A class with just Julie and 7 guys. Desmond is probably boarding an earlier flight home from the London Olympics right now.

A question that is often asked about CrossFit is its safe/danger level. It is undeniable that CrossFit is inherently safe. I know that this assertion may surprise some people so let’s take a look at it.

The main reason CrossFit is a very safe physical activity is that it is just you doing it. There is not an opponent or any kind of unpredictability at all (ok, it’s possible you might slip on a rock or acorn on a run). In most sports there is an antagonist (from the classical Greek agon meaning to struggle or strive) in the form of another human or nature. Football, rugby, soccer, MMA, full contact karate, Brazilian jujutsu, water polo, even tennis or badminton, and many other sports have an opposing team or person who makes the activity unpredictable and therefore very dangerous. You have little control over what that antagonist may do. The same in activities such as surfing or hang gliding. Each wave or wind is not the exact same, even at the same break or spot, and you can’t stop in the middle, just completely end the movement, the same way you can a deadlift. Of course it’s the unpredictability of the antagonist that makes these other activities so fun. Shadowboxing is not even remotely as fun as sparring, and shooting free throws over and over is not as fun as playing a game.

In CrossFit, you are entirely in control of everything you do. Absolutely and completely. The bar, a barbell or pullup bar, has no life of its own. It will only do what you make it. There is absolutely zero unpredictability. The only antagonist in CrossFit is you. And it is only you that can make it dangerous.* During a CrossFit class, your entire destiny for that one hour rests solely in your hands. Scale your load, your movement, your rep scheme, and your intensity to your ability. You won’t get such courtesy from the ocean or the thermals or the person sweeping your leg or trying to steal the ball from you. In CrossFit, your risk is your own, as is your reward.

The very breadth of movements and activities performed in CrossFit makes it safer than, say, running. This wide variety protects against overuse injuries in the same way MMA protects against the head injuries in boxing. There are so many other ways to win a fight in Mixed Martial Arts other than hitting the opponent in the head that it is much safer than boxing (no dig against boxing or running, I love boxing, running not so much).

There is not much in life that we can entirely control, that we can truly say is solely in our hands. CrossFit is one of them.


Split Jerk- 8x 1 @ heavy weight



Power Clean 145/100#

C2B Pullup

Rest 2 minutes


Power Snatch 115/80#


If the second WOD is slower than the first, do 50 pushups as fast as possible.

*Certainly it is possible to learn movements and movement patterns so wrongly that just doing the movement puts one at risk, but that is why most gyms, including CrossFit West Santa Cruz, require beginning classes and strictly enforce proper movement in classes. I have been the recipient of a few evil eyes when I stop someone in the middle of a WOD and force them to regain their composure and lift properly.