Hedge fund guys do CrossFit. So do cops. And construction workers, engineers, and professors. (Even rock stars, too!) Here are their stories.
Alex Peck, 38, is a Chicago, Il.-based engineer
My wife started doing CrossFit three years ago. I started about six months after that, training with a coach one-on-one before joining. I initially thought the programming was good. I ended up doing CrossFit for about 18 months.
The programming itself is solid on a snapshot basis, but when you combine fatigue on top of very technical movements, like powerlifting or Olympic lifting, it’s a recipe for disaster. You’re doing handstand pushups, coming down on your head—your spine isn’t designed for that.
I don’t know anyone who hasn’t had injuries —usually minor, but some resulting in surgery—sometimes due to pushing the envelope, and sometimes to poor programming by CrossFit corporate or their individual gym.
My wife is going through surgery for a labrum tear that will take her out of commission for work. CrossFit definitely exacerbated her condition (though no one really knows what caused it initially). I wrenched my back doing the CrossFit workout “Linda”—aka the three bars of death. I made it through the workout as prescribed with a coach present, but I injured my back, and it still flares up from time to time.
One of my friends was in a competition a couple of weeks ago and was doing a timed-max clean and ended up with a double-wrist strain. Another friend tore her ACL doing high-rep box jumps. CrossFit in general tends to be dismissive of the risks involved. They push it back to the athletes. “You should know when to keep going and when to stop.” But they promote a competitive environment. Group workouts on the whole are motivating, but when it’s a competition—that’s when injuries start to happen. –As told to David Wescott
Editor's Note: Alex Peck is pseudomyn.