For the record: I don’t care if you do CrossFit. That’s your right. And if you want to be healthy and get into amazing shape and feel CrossFit is the way to get you there, then that’s your opinion and in the world of health and fitness there are many different program styles that can help you achieve your goals. Here’s my problem with not only CrossFit, but pretty much every other practice in our field that often leads to the lack of credibility as professionals.
1. There are idiots everywhere: CrossFit isn’t the only place where moronic programming takes place. It happens everywhere! Many commercial gyms, boxing studios, personal training studios, boxes, even Physical Therapy Clinics have a severe lack in proper programming for people looking to get in shape. Where CrossFit runs into trouble is they just happen to be the most popular and viral form of fitness in a social media dominated era. No one is channeling to a huge YouTube audience out of their chiropractic practice. The REAL problem is that people are lazy. No one takes the time to continue their education and improve themselves as professionals, and all it takes to become a “professional” in charge of the health and well being of a another person is a High School Diploma and a weekend certification, and sometimes not even that!
2. Listen up CrossFit, and all you ego sensitive trainers: People getting hurt is YOUR FAULT. My biggest pet peeve in this industry is when a client is injured during a program that YOU put together and you deny taking any blame for it. Let me make this clear; Any and all injuries that take place under your supervision is your fault. You programmed it, you encouraged the person to do it, you let it happen. If you’re responsible for helping people attain their goals, you better believe you’re responsible if they fail or get injured. It’s called being a professional and knowing when to own up to mistakes you’ve made, because every professional in our industry has made them. Let’s not solely point the finger and the extremely sensitive and defensive CrossFitters, though. We’ve basically influenced them to be that way. We’ve been criticizing their practices during their entire growth as an evolving style of fitness. All while the guy or girl at LA Fitness is having some 55 year old obese woman doing hand supported jumps over the dumbbell bench for 1 min straight. These poor practices are called negligence, and most people are guilty of them.
3. You have to be Fit, to do CrossFit: There’s an old saying that says “You don’t run to get fit, you have to be fit to run.” Certain forms of exercise are not for everyone, whether it’s due to genetics, anatomy of the body, or level of fitness. For instance, I’ll never encourage an overweight woman or man with wide hips and narrow knees to start running. Nor will I recommend boxing to a person who has an increased kyphosis in their thoracic spine. There has to be a level of progressions and regressions for all forms of exercise, and it is determined on a person to person basis. In my mind, if you have no athletic background nor any history in participating in any rigorous or intense training program, CrossFit is NOT FOR YOU. That’s not me being a hater of CrossFit, because I’ve actually recommended CrossFit to some pretty fit and healthy individuals. But again, it’s not just CrossFit, these problems are everywhere in our industry.
4. People need programming: If you need further explanation on what this entails, then you are either reading this article as A) A person who should seek the advice of a trusted Health and Fitness Professional with at minimum a Bachelor’s Degree in the field of Health and Exercise Science, B) A coach/trainer who needs to properly educate themselves on how to successfully and properly train those in your area of “expertise” or niche. Which brings me to my last point…
5. It’s not all on CrossFit, so give them a break: Our industry as a whole is probably the worst managed and monitored industry in the world. For things to change, there needs to be a more strict criteria to be met in order to be responsible for the health and well being of another human. No more weekend certs, no more unsanctioned practices. I’d hate to be so bold as to compare myself to a doctor, but very few doctors see a patient 3-4 days per week. I am prescribing a solution to a problem that someone has, that may or may not improve their health and overall well being, 3-4 times per week. Doesn’t it make sense that at minimum I should hold a valid degree in the subject matter, along with the certification or credentials necessary to work with that particular population? We need to hold ourselves, as professionals, to much higher standards. We are in this thing together, and there are many different routes to get you there. I can’t say for sure which one is best, but I do know that the safety of the client comes first, and that each route will vary from person to person. Don’t be an ostrich, be a giraffe.