Wednesday, September 25, 2013

CrossFit Will Kill You and Make you Poop Your Pants..

With all the negativity surrounding CrossFit lately, with accusing it of causing rhabdo, and categorizing all CrossFit coaches into a lump of screaming, relentless, yelling lunatics, and setting the premise that only super-fit athletes can do it, if that!  I felt like I needed to add my 2 cents.

It will kill you.
And it will make you poop your pants.

Just ask my kids.

Leah has been attending a strength and conditioning class at our CrossFit gym that incorporates CrossFit movements into the workouts.  She is loving it!  I have actually noticed a difference in her behavior post-workout...either because it wears her out OR because she is getting her movement-seeking sensory needs met.  As well as moving around heavy weight, which is similar to joint compressions, in that it is soothing to a child with sensory issues.  Anyway, I am always excited to ask her about what she has learned...I no longer stay at class to watch--she spends too much time making sure I'm watching--and not enough time paying attention...last week she said, "Mom! Sarah made us do an exercise tonight that is supposed to kill you!"

I laughed out loud and said, "what??"  The first thought I had was that they did a workout called "Death by Pull Ups"...which includes you doing 1 pull up a minute, 2 pull ups the 2nd minute, etc. until you can no longer do one.  But she assured me that wasn't I asked her to demonstrate.  She said they had to pick a bar up off the ground, stand up with it, then put it back down...until you die!

Deadlift! The name of a basic weightlifting movement. Ha! Now I got it!  Her literal thinking took over... I couldn't stop laughing thinking about what was going through her mind as she was lifting that bar up and down until death! She said she was able to do all the teacher said to do...and she was still alive!  Phew!

So be aware of that when you CrossFit, you might deadlift.

Somedays I teach a CrossFit class at 1 o'clock PM and Autum helps me instruct.  She always asks if she can go with me to class and do push-ups.  She loves hooking her arms in the rings and swinging in the air out in front of a big box.  That is her warm-up!

Yesterday's workout was one she could participate with us in, so she tagged along.  She started out by running 100 meters, then she had to do as many push-ups as she could.  I would write each class participant's number of reps on the board before they took off to run again, and so she would do the same.  She would say, "Mommy, Alma has 1! Bye!"  She would run out and back and come in and do some sit-ups, which were next on the list.  She did dumbbells rows, and some other movements I wasn't quite sure what she called, but all the same she did a few rounds of it.  When we were finished she told me to tally up her score like I did everyone else's and to record it on our wall of fame board.  Then as were walking out of the gym to leave, she said, "I did good today, Mommy!  Aaaaaand I pooped my pants..."


"I tink I wran too fast!"

So there you have it.
CrossFit can push you so hard you poop in your Tuesday panties.  So beware.



  1. FANtastic! I love this! (And you know I was thinking of you as my pinky hovered hesitantly over the enter key when I posted that article a few days ago on FB. You are loved and respected!

  2. I like this post, but it does very little to address the vast majority of the criticism recently aimed at crossfit. No one said that crossfit will cause rhabdo- they just observed that an alarming amount of cases are directly related to crossfit for what is otherwise a very, very rare condition.

    It's great that your kids can enjoy crossfit type exercise and feel "accomplished", but this does not discount the many concerns associated with crossfit in general.

    When your common crossfit instructor's first question upon hearing that a participant was in the hospital is: "Is it rhabdo?" Something is wrong.

    Once again, it's not that crossfit can't be performed safely, or that all coaches are mindless yelling machines- it's the fact that the very nature of crossfit endorses always pushing harder and doing more at such a high intensity. This ideal is only worsened by "The Games", where people see athletes exercising to EXTREME exhaustion, and might I add, in manner that is in NO WAY necessary for anyone who is not specifically trying to compete in such games, much less achieve optimal health, longevity, or athleticism.

    All types of exercise carry some inherent risk, but that does not mean all forms are equal. Crossfit gets targeted in this sense because, as mentioned, at the heart of the method is a message of "work harder" and performing high intensity exercise in a fatigued state. This vastly increases the risk of injury, I don't think any qualified exercise physiologist, personal trainer, etc. would argue this.

    I know a number of crossfit coaches who agree that normal people should not be training like they do at The Games, and that in their gym they are careful to monitor fatigue, ensure proper technique, and use appropriate levels of periodization. However, at that point- are you even doing crossfit anymore or simply exercising in an appropriate manner? I personally don't feel that the two go hand in hand, especially if we are speaking of the WOD on the main website.

    When coaches make claims like those above (acknowledging that the Main website WOD is inappropriate for most general participants and using more planned strategies that take individual levels and safety into concern) they aren't really coaching crossfit, they are using crossfit movements in an intelligent and safe manner (for the general public).

    I don't mean this post to be overly combative or harsh- it just seems that too many involved in crossfit hear criticism and respond by refusing to acknowledge the validity and instead focus only on the positive (like the incredibly community that is fostered in most boxes). There are some things that are great about crossfit, but let's not be so trite that we suggest the criticism carries no weight or that it is, in any way, suitable for a general client looking to achieve optimal health, athleticism, or longevity (at least not without some significant alterations).

  3. Wow. What anonymous troll found your blog???
    I love seeing your kiddos there and the healthy lifestyle you are modeling!

  4. You are doing the right thing by showing your kids a healthy lifestyle by being fit and active. So many children are overweight because of poor food choices and sedentary lifestyle. The child learns early health habits from their parents. If the parent vegetates in front of the television and eats junk food, a parent should not be surprised when a child imitates their parents. Too many parents pop a video game in their child's hand without considering the long term effects of doing so.

    It's wonderful that Leah and Autumn are learning better habits than other children their age. These early lessons will remain with them always.