CrossFit: What Happened to Personal Responsibility?

Ever since I began CrossFitting one year ago, I’ve heard it all. I’ve said it before, but it is one of the most polarizing sports I’ve ever been in contact with.


For the most part, I’m able to ignore the constant barrage of negative comments, criticisms, and uninformed opinions. Like a duck, I let most of them roll off my back. I mean, the majority of people on this planet have a misinformed opinion about something, right?


However, the latest and great BS article about CrossFit was released over the weekend, and I feel the urge to offer my two cents. My blog, my rules, right?!

If you take the time, to read the article, this professor (who works at the same university where I received my Master’s degree) essentially links CrossFit to rhabdomyolosis, a rare condition where your muscles totally breakdown due to extreme overuse and exhaustion. It’s scary stuff and can lead to severe kidney damage, so naturally, it’s a headline grabber…which is totally what this author was after.

I don’t feel like dissecting his article because you can read it for yourself and establish your own opinions. However, I have a few takeaway thoughts that I’d like to share with y’all.

Personal Responsibility

The #1 criticism that I frequently hear about CrossFit is that it causes injury from pushing participants too hard. Does it push you incredibly hard? Uh huh. Can it push you to the point of puking? I’ve heard that it does, although that has never happened to me (Ironically, I’ve only ever puked after running workouts…) However, this gets me all riled because I think it is so typical of today’s society: blame someone else instead of accepting the personal responsibility that you messed up.

You’ve heard it a million times, I’m sure, but I’m going to repeat it again: CrossFit is infinitely scalable, meaning you can adjust it to whatever level you are at. That can include adjusting the number of reps, downgrading the exercises, or shaving off a few rounds. If you have a coach that doesn’t want to do that, you’re likely in the wrong place. However, you should never be pushing yourself into rhabdo or into improper form for a zillion reps. If that’s happening, you need to check your ego, calm down a tick, and reevaluate yourself. The sport isn’t injuring you; your inability to make a smart choice is the culprit.


CrossFit Kool-Aid

I suspect CrossFit’s incredibly loyal and vocal supporters have disillusioned many people into hating CrossFit, many without ever trying the sport. For example, I see dozens of bloggers who “hate” CrossFit but have never tried it. In fact, I have friends that fall into this category, and I think it’s because they believe the hype and are scared away by the few zealots that won’t shut up.

Fair enough?

However, I get a bit twitchy when I hear these same uninformed peeps touting all the negatives of CrossFit, like the injury myth I stated above. Having come from a background filled with dozens of other sports, this one gets me sassy and I feel like it’s becoming a bandwagon thing. Any time a CrossFitter is injured or suffering, a dozen people will take to social media to explain how Satan’s sport has caused this ailment. In a digital era where everyone has a platform, information and misinformation travel like wildfire. I always hear, “My friend’s friend got injured…” but very rarely is it from the first person. Again, just from my experience!


A recent foam rolling clinic at Big Horn

But here’s the other thing: sports frequently cause injuries. Period. And certain sports have a predominance towards certain injuries.

How many runners are absolutely sick of hearing that it will ruin your knees? 

Any football players out there with a half dozen concussions as a result of the sport you love?

I know I live with a soccer player who suffered three ACL surgeries before throwing in the towel, and have two other close friends that have four knee surgeries between them. The kicker is that I’m pretty sure skiing causes more knee surgeries anyway, as I learned from my mama who tore her ACL while skiing.

How many ballerinas have chronic foot problems (like me) or suffer from weird aches in their hip flexors from years of bending like Gumby?

My point is not to accept injuries as a part of your chosen sport. Instead, people acknowledge those somewhat-common injuries because people love those sports and they make individuals happy. 

Why can we not do the same with CrossFit?


Thoughts? What’s your feeling on CrossFit? Have you tried it?


  • Reply Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb at

    Many good point! Why not just promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate, right?

