I found a WebMD review on CrossFit the other day that rings true with me in terms of areas what to be cautious of:
The possibility of injury is an increased risk with participation in any high-intensity fitness regimen like CrossFit, especially if you are new to Olympic-style weight lifting and plyometric workouts, or have a previous injury. Not only are the exercises themselves risky, but performing them under a fatigued state, such as during an intense circuit, increases the risk of injury even further.
This may sound like a standard disclaimer, but the article repeatedly warns that people should have a decent base level of fitness before tackling CrossFit–a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with if you’re personally motivated to give it your all (I guess technically it wouldn’t be as bad if you took shortcuts, but what are you doing there in the first place then?). Modifications (aka scaling) are supposed to help with transitioning to the full exercise or baseline weight, but they’ll still be challenging for the very beginner.
The coaches (and members) have been incredibly helpful and supportive; however, with the variation from day to day in both personnel and WODs, the only person who can keep track of my progress is me. As I mentioned last week, I’m trying to do some supplemental strengthening on my other days because I’m worried about piling on weights on exercises where I have no idea if my technique is any good.
While I’m sure some of it may just be time and confidence, I am being conservative with my incremental increases and doing research about what I can do to stave off injury. My wrists and especially my shoulders feel abused with a lot of soreness and sometimes very sharp pains when I’m doing kipping pull-ups or really anything involving barbells.
Fortunately, I’m not shy about asking for help in these areas, and one of the founders gave me a tip for working on that shoulder pain: lacrosse balls. By laying down, putting the ball under various parts of my shoulder, and flexing about 30 seconds per “spot,” it helps loosen up my arm and relieve the pain. And hey, it actually worked!
This video from Mobility WOD gives a good overview of why this might be:
Here were the WODs this past week:
Tuesday: 5 rounds of 12 thrusters, 15 toes-to-bar (T2B; my modification was knees-to-elbows or K2Es), and 9 box jumps. Box jumps are usually fine–thank goodness I’m an endurance guy. But those K2Es and hanging off of a bar in general kills me (and my shoulders). A couple guys were training for the CrossFit Games. Total inspiration.
Thursday: Two 7-minute rounds. Round 1: Alternate dead lifts and handstand push-ups (HSPUs) and increase number of reps per set by 1 (1:1, 2:2, 3:3, etc). Round 2: Alternate double unders and kipping pull-ups. Modification of HSPU using box and also learned that I haven’t been bringing my knees up for the kipping pull-ups, which is why I’ve been losing momentum on them. Also, my jump rope is hefty.
Sunday: Technically, no CrossFit today, but I did run a 15k race at a speed that was on par with my averages in the fall without the same amount of preparation.
Bottom line: Still getting my butt kicked, but feeling a little better. I also think I need to starting working on my dietary choices.