Crossfit Kills People Says Uncle Rhabdo

Crossfit Kills People screams the headline! (we live in such a overly dramatic society)

Crossfit Kills People

Stephanie Cooperman of the Old York Times wrote an article back in 2005 that still rings true today.

She wrote an article about the Crossfit Culture and the mentality that some people are willing to get fit even if it kills you. And she did a damn fine job of it.

So I am going to make this post leisure reading for all those wondering if Crossfit is just another routine workout program.

As my friend said when he sent me this article…

“Crossfit is just another Darwinian way of weeding out stupid people.” – Wishes to Remain Anonymous

Crossfit Kills People!

Or so says every major newspaper and writer looking for views.  They use a few specific people who would probably get hurt under any other circumstance and claim the entire Crossfit culture is messed up.

Or there’s Rhabdomyolysis in which excessive waste products from muscle tissue breakdown are released into the bloodstream and can ultimately lead to kidney failure. Seriously, how many people do you know who could workout hard enough to even induce that?  You’d need to be an extreme athlete to even get to that point.  It’s unlikely the stay at home mom is going to workout so hard that she’d literally die.  Not impossible but unlikely.

The real issue is the many forms of self-destructive tendencies.  It’s just disguised at ‘fitness’ in this case.

This could happen with any other fitness program.  The main difference is that Crossfit isn’t your regular routine.  Hard Work and pushing past limitations is encouraged.  Olympic style lifts are done on a regular basis for repetitions.  The program isn’t setup for the beginner but it’s mostly who joins and makes up the “I almost died” stories.

Getting Fit, Even if It Kills You

It’s way too easy to say Crossfit kills people.  It’s a trendy program that is here to stay. You can find a great coach and probably kill some serious butt or you can find some paper certified ex-computer junkie looking to charge you $120 a month for a crap ass warehouse disguised as a gym and just tell you to lift a heavy object over your head 100 times until you puke! The coach makes all the difference here.

Be Fit, Stay Strong!

Marc David – CPT

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16 Responses to "Crossfit Kills People Says Uncle Rhabdo"

  1. Soldier7938:
    September 27, 2011 08:42 pm

    Your just another ill informed idiot who has bought into the system.

    Leave a reply  
  2. Craig:
    July 13, 2011 02:32 pm

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         Crossfit is a franchise and each owner can do things differently.  If this story is accurate it’s not a criticism of Crossfit it’s a criticism of that location and it’s owners. I’ve been doing Crossfit for 1 Month. Im a 34 yr old male 5’9 240lbs.  Im not huge but Im not in great shape, and have not worked out in years.  The instructors at the location I go to have been completely opposite.  They emphasize proper form and technique obsessively.  The first couple of weeks doing the kettle bell swings mentioned in this article they would only allow me to use 25lb weight until I demonstrated proper form.  On dead lifts and cleans I used a pvc pipe the first time until I got the form down. The trainers have always monitored all my workouts and scaled back anything that I could not do.  

         I have nothing but great things to say about crossfit.  If your crossfit instructor allows you to do 45lbs on your first day at kettle bell swings there is a chance you will hurt your back.  As the great Forest Gump would say ” stupid is as stupid duh-uz”

    On a separate note I threw out my back swinging for the fences and pulled a hammy trying to squeeze out a double in my local softball league.  So please be advised Softball can kill you please stick to checkers.

    Leave a reply  
  3. GG:
    May 15, 2011 08:21 pm

    The above person posted

    ” I’m more interested in how I look not how heavy a kettleball I can toss around or if I can pull some weight some distance on a metal sled.”

    Thank god I care how i feel and not how i look, this is what crossfit has done for me

    Leave a reply  
  4. Guest:
    April 08, 2011 02:22 am

    This is ridiculous. Read this: “CrossFit exercises can be made more or less intense based on a person’s abilities, but the workouts are the same for everyone, from marines to senior citizens. And some critics say that is a big part of what’s wrong.” -From the linked article. So exercises can be scaled BUT they’re the same for everyone?!?!?! THEY CAN BE SCALED SO THEY’RE DIFFERENT FOR EVERYONE. You do what you can do without injuring yourself until you build up to higher levels.

    This is just sensationalism BS.