    • Reply Willie at

      … the original article isn’t some opinion article bashing Crossfit, it is a researched and informed account of how incredibly bad for you Crossfit can be. The author isn’t “hating,” he is writing an informative piece.

      • Reply heather at

        Is it informative if it’s biased though? Someone on my FB wall had a similar response to your own, and here is what I wrote: “This author seems especially inclined to directly tie it to CrossFit, and that was my bigger issue. He uses purposely deceiving language in the title and makes it sound like it is this shady “CrossFit secret” that the sport is shoving under the rug to mislead participants. Honestly, his writing is fantastic in the sense that his purposeful use of adverbs and verbs are conveying a definitive correlation between the sport and the condition, so props to him for that, I suppose. Also, his facts about rhabdo may be spot on but his point that it is a CrossFit thing is just inaccurate. There are tons of studies that tie rhabdo to multiple other sports, but he purposely chooses not to mention them. It’s lying by omission, and that’s why I got riled.” So, if you are just anyone off the street reading his article, I’m not entirely sure the takeaway would be an honest education of rhabdo; instead, it would be the very basic “CrossFit causes rhabdo.” That’s not really the big picture.

  • Reply Laura at

    Definitely a lot of good points, as a runner I find myself hearing things (you’ll ruin your knees, you’re going to have a heart attack) all the time and like you, I let it roll off my back for the most part. People criticize that which they don’t understand or that which they are not capable of doing. If they can’t run a marathon (or don’t want to put in effort to try) they throw out hater comments trying to make themselves feel better and justify their decision. As for Crossfit, people don’t know it or understand it and it’s still new. It’s the new kid on the block that people use as scapegoat. Again it all comes back to people judging and poking at things they know nothing about or things they are too lazy to try in the first place.

    • Reply heather at

      And if someone tries it and doesn’t like it, that’s okay too. I’m cool with people not liking it (just like I dislike Zumba or step classes, for example) but I don’t see the need to broadcast my dislike and/or come up with reasons that make them bad. Sigh 🙂

      • Reply heather at

        Except I just broadcasted there. Dammit. I’m a hipocrite now 🙂

  • Reply Susan at

    Great post!! I feel the same can be said about all forms of fitness. It is often the ego that leads to injury, not the style or instructor 🙂

    • Reply heather at

      Yup! Back when I logged more miles running, I had way more IT band issues and foot issues because I was an idiot and would increase miles way quicker than I should have been doing. Not running’s fault; it was my own fault.

  • Reply Jennifer Hudy at

    Yup! 🙂

    This about sums up how I feel.. and absolutely agree with this: “CrossFit is infinitely scalable, meaning you can adjust it to whatever level you are at. That can include adjusting the number of reps, downgrading the exercises, or shaving off a few rounds. If you have a coach that doesn’t want to do that, you’re likely in the wrong place.”

    • Reply heather at

      Don’t get me wrong– there are some bad coaches! That’s why I seriously tell peeps to gym hop until they find one that is educated and makes them comfortable. It’s important because some coaches are idiots.

      • Reply Gerry at

        Heather I agree with your points. Cross fit is unjustly to blamed for peoples injuries but they also should take some responsibility in how they teach there instructors. I’m sure there are great teachers out there but the only I had was an idiot. I’m 53 years old with heart and back surgeries and yes I tried cross fit for three months. I was very intimidated with the classes and had a coach who pushed us as hard as we could go, even me. Your right he was an idiot and I left cross fit because of it. I did see a few insane people throw up which the instructor applauded there efforts. I to got hurt with my back, oblique and hamstring in doing the classes. But I’ve been injured many times in my job, participating in sports and other adventures. I liked some parts of it and maybe down the road I’ll try to find a beginners cross fit classes that has a comfortable atmosphere and common sense instuctors. Keep fighting the Heather you are doing great.

  • Reply Rachel @ Betty LIVIN at

    Funny, I just recapped by first time at crossfit.

