The new Cross-Fit phenomenon has hit the general public hard over the course of the last 2-3 years with the push of high-intensity interval training methods. People are seeing results with various types of interval training within the general public, and as a result, swear by the workout routines of many studios and clubs around the country. Although athletes have been using HIIT techniques (high-intensity interval training) for decades, sometimes without even knowing they were doing it, the general public is relatively new to the idea.
As with anything new in life, there are bound to be some obstructions and hurdles to achieve success. These hiccups are mostly accidents, injuries, or even death from HIIT techniques like Cross-Fit that are looked at as isolated incidents – but studies and recent research may point to different long-term results for participants.
Athletes spend years building up to the capacity of interval training, such as football players, in order to build explosive speed and muscle endurance. However, even world-class athletes injure themselves and retire after year 30 – eventually crippling their way into their 60’s.
So the question becomes: how dangerous are HIIT techniques like Cross-Fit for the general public and why?
The Major Dangers of Cross-Fit
You are Not an Olympian – For retired college athletes or long-term body builders, Cross-Fit may be a great workout to get in shape – but for the general public it may spell hospital or disability. Over the past ten years, there have been many injuries and accidents occurring while training in Cross-Fit gyms. The problem occurs when you mix HIIT techniques, which are virtually muscle confusion-infused quick circuits done for speed and repetitions, with newly acquired weight lifters. Cross-Fit is a business and every business must make money. Therefore, most of the business that comes into the gym are not world-class athletes – they are accountants, school teachers, firefighters, etc. Mixing these people with Olympic-style lifts with only a small learning curve spells disaster. Participants are required to conduct power cleans, snatch and grabs, and thrusters – all of which are very dynamic, athletic movements.
Mentality – Cross-Fit has a reputation (more so than other HIIT-style gyms) of extreme discipline and dedication. In addition, the trainers are known to be ruthless and demanding of participants. While this is a good thing in order to produce results, the participants and the activities involved require too much skill and appropriate training measures to avoid short-term and long-term injuries. The real problem, as stated above, involves the aspect of business. Many athletes are developed through adolescence to perform powerlifting activities, and eventually hope to be recruited or paid to perform these tasks in the future as an element of their performance. However, when this model is reversed, and the general public is paying a Cross-Fit company to push them beyond their means, it can often result in disaster. Injuries occur when proper diets, stretching, and recovery techniques do not occur, even though the Cross-Fit workouts require these preparations. The average individual who has not trained for many years within the weight-lifting community and came in cold-turkey is more likely to incur injuries.
“No Pain, No Gain” – This is the mentality of many Cross-Fit gyms throughout the country who take on new members. Unfortunately, this is one of the worst approaches to exercise. Most HIIT techniques have many positive attributes because increasing one’s heart rate does create after-burn and allow the body to work harder while also building strength in a shorter amount of time. On the contrary, one of the biggest issues plaguing Cross-Fit is a condition called Rhabdo. The Cross-Fit community is attempting to address this issue in recent years, given the explosion of cases occurring throughout the country. Rhabdo is a potentially fatal condition that can be caused by several factors including severe exertion. Over-exertion is something that commonly occurs during Cross-Fit workouts and people often don’t know they are a victim of Rhabdo until the visit the doctor and discover very high CPK levels within their blood. This is very dangerous and occurs when skeletal muscle is damaged, releasing proteins into the bloodstream and overloading the kidneys – ultimately this can lead to kidney failure.
If you decide to try out Cross-Fit – just be careful. There are many benefits for HIIT gyms, including Cross-Fit, that produce sound short-term and long-term results. Overall, Cross-Fit can be healthy for you if done properly with the right training and knowledge of your body. You need to know when to push yourself and when to rest.
The writer, Matthew Hall, is a personal trainer who spent years learning to recognize when a person has pushed themselves too hard. When his clients have tried all the diet and exercise necessary to get in shape, and find it's still not enough, he recommends getting testosterone levels checked out before considering a risky workout routine, and the place in the Orlando area he would recommend most for that is Rejuve Health Clinic. You can learn more about Matthew by visiting on Google+.