    Leave a reply  
  5. Rob:
    December 20, 2010 11:57 pm

    Funny but I have been going through a on ramp program for crossfit and if anything they are stressing proper technique and how easy it is to lose your technique when fatigued. I have seen none of the trying to do as many reps as possible without the proper technique. I guess each crossfit gym is different but from what I have seen in a short period of time there are no shortcuts. It is what it is and anyone that gives the effort is guaranteed to reap the benefits of this program.

    Leave a reply  
  6. Sybil:
    July 15, 2010 07:04 pm

    crossfit is definitely hardcore but i have a background in exercise science, kinesiology and human movement and the problem with crossfit is that proper form is thrown out the window. it's all about how fast you can do it with little regard to proper mechanics and recruiting the right muscles for the job. i do crossfit on my own once/week but i make sure my form is more than perfect. and as a trainer myself, i would never ask someone who isn't neuromuscularly efficient to do crossfit or anything similar.

    Leave a reply  
    1. Me:
      September 29, 2011 05:06 am

      you’re an idiot and are not following Crossfit as its meant to be done. I’m a crossfit coach and in our Gym we Focus on technique. If a persons form is breaking down we take weight away. Yes we want maximum power output but FOrm is king. If you think we aren’t about form you are uninformed and are making generalizations about something you know nothing about and seem to care nothing about learning. Do more research before making a statement about not caring about technique and only focus on speed.  

      Leave a reply  
  7. scott:
    May 26, 2010 06:18 pm

    Anytime I hear someone say “CrossFit is not for me”, “I'm not sure about CrossFit”, or “CrossFit seems too crazy!” all I hear is that you are too lazy!

    Leave a reply  
  8. AL:
    February 06, 2010 01:55 pm

    I've been doing crossfit for about 5 months now. Prior to doing crossfit I was going to the gym to basically just lift weights, and I was in ok shape back then. Now that I have been doing Crossfit for 5 months I am in the best shape of my life, I kid you not. Yes, the crossfit work outs are extremely hard because of the high intensity that each workout consist of, but trust me when I say that it is all worth it at the end. I do not want to sound cocky, but Mark, those kettle bells and pulling that metal sled that you are talking about has made my body look real good! I'll take Crossfit any day over conventional weightlifting, and I would love to go up against a weightlifter in a competion of overall agility, speed, endurance, and strenght!

    Leave a reply  
  9. February 01, 2010 05:30 pm

    So you'd rather look good and have no actual utility for physical activities in life? That seems kind of vain.

    Leave a reply  
  10. TD:
    January 07, 2010 07:27 pm

    Miss titled,
    It should be titled ” Crossfit Is Not For Me” Because it isn't Mark.
    I as a crossfitter i completely agree that it's not for everyone, although i due promote it as being a well balanced and over-all fitness routine. Many of the old school bodybuilders are completely clueless and make complete asses out of themselves as they try and dissect the program. They end up doing one of the most common human instinctive behaviors, criticizing something they don't understand. I freely admit that i do incorporate bodybuilding techniques into my routine but it's based on functional training, like crossfit. In true it's like apples to oranges and with main stream body building programs developed by pioneers like Alwyn Costrgove and even Old Schoolers like Ripetoe, it appears that most of the new fitness programs promote fast all out workouts rather than marathon one. So in the future, unless you plan on being or competing to be MR. OYMPIA you will all fall into a crossfit like program.

    Leave a reply  
  11. nateE:
    July 17, 2009 11:57 am

    I agree that crossfit kills stupid people. The workouts are by design completely scalable so you personally control the intensity. Im going to go out on a limb and say the guy that almost killed himself doing his first workout after two years without regular workouts was stupid. Crossfit and bodybuilding both have their advantages and disadvantages. Choose the one that works for you.

    Leave a reply  
  12. Caquin:
    March 17, 2009 08:48 am

    I was going to offer a screed against the caricature of Crossfit in this article. But I think Joe's comments sum it all up. Instead I will give you my story.

    Crossfit's emphasis is very much on form. They bombard you with form. But it is true, that the goal is completion of the workouts in the least amount of time. This emphasis is on Power Output.
    Now people may go crazy and use bad technique and form, but that is on their own. I have never seen a Crossfit trainer that would count a rep done in bad form. Moreover, Crossfit constantly run's clinics and seminars on flexibility, form and technique, and nutrition. In a sense it is analogous to people weightlifting with bad for in the gym; their bad form is not constitutive of weightlifting. It is what people with poor training or lack of instruction often do, regardless of the fitness philosophy.
    Finally in terms of safety and recovery, there is almost a mantra among Crossfitters to listen to your body and do what works.
    Long before I started doing Crossfit, I read and studied it with piqued interest. I believe it took two years for me to be in a position-mentally being convinced and proximity wise to begin training.