    While I don’t agree with all these folks that Crossfit is bad for your health, after my first class I realized that it wasn’t for me. I’ve realized I want to do work outs I enjoy like running, hiking, and yoga.

    But it’s all up to personal preference. I think everyone should try at least one class.

    • Reply heather at

      Trying it and deciding it’s not for you is definitely okay! Everyone just needs to find what they like and enjoy so they can stay healthy, right?

  • Reply Melanie at

    I myself tried Crossfit a few times to give it a chance, and what I didn’t appreciate was the goading to push past my personal limits. As an ex-competitive athlete (rugby), I am highly aware of what my body can and can’t do, and I’ve had enough injuries to know when I’m nearing that point. I didn’t appreciate being told that I *had* to finish, even when I wasn’t able to do the exercise. Instead of being given a progression, I was repeatedly told not to “cheat.” I’ve also been a personal trainer for a number of years, and have had many clients come to me with injuries from Crossfit, as well as feeling defeated because they couldn’t “keep up.” While I’m sure there are Crossfit places out there that DO encourage beginners to start small and build up gradually, or watch participants for form and suggest modifications, I’ve heard and experienced more of the fanatic, “all or nothing,” “do or die” approach which has colored my perception.

    • Reply heather at

      Sounds like you experienced what I would call an idiot coach, and that totally makes me sad 🙁 The bad coaches/boxes are the worst things ever, but isn’t that the same with any bad coach? They can ruin that particular sport for any participant?

    • Reply Lee at

      See, I usually stop paying attention at personal trainer, because almost all of them bash CrossFit, due to the fact that their losing a significant market share to it. But, I read your post, and while you won’t admit it, I think it’s dishonest. You did CrossFit? For how long? Where? I’m not saying someone can’t have a bad experience or coach, but your story just seems to suspect. You hit all the bad bullit points. Seems convenient, no? And, then you admit you’re a personal training. Boom. There’s the run. Also, you’ve had “many” clients come to with CrossFit injuries?? Also suspect. What’s many? What injuries? I’m a coach, have been for years. I’ve never injured one client, of which I have hundreds. I know this, because I’ve developed personal relationships with all of them. I’m not saying people can’t have bad experiences, or get injured. Hell, I did when I first started. But, it was my fault. I didn’t listen to my coach or my body and let pride get in the way. CrossFit is exercise, albeit exercise done extremely well in a superior methodology with great programming, but how can exercise be bad? The answer is, it can’t. There’s no more evidence to support that CrossFit is more injurious than any other sport or program. As a matter of fact, if you look at the numbers, it’s just the opposite. CrossFit: per athlete, per workout, has less injuries than almost any other sport, except maybe curling.

  • Reply Kierston @candyfit at

    Do what you love and do it safely. You are responsible for yourself and what you do…in sports and in life!

    • Reply heather at

      Amen sister!

  • Reply Rachelle Q at

    I haven’t tried it but would like too:) Usually it’s the ones who are too scared to try it or don’t want to get off their couches that have problems with these types of activities. Those same people say bad things about running too. Although I do think there are some bad instructors out there, the same can be said for almost any type of fitness activity.

  • Reply Marissa @Barefoot Colorado at

    I agree with this entire post. There are risks with everything in life– it comes down to being smart about those risks. The other post that’s being circulating really riled me up, so I’m glad that you wrote this.

  • Reply Kayla at

    I agree people should take personal responsibility, but I also really do think people who attend a class with such intense workouts with peer pressure to be faster and stronger should be better informed by their trainers about the physical risks involved besides the traditional sports injuries we typically think of. Considering the competitive nature of CF being big motivator, too many people just don’t know or think about Rhabdo until it happens to them, or they hear about it happening to someone else. I personally know of 2 people in one of our local Cross Fit gyms who have gotten Rhabdo in the last year, which is crazy and scary real, and could probably have been prevented had they known the risk and/or signs to be aware of. Everything worth while comes with it’s risks, but we’ve got to be educated about them to make informed decisions, and when you’re working out in a gym so closely supervised by trained professionals who are modifying workouts, prescribing weight, and helping push you to your limits, I really feel they should also be able to tell people what happens if you push too hard.

