CrossFit=InjuryFit This NSCA study Says Yes.


Note form the Editor GP3

* He May be an angry man  but you better believe he is a  smart man, which is why He is the one analysing and simplifying the complicated research article for you to understand.

 If you are involved in any aspect of exercise then you know there is a a pro crossfit group and an anti crossfit group with a few in the middle who either do not care or choose to remain unbiased.   Recently the NSCA published a study about crossfit style training and analyzed the results.

Link to Study <——–Click Here

Here is the TED ATHLETE NEWS some angry guy breakdown:

Click for the Rest of the Article

Click for the Rest of the Article

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Posted on March 13, 2013, in Fitness, Injuries, INTERESTING and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 25 Comments.

  1. Okay….lifted weights for years……still what you may want to write off as “over use or people who “just drop out” as a participant told me….I am very educated in spinal biomechanics..
    what gives a beautiful cut body will have it’s consequences later from heavy weight bearing, such as disc compression , as well as sprain/strains and neuromuscular damage, let’s be realistic.
    I was body building in the 80’s…female I know my weights…and I say yeah to the look.
    Face it , time goes on…and in my practice as a Chiropractor….the results of the heavy lifting shows on Xray and also MRI. Not to mention that was the time of sets and reps that were a gradual increase to the body. Not this Clean and Jerk that impacts the spine in possibly a
    torqued and uneven distribution with such a “c’mon you can do it manner. I’m watching your video.. Sorry…..diagnosing way too many disc compressions and herniations to think, what the heck I look good now…..deal with it later……sometimes irriversable….sometimes….a nightmare to one’s function in life.
    Not trying to be a bummer…..I’ve got necessary low back surgeries as well as surgical nerve implant devices to deaden pain from compressed discs.
    Just trying to bring awareness….only ONE body assigned to each per lifetime….
    ……………..but at least we look great?
    Doc J

    • Just to be clear since I have a hard time following your post. I am not promoting or degrading Crossfit based on my personal opinion of the Crossfit Brand or training philosophy. Also, the video posted in the article is not “mine” but an example of what can go horribly wrong under poorly supervised “coaches”. If I was the coach in this video I would find a new profession before I seriously hurt someone.

  2. someangrydude

    I’ve sent an email so hopefully I will get back some useful information. Researchers can get very defensive if sometimes when people ask questions…especially Ph.D’s. I get in debates quite often and some get pretty heated because I tend to ask a lot of questions and debate ideas…not just take a person’s word for it because they have a Ph.D. I’ll keep you updated on what I find out.

    • Sorry to bother, but was wondering if you heard back? If they won’t provide additional information, then I guess we can only conclude that 17% of the participants were injured to the point that they couldn’t continue with the exercise program, and that since this program was supervised by highly qualified trainers. this injury rate is a conservative estimate of the rate expected at typical CrossFit establishment.

      • someangrydude

        I have now sent multiple emails with no response. I would assume by the wording of the authors that those that dropped out “due to overuse or injury” were in fact injured to the point where they could no longer continue the program. I would agree that your statements are consistent with the report. Kinda scary that such a high injury rate was seen even with quality supervision. For example, this past semester I had 1 athlete suffer a minor injury (slight muscle strain) that required them to miss a future training session across over 200 athletes. Most athletes train 3+ hours a week with me but for simplicity lets just say 3 hours a week per athlete and we can go with an even 200 athletes and 15 week of training in the semester. In 9000 training hours over the semester, only 1 injury, which comes out at .011 injuries per 100 hours of training.

      • Did you listen to http://onpoint.wbur.org/2013/05/23/high-intensity-workouts
        Listen to Renee at 33:53
        I wonder if there is anyway to cut this audio out and post it on my or your website.

      • for what its worth someone at Crossfit HQ was trying to get answers and spoke to the woman who actually collected the data who claims that NONE of the people who dropped out actually did so because of injury.

