Paleo 101 Guide
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Do You Need to Do CrossFit?

Jeremy Hendon | May 7
Do You Need to Do CrossFit?

At the risk of being blunt…

Of course not.

There really isn’t anything you need to do (perhaps besides breathing, eating, and sleeping).

What’s Great About CrossFit

CrossFit, if you don’t know, is a particular brand of gym that employs very intense and varied workouts. It’s become hugely popular, with numerous gyms in major cities around the world. The CrossFit Games are shown on television and sponsored by Reebok.

Personally (and this is really a question of opinion), I think CrossFit is terrific.

Paleo CrossfitAs a movement, it’s gotten a lot of people to lift weights who otherwise may not have. It’s also created a lot of awesome and very supportive communities, which keep people coming back to stay in shape and get stronger. The community aspect of CrossFit is perhaps the best part of it all.

And at least as importantly, CrossFit has played a huge role in spreading the word about better nutrition and eating a Paleo diet.

I could go on, but the point is that CrossFit can be a very good thing.

Why You Might (or Might Not) Join CrossFit

On the other hand, it’s not necessary.

Humans have stayed in great shape long before the invention of CrossFit, and it’s more than possible to do so now without CrossFit. Whether you work out in a gym, or just in your home, there’s an infinite number of ways you can exercise and get stronger.

Is CrossFit Dangerous?

CrossFit is not inherently dangerous, but like any exercise program, it can be dangerous if you do it wrong. And that can include getting bad training advice, not getting your bad posture corrected on a lift, or simply going to the gym too much.

For example, I think the Sumo Deadlift High Pull can be really dangerous if performed incorrectly, and that may be a good reason not to teach it to beginners. Now some CrossFits I’ve been to still teach it, but others don’t.

Which brings me to my next point, picking a good CrossFit is essential! Talk to the coaches before you join, talk to people who have been there, ask if they teach the sumo deadlift high pull to beginners, and google the gym for reviews of it.

One of the things people often complain about CrossFit is that people can get injured doing some of the moves. Well, you can get injured playing a lot of sports! I’ve broken my wrist playing basketball, injured my foot running, and Louise has injured her both her knee and shoulder from playing badminton.

As with any sport, you must be aware of how your body is taking it even if you have great coaches. You must rest to let your body recover – going 5 days to CrossFit may be too much for most people! And you must eat well to allow your body to recover properly and reduce inflammation.

Should You Join CrossFit?

Here’s the point: CrossFit can be fantastic, and if you want a community of support and the structure that CrossFit offers, then you should go for it, but just remember that you must listen to your own body to avoid injuries.

On the other hand, if you’ve already got a solid exercise program and don’t need or want the support or structure, then you’re probably better off without paying for CrossFit.

Images: Copyright (c) wellphoto from Fotolia and Jasminko Ibrakovic from Fotolia