    • Reply heather at

      But really, aren’t most sports competitive by nature? Score more points, sink more baskets, shoot more goals, nail a running PR if only by a few seconds? And doesn’t that same rule about informing participants apply to all activities? I’ve been to plenty of spin classes where the instructors go around the room and have everyone shout out their heart rates…if that’s not subtle competition, I’m not sure what is! And places like Orange Theory display everyone’s effort on a screen for the entire room of participants to see! So, I guess my question then is how are those less competitive and/or different than CrossFit in a way that warrants all the surplus criticism? (And that’s a real question because I feel like it nails the root of my confusion!)

      • Reply Alyssa at

        Interesting – I think the difference is I may feel compelled to push myself to achieve a race PR, but there’s only me out on training runs, so if I feel I need to scale back, there’s no one telling me not to (or caring or even knowing). I’ve never been to the kind of class you describe so I can’t comment on that. But as you said, I think people need to take some personal responsibility – if you know you are the type that gets sucked into competition and absolutely can’t let others “beat” you, maybe Crossfit is not for you!

      • Reply Kayla @ kpLOVINGit at

        Of course. And competition is great! Without competition… it really a sport?
        I think the issue of why Cross Fit is being targeted is because a) it’s still fairly new sport, and b) it’s comradery and “fun side” is attracting a different group of people to come and do something that may challenge their bodies to the extreme, and not necessarily anyone that would have considered themselves an athlete before, or ever had the motivation to push themselves so hard, therefore causing this wave of Rhabdo.
        You know what I mean, Vern?
        (And for the record, I’m not a hater. The nurse side of me comes out when we talk about informed consent, education, and prevention!!)

  • Reply Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections at

    Loving your thoughts here. Your comparison with getting tired of hearing how running is bad for people is spot on. Once you DO run or do crossfit or whatever it is, you can realize for yourself that it’s not going to kill you. Everyone has the opportunity to get injured for sure. Some are more prone than others. But if you’re pushing through workouts in pain because you’re underprepared for the exercise, yes you will injure yourself and be one of those lame statistics that makes people write articles like that.

    I think once crossfit stops being a “fad” type of workout/sport for people, then it will stop being criticized. But when that happens – who knows!

    • Reply heather at

      I think you may be right– it’s the new kid on the block with many still referring to it as a fad that will go away soon. If and when it stands the test of time (biased opinion: of course it will!), maybe the constant attention will die down.

  • Reply Corrie Anne at

    Oh my word, I’m so happy you wrote this!! I totally agree on both parts. It’s definitely about personal responsibility, and it helps to choose a good box too. And thanks for your point on hating on other peoples’ sports. Not cool. 🙂

    • Reply heather at

      Not cool at all, and both ways! I know when CrossFit first started, I saw a lot of CrossFitters bashing other sports which is equally lame. We should all just get along 🙂 I feel like that has died down, but I’m sure others would disagree with me.

  • Reply Heather @ Better With Veggies at

    I’m sure I’ve shared this before, but I don’t hate crossfit, but I do hate how many boxes have unskilled coaches that can help contribute to the extra injuries. It’s my same complaint with many personal trainers though, the ones who are too busy chatting to notice the terrible form of their client. In general, i wish many of these certifications were a little stricter, so that only the good ones got through. I know there are great crossfit coaches (I have a friend who is one!), but the bad are getting the attention. 🙂

    • Reply heather at

      I agree totally– I wish there were tighter regs for all certs, just to ensure proper attention, technique, etc. Big Horn (my gym) is training new trainers right now and even though they’ve all passed the cert, our owner/main coach Brian won’t let them teach classes until they’ve spent plenty of time coaching with him by their side. Once he decides they’re ready, then they get to go solo. It makes such a difference in my confidence in them as well as their own ability to perform the job well.

