There’s no doubt, people can get injured doing high intensity training. They also get injured doing gymnastics, playing basketball, skiing, and playing rugby.
If you’ve done sports, be it hockey or hiking, you’ve probably sustained an injury. Heck, you’ve probably injured yourself doing even silly things like moving a couch or reaching for something in the backseat as you drive.
The point: Sports are dangerous. And life might be even more dangerous.
Coaching is Key
When you join a sport, a big part of the reason you get coached is to keep you safe. You’d never join a gymnastics class and attempt back flips without proper instruction. And you should never begin CrossFit, or any other fitness program that involves technical skills like Olympic lifting or handstands, rope climbs or pull-ups, without proper care from a professional strength and conditioning coach.
At CrossFit , we believe it’s our job to help you gain strength, speed, power, mobility, stability, as well as ingrain proper movement patterns to prepare you for whatever life throws at you. Our belief has always been that the movements you learn in personal training will prepare you for life, whether you’re an aspiring CrossFit or Olympic Games athlete, or a grandma looking to stand up off a public toilet until she’s 100 years old.
Our job isn’t to supervise an on-ramp, fundamentals or bootcamp group class of 30 athletes throwing weights around and often moving poorly. Our job is to provide you with the proper tools that cater to your specific health and fitness needs and goals.
Blame the People, Not the Program
At CrossFit Caldwell, we believe that while injuries can, and will inevitably happen, it is the people, not the training itself, that tend to be the biggest cause of these injuries.
For example, if you’re an athlete with limited shoulder mobility and scapular stability and you try to lift 135-lb. over your head for 30 reps in a row, there’s a higher chance of getting injured than someone who has been properly trained, and who has the strength, power, technical ability, as well as mobility and stability to handle the volume and load.
The article goes on to list certain aspects of CrossFit movements that make people particularly susceptible to injury. The kipping motion is one of these movements.
“This may lead to the unusually high prevalence of shoulder injury…,” the article stated.
This once again comes down to personal responsibility in terms of selecting appropriate movements for each individual.
Keeping Things Scalable
There are many athletes at CrossFit Caldwell who are not clear to kip. One of the key concepts of the CrossFit methodology is that each movement and workout is universally scalable. So while some athletes may have adapted to and have the fitness to complete 100 reps of kipping chest to bar pull-ups safety, others practice ring rows or strict pull-ups in bands that assist them in order to protect their shoulders, or simply to build strength before introducing the kip safely.
Another example of a higher risk movement is the snatch. We keep some people away from snatches. We might have those individuals do some light overhead squats with a dowel, or simply some strict press, as well as some scapula stability drills in lieu of squat snatches.
Figuring out what movements are right for you is crucial to your training. And by the time you reach group classes, you will know your “Rosetta Stone,” so to speak. Your Rosetta Stone helps you translate how to scale movements to meet your current limitations. And, of course, as you improve, your Rosetta Stone will change.
The article also suggests there needs to be a greater focus on technique and strength training, “especially during the initial introduction to training,” the authors stated.
While it might not seem like rocket science, it’s something that’s still lacking in the fitness industry, and it’s something we figured out long ago.
It’s the reason we don’t do on ramps and group intros. It’s the reason every single one of our athletes spends 8-20 hours learning the movements safely before we release them to group classes.
So while the article can be seen as threatening to CrossFit affiliates worldwide because it accuses the training as being dangerous, we believe if you’re coached properly you’ll find yourself healthier than you’ve been in years.