Why do so many people hate CrossFit or Olympic Lifting? In our very first Technique Tuesday we mentioned that the Olympic Lifts and their auxiliary lifts bring out some people’s hatred for what they truly don’t understand.
Let me take you back a couple years……
I am in my early – mid 20’s working for a medical sales company that allowed me to spend every day in the Operating Room. For a little over 5 years this provided me an unbelievable opportunity to cultivate and grow my love for the human body and what it is capable of (that in itself is twofold). From a patient perspective, yes, “You just replaced this organ with that” but in passing observation there is no external difference that can be seen. Your body adapts, it survives. From a doctor’s perspective, I literally watched miracles! I was envious or better yet….mesmerized by how smart and intelligent these individuals truly are. HOW ARE THEY THIS SMART!?!?!
So why is this relevant? Because my first encounter with so much hatred and angst toward the Olympic Lifts came from people who literally doubled my schooling regarding all things that have to do with the human body. It was this group of people – who I wanted to be, that were telling me I am going to get hurt, or worse, I am going to get people hurt. I utilized my deductive reasoning and came to the conclusion that I shouldn’t be doing/teaching them.
But where does this stem from? Is it a personal experience from them fixing a multitude of CrossFit athletes’ labrums, knees or some combination here in Billings? Is it a lack of belief in myself or just coaches in general? Or is simply just ignorance on their part?
We have all heard the “hand me down” horror stories that go hand in hand with CrossFit and Olympic Lifting and I can begin to list them but the reality is that they would go on forever! The question is whether there is truth to the stories? I would say yes. Any story, fairytale or horror, stems from some truth. So yes they are right to be fearful but not of the movement, but of the COACH! It’s not the movement’s fault, that is ignorance on your part. No one likes that person, so just don’t….don’t.
Before I continue I am going to make something very, very clear…… CrossFit/Olympic Lifting is purely a catalyst….. a way in which some individuals choose to get in shape. So let’s view it as such. What if I told you that I worked out for an hour every day at my local gym and never mentioned CrossFit or Olympic Lifting? Would you have the same distasteful look on your face? NO, you wouldn’t because you wouldn’t dare to be ignorant enough to say that exercise is bad for my health. I hope.
WOOSAH. WOOSAH. WOOSAH.
Ok, I am back…..
Quit blaming the lift and blame the coach/trainer first. It is the coach’s responsibility to teach movements correctly and restrict them when it may be injurious. To reiterate what I just babbled on about above – movements don’t create injury. The lack of knowledge of “how to” creates injury. Repeating repetitions of improperly performed movements creates injury. If your athlete doesn’t understand the movement, then teach them. If you don’t know, then learn. That in itself is your responsibility and your responsibility to learn. If you truly don’t want to, please do not pretend. For those of you who are….Be an expert at your profession and stop pretending!
Athletes, your responsibility is to find a coach who knows what they are talking about. Utilizing coined language from their Level 1 Cert or from a video they watched, but don’t really understand, can easily be called a “false prophet.” Those coaches get people hurt. You don’t see the Power and Grace Team, Catalyst Athletics, or the Texas Barbell Club’s athletes walking around with crutches and slings….. If your coach doesn’t know what they are teaching, then find a new coach/box/gym. They are probably more concerned with their own interest or their bank account, not your health.
I’ll leave you with this…
Injury happens when coaches don’t know what they are doing. You could be at any gym following the best programming, but if your coach doesn’t know how teach proper movement, it is not a matter of if, but when you become injured. CrossFit athletes are not injured because they run and squat, they are injured because they do so incorrectly. Olympic Lifters are not injured from snatching, clean and jerks, overhead squats, etc., etc. they are injured because they have been taught incorrectly or their coach is not educated enough to correct them. So please, as a whole, as a community, do not blame CrossFit, olympic lifts or any movement that can be performed safely when taught and performed correctly.
“Coaching proper movements is proactive against injury while bad coaching creates it!” – Spencer Arnold
This has been a public service announcement
**This blog was inspired by article I read back in 2013