  • Reply Marcia at

    I missed the social media firestorm against Crossfit but I did just hear someone speaking about and rhabdo in the same sentence. Must have come from that article. Sometimes I think people just want to have something to say about stuff, even when they are ill-informed. TO each his/her own!

    • Reply heather at

      Eh, it’s probably better that you missed it 🙂

  • Reply Heidi Nicole at

    I agree with this – there is definitely a certain level of personal responsibility that needs to be used. Its called common sense. Of course, not everyone has that and I think that is where the coaches at the boxes need to take a little responsibility. Now, I’ve never been in a CF box, so I may be completely wrong here, but if I were to go to one, alone as a complete newb, I’d be putting a TON of trust in the coach and their knowledge base. I’m definitely pretty darn headstrong and wimpy, all at the same time, so I don’t see myself going down the route of “okay, whatever you say” or “I WILL beat you, I WILL!” road. However, I do see that as something someone with less confidence or overall fitness knowledge could easily do in the perfect storm of egos and such.

    This is where I think the coaches need to take their responsibilities very seriously. I’m sure many coaches do this, but I’m also sure there are coaches who only care about certain athletes or just the reps/time. It happens, with every sport, not just Crossfit.

    All of that being said, it seems like Crossfit as a whole really enjoys and thrives in these controversial spotlights. From the get go it has been a very controversial sport and I think CF in general would lose a bit of gusto if it stopped popping up in online battles like this.

    • Reply heather at

      I agree with you in that regard– some people don’t know how to calm the hell down and it is up to the coach to reel them in, so to speak. That’s what bad coaches come into play. And you’re also right– I think CrossFit HQ enjoys the limelight and it’s why the do controversial things (like the Rhabdo cartoon mentioned in the article.) For the love, I just want to play my sport 🙂

      PS Are you coming to dinner on Thursday?

      • Reply Heidi Nicole at

        And I’m with you on the “running will break your knees” crap…had to talk my mom down when she found out about the 50K. Too many buzz words and headlines in the world!

        PS – Yup, I’ll be there! 🙂

  • Reply misszippy at

    There is definitely a big divide between CF and endurance sport folks. And I think it’s silly. At the bottom of everything is finding what you like and what “does it” for you. If someone likes CF and not running, who (and why??) am I to judge? Criticizing it gets us no where, at all. And yes, personal responsibility has to come into play. When I did my 30-day Living Social stint w/ CF (which I loved) I was super careful to keep things light when I was new to it, the Olympic lifting moves in particular.

    Great points here!

  • Reply Natalie @ Free Range Human at

    I admit that I’ve been reluctant to try Crossfit because I’ve heard so much about the injury myth. However, I think you make an excellent point about personal responsibility! I think that’s a huge problem we have in our society with so many issues across the board, and we need to seriously reevaluate that.

  • Reply Brian at

    Excellent blog, Heather! We (CrossFit coaches) take our profession very seriously, and our members’ safety is priority #1! Now, we cannot control the practices of others; however, we can control our own. Thank you for the support!

    Owner, Big Horn CrossFit

  • Reply Axel (@apkussma) at

    I saw the article, in fact, a few times now, once distributed by one of my friends from jiu-jitsu. Martial Arts can be approached the same way: are they inherently dangerous? It depends on the instructor, and the dojo. Still, a culture of ‘no pain, no gain’ can get out of control, as can competitiveness and that’s what needs to be kept in check, regardless of your sport – even Yoga could be done to dangerous and stupid extremes in theory. I think Crossfit’s popularity has made it a victim of the law of averages: so many apples, some are bound to be rotten. What made me plonk down my money at my box, was the owner’s attitude – he basically wanted to make sure that anyone who worked out could (safely) come back for more!

