I know I’m probably going to get a lot of people mad from this blog but, as a trainer, I feel that this is an important topic to bring up. There are a lot of people on this planet who used to be in the best shape of their life but are now experiencing serious problems with their back, knees, hips, or other parts that could have easily been avoided if they had worked out correctly when they were younger. Back and knee problems are just like hearing problems, they might not appear until you are in your 50’s or 60’s even though you had been slowly hurting them for years while you were in your 20’s and 30’s.
The first kind of exercise I believe people need to stay away from for long-term health and fitness is one that is growing in popularity (sadly) quite rapidly: CrossFit. The reasons behind why you should stay away from CrossFit are all to do with form and intensity. CrossFitters get injured all the time because they go all-out until they can’t go anymore with exercise form that is being compromised due to serious fatigue. For instance, when these athletes do exercises like the "clean and jerk", they use a lot of leverage so that they can maximize the amount of weight they lift which KILLS their lower back and puts way too much pressure on their knees. Also, instead of doing a real pull-up, they do these ridiculous versions of pull-ups that use leverage so that they can blast out more of them quicker and for a longer period of time. This not only doesn’t get you as strong as a real pull-up does, but will also eventually lead to even more lower back pain because of the leverage technique being used.
Similar to CrossFit is Olympic Lifting. Olympic Lifters, just like CrossFitters, are setting themselves up for all kinds of health problems. Just about every exercise they do requires immense amounts of leverage because the whole goal is to lift as much as you possibly can. The consequences of trying to lift too heavy are numerous. For one, doing exercises such as "the snatch" and "push presses", can damage your neck because you are resting all that heavy barbell weight right on it, which then leads to serious cervical spine injuries. On top of that, when you lift too heavy of a weight, you are more likely to tear the muscles you are working then make them stronger. Those are just two examples because I don’t want to start boring you.
Basically, in summary, if you are a CrossFitter, you will have a lot of long-term health issues because of trying to go too hard for too long using unneeded leverage and if you are an Olympic Lifter, you will also have a lot of long-term health issues because you are trying to lift more weight than your body can handle multiple times a week. Just don’t do it. It’s not worth your time and effort.