WANT TO DO CROSS-FIT? READ THIS FIRST . . .

     Many people have heard of Cross-Fit, and have wondered whether it’s the right kind of training for them to add to their routine.  While readers of Smart Marathon Training and Quick Strength For Runners know that I am a proponent of adding a targeted strength routine to a running regimen, I do not advocate adding explosive, potentially dangerous movements, as the risk of injury is just too high.  A recent study, copied in part below, supports this.  While the research group here was relatively small, the rate of injury is staggeringly high – almost three quarters of all people in the study got hurt.
     For those of you who are doing Cross-Fit and have had success, I am glad for you.  But Cross-Fit is not for everyone.
     (Note: rhabdomyolysis, referred to below, is the situation when a body breaks down its own muscle to synthesize protein as fuel.   This can place great stress on the kidneys, and can, in extreme cases, lead to kidney failure).
J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Nov 22. [Epub ahead of print]

The nature and prevalence of injury during CrossFit training.

Abstract

CrossFit is a constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement strength and conditioning program which has seen a huge growth in popularity around the world since its inception twelve years ago. There has been much criticism as to the potential injuries associated with CrossFit training including rhabdomyolysis and musculoskeletal injuries. However to date no evidence exists in the literature to the injures and rates sustained. The purpose of this study was to determine the injury rates and profiles of CrossFit athletes sustained during routine CrossFit training. An online questionnaire was distributed amongst international CrossFit online forums. Data collected included general demographics, training programs, injury profiles and supplement use. A total of 132 responses were collected with 97 (73.5%) having sustained an injury during CrossFit training. A total of 186 injuries were reported with 9 (7.0%) requiring surgical intervention. An injury rate of 3.1 per 1000 hours trained was calculated. No incidences of rhabdomyolysis were reported. Injury rates with CrossFit training are similar to that reported in the literature for sports such as Olympic weight-lifting, power-lifting and gymnastics and lower than competitive contact sports such as rugby union and rugby league. Shoulder and spine injuries predominate with no incidences of rhabdomyolysis obtained. To our knowledge this is the first paper in the literature detailing the injury rates and profiles with CrossFit participation.

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About horowitzrun

Jeff is a certified running, cycling, and triathlon coach, and is the author of "My First 100 Marathons" (Skyhorse Press 2008) and "Smart Marathon Training" (Velo Press 2011). An obviously addicted runner, Jeff has run at least one marathon in every state and on 6 continents, including marathons in South Africa, China, Bangkok, and Antarctica. Jeff is available for group, one-on-one, and virtual coaching. Options include: 1. Basic Training Plan. This includes a customized training schedule geared towards a goal race, with a detailed running schedule that would include all distances and target times for each workout, including speedwork, tempo, and endurance sessions. 2. Complete Fitness and Race Plan. This includes the plan listed above, plus the non-running workouts and drills that runners need for better overall fitness and performance. You would get strength & core workouts, as well as run-specific training drills and stretches. 3. Virtual Coaching. This includes all of the above, implemented on a week-by-week basis. We review each week's progress at week's end so that adjustments can be made. The program is tailored to suit you right up to race day. It involves more contact, on a weekly or even daily basis. 4. Full Coaching for athletes in the Washington DC area. All of the above, plus a weekly workout together including speedwork, drills, and strength training. 5. Individual track sessions. One-on-one track-based workouts. Contact Jeff for pricing.
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