    • Reply heather at

      I’m just going to copy your entire response and tape it to my forehead 🙂 Agree with every last word! Thanks, Axel.

  • Reply James Bettis at


    Fantastic article! I feel the same way as you in this regard. I’ve NEVER puked from a CF workout but have puked from running workouts! I push myself and slow down, reduce the weight or find a suitable adjustment. I do think the boxes need to be more regulated on their end as well. Because quite frankly, you have a lot of trainers with zero credentials, NO education whatsoever other than a Level 1 CrossFit weekend seminar, that is nearly impossible to fail (if you’re reasonably intelligent and have a decent fitness background). It’s the bad trainers that cause the problems…and to be honest I hear CrossFitter’s trashing every other sport out there WAY more than I hear other sports trashing CF.

    Getting hurt doing Olympic lifts with poor coaching is a very real possibility but like you said, people need to take personal responsibility for their actions! I didn’t read the rhabdo article and I’ve only ever met one person that’s gotten it from CF…and I’ve been around CF for over a year now.

    • Reply heather at

      In the end, I guess I’m just thankful that I found Big Horn where I don’t have to deal with uneducated trainers. Maybe that makes my viewpoint even more biased than it already is.

  • Reply Ericka @ The Sweet Life at

    Right on! 🙂

  • Reply Cathryn at

    I agree. I’ve never done cross fit and don’t really fancy it but I totally agree that it’s our responsibility to know our own limitations and behave accordingly! I do think coaches have a grave responsibility to protect their athletes, especially when technical issues might lead to injury but most people know when something feels wrong and it’s up to them to speak up or stop!

  • Reply Elvin Fernandez at

    Excellent post. I hope this post gets as much attention as the negative articles that have been coming out lately. Take note huff post. They always seem to syndicate negative post about CrossFit and not positive ones from folks actively participating. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    • Reply heather at

      Haha, doubtful. I’m not that cool 🙂

  • Reply Miz at

    I dont choooose to do it–but those who do are BAD ASS IMO.
    and it’s a choice they are making.


  • Reply Alyssa at

    I’ve never tried Crossfit so I have no opinion on the workout. My only opinion is that I am so sick of hearing about it. Blogs I used to like are now “here’s a long boring explanation of my WOD and a lot of acronyms that you don’t understand and numbers that have no meaning without context!”. Mark as read. I mean, I’m sure non-runners feel the same if I post about a tempo workout or something (actually, I don’t feel, I know, people tell me) but I’ve been upfront that I have a running blog. I feel like I’ve gotten sucked in to good blogs that become crossfit blogs secretly. I’m also sick of my FB friends posting about it but there’s a lot of stupid shit on FB I’m sick of and it really falls to me because I need to go through and clean house.

    • Reply heather at

      Ha, I can totally see where it’s mind numbing if you’re not interested in it! I’ve tried to be very cognizant of that in my real life since my close friends don’t participate in the sport. Sure, everyone likes to “talk shop” but they don’t want to hear about the latest workout, so why should I cram it down their throats? I do know some people who flood my Facebook feed with CrossFit stuff, and it annoys me even though I love the sport!

  • Reply lynne @ lgsmash at

    Re: Injuries in other sports – I just tried a ‘functional fitness’ class last night and when I was asking what the difference between crossfit & functional fitness is, we discussed injuries and the instructor told me that running was going to injure my knees (because they’ve already been compromised by surgeries). And while true for some people, I feel like that’s a blanket statement non-running-enthusiasts say because there are SO many people who’ve run for years and years with no problems and so many older people who’ve never had knee or hip issues!

    Like you said, it’s all about being smart and knowing your limits. In running, crossfit, skiing, etc, etc, etc.

    • Reply heather at

      I bet you hear that a lot because of your knees, huh? I guess I think that no one is the same so even though the blanket statements are the easy way out, they’re not necessarily applicable to every individual. I think it just covers asses.

