How to Stay in Super Shape And Injury Free
More and more I am flooded with questions from runners about the benefits of Cross -Training vs CrossFit -training. They want to know how to stay in super shape and injury free.
In short, they’re trying to figure out how to stay motivated without risking injury.
Chances are, you probably have these same types of questions. And you’ve probably even spent some time on blogs, forums and around the web, trying to get answers. Problem is, you keep getting conflicting answers, right?
For example, just pop onto any CrossFit and Cross -Training forum and ask this question: what is the difference between Cross -Training and CrossFit Training?
I guarantee that you’ll get conflicting advice. Some people will tell you that Cross- Training is really just any non-primary sport that you do to improve fitness for you primary sport (offseason activities, complimentary movements, etc). And it’s usually not at high intensity either (unless your primary sport is high intensity).
For example, runners will add swimming/bicycling/rowing workouts to keep their endurance high while reducing risk of injury and overtraining.
In CrossFit, non-primary activities are your primary sport and are done at high intensity and often in a short amount of time.
Another group will advocate that real top peak fitness for the entire body can best be achieved through CrossFit -Training. Others will say CrossFit can cause injuries due to its high intensity nature and even cause kidney failure. And just to make it extra confusing, you might even get a few people telling you to that there is no real difference between Cross- Training and CrossFit training. That CrossFit is just a brand name or company that promotes a specific exercise philosophy and holds competitions—-and promotes cross training in its programs.
So You’re Left to Sort throughThe Wheat and The Chaff
If you’re new to the fitness community, it’s even harder because you don’t know who to trust. Because the truth is, there are plenty of wannabe personal trainers who want you to think they know what they’re talking about – but they’re just as clueless as everyone else. And in some cases, these types of people are offering downright dangerous advice.
That’s why I compiled this list of frequently asked questions.
I wanted to make sure you got the right advice from someone who’s successfully done the research and has spoken to doctors, physical therapists, and coaches on the best ways for runners to keep in shape while still recovering from an injury. Read on…
Q. What is the real difference between Cross -Training and Cross Fit -Training? A. Cross-training is alternating between two or more activities to stay fit. For example, a typical cross-training routine would be to run one day, swim the next, and bicycle another. Some competitive runners, for instance, run in place in water and swim to stay fit while nursing shin splints or other injuries. 1
CrossFit – training is basically a 20 minute workout that combines movements such as sprinting, jumping, rowing, bodyweight exercises, and climbing rope. The aim is to give you endurance, strength and explosiveness all in one tough workout. One of hallmarks of CrossFit- training is the Olympic style weightlifting they do in their workouts—including lots of heavy squats, shoulder presses, jerks, snatches, and deadlifts.
Q. Can CrossFit cause Back injury?A. One study about CrossFit athletes in a 2014 edition of the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine noted that 20% of the 386 that were surveyed said they’d sustained injuries doing CrossFit. Common back injuries include herniated disks and lower-back spondylosis.2
As I have mentioned before, healthy spinal discs act as shock absorbers between the vertebrae and allow the movement of the spine, they keep it flexible. However, an article on the danger of extreme physical extortion on the spine reveals the following:
“Putting too much stress on it through extreme physical exertion, heavy deadlifting or squatting without having good control over the lift, can damage those discs: they may bulge or break. What causes the pain is the slipped or ruptured disc, pressing on the nerve which leads to severe, excruciating pain, numbness, weaknesses, even loss of balance and bladder control.” 3
Q. Can CrossFit training cause KIDNEY DAMAGE? A. Research links popularity of the high intensity resistance training to ’20-fold’ spike in hospital admissions. 4
- CrossFit has been linked to a breakdown of muscle tissue called Rhabdomyolysis.
- This causes a damaging protein, myoglobin, to be released into the bloodstream
- This can cause kidney failure
Here is an account of an athlete who suffered kidney damage after a cross fit session.
From The Gym to The Hospital
Palmer took a break from exercise on Thursday, but the next morning he went for a long bike ride. The following day his arms were uncharacteristically sore and swollen, his urine the color of black tea that had been seeping for hours. Instead of suiting up in workout gear on Sunday, he found himself in a hospital gown hooked up to an IV drip that flushed his kidneys with more than nine liters of saline. As his creatine kinase levels—the amount of muscle protein broken down poisoning his blood stream— declined at the pace of a snail…5
Q. I like the idea of having my entire body at peak performance. Is there a safer way to get the same results?
A. There are three basic components of total fitness: flexibility, strength, and cardiorespiratory or cardiovascular endurance. An example of this is the triathlon— events that combine swimming, running, and cycling. Triathlon show how one can reach an overall fitness level without risking serious injury such as kidney failure. The lesson that can be drawn from athletes who participate in triathlons is that , “rotating to an exercise that uses different muscle groups will make it possible to keep going when one set of muscle groups tire.”
What this means is that for example you can go ahead and do strength training one day so you can improve the capacity of the muscles to perform, and swim the next day to increase endurance. This can be followed by something like Yoga to enhance flexibility.
Body is Given Chance to Adapt
One of the so called selling points of crossFit training is that the exercise are varied and intense so your total body gets a full work out. Here is the problem. Because there is no consistency, the body never really gets a chance to adapt and in most cases the muscles becomes tired and sore. When those muscles are pushed, injuries happen. The bottom line is that you are better off using cross training rather than CrossFit training to achieve an overall fitness level
At last, you finally know the TRUTH about Cross Training vs CrossFit. And that means that you can now train to reach overall fitness more confidently, because you’re armed with the knowledge you need to succeed. See you at the track.
I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.
Diabetes Forecast. 42.8 (Aug. 1989): p58.