Cross Fitting? Choose Your Affiliate Wisely!

Cross Fit can be a fantastic workout, not to mention a great way to meet like minded people who are engaged in their health and fitness and provide that extra little incentive to get out of bed early and get your workout in before work, or en route home from the office.

It can also be a good source of information about Paleo eating.

Unfortunately, some affiliates can also be a misinformed source of Paleo living and a great place to get injured.

As with any gym, the responsibility is upon each of us to make sure we do our due diligence and ensure that the instructors are properly trained, well educated and have a stellar reputation for being a fantastic teacher.

I’ve had the opportunity to speak at many Cross Fit gyms and I’ve seen some that were amazing- beautifully outfitted with a very professional and well trained staff with members that were clearly being well supervised and taught properly.

On the flip side, I’ve also seen some locations at which it was all I  could do not to cringe and cover my eyes when I saw what some of the members were being told to do…. and doing.

Swinging kettle bells improperly without warming up, cleaning and jerking heavy barbels with terrible form and doing plyometric jumps cold were just a few things I saw that made me fear for what the outcome might be.

A recent conversation with a colleague of mine who is a chiropractor further illustrated this concern.  She mentioned that she no longer treats patients with Cross Fit related injuries.  While they created a constant, steady stream of hurt people coming into her clinic, she saw the same people over and over with the same injuries.  It was as though she’d ‘fix them’ and then they’d go ‘break themselves’ again straight away!

And the Paleo front leaves a lot to be desired.  Just as there is a huge variance between how professional (or not) the gyms themselves are, there is a large disparity also between what information is dealt out in terms of what is or is not Paleo.

Some gyms get it. Their members understand the macro nutrient balance, the timing of food and the basic idea that Paleo is all about emulating the food groups of our Paleolithic ancestors with foods we can easily procure at the farmer’s market or grocery store.

Others… not so much.   Touting the idea that bacon is great with every meal, entire cheat days including copious amounts of ice cream and pizza and eating habits which generally don’t produce any health benefits greater than the Standard American Diet is not Paleo.  Not sure what you’d call it, but again, it’s not Paleo.

This post is not intended to discredit Cross Fit as stated above; there are many, many reputable affiliates with good teachers which can provide the perfect venue for you to become a regular exerciser.  

Just make sure you do your research!