  • Reply Dreaming of Snow: Backcountry Skiing - Just a Colorado Gal at

    […] ← CrossFit: What Happened to Personal Responsibility? […]

  • Reply Jenna (@urbanfitopia) at

    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! I completely agree with this. Not sure why people feel so strongly against crossfit. You should love the thing that gets you in shape and helps you become healthier and stronger.

    People forget that the health equation is not a one-size fits all kind of thing.

  • Reply Whitney Garcia at

    Very well put! Folks need to educate themselves and quit running their mouths. If Crossfit isn’t for you then so be it. Just quit wasting the energy bashing it.

  • Reply Jess Allen at

    GREAT post! I read that article too–I mean, any exercise practiced without some sort of awareness could be dangerous. CrossFit gets a lot of criticism from many who have not tried it for themselves. I wish we would stop judging one’s exercise choices and instead encourage others to simply move however they like!!

  • Reply Electra @ at

    YES x a million. Personal responsibility, in my opinion, is lacking for many people now-a-days in regards to many things. The blame game is commonplace, where I think you’re 100000% right, and taking a step back, evaluating every situation you put yourself in, and acting according to the best interest of yourself and everyone involved is key. Crossfit, just like any other sport has pros and cons. I don’t think crossfit has any more cons than any other sport. Find a good box/gym, find a good coach, find good friends to do whatever sport or workout you love with, do your research, keep your personal responsibility in the game, and you’ll be successful, regardless of the sport. LOVE this post rockstar, keep on doing your thing!

  • Reply A Beginner's Take on Functional Fitness - lgsmash at

    […] (**See Heather’s post about refuting CrossFit perceptions here**) […]

  • Reply This Weekend, My Brush with Fame, and Fun Stuff - Just a Colorado Gal at

    […] lots of you saw, I got up on my high horse on Tuesday in regards to the latest negative post about CrossFit. Imagine my surprise when I woke […]

  • Reply Alex Bridgeforth at

    To be honest, I love when people just do something to get fit, even if it is just walking. But I am one of those bloggers that dislikes the Crossfit cool-aid and I did CF for about 6 months at a CF Box with a certified coach. I love trail running, because the aspect of racing and running hard is just not as big as it is in CF. Everytime I was there, it was who had the biggest ego and every guy was trying to out do each other. It helped me out that I was the vegan ultrarunner doing CF and beating many of them, which the coach did not like because he was 100% paleo, which I never agreed with and proved him wrong over and over. Many of the normal CF folks didn’t like me because Im an ultrarunner that trains with conventional training methods not CFE. I love running for runnings sake and they could never understand that. They couldn’t understand how I disliked mud runs and obstacles races so much, because I would rather just run the mileage and enjoy the time with people.

  • Reply Elle at

    how DID I miss all of this? Interesting discussion you have going on here. I do like reading all the opinions. I have no Cross Fit personal experience at all so cannot comment on that aspect… but I do believe we have to take some responsibility for ourselves and be aware of our own body’s limits and abilities.

  • Reply Paige @ Your Trainer Paige at

    I feel like I can’t form a complete opinion about Crossfit because I’ve never been to a crossfit facility/box. I guess my opinion is one-sided just because I’ve had more than a handful of clients come to me after experiencing crossfit injuries themselves. I know there ARE good facilities who are responsible and have an appropriate number of crossfitters to coaches (instead of 1-2 coaches per 20 people doing clean and jerks!) but I think the ones who don’t tend to give it the bad rep.

