View Full Version : So, what's the deal with all the injuries?

Steve Shafley
04-29-2005, 02:35 PM
This population on the Crossfit forums seems to accumulate a lot of injuries. Anyone care to speculate why?

Jeremy Jones
04-29-2005, 04:41 PM
Pushing the limits of athletic greatness on a daily basis.

Just like you don't really know how hard you can go until you puke or blackout. This 'limit' or boundary is in a dark void that is constantly changing, and crossing it can be hazardous.

Just like the first world travelers thought they would fall off the earth if they went too far, many of the other fitness 'pioneers' never venture out into deeper waters. It wasn't until someone said, "I am going to the edge and beyond" they realized that the their 'World' was only one slice of the pie - just a small piece to the greater scheme.

Only the difference with personal fitness is that the 'Edge' is something that moves depending on your fitness level, depending on your body type, depending on your training, diet, sleep, mental condition, etc.

The only way we can get an idea of the Void is to venture out into it and push the boundary on a regular basis. This can be dangerous, depending on how hard you push - how far you go. But the more time you spend near the edge, the more time you spend in the void – the more you are going to improve and reap the greatest rewards.

That being said, I don’t think CrossFitters as a whole are injured that much. I feel like I have fewer injuries now than when I did my specific sport (Martial Arts) exclusively. I think an injury forum is kind of a lint trap for the CrossFit online community. Just because you have lint to remove from your dryer every time you do laundry, it doesn’t mean that your close are disintegrating into nothing and you should stop using your dryer.

Steve Shafley
04-29-2005, 04:57 PM
I don't feel it's worthwhile to push until injured. You lose training time, and, as you age, injuries accumulate. Same way about pushing until you vomit or black out. Counterproductive the vast majority of the time. Instructive? Not always.

The irresponsible prescription of exercise intensity for those not ready for it, or the formerly non-athletic population is part of it.

You gotta be smart about ramping it up. You have to know how to scale the WOD. You can't ignore that nagging pain in your elbow, shoulder, or knee, you have to take proactive measure to prevent and rehab things as they occur.

Veronica Carpenter
04-29-2005, 07:38 PM
"Train Hard, Train Smart" is what I like to say. I believe you should push to the edge of your limits to reach your potential. An athlete has to be in tune with his/her body to know how far to push without pushing too far. But, you can't be afraid of a little bit of pain if you want to succeed at a sport. You do have to know how to manage that pain so it doesn't escalate into something more serious.

As far as Crossfit injuries, I am willing to bet that most people here have had previous injuries/conditions prior to CF training that have flaired up with the intense WOD's

Pat Janes
04-29-2005, 07:49 PM
I think you've probably answered your question in your 2nd post, Steve.

The prescription for CrossFit is to go as hard as you can; but also stated quite clearly, is the need to ramp up the intensity over a period of time.

From the getting started guide:

"In any case it must be understood that the CrossFit workouts are extremely demanding and will tax the capacities of even the world's best athletes. You would be well advised to take on the WOD carefully, cautiously, and work first towards completing the workouts comfortably and consistently before "throwing" yourself at them 100%. The best results have come for those who've "gone through the motions" of the WOD by reducing recommended loads, reps, and sets while not endeavoring towards impressive times for a month before turning up the heat. We counsel you to establish consistency with the WOD before maximizing intensity."

Ego, being what it is, causes a large number of people (myself included when I started doing the WOD) to go at it too hard, crash, and burn.

I'm not stating that as a reason for all, or even most of the injuries reported here; but I'll bet it accounts for many.

Oh... and what Veronica said... previous conditions, disposition etc...

William Hunter
04-30-2005, 06:06 AM
I think that the CF population is quite large. I, for one, have not noticed the same people getting injured over and over. Each injury query seems to come from a different person. There's just a lot of people on this board.

Lisa Sanfilippo
04-30-2005, 07:00 AM
From my personal experience. I believe the fitter you become the more physically active you become (beyond the physical training), the more small injuries you aquire. I am much more active in addition to exercise ie. rock/tree climbing, water sports, farm work etc. I may be way off here but many more people have back pain from sitting around too much. I'll take the small injuries from being excessively active. Ya know? In addition, as the others have posted most injuries were probably previous and this is a great/safe place to ask about them due to the knowledge here at CrossFit.

Just my 2 cents.

