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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 01-30-2014, 09:47 PM   #11
Robert Fabsik
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Re: On Movement and Risk (W/f/s)

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Originally Posted by Russell Greene View Post
Robert,

I have also heard the rumors that high rep olympic lifting is more dangerous than heavy lifting, as well as your other concerns. You're right that scaling is important, but you are also repeating what every CrossFit L1 course has taught for over a decade.

Here's my question for you:
Why aren't you recommending that people avoid running? Studies listed above found running to have nearly 10X the injury rate of what the Hak survey found for CrossFit.

P.S. If you do anything long enough, you will die. That was my point.
Sorry if I'm too OCD, but thanks for clarifying the meaning of your 100% quote. Life has a 100% mortality rate, can't disagree with your there.

Also, my intention wasn't to come off anti-CF. Overall, I think CF does a lot of good things for fitness. I'm just bringing to light concerns many other CF friendly critics have offered and as I summarized, I think CF does a decent job answering them--scaling would be one answer and I thought most would know that comes from CF mainsite and CF certs.

I'm not a big fan of running. Personally, I felt more banged up when I ran long distance all the time (probably have bad mechanics). Playing tennis, prowler and sprint work don't seem to beat me up the same way.

For most I recommend strength training and good conditioning before they consider running (to me the benefits are minimal compared to strength and conditioning work).

So playing Devil's Advocate, if you didn't do kipping pullups, box jumps and high rep oly lifts. Could you still get as fit as if you did them? Still apply the CF methodology?

If you can get the same level of fitness without riskier movements why do them?
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:36 AM   #12
Steven Wingo
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Re: On Movement and Risk (W/f/s)

To truly gauge risk we always have to consider the consequences of doing nothing. Given the enormous costs associated with low back pain (most commonly associated with lack of conditioning in particular a weak core) and in particular Type II diabetes/metabolic syndrome, CrossFit and virtually all other physical activity would have to be considered extremely low risk.

These discussions are like debating which make and model of car has the safest seatbelt and airbag system--just taking for granted that of course it is better to choose a car which actually has a seatbelt and airbag versus one that does not. Choosing to be sedentary and not engage in physical activity is like recklessly driving a car without those safety devices. Serious health issues are highly likely and it is just a matter of time for most everyone.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:30 AM   #13
Jason A Smith
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Re: On Movement and Risk (W/f/s)

I don't think Crossfit is especially risky. Stupid people (like myself) are the problem.

1. When I started I did way too many kipping chin ups. It banged up my shoulders a fair bit.

2. I had an injury trying to out muscle a bad snatch attempt. Was during the 2012 Open on a 165# snatch make actually. I was competing, the adrenaline was going and I made a bad decision to save the lift. Has caused my a lengthy delay in snatching a PR but that is not Crossfit's fault. I should have bailed on the lift instead of being an idiot.

3. Currently have a strained soleus from too much jumping and not enough stretching and foam rolling. For the record I step down on box jumps 90% of the time. I don't need a ruptured achilles, even if the risk is so remote the potential for disrupting my actual life is too much. Have I done them, absolutely.

So there you go. Five years wirth of Crossfit and one fairly serious injury. Other than that I am more strong and fit than pretty much 98% of the population heading towards 38.

I never had the luxury of learning at an affiliate either, all hard knocks and skinned knuckles. You play sports and sometimes you get hurt.

Never had Rhabdo or anything like that.
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Old 01-31-2014, 08:38 AM   #14
Brian Strump
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Re: On Movement and Risk (W/f/s)

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Originally Posted by Lance Neumeyer View Post
How expensive would it be to pay a 3rd party to conduct a study? I'm sure it depends on the size/length of the study, but is this something that HQ has considered?
Hugely expensive, and at that, would still only be a small sample size. A legit double blind, placebo controlled study is not something HQ should consider.

Why would they? Consider the risk of medications that have these studies and still out there. Even if the injury risk is 10%, that's a 90% success rate.

In general, these discussions on injury rates are just silly, IMO.
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Old 01-31-2014, 09:22 AM   #15
Dustin Wintczak
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Re: On Movement and Risk (W/f/s)

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Originally Posted by Russell Greene View Post
If you have eyes, you’ve noticed journalists and struggling trainers speculating about the dangers of CrossFit. If you have a brain, you’ve noticed the hysteria fails to meet basic logical standards. Meaningful claims about risk must meet at least the following three points, to start:

1. Evidence:

It is not enough to look at a workout program and assume it’s dangerous. One would hope this was obvious, but some American College of Sports Medicine fellows keep falling short. They have repeatedly published bad science on the basis of non-existent or misinterpreted evidence. Sources: http://journal.crossfit.com/2012/09/...sensus-pap.tpl and http://journal.crossfit.com/2013/05/acsm.tpl. And the bad science doesn’t end with papers about CrossFit. More on this, later.

Contrary to what Patrick Mccarty has claimed, it is possible to gather data on CrossFit, both online and in gyms. Data need not encompass the entire CrossFit community to count.

2. Time frame:

With a long enough time frame, the fatality rate for all activities is 100%. An injury rate without a time frame is meaningless.

A 74% injury rate over one workout is very different from a 74% rate over years of training.

Outside Magazine is a first-class source for bad reporting on fitness: http://www.outsideonline.com/news-fr...ers-Spine.html. They made this mistake recently:

“Studies have pegged the CrossFit injury rate from as low as 16 percent to as high as 74 percent.” (The 16 percent figure has never been substantiated, but the Outside reporter failed to seriously investigate that fact.)

