well said. I was going to write a rebuttal myself but you hit the nail on the head. Until we educate people on why these articles are created ( Clickbait for web traffic) we will keep writing the same rebuttal every 45 days for the forseeable future.


  2. So Crossfit gets you good at Crossfit. As Crossfit is it own sport you would expect that. Sports specific training gets you good at your specific sport. not Crossfit. In conclusion if you want to compete at Crossfit train Crossfit. If you want to compete at any other sport, train at that sport and add in the appropriate conditioning work.


    • General Physical Preparedness makes you capable of doing any sport safely. Jumping to Specific training without being generally prepared causes injury.


  3. Do you know the long term effects of CrossFit? Just curious. CrossFit was founded in 2000. People have been running marathons for a really long time and I personally know people who have ran 30+ marathons without a hiccup and they continue to run even into their 50s and 60s. Will you be doing CrossFit when you are 50 or 60? Is there someone who has been doing CrossFit for 20 years and who is in their 50s or 60s and doing CrossFit now? These are the questions I’d like to see answered. I did CrossFit for a short period of time. And a highly recognized gym. And it destroyed my joints in less than two months. I had to quit. I loved it for the competition but, I want to be able to stay active when I’m 50 years old. I’ve done two Ironman 70.3 races in the past year and my joints don’t hurt as much after my FIVE HOUR workouts as they used to after 20 minutes at the CrossFit gym. I’m not just bashing for the sake of bashing. I think Crossfit has potential to be great. But I think their needs to be some fundamental changes for it to get there. Unless you can see the future and know for sure that your knees and shoulders will be intact in 20 years. In which case, I concede.


    • Mate I’m 59 and have been doing crossfit for two yrs and intend to do it for the next twenty yrs, my coaches always scale the workout to suit me and everyone else in our box, check out if where you went is a certified crossfit box because there are a lot of gyms jumping on the band wagon that are not crossfit certified


    • Read “becoming a supple leopard”. If you were working on mobility through muscle smashing, rolling, and flexibility your joints would probably have improved greatly. Most the time the ROM you are put through doing a WOD is much greater then anything else you face during the day. Probably need to work on your muscle quality. Just a thought.


    • You conceded the fault in your argument: you were already trying to be competitive in workouts after less than two months. One might say it could take years of skill acquisition, training, and tissue adaptation to be able to compete safely, especially if you are an endurance athlete with a lot of drive.


    • Ugh, CrossFit isn’t 20 years old, therefore we cannot hear from someone who’s been doing it for 20 years. You may be missing the point about good coaching and good programming preventing long term injuries, etc. The most important part of ANY training modality is the brain of the person doing it. You are your own best coach and must always be careful. You can’t just jump in head first and go all out. Just like you cannot run a Tri tomorrow. Nobody is bashing gymnastics, nobody is bashing powerlifting, nobody is bashing olympic lifting, running or rowing. But, heck, throw them all together for an overall more balanced approach to overall fitness and BOOM everybody loses their minds. Read this link, please:


    • Mark I was a body builder for years and damn my joints hurt every day! I have been doing crossfit for a little over a year and I feel great and more flexible. I’m 50 years old and love crossfit!! It’s not for everyone, I agree! Back ground Master fitness instructor US ARMY!


    • I am an over 50 Crossfitter and have been doing CF for 4 years and for the last year, 6 days a week. My arthritis has improved since starting as well as my overall mobility. I have never been injured due to CF but my box owner is great with making sure we do our lifts correct. My overall health is much better since I started. I do t know what I will feel like in another 10 years, but I can tell you I had to give up distance running about 8 years ago because of bad knees and hips, neither of which both me with Crossfit


    • Sadly you know very little about fitness to be saying a proper twenty minutes of CrossFit did more damage to your body than five hours of any other nonstop activity other than resting/sleeping. That or you are simply lying in your post. Saying you loved the competition proves you don’t have a clue. No one with any common sense or coaching does any kind of competition or gets anywhere in two months of CrossFit. The first two months for anyone starting CrossFit is all about general conditioning and learning movements. I have been at it a year and still work on technique, form and mobility every week. Nice try at bashing something you don’t understand.


