CrossFit: The New Scientology?

crossfit pros consThis week the NYT published an article called When Some Turn to Church, Others Go To CrossFit. In it, author Mark Oppenheimer likens CrossFit to religion, and it’s hard to argue with him when you see quotes like this one:

CrossFit is family, laughter, love, and community.

CrossFit, if you’re not familiar, is the one of the hottest workout movements, with 13,000 locations and over 2 million participants. CrossFit’s strenuous Workout of the Days (WODs), which combine Olympic-style weight lifting with functional movement, have been criticized for their propensity to cause injury.

Pros and Cons of CrossFit

I don’t have any affiliation with CrossFit … never been to a CrossFit gym, in fact. But I think it’s pretty awesome for two big reasons:

1. Doing interval training combined with strength training is the absolute best way to lose weight and build lean muscle.
2. The community-based environment is a great support system for anyone who’s had trouble sticking with a workout regimen (aka, everyone).
3. The CrossFitters I know are all in great shape … your friends who do it probably are too.

The whole CrossFit-causes-injury argument is way overblown. CrossFitters push themselves more than other exercisers … and that’s not a bad thing! Injuries happen in every sport and every type of workout, and they’re almost always attributable to poor form when you’re in the gym.

I’ll sum this one up by quoting CrossFit co-founder Greg Glassman in the NYT article:

Three hundred fifty thousand Americans are going to die next year from sitting on the couch. That’s dangerous. The TV is dangerous. Squatting isn’t.

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