Episode #41: Is CrossFit Bad For Your Health?

December 9, 2019

Show Notes:

Speaker 1: (00:00)
What's going on, everybody, Dr. Chad Woolner here, and Dr. Buddy Allen. And this is episode 41 of the health fundamentals podcast. And on today's episode, we're going to be talking about CrossFit. Is it bad for your health? So let's get started.

Speaker 2: (00:13)
You're listening to the health fundamentals podcast. I'm dr Chad Woolner and I'm dr buddy Allen. And this show is about giving you the simple but powerful and cutting edge tools you need to change your health and your life. So sit back and enjoy the show as we show you the path to your best life down to a science.

Speaker 1: (00:32)
So, Hey everybody, hope you guys are having an awesome day. We are here with our good friends, Brandon and Ashley. They are the proud owners of power seekers CrossFit here in Meridian. And uh, so we thought we would bring them on for this highly controversial episode. Not really, but uh, but anyhow, we're, we're going to be talking about CrossFit, uh, all things CrossFit. So thanks for being with us guys. Absolutely. Thanks for having to be here. Yeah. So, um, so let's first start with kind of a quick introduction of who you guys are, what got you guys into CrossFit in the first place, and then ultimately what got you guys to take the plunge of, of owning a CrossFit gym? Sure, go ahead. Go first. All right. So Brandon and I've been doing CrossFit for about four to five years. Um, got into it kind of by accident and got a Groupon and did it, loved it.

Speaker 1: (01:24)
Uh, found out I was pretty good at it and you know, fast forward a couple of years we went to power seeker or I went to power seeker, uh, my first year and a half. And, um, Brent owned it then and then, uh, we kind of left, went to different gyms and heard through the grapevine that there wasn't good things happening. And so we took the opportunity and reached out to Brenton, uh, talk to him about maybe taking it over and man, we just, we fell into a good thing at a good time. Good. It's really what happened. So fast forward two years, another opportunity came up and bam, we're loving life, man. That's awesome. Yeah. Yeah. Brandon and nationally both torture me on a regular basis. That's right. When I get my rear end to the gym, um, they do a fine job. Yeah. That's a lot of fun. I learned this week that if buddy is rolling around, just leave him alone. Yeah. We, it was a about a million and a half toes, you know, reaching your legs up and touching the bar or so it felt like that. And then like I didn't want to waste any extra energy, so instead of sitting up to go do my next activity, I would roll to my stomach like a dead man and then get up and Ashley came over. She was like, are you okay? Do I need to call someone? Yeah.

Speaker 1: (02:47)
All right. That's a, that's just called economy of motion. Yes. That's exactly it. We're going on a different process of how to get up. There you go. So, uh, and, