“I Will Never Do Crossfit”


While those aren’t my words, they might as well be.

Those words actually belong to two-time judo Olympian Travis Stevens, who also happens to be a Brazilian jujitsu black belt.

It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of CrossFit, especially when it comes to children doing it. I also think that adults take CrossFit WAY too seriously. But what I also know to be true is that some (certainly not all) instructors have taken the equivalent of a weekend class to become CrossFit-certified. Here’s what Stevens had to say about the training that some instructors go through. I love the analogy he uses:

A lot of the people who run CrossFit gyms aren’t necessarily certified strength and conditioning coaches. They just go on a website, find the WODs of the day, and put their clients through it.

If you think about gyms as school-system tiers, first there are the Ivy League and private schools: When I weight train, I work out at Mike Boyle’s—he trains the Boston Red Sox, a lot of NHL guys, and other elite athletes.

Then there’s the community college level. I’d consider LA Fitness, Planet Fitness, or Gold’s Gym in this tier—places you can go to get a decent workout.

CrossFit is so far down the line in terms of helping people. It’s like trying to get an education by going to a library to read a few books.

Interesting take, isn’t it?

Would you rather learn from someone who has read a book? Or someone who brings the clout, expertise, and dedication to his field like Mike Boyle, one of the best in the business?

While training with someone like Boyle, you’ll get specific workouts that are tailored to you, your needs, and your present-day athletic abilities. CrossFit, on the other hand, stops WAY short of that:

People have different needs for different sports, and not everyone in the room can do the same thing. Some people need to be faster, stronger, more explosive, or more flexible. At CrossFit it doesn’t matter: Pick up the ball, try to do what we’re doing, figure it out. There’s no structure involved. The idea is: pick up the weight, and as long as you get from beginning to end, it’s considered a win. I’ve heard stories of broken backs, pulled muscles, and other injuries.

If I had a nickel for every time someone comes into my clinic and I ask, “So…when did your pain start?” and they respond with, “Well…I was at CrossFit, and I…” I’d be retired by now. The amount of injuries coming out of CrossFit are part alarming, part ridiculous. Friends, please stop taking your dysfunctional body to the CrossFit gym. You’re only setting yourself up for injury, and it could be severe.

If you’re going to start (or continue) CrossFit, please download our Four Free E-cises to get your body more balanced before you go to gym. If you haven’t started yet, save yourself the (literal) pain and suffering and stop before you start.

QUESTION: What’s your CrossFit story?