        Link is here:

        http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ_ACSM_Berger_130523.pdf

      • Very interesting story at that link. I’m going to suggest that the authors of this study meant well, but when they designed their study they did not foresee all this interest in the topic of injuries. Now that people have focused on the injuries, the authors have been caught unprepared and embarrassed. They don’t have adequate records of why people quit the study. As a former scientist myself, I can have sympathy for their dilemma. They should just acknowledge that their study was incomplete and do it over.

      • I do not think that they were unprepared for the results simply because their studies main focus was not initially looking at the the rate of or likelihood of injury for different demographics using Crossfit Style Programming. Even in the abstract it says “The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a crossfit-based high intensity power training (HIPT) program on aerobic fitness and body composition“…not injury I think the percent injured was an interesting revelation that their study just so happen to stumble upon and being researchers they reported it as such. This happens in research quite a bit and often the reason why different studies are conducted. If the main goal of the research was to look at injury with Crossfit then all of the tests they did to find body Comp and VO2 max really wouldn’t have been the focus in their testing. If someone really wants to conduct research with this injury rate debacle as an objective then they can do so. Find an affiliate Owner willing to put his career on the line for the study because, if different study shows there is a high rate of injury and his name/company is attached to it….could be trouble for his business.

      • I agree with everything in your post. The only thing I would add is that if you read the conversation between Devor and Berger, it seems obvious that Devor was unprepared. By the way, in my Pilates class today, I brought up this CrossFit thing, and out of six people who were there, one of them was a former CrossFiter who had blow out her shoulder. On that radio show I cited elsewhere on this blog, two of the callers had hurt themselves doing CrossFit. So a 17% injury rate, by my very cursory polling method, seems about right.

      • Chris i personally think that 17% is a very large overestimate. I’m not surprised by your accounts of the person in your pilates class and the radio callers because of sample selection (given that they are calling into a radio show/in a pilates class and seemingly have quit crossfit there is a much higher chance that they are going to be in the group of people who have been injured). If we are going with anecdotal evidence, I have been doing crossfit for 6 months usually about 4 times a week and other than some scrapes missing a box jump or torn up hands from too many pullups I have yet to see anyone get injured in any of my classes. I do have one friend who before I started had injured his shoulder when working out on the rings after a class (not under instruction).

        To put the frequency of injury in perspective I also play on a 8v8 soccer team once a week and in that same period of time we’ve had to have one player have shoulder surgery, another get knee surgery, and several players miss time with twisted ankles, pulled hamstrings/groins and other minor injuries.

        I’m not going to lie I’m fairly biased as i admit I’ve drank the crossfit koolaid but I’d personally be surprised if the injury rate for a beginner class in 10 weeks was as high as 5%.

      • Hi Steve,
        I agree that we don’t really know the injury rate at CrossFit is. However, in regards to your comment about “I have yet to see a person injured”, there is something to keep in mind. When I was in my twenties, I was playing Ultimate Frisbee with the university team, and one day I took a flying horizontal leap for the frisbee and landed on my shoulder. I didn’t mention that I was in pain to anyone, but I left the game and rode my bike over to the medical center. I had separated my shoulder. Point is, whether it is marathon training, or yoga, or CrossFit, when people get injured, most of the time they are embarrassed, or even ashamed. So they don’t make a public announcement of their injury; they just sort of disappear, like I did. As a result, the risks of these activities, in my opinion, is vastly under appreciated. The medical industry doesn’t keep records (they are too busy with life and death issues). Media outlets such as Yoga Journal have no incentive to talk about injuries honestly. CNN does nothing buy hype the latest fad. So, in my opinion, most people are not properly informed.

        In my Pilates classes, the number of people in the room with running/yoga/sports injuries astonishes me every day. Anyone who plans on living into their seventies, and is in their thirties now, needs to realize that they will be living with an injury for forty years. That’s a long time, and I just don’t think people are fully factoring all this into their risk/benefit equation. So that’s my soapbox speech.

      • I just googled “CrossFit Study Devor”, and five pages of results came up that included the phrase “ACSM ‘CrossFit Study’ Fraud? It looks like every CrossFit blog (of which there are hundreds) has re-posted this letter by Berger. Do you think this will affect his career? I have some sympathy for Devor because my impression is that he expected that his work would be received positively by CrossFit, and now he is being pilloried by them. This may be the last we see of research into CrossFit, because would anybody else risk stirring up this kind of response? I hope Devor and the other authors respond to Berger’s letter, for the sake of their careers.

  3. someangrydude

    I am not legally not allowed to give the article out. Check if google scholar has it out yet as they have a few NSCA-JCR articles for free. However I can quote you the article. With regard to the participants “…nine subjects (16% of total recruited subjects) citing overuse or injury for failing to complete the program and finish follow up testing.” I am going to calculate the rate of injury per 100 participant hours for this study if I can find the data.

    I have added the address as you asked. However, IRB and privacy laws probably will restrict the researchers from revealing any specific reasons for withdrawal.

    Address for correspondence:
    Steven T. Devor, Ph.D.
    Department of Health and Exercise Science
    450 PAES Building
    305 West 17th Avenue
    The Ohio State University
    devor.3@osu.edu

    • Hi Gp3, please tell me if you agree with this: The authors of this paper should have subtracted the two participants who dropped out due to scheduling conflicts from the total, before dividing. If they had done this, they would have 9/52 = 17.3 %.

      But more importantly, the authors, in my judgement, should give the subject of injuries a little more discussion. Readers will want to know whether there was some circumstance that contributed to the injury rate, or is this the expected injury rate even in a properly supervised CrossFit program? I believe the paper would be significantly more useful with just a few comments on this. Would you agree?

      Thanks for being willing to engage in this discussion with me.

      Sincerely, Chris Pike

      • someangrydude

        Chris,

        Yes, I agree. I would like to know the details of injury at least with regards to type i.e. soft tissue, musclo-skeletal, etc. My thesis study had the same medical privacy restrictions so I highly doubt they can share exact details but I will send an email to the lead researcher to see if I can get anymore information.

        The program was under supervision of a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and an ACSM certified registered clinical exercise physiologist. So I assume, they were under a close eye on performing the exercises properly which is a HUGE issue at many Crossfit gyms as they lack this oversight. With that said, you can be a world class Olympic lifter and training to and past technical failure will still result in a breakdown of technique which would result in excessive force placed on the body. Just my personal take on this philosophy of exercise.

        With regards to percent of dropout due to injury…you have to take the number of dropouts out of the pretesting sample size for standardization. I want to find out the total number of training hours completed so I can find the rate on injury as I have a lot of standards on injury rate for numerous sports, Olympic lifting, and power lifting.

        Hope this answered your questions. If you have anymore please let me know!

      • I hope you do email the author. I did so a few days ago, but maybe my email was a little aggressive, because his response contained statements such as “We stand behind all of the data that we either collected or that was reported to us.” I did not intend to attack their data or scientific integrity. My only point is that their discussion of the injuries lacks detail. As a result, the reader must guess about what occurred as far as the injuries. To be specific, if I was considering staring CrossFit, should I expect a similar injury rate? I didn’t mean to cast aspersions on their scientific integrity. I only concern is their presentation, which is highly detailed about the benefits, but gives only a minimal mention of the risks. Maybe I should write a second email to clarify my question? But if you write them, please let me know, and I’ll hold off.

  4. I looked at the paper you referenced. It costs $50. Ouch. It is interesting to note, however, that the abstract for the paper is all about the great results the participants got. Apparently, you have to read the whole thing to find out about he injuries,

    • Yea, that was part of the reason for the post.The abstract does what it is supposed to since they were trying to look at that side of it but doesn’t say anything of what I believe is more important in a health and wellness program. Like a drug company saying their drug fixes something and not stating the potentially horrific side effects.

      • Dear Gp3, I was wondering if you would feel comfortable sharing a pdf of the paper with me. Times are tough at my studio, and $50 is a lot. I’d like to see exactly how they describe the injuries. Are there any details? Were some of these people just having a bad day? Or were they in pain? I’d be interesting in writing to the authors for clarification. If you would feel ok about sharing the paper, my email is info@pilatesforbodies.com.

        Thanks, Chris Pike

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