    • Lol… You think CrossFit was founded in 2000? Just goes to show how quick people are to say/post something before getting any facts. Or in this case, completely incorrect facts.


    • I am a 65 year old youngster, and crossfit did it for me. I’d tried for 30 years to loose weight, keep it off, and get fit. Not until I started Crossfit, year and a half ago did I become what I am today. At 65 closing in on 66 I am almost able to keep up with people 1/2 my age. For the first 4 months I was so nervous going into the box, but since then I just love it. Coaches at my box are always on the look out for me. I am not afraid of being hurt anymore . If proper form is not being used then weight is not increased. I’ve been taught proper form and technique and realize I am only competing against myself. Believe me I feel and look better than I did 25 years ago. Because of the box that I am attending I believe I WILL BE getting younger and younger every year. I look forward to going and interacting with the people at the box every morning.. 6:ooAM is where it is happening!!!


    • This is such a bitter reply mr @mykeanders.. Honestly, all credentialed/professional trainers should teach your crossfit practitioners to do it right.. Went to a crossfit gym and 80% of the people working out are not doing it right. Cos you guys made turned it into a competition. How fast you do it became more important than how you do it. So now people want to be better than others instead of becoming better versions of themselves. Crossfit is NOT for everyone. A proper pull up without jerking the whole body.. Thats the ultimate workout. Peace


    • Well Mark, I’m a 49 year old woman who has been doing Crossfit for just under 3 years…not only has it strengthend my knees after an op 18 months ago (it was always going to blow , crossfit or not) but my fitness is the best it’s ever coaches have taught me so much and I wish I had discovered it about 10 years ago. I’ve never been pushed beyond my capability but I have been pushed to my limits..and I can’t thank Az and his crew from #Multiphyt nsw Australia enough!! Now with Crossfit Newington NSW and Ben is an awesome dedicated coach…I wish people would give it a go and accept it for what it awesome workout with generally great people who support and encourage each other no matter what gender or age…luv it!


    • You bring up some good points, but I think the biggest problem with CrossFit is the one you (and Erin) pointed out. There are unprofessional certified trainers in the fitness industry. There are FAR TOO MANY of them. One of the issues with CrossFit, is that the culture associated with it has a tendency to put people in a situation where they are isolated if they don’t conform to harder, faster, stronger. I know a number of CrossFitters and even a couple gym owners/instructors. They are recently doing a better job of teaching and stressing technique, but the emphasis is still on the completion of the task.

      Truthfully, there is no workout regimen that is superior to all others. More importantly, people need to find what works for them. I applaud CrossFit in that it has introduced regular exercise to the lives of many. That said, I don’t think it is the choice for me, personally.


  4. Thank you! As a master’s level exercise physiologist who does crossfit, I also believe that poor programming, coaching, and weekend certs have been a problem for years in the gym industry as a whole…not just in Crossfit. You also addressed each of her arguments with sound advice that I, too, would give to anyone looking into joining a crossfit box and who had questions about specificity of programming. It’s a shame that she had a bad experience and is spreading it to anyone who will listen.


  5. Best article I have read on the subject! Thank you for your great attitude and dedication to the sport of fitness!! WOD on!!


  6. Great points…

    As soon as I read the last part of her article where she states “every single thing that I’ve posted in this article refers to every single gym that follow CrossFit.” it was extremely easy to dismiss everything she had said previously. Given that there are over 10k crossfit affiliates, that is the most overtly and absurdly generalized statement I’ve heard in a long time and I commend her for having the balls (or naivety) to put that out there.


  7. Moreno actually started getting injured (multiple injuries) once he started crossfit. Also, his stats declined. He’s since quit and his health has improved. Research your own research


  8. This response is awesome. I do Crossfit here in AZ and my coaches wouldn’t let me lift anything heavier than the training bar (15lbs) before they saw that I could do all the movements correctly. That article was written without any real reason that Crossfit sucks anymore than any other sport or physical activity. I’m sorry your experienced a bad coach at a bad box Erin Simmons, but maybe you should go look at more than one box before you try to put all the boxes under one category


  9. wow,,, you sound pretty butt hurt by her article… while she may not hold any credibility to you, her references ought to .


