“My doc says CrossFit is bad for me”. “My doc says if I keep doing CrossFit, I’ll need back surgery”. “My PT told me I can’t squat below parallel because it’s bad for my knees”. “I’m too old for the intensity of CrossFit”.
These are all myths floating around the health community that label CrossFit as “dangerous”. But let me give you some real facts:
- The CrossFit injury incident rate is .27-3.1 per 1,000 hours of training.
- Let’s break this down. This is saying that if we do CrossFit one hour per day, 5 days per week consistently, in 3.8 years .27 – 3.1 injuries will occur that take us out of training. This is a very low incident rate!
- This rate is comparable to many other types of exercise including running, cycling, weight lifting, and powerlifting.
- There are certain risk factors that predispose you to a higher risk of injury (3.1 per 1000 hours vs .27).
- Previous Injury: This risk factor is the same across many types of exercise. If you have had a previous injury from work, or sport, or accident, and it was not rehabbed fully, it can leave you more vulnerable to reinjury. This is THE NUMBER ONE reason I encourage people to seek rehab early in the injury cycle and continue until they are 110%.
- Male Gender: Sorry, guys. The research says it’s Ego. Men like to compete and win at all costs. Even if it means pushing through too heavy of weights with suboptimal form. I also find in my own practice that men generally have poorer mobility compared to women which can lead to higher risk of injury.
- Training Volume: Training too much can impair your body’s ability to recover and perform optimally. Contrary, training too little can also leave you at risk for injury. Research shows the “sweet spot” for CrossFit training is 4-6 days/week.
The truth is, CrossFit is as safe as any other form of exercise that is going to give you results. The important thing to take away is to be proactive and consult with a professional (a physical therapist, coach, personal trainer) to make sure you are moving properly and safely. Then, enjoy the ride!