Robert Wolf
04-30-2005, 08:43 AM
Looking thorugh the Injuries archives it looks more like newbies to CF looking for rehab information more than CF'ers melting down. Just my quick observation.

Scott Kustes
04-30-2005, 09:51 AM
I've actually had fewer injuries since starting CF than prior. Other than my seriously twisted ankle a few weeks back, nothing. And obviously my landing on some guy's foot playing basketball had nothing to do with CrossFit and no amount of strength or training can prevent that from being a bad sprain. I haven't had a strained bicep or anything else from doing isolation exercises on CF (I suppose because I haven't done them in almost 2 years).

I'm gonna paraphrase Lisa here...the injuries are not coming from CF, but from the other activities that CF is allowing us to do based on our new found fitness.

Ron Nelson
05-02-2005, 09:40 AM
I'm freaking old, that's why.

Don Woodson
05-02-2005, 10:15 AM
That's me. Just old (and clumsy too).

Matt Gagliardi
05-02-2005, 10:48 AM
I liken it to the difference between a CHAMP car and your daily driver. The CHAMP car requires constant maintenance, loving care, special fuel, careful operation, etc. But it'll go out and do 250mph. Your daily driver needs 87 octane gas and an oil change every 5,000 miles and it'll get you from A to B...but not in a particularly exciting manner.

The closer we come to pushing our limits, the finer the tolerances get for mistakes (technique, recovery, etc.). It's inevitable that when you're pushing you'll pick up some dings along the way. But the ride is a lot more fun.

Carl Herzog
05-07-2005, 06:51 PM
I was worried about the injury potential before beginning Crossfit but happily found that this was unwarranted. In 18 months, my biggest injury problems have been dealing with the remnants of those I had accumulated in the 25 years of other activities performed before starting Crossfit. In fact, this program has actually helped with many of those issues while not resulting in any significant new ones.

Sure, if you push hard you increase the potential for certain injury types. That, however, will be true with any activity and doesn't really say much about the inherent injury-causing potential of the activity itself.

After much reflection on this point, it seems that the variety provided by Crossfit deserves much of the credit. Stresses are less repetitive than in most other activities, reducing or eliminating one major class of injuries.

Ernest Ellender
05-31-2005, 02:18 PM
Consider the fact that a considerable percentage of CFers are military, police, martial artists, and competitive sports types, and suddenly the injury rate makes more sense.

Besides not warming up properly (leading to muscular tears), I have found it difficult to actually injure myself at CF since every motion seems to be a core movement that follows natural paths.

Now, in my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training, on the other hand, I have everyone trying to push my limbs in very weak, unnatural directions; THIS is where I've accumulated some interesting injuries.

I am actually finding that I have to focus more on building up my body through CF to weather the abuse of BJJ. This comes out of 6 years of BJJ and now 16 months of CF.

John Walsh
06-01-2005, 09:43 AM
I’ll speculate based on my own experiences. CF workouts call for a lot of high rep multijoint movements that require some level of technique. I would speculate that most have not been coached on the Oly lifts. Most workouts are timed and my assumption is that most of us are competitive by nature (this is a good thing contrary to popular myths) so we push for good times. Coupling together the high reps, poor technique and drive for a good time and you get injury. This is how I repeatedly aggravate my non-dominant side shoulder impingement. I initially got it from benching too much back in my PL days. Now I usually get it from any overhead work with poor form. My form usually goes out the window after 5 reps in the Oly lifts. I just aggravated the impingement again on the Elizabeth we did on May 23rd. My cleans were all over the place.

I like the effect I get from high rep Oly lifts but I wonder if the injury risks outweigh the benefits at this stage of my life (over 40).

Veronica Carpenter
06-01-2005, 10:43 PM
Most of us crossfitters are by nature competitively driven, athletes (or wannabe athletes, whichever the case.) Athletes do incur injuries due to their 'sport' but I wouldn't go so far as to say that they have more injuries than the average joe. I'd much rather suffer injuries from being active than by bending over to pick up a bag of dogfood or sitting on a couch clicking the remote.

Daniel Overvoll
06-02-2005, 08:08 AM
I second Veronica and Ernest's posts. Check out the "Honorary SWAT team membership finally impresses my wife" thread on community.

"Hey honey, watch this!" (Skimboard + large man = painful amusement).