CrossFit is fun and getting stronger and faster, just better, is exhilarating. However, you need to exercise caution. One of the greatest impediments to CrossFit progress is going too hard too fast too soon. CrossFit, due to its breadth of movement and lack of physical contact, is a very safe sport and activity if done properly. Its wide variety of movement, unlike powerlifting or weightlifting or even soccer, gives muscles and joints stability and rest. Lack of the physical contact seen in football, jujutsu, wrestling, rugby, for example lends greatly to safety. Properly done, of course, is subjective, but I think it lies in the stressing of proper technique and consistent application under metabolic duress, as well as smart programming. Smart programming, in my opinion, is gradual strength increases and the minimization of repetitive motion injuries caused by redundant programming, such as hundreds of pullups in a week, or hundreds of box jumps in a single WOD. A good working knowledge of pre-hab, re-hab, and recovery techniques should be included.
All of the above is the responsibility of the gym’s coaches and program designers, who, at CrossFit West Santa Cruz, have over two decades of combined of CrossFit experience. The responsibility of the athlete is two-fold. Exercise caution in the application of intensity. In other words, don’t go harder than you should. This is not an easy commandment. As noted above, CrossFit is plain fun, and it is very easy to get carried away. Also, it is hard to know your limits when beginning. It does not matter what weight the person next to you is doing the WOD with. Exercise caution. If there is a question in your mind if you should or should not do something, don’t. The second part is mobility and movement. Stretch, foam roll, ice, stretch some more. Be as disciplined in your mobility and recovery practice as you are enthusiastic in your physical CrossFit training. Learn and know the movements. Practice them, think about them, focus on them.
I realize that this may run counter to the perceived gung ho, forward at all costs, CrossFit attitude. It is not. Pushing your limits is different from ignoring them. Giving it your all is different than sacrificing your health for a lift or time. CrossFit is smart intelligent training. You are going to be reaping its benefits for a long time. Be patient, be cautious, be steady, be smart.
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