  10. Mycal

    I would suggest not to sound so defensive in your response. It makes you fit into the typical crossfit stereotype. I am a conditioning and training specialist that blends all forms of training and am not a fan of certifications or the crossfit industry. Neither provide athletes or the general public the balanced training they need at this point. The chanfe needs to start with the instructors. i would like you to think about a few principles….. Exercise to improve your everyday life and sport. Never hit your limit. Freedom of movement. Exercise at all speeds and different dirextions. Blend all knowledge.


    • Crossfit is about hitting the limit and so for those who want to do it. If someone just wants to improve everyday life without the will to search for their limits they should go for a walk or for a jog.


  11. furthermore, I don’t believe you actually read her entire article, because you say this…

    First of all, from what I can tell, the ONLY credentials (and if I’m wrong, please correct me) that she has is that she ran track at a high level for Florida State University.

    but at the end of the article, is this..

    Erin Simmons has a Master of Science in Biology. She has worked for the Department of Defense as a contractor in a physiology laboratory, and she is currently working on her Ph.D. in Fisheries at Texas A&M. A former student athlete, she is a volunteer assistant coach for the national championship track and field teams there, and she has created her own brand of fitness and health advice with Erin Simmons Fitness

    to me, you sound like nothing more than cross fit gym owner, or participant who now has their panties in a bunch over someone criticizing something you love to do..


    • You must’ve missed this part Dave B (right after the paragraph of his you quoted):
      “Her blog is not backed by any formal education in fitness, no degree, no certifications”

      Because if you had seen that, you’d see that not a masters in Bio, PhD in Fisheries, being a ‘volunteer’ assistant coach, or creating one’s “own brand of fitness”, equal to ‘any formal education, degree, or certifications in fitness’. Semantics … but still.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I would like to add the Sean Payton, coach of the New Orleans Saints, does indeed have his players do crossfit workouts, I remember a Monday Night Football game on ESPN and they did a little segment during a Saints game showing Payton and his team doing crossfit wods, I’ll be willing to bet most NFL teams do crossfit type workouts to stay conditioned. So the argument that no pro sports team doesn’t use crossfit is invalid


    • You realize that CF didnt INVENT the exercises that they do right?… like a “burpie” is an up-down that anyone who played sports has done. Also, ever heard of interval training?… that is what CF is.. it is not a new form of working out that was created, it is just trying to combine Olympic lifting with interval and cross training. So YES, real athletes do exercises that are similar to CF… but its more that CF has taken aspects of many different forms of training. Also, CF is not a sport.


      • You’re an idiot…you can’t criticize Crossfit and then say that they don’t do anything new. Go criticize gymnastics, oly lifters, power lifters, runners, triathaletes, etc. You’re right…crossfit didn’t invent cross training or interval training, they added a competitive element to an activity involving physical exertion and skill. Which, by the way, is the DEFINITION of a sport.


  13. Sadly, my own experiences more closely match that of Erin’s. Perhaps it’s due to me recently leaving the military, and the military having a shitty workout “plan” that happened to bleed over into the local CF places. Combine this with, while in the middle of a move, and looking for a new gym discovering one with Power right in the name.

    Why is that one word such a big deal to me? See, I’m a 240lbs. rugby player. I play hooker actually. A fairly technical position that requires, or is greatly benefited by, large powerful muscles.

    Having said that, you can see why I’d be excited to see a gym called “Tacoma Power” when I’m looking for specifically, a power lifting gym. I call them up to get more info, and they tell me, “it’s $70 a month for 2 classes per week” which threw me off, because I workout more than twice a week, which is when they explained to me that they were actually a CF gym, not a power lifting gym. My goals for my overall appearance dont really meet up with what many of the guys’ I’ve talked to want to look like after doing CF for a while (let’s face it, 6 pack abs do nothing for me come scrum time, and tree-trunk sized quads do nothing for a CFer, but are great for me)

    Obviously, we all need to work on “looking down” on each other’s chosen sports (in my years of playing rugby, I’ve never met a CrossFitter who could handle a full rugby match, but vise versa, I cant handle a CF session)


    • I’m a semi pro rugby player who crossfits 4 times a week in season, back row. Crossfit is great for conditioning the majority of rugby positions, with a possible exception of props due to weight they need to keep, I know quite a few current championship players who also supplement their training with crossfit. Providing lifts are performed with good technique, it is excellent conditioning. I have had 3 injuries since I began crossfit, 1 was an ac sprain, which could arguably relate to crossfit, 1 was a wrist sprain I did in a tackle the other was falling snowboarding. Not one injury could be put down to purely crossfit yet 2 at rugby 1 snowboarding despite me spending more time actually crossfitting than any other activity.


