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‘U Of M’ Expert Questions If CrossFit Benefits Outweigh Risks

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Five years ago, the word CrossFit probably wouldn’t mean a thing to any of us. Now, things have changed and Crossfit is all the rage. However, not everyone is convinced that CrossFit is a good thing.

In an office building in downtown Minneapolis, you can find the after-work crowd — working even harder. And they’re paying about $150 a month to do so.

“We do Olympic lifting with barbells. We do kettle bell swings, movements with dumbbells,” Britnee Saline said.

Saline is one of CrossFit’s proudest clients. Last year, she weighed 265 pounds. This year, she can just about lift that much.

“I never imagined I’d be doing Olympic weight lifting and sprinting,” Saline said.

It’s a workout tragedy that uses different daily high intensity workouts ranging from gymnastics to sprints to lifting. The workout of the day, or WOD, changes each time they come.

Minneapolis Crossfit is one of around two dozen in the Metro.

Tyler Quinn, part owner, says the location is so successful that he and his partner opened two more.

While you can’t argue the popularity, there are some local experts asking if the risks outweigh the benefits.

A University of Minnesota physical therapist says it’s dangerous. In a new article, Wendy Hurd says said she’s seen “Achilles rupture, disc ruptures, etc. that stem from the high volume, high impact nature of the workouts.”

To that, Quinn says, “People were doing back squats improperly and getting injured as a result of it long before CrossFit, the brand, came about.”

The University experts say it’s key to make sure coaches are well-trained, which is a point Quinn agrees with.

“There are instructors out there who are maybe not doing as good a job as they could do, but that doesn’t mean that CrossFit methodology or all CrossFit gyms are bad,” Quinn said.

Quinn says the numbers show it’s a formula that works, for a room full of people gluttonous only for punishment.

Hurd’s bottom-line advice:

“Each individual should focus on the quality of work and realize they are not one of the competitive, professional CrossFit athletes. Investigate the qualifications and training your coaches have undergone to ensure you are receiving instruction from qualified individuals.”

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