A common misconception many people have of the crossfit sport is that it hurts people. This statement could not be further from the truth and would be like saying “sleeping hurts people” or “eating hurts people.” If you sleep on a very soft mattress, on your stomach, or with a non-supportive neck pillow, then yes, sleeping hurts you. If you eat inflammatory foods and gluten-bomb your body for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then yes, eating hurts you.
The problem is not sleeping or eating; the problem is how we sleep and how we eat.
We live in a society that focuses on effects and never looks at causes. For instance, there is an acid reflux commercial where Larry the Cable Guy is in front of a Colossal Corn Dog stand promoting Prilosec. The problem is not the acid reflux but what Larry is ingesting into his body that is creating the reflux response. We have to change our mentality in this society if we want to be healthy and rank as a healthy country.
Where does the myth stem from?
Crossfit training is very similar to how professional athletes train. If you look at the curriculums for most athletes, they implement a lot of crossfit trainings and are very intense.
What many people do not realize is if you want to train at an elite level, then you also have to take care of your body at an elite level.
Some people expect to sit in front of computers for 8-10 hours a day, have no self-care regimen, then go to the gym to work out and not get hurt.
On the contrary, professional athletes have teams of people that care for their bodies before and after their workouts. These athletes also sleep a certain way, eat a certain way, and take care of their bodies a certain way.
The bottom line is that if you want to train at an elite level, then you need to take care of yourself at an elite level. Even if you don’t want to train like an “elite” athlete, then you should want to take care of yourself at an elite level. Remember…you have only one earth suit. Crossfit does not cause people to be injured but, not taking care of oneself and being reckless does.
Not a competition!
In the beginning of crossfit training, most people will see the board that says RX and try to get to that level as fast as possible. They will see girls and guys with shredded bodies and expect the same thing to happen to their bodies overnight. They see the board that shows the top times for hero workouts and heaviest lifts and want their names on there, too. So do I!
However, all processes require time, and crossfit is no different. The reality though, is that you cannot expect to train for a marathon and on day one of training run 15 miles. When it comes to crossfit, remind yourself that progress takes time. Similar to anything in life, commit to the sport, and results will happen.
As a chiropractor I see this every day! People come to my office with 5, 10, or 20 years of damage to the spine and expect me to fix it overnight. Use this example as a life lesson, and take inventory of your life from all areas: relationships, finances, physical, spiritual, professional. To grow any of them and be truly successful and happy, understand it will take time. Remember that the only things you should use as a comparison are your results from the previous year.
If someone asks me about how to be successful at crossfit, I suggest committing to at least 6-12 months of training.
What self-care should be done?
When it comes to life decisions, many people are reactive and only like to take care of themselves when they are injured or hurt; reactive action is a product of our culture. However, this mindset does not lead to positive results at an elite level.
Chiropractic: As a chiropractor, I walk my talk and get checked twice per week. There are numerous reasons I do this, and a big one is making sure my body is in a peak performance state and is functioning at high levels. The brain and spine control every cell, tissue, organ, and organ system, and from the physical activity of work and other stresses, the spine can misalign and put pressure on nerves. Sometimes I feel the misalignments and sometimes I do not, but no matter what, I am going to be proactive to maximize my life potential. Also, I would never want to work out or lift weights on a misaligned spine because doing so would create more wear and tear on the joints, as well as pressure on your nerves. Even the best trainers and staff cannot prevent the negative loading on your joints unless your spine is biomechanically in alignment.
Massage: Muscle work is imperative for healthy living and healthy healing. Common overuse injuries involving tendons and muscles are torn rotator cuffs, achilles, pecs, and many others. Therefore, massage therapists perform their specialty massage and promote healing and prevention of soft tissue injuries.
Acupuncture: What most people do not realize is that stress happens chemically, physically, and emotionally, and it accumulates. Seeing an acupuncturist monthly balances the body, which inevitably helps to prevent injury. A great way to measure stress levels is with an HRV (heart rate variability) test. It shows the days you should work out and days you should rest based on your stress levels.
Home Care: Beyond the professionals, utilize home care therapies. Stretching, strengthening, foam rolling, nutrition, diet, meditation, yoga, etc.
Take care of yourself and live life to the fullest! Have a great week!