  14. Ughhh…some very good points, and I am glad you responded in a civil manner. However, the black background with white lettering has got to go. It makes everything on your blog nearly impossible to read.


  15. “Nor would I prescribe heavy deadlifts to an Olympic swimmer.”

    FYI many NCAA swimmers do deadlifts, its dependent on your stroke speciality and distance to determine what type of power your need. A weight coach experienced with the swimming can give specific weights based on that. I wouldn’t make this the example to support your argument of specificity.


  16. Thank you Mycal for your spot on response to Erin Simmons gibberish article. It is everything that I would like to say in response as well. However I would like to add that Erin Simmons should be very ashamed of herself for speaking ill and bashing on a fitness program that so many across the world young,old, handicap, athletic nonathletic etc. have come to love. In a time were so many people are sick because of obesity and disease due to unhealthy lifestyles! You Erin Simmons beside to write and judge on a fitness program on a bad experience you had with a buddy! We call that hating, and hate is the lowest form of ignorance and you my lady or both!


  17. Can we at least stop calling CF as “Sport” please!? IT is not a sport… not even close. I am not saying there aren’t athletes who do CF, but you are not doing a sport BECAUSE you are doing CF. This whole idea of “The Sport of Fitness” is a joke to anyone who played collegiate sports. SO many people I know are so nonathletic, but they can do CF… No matter what, It is not a sport.

    The debate over whether or not is “good” or not can go on and on. It has worked for numerous people that I know, but I also have several who have been injured from CF. I did it for a short while, but it was not something that I personally liked. But if it gets you to exercise, then more power to you and practice proper form.


    • Glad I kept reading the comments because yet again, here you are again being wrong.

      Definition of the word Sport: “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”

      The definition of the word Sport is not “only if it’s baseball, basketball, football, soccer, etc etc etc.”

      Crossfit, in the way that it is run in competitions, the open, regionals, games, etc. is the exact definition of a Sport. Go tell every olympic lifter, gymnast, runner, and swimmer that they aren’t athletic because they don’t play one of YOUR sports.

      Stop being so narrow minded, you aren’t doing yourself any favors.


  18. Wow. A very thoughtful and well written article.
    I hope your article gets the same exposure (to counter her … inaccuracies).


  19. I’m sorry, but from the view of someone who was an athlete at the semi-pro level and spends about 10 hours a week in the gym I KNOW this; the number of people I see injured doing Crossfit compared the the number of people I see injured doing “conventional” weight training and cardio is amazingly high.
    I’ve been in gyms since I was 16, and I am 41 now. I have NEVER had an injury in the gym other than an issue with the triangular fibrocartilage complex in my left wrist about 6 months ago some time off and preventative wrapping took care of the problem.
    However, the number of people I see that need SURGERY within 6 months of starting Crossfit stagger me.


  20. Pingback: Response to Erin Simmons, “Why I Don’t CrossFit” | The Light

  21. The U.S. government spends a great deal of time and money looking for way to make our soldiers better. After lots of debate from professionals the Military has incorporated Crossfit for its elite soldiers. We have seen exceptional results as related to the various environments and situations encountered. With proper coaching we have actually had less injuries than leaving our soldiers to do their own workouts. Crossfit does not make you better just at crossfit. It provides an incredible foundation for total body fitness. Currently it is implemented with the following Operators: US Navy SEALS, Marine Corp Recon, USMC MARSOC, Airforce Pararescue and several special force operators (ARMY).


  22. well structured response, however to your assertions that she has no credentials… She more than just a college athlete: “Erin Simmons has a Master of Science in Biology. She has worked for the Department of Defense as a contractor in a physiology laboratory, and she is currently working on her Ph.D. in Fisheries at Texas A&M. A former student athlete, she is a volunteer assistant coach for the national championship track and field teams there, and she has created her own brand of fitness and health advice with Erin Simmons Fitness. This article was originally featured on the author’s blog and reposted with permission. ”


    • PhD in fisheries and a degree in biology – a volunteer assistance coaching position and a self-created fitness brand. Where are the relevant credentials there?


