One of the more popular fitness trends is Crossfit. Here in the South Bay Area they are popping up all over the place. There are at least three of them within a few miles of my house.
There are a many traits of Crossfit that I like:
1. They don’t specialize. This is great for kids who need to develop their general athletic fitness and skills.
2. They change exercises and routines frequently. This prevents boredom and stagnation.
3. They work cardio and strength into every workout. Necessary for physical development.
4. It tries to be a group activity. By making it a group activity it is more fun which encourages everyone to keep coming back.
These are great for adults as well as kids. But Crossfit goes into other areas that I don’t agree with. This is true for adults as well as children.
1. Every workout should be as hard as possible. This isn’t healthy, practical or even fun.
2. They encourage participants to go to failure and even to the point of vomiting. This can lead to some very serious health issues including the failure of the kidneys.
3. Olympic lifts done for numbers. The lifting experts I read have big problems with the Crossfit method of lifting. For kids, it could be disastrous as many of them don’t have the maturity to focus on lifting correctly. (Which is why I encourage coaches and kids to perform body weight exercises).
Crossfit like any program is largely determined by the quality of coaches that are leading the group. A great coach or trainer will use common sense, experience and knowledge in working with athletes both young and old.
If you’re using Crossfit for yourself or your kids, I encourage you to keep an eye out of over zealous coaches and programs. If it seems dangerous or unsafe…it probably is.