Furthermore, the 16 percent figure comes from a 6-week study, whereas the 74 percent figure comes from a study where the average CrossFit experience was 18.6 months. In other words, the 74 percent figure came from a study with a time frame over 13 times as long as the other study. It’s not a fair comparison.

One way to address time is find the number of injuries per 1000 hours of participation. This is the incidence rate. Dr. Yuri Feito explains the concept here: http://drfeitoblog.wordpress.com/201...ed-by-numbers/

3. Comparison:

At least 52 Americans have died competing in triathlons since 2007. (I trust that Eric Robertson has already started writing “USA Triathlon’s Dirty Little Secret). Are triathlons high-risk? To answer this question, you would have to find an incidence rate, as discussed above. Next, you would need to compare it with other sports and fitness training.

As Dr. Lon Kilgore has said: http://journal.crossfit.com/2009/11/...d-trainers.tpl

"Even if a trainer takes care of every screening detail, exquisitely explains the benefits and risks of training within his system, and obtains an assumption of risk and a waiver of liability from a trainee, and even if every cleanliness, equipment- safety, exercise-technique and supervisory standard is met, someone will get hurt. The statistics tell us that. It is a certainty. We just can’t say who or when."

This is not just true of CrossFit – it is true of all human movement. And still, we dare to leave the couch. Consider a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research entitled “The nature and prevalence of injury during CrossFit training.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24276294

Their online survey found an incidence rate of 3.1 injuries per 1000 hours of CrossFit. Jeff Barnett capably addressed the study’s possible flaws and biases here: http://breakingmuscle.com/crossfit/a...ry-in-crossfit, but the study is still notable. They are the first researchers in all of exercise science to publish a study on CrossFit that met the three standards listed here.

The researchers note that the rate is “similar to those seen in other high intensity and technically demanding sports such as Olympic weight lifting and power lifting as well as general fitness training.”

The “general fitness training” source the researchers cite found a rate of 5.92 injuries per 1000 hours of training. That’s nearly twice what the researchers found for CrossFit: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8346764

Here are some more studies for comparison:
Triathlon: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1332066/
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12723674
Running (multiple studies have found an injury rate 10X what this study found for CrossFit): http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8536050
And
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18487252
and
http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/15/2/168.short
Weightlifting:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1322916/
Gymnastics: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1756196/

The headlines are right; they just got the victims wrong. CrossFit is dangerous – for less effective training programs (and much of the food industry).
The lady doth protest too much, methinks

That being said, I agree with Brian on this. People will get injured doing CF and....it's moot to try and compare injury rates with other physical activities. Do we really need to drone on about studies to come to the conclusion that CF is safer than some and riskier than others?
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:02 PM   #16
Chris Mason
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Re: On Movement and Risk (W/f/s)

Let's look at this from another perspective. CrossFit is wildly popular. If it was particularly dangerous the likelihood it would grow like it has is low. Many would get injured and help to spread the word it is so dangerous.

The truth is if you go into the vast majority of CF boxes you won't find any higher of an injury rate than any commercial gym with serious trainees.
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:31 PM   #17
Dean Lehmkuhler
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Re: On Movement and Risk (W/f/s)

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The truth is if you go into the vast majority of CF boxes you won't find any higher of an injury rate than any commercial gym with serious trainees.
I certainly agree with this. CF is high intensity. Increased intensity increases injury risk. I would expect CF or any high intensity program to produce more injuries (and more results).
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Old 01-31-2014, 02:36 PM   #18
Jeff Simon
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Re: On Movement and Risk (W/f/s)

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Originally Posted by Brian Strump View Post
In general, these discussions on injury rates are just silly, IMO.
Completely agreed.


People get so animated about this stuff. Some use it as a cloak to express their dislike for Crossfit from a conceptual standpoint.
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Old 01-31-2014, 05:33 PM   #19
Dustin Wintczak
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Re: On Movement and Risk (W/f/s)

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Originally Posted by Chris Mason View Post
Let's look at this from another perspective. CrossFit is wildly popular. If it was particularly dangerous the likelihood it would grow like it has is low. Many would get injured and help to spread the word it is so dangerous.

The truth is if you go into the vast majority of CF boxes you won't find any higher of an injury rate than any commercial gym with serious trainees.
Exactly. So why are we debating/discussing what everyone (on this board) seems to agree is a non-issue? This is a recycled discussion the always ends up the same way.

OP: "There was an article published claiming cartwheels are dangerous. Here are some studies I found that say otherwise.

Cartwheeling in a fatigued state

Cartwheel Study 2

As you can see there are % signs in the these studies and some numbers as well. Plus the author of the article is a poopy head"

Poster 1: "Well said, I love doing cartwheels and if done safely there no more dangerous than somersaults"

Poster 2: "While I agree that cartwheels are safe, calling the author a poopy-head is just juvenile and takes away from the great points you make about cartwheels.

Poster 3: "Why are we talking about this?"

Poster 4: "Look there are going to be some people out there who are just bad at doing cartwheels. They shouldn't be teaching cartwheels to others. Just giving these people a certificate to teach cartwheels after 3 days of training isn't enough."

Poster 5: "Even though I don't do cartwheels right now, I used to. I love cartwheels but right now my goal is to get better at somersaults. I see just as many people getting hurt doing somersaults at the park as I did when I was training at a cartwheel gym
."

Links are WFS
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:45 PM   #20
Matt Thomas
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Re: On Movement and Risk (W/f/s)

The real question here Dustin is whether the cartwheel in question is considered training or just an exercise?
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