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  24. Thank you! As a mother, Crossfit has been my saving grace both mentally and physically and has been for two years. The last thing I would want to do is jeopardize my mobility. I would never put myself in that situation.


  25. Pingback: Why people are doing CrossFit | Merging Health & Fitness for Wellness

  26. So I had a dentist once who botched a root canal. So obviously EVERY dentist is an ill qualified dope.
    Great article, well written rebuttal. It’s unfortunate that the fails of a few are put across the sport as a whole.


  27. Your response is more biased than the article you are talking about…where is your research to back what you’re saying? I also have an ms in kinesiology…and in my community there are 3 crossfit clubs. Guess what, all 3 fit the article to a T. What about this article?

    I deal with physical therapy transition patients frequently…solve this puzzle for me. Why do crossfit clients that get hurt go back to traditional style lifting rehab techniques instead of going back to crossfit if it is no worse than anything else?


  28. Thanks for Mycal for this response to Erin Simmons.

    I agree with you that she has not presented a well formulated argument. In fact, it seems like she cherry picked her facts to make her case; and specifically, a couple of articles she sites conclude that there is no problem in giving CrossFit a try.

    Actually, I posted to point that out, but apparently she has deleted my comment (it no longer shows as awaiting moderation). If it helps others, here is what I said:

    “Hi Erin!

    “I realize it’s fashionable to write about the dangers of CrossFit. Though, wow!! I’m sure glad I didn’t see any of these when I started: I’m 66+, have been doing CrossFit for three years, and am in better shape than when I worked with trainers who used standard strength and conditioning approaches. Not only that, but it’s really offered up some powerful life lessons, as I point out here:

    “Frankly, while you seem to have presented lots of evidence that argue against CrossFit, I’m troubled by how selective you were. For example, it’s not the conclusion of the WebMD article you referenced that people should not do CrossFit.” Rather it’s this:

    “Like most other exercise routines, CrossFit has advantages and concerns. The workouts are fast-paced, challenging, and constantly varied.

    “If you are healthy and can endure grueling workouts, then give it a try. You will probably enjoy it, just like most “Crossfitters.”

    “Yes, they do say, “the CrossFit coach may not have an appropriate educational background in sports conditioning” – but that’s true of lots of personal trainers out there!! You also point out the lack of active coaching when you did your CrossFit workouts. But wouldn’t that also be true for people attempting workouts that are posted on line? Sure, there are going to be CrossFit gyms with poorly qualified trainers, but that’s not true everywhere. My gym is great, and the quality of the coaching is outstanding.

    “I can respect the fact that CrossFit may not be for you. But that doesn’t make it true for everyone.

    I”n fact, even Dr. David Geier, in a source you cite, says he “…has no real problems with CrossFit when performed correctly, and he appreciates the variety of exercises available to participants; however, he insists that individuals must discriminate when looking at a CrossFit program.

    “Bottome line: I think this would have been a better piece, and you would have been of more service to your readers, if you’d offered some tips for people who want to try CrossFit anyway.”


  29. There are pros n cons of all fitness, Crossfit can be extremely beneficial if done with proper coaching and proper progression, just as same if one was going all kettlebell workouts or TRX workouts. As long as you continue to confuse the muscle and eat according to your lifestyle you will get into what shape you’d like. There are some great crossfit gyms out with exceptional coaches who know how to program, but then there are some terrible coaches with no knowledge, but that goes with all trainers (not just crossfit). If crossfit maybe structured their certification process differently, there would be better coaches with less injuries.