    I tried many different workouts in the last 10 years. Through the yearsI fluctuated between hulking powerlifting beast and slim weak endurance. I've always wanted something that can do both. Every “fitness” expert out there pretty much said endurance and strength are incommensurate. That is up until I discovered Crossfit.
    I've been doing it for 4 months. Dropped down 7% bf. Before I started (in my strength phase) I couldn't run a 5 miles. After a month of training, with no previous running training in 2 years not even in Crossfit. I ran 5 miles easy. I can crank out 10 pullups and I overall feel faster and healthier than ever.

    In the end, the only critics who disparage Crossfit are those who have never tried it.
    I've often wondered why the criticism is so harsh, and out of hand equally dismissive. There are two things that come to mind. The first is the dominance of training philosophy, long slow technique training. Except for gymnists and track athletes (who by the way seem to be the most all around fittest) the literature has priveleged sets and reps and tons of resting. The other reason for the knee-jerk opposition to Crossfit is the difficulty is producing power. Put in other words, its just plain hard. There is almost zero pushing weight lying on your back or going half way on a squat. No rests over 10 seconds and the 10 seconds rests are reserved for Tabatas. It is just nasty work you have to go in ready for war. People don't like that. Human nature much prefers moderate work over short nasty work. I should mention that the workouts hardly ever approach 30min. most are 20min. or less. Yet, the intensity is for most too much to bear.

    Leave a reply  
    1. Puffin_kron247:
      June 29, 2011 12:38 am

      I would never try crossfit while having any sort of aches pains or lack in range of motion.

      Just look up crossfit and youtube and you see like 9/10 olympics lifts are all done losing both neutral spine and the lumbar curve.

      amateurs, do some research.

      Leave a reply  
  13. Joe:
    October 11, 2008 04:39 pm

    You people are ridiculous. The notion of anyone submitting their opinion of what they PERSONALLY know nothing about is laughable at best. The New York Times article is so biased because if she even got 10% of her facts right, the article would never have been published except in positive praise of CrossFit.

    The whole section on rhabdo is a gross falsification of what CrossFit stands for. NO ONE takes rhabdo lightly and it is reiterated time and time again, especially for newcomers, to push yourselves but not to the point of killing yourself. CrossFit routines can kill you in the same way that running 100 meter sprints until you collapse can kill you. Essentially it's not the routine that kills, it's not listening to your body what kills you. Even then rhabdo is EXTREMELY rare and doing CrossFit has empircally proven to be safer and prevent injuries than any other workout regime. Need an example?

    You may find this on the CrossFit boards but a CrossFit program was developed at the USMC scout/sniper school. The course was 8 weeks long and at the end the recruits physical fitness test scores experienced unprecedented results that never happened with previous fitness routines, there were 0, i repeat 0, injuries sustained in the 8 week long course in an environment when 3-4 recruits are medically discharged from injuries sustained.

    I might be mad at the gross incompetence of the modern body building community in not being able to understand the litany of evidence that proves that the CrossFit method produces better athletes and reduces injuries than what traditional body-building routines and 'globo-gyms can offer', but when the Crossfit community experiences 300% growth annually for the last seven years and is taking ever bigger bites out of body-building community, it makes me laugh enough to forgive you guys.

    Last question, does this site offer any more articles written about subjects you know nothing about? Perhaps next month you can write about special relativity or the evolution of marine life.

    Leave a reply  
  14. John:
    April 18, 2008 12:19 am

    I’m with you Mark! Everyday I hear about another “fancy” routine. Crossfit seems to be getting a lot of attention lately. I can’t for the life of me see what all the benefits are to swinging kettle bells around for example. What happened to the basics and just getting stronger. I have nothing against kettlebells really, they can be useful used in moderation but some of the programs make it sound like they are the greatest thing ever. Just seems to be the “flavor of the month”, and will get some more people distracted from their current program. I am all for training hard, but working out until you die will not help with recovery. I suppose we should do dynamic stretching before Crossfit too, so we are more likely to get injured.

    Leave a reply  

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