  • Reply Bean Bytes 57 at

    […] I have my own thoughts, but these two ladies sum it up pretty nicely: Crossfit Doesn’t Have a Dirty Little Secret, You’re Just Irresponsible Crossfit: What Happened To Personal Responsibility […]

  • Reply Nick at

    Its a tricky subject. There are some that want to crossfit because they just want to be healthy and its just an exercise for them. There are others who treat it like a sport and want to compete or have the fastest fran time at their gym. There are box owners and coaches who don’t fully understand what people should and should not be doing. They fail to gauge that line where safety meets “pushing yourself”. Rhabdo is undoubtedly a possibility when crossfitting. I know because 3 years ago my coach pushed me so hard on a GHD Muscle up Wod that I was hospitalized for 2 days and the doctors where amazed that I could reach 100k plus CK levels from exercise.
    I think most of the haters and criticisms come from bad experiences such as mine. Uneducated coaches and box owners who have been crossfitting for 6 months with no other real exercise science background should not be able to hold so much responsibility over ones safety. Anyone with $1000 and a 3 day weekend to spare can go open a gym or become a coach. There is a problem with that.
    My 2 cents

  • Reply mk at

    i think this is a great rebuttal. as a former cross-fitter i argue both sides of the fence. i injured my back twice in an 8 month period before throwing in the official towel. during the time of both exercises (dead lifts and squats), my coach chirped that i had excellent form and to go faster. so i did. i rather knew in the far back of my brain that going any faster is probably going to kill me, however, i also thought, ‘if i’m having great from, i should be ok, i’m strong enough to lift this weight with good form, i should be ok’ i was wrong. but you don’t know that until after the fact. hindsight is 20/20 right?

    i also agree with the community, the comradery that cross-fit eludes. especially in the smaller, more concentrated groups. mine had 8 people at max. we were all great athletes, loved the competition and loved pushing to get better, faster, stronger. and in that small pumped up arena, you don’t want to stop. and you usually don’t realize you should have, until after.

    i love the cross-fit competitiveness. it’s like being a kid again. functional movements, life movements, it’s fun. what i don’t care for or see a need for is increasing weight and going fast, fast, fast. can i lift 400lbs off the floor? yep. is that a real life skill that i’m ever going to use? nope. never. can i dead lift 250#? yep. am i ever going to need to do it ‘x’ amount of times in 2 minutes? nope. never.

    it’s a fine line to “know your body and know your limits” b/c we all want to be bigger, faster and stronger… so yes, the onus is on us. i guess it’s how you respond to the peer pressure.

    as for the rhabdo, also a fine line. you don’t know you have it until well after you’re done pushing yourself to better yourself. i half suspect that i recently had a bout with uncle rhabdo. while i was working out i was pushing myself to get through my self prescribed WOD. at the time i was fatigued… but just about a week later, i still had a shoulder/bicep issue that has since gone away. i didn’t go to the dr b/c i thought it was just normal muscle soreness after a hard workout. after reading several articles, i probably should have sought some medical attention. i’m certainly going to be more aware, thus reading about the material and horror stories. severe injury will devastate me.

    good luck friends! xoxo

  • Reply Sarah at

    I tried crossfit, my husband even stuck with it for 6 months. I come from a certified personal training backround, I have also played dozens of sports, am a runner, and am a varsity high school coach. Honestly? I hated it. HATED. I hated the “cult” mentality. I saw someone snap their wrist falling off a box. I have seen the more horrifying form not being corrected. No thanks. I’ll put my $200/month in the bank.

  • Reply Thinking of Trying CrossFit? This post is for you! - Barefoot Colorado at

    […] What Happened to Personal Responsibility? […]

  • Reply Julia Kruz at

    Agree that the sport isn’t injuring you; your inability to make a smart choice is the culprit. Without basic knowledge, definitely you can injure your health! Do workout with the mind! Thx for sharing!

  • Reply Bella Hardy at

    I love crossfit. On my legs day for doing sumo squats and also for working on my sides. Using it in my routine workout feels fantastic. Nice portrayal of workout.

  • Reply Kara Mathys @Wellnessgrit at

    Awesome pictures. Can I pin this post on my Pinterest board!? My followers will love it. I love CrossFit. I’m happy that this sport became more popular nowadays

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.