  30. Pingback: Why CrossFit is Unhealthy – 2 articles, whats your opinion? | Eatliftgame

  31. When I read articles like Erin’s I have to wonder if my CrossFit box is some outlier. We do a warm-up (and are encouraged to do mobility work before and after the group workout, which is something that is taught during a two week –FREE– foundations class that focusses on teaching proper technique), then we do a “strength portion”. Two days per week the strength portion is dedicated to teaching the technical olympic lift movements (the other days are less technical movements, but everything is coached for technique before anyone can start lifting heavy weights). The strength portion is not done at WOD intensity and trainers will NOT let people lift too heavy. They coach correct movements, over and over again, and you add weight as you become more proficient at the movements and get stronger. The end of the class is the WOD, and the coaches make damned sure that people are scaling appropriately, particularly if there is a movement in the WOD that a particular person does not do proficiently enough to be safe. The coaches walk the floor during the WOD and correct bad technique, and will even stop someone to coach the technique. They encourage you to do your best, but never push someone to red-line. They let people know that you need to push yourself, but you also have to be smart about it. Ultimately, we are responsible for ourselves.

    It seems that most articles I read that are negative about CrossFit are by people who come into a “box” and just do the WOD. They don’t take a “foundations” class (I doubt that a foundations class that teaches proper technique is something unique to my CrossFit Box). They don’t know enough about their own capabilities to scale a WOD appropriately, and, obviously, the coaches don’t know them well enough to coach them in how to scale a WOD appropriately for their strength or technique proficiency levels. Then they go balls-out (probably in large measure to prove that whatever they’ve done before is as good or better than CrossFit) and they end up sore or injured. Then they blame CrossFit.

    I’m sure there are some bad CrossFit boxes (meaning boxes with bad coaches) out there. I have trouble believing that mine is the outlier, though. The other thing that I think is interesting is that there is always the talk about injuries in CrossFit. First and foremost, as Greg Glassman says (paraphrasing), you can either have something be risk free, or you can have it be effective. Efficacy in a fitness program is going to entail a bit of risk. You might pull a muscle. You might strain something. You can fall down. You (YOU) have to understand your limitations and scale accordingly (hopefully with the advice of a good coach that knows you) to limit the chances of injury. I’m 53 years old and have been CrossFitting for 2 years. I KEEP gaining (not just in the first six months when I got off of the couch… I was never just on the couch!). I’ve had a muscle strain in my forearm (rest and stretching fixed that) and I had my back tweak once (the back injury was nothing compared to how bad I’d hurt it during a yoga class once, or the time it seized while I was bending over the sink shaving). Prior to CrossFit I ran, during which I pulled a calf muscle that took months to recover from and many visits to a acupuncturist. I lifted weights, and had chronic problems in my shoulders as a result, not to mention losing a lot of mobility. And I took up mountain biking… And I fell a few times injuring myself. There is nothing that actually works that is risk free. My CrossFit injuries have been very minor (less severe than what happened in yoga, running, or bodybuilding). My CrossFit gains have me in better shape at 53 than I was in my thirties.

    Is my box an outlier? I always hear people talking about the WOD, but do other CrossFit boxes do the foundations class to teach proper technique, and have ongoing technique and strength sessions as part of the group class? If so… what’s with the complaint that CrossFit doesn’t teach proper technique? Do other boxes allow scaling (of course they do!)? Then what’s with the complaint that people are asked (TOLD) to do too much?


  32. Starting a “response” attacking someone’s personally and their credentials, is not a good look.

    “First of all, from what I can tell, the ONLY credentials (and if I’m wrong, please correct me) that she has is that she ran track at a high level for Florida State University. ”

    I did note 1 or 2 other salient points in this post, but all around I found the original article informative and well referenced. If you really think she is wrong, prove it with facts, not personal attacks or personal anecdotes, you are furthering the view that crossfit is a cult like, with unsubstantiated health benefits and significant risks dangerous activity.

    After reading the article, I wanted to find the other side of this argument. Is this it?

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Pingback: The “Why I Don’t Do Crossfit” Fad | No Second Breakfast

  34. If you want to do CrossFit, by all means, go for it. I’m a firm believer in doing something is better than nothing. However, touting outlandish claims made by Glassman and others, and going against decades of sports science is just laughable. The haphazard order of exercises, the horrendous form, performing explosive movements while fatigued, train till you puke attitude, and the lack of individualized programming is exactly why I would never recommend CrossFit to anyone. Do your CrossFit, and enjoy it for what it is, but stop making unsubstantiated claims and comparing yourselves to other training modalities. If you don’t want the criticism, shut your pie holes.


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