If someone asked you to characterize CrossFit, the first thing you’d probably mention is its intense training sessions, but not far behind that would probably be CrossFit’s community spirit. One man who knows all about the camaraderie at CrossFit’s crux is four-time CrossFit champion, Rich Froning, who also happens to be a member of four-time winning CrossFit team, Mayhem Freedom.
Froning would be the first to admit that working as part of a team has prolonged his professional CrossFit career, but when you’re hanging out with with the kind of Crossfitters Froning trains with, there are no off days. “It can be detrimental,” explains Froning, “because you’re always competing and always running yourself into the ground.”
“The type of athletes that we have and the type of athletes we train with, nobody likes to lose, and nobody is going to give up or give an inch, so after a while, that can wear you down a little bit.”
Studies have warned against pushing harder and harder through workouts. Conducted by researchers at Rutgers University, the study found that athletes who engaged in workouts that combine aerobic exercising, weight lifting and calisthenics at maximum capacity, – which CrossFit does – opened themselves up to an increased injury risk.
Still, Froning does say that the benefits of training with other people definitely outweigh the potential pitfalls, and “having somebody to push with and somebody to suffer with” helps him get through tough sessions. But, he acknowledges, you do have to be careful that you’re looking after your own health at the same time.
“There’s going to be days that you can push harder than other days, but there are also times where I can push hard, but somebody else can’t push hard or vice versa. You just have to make the best of it when you can.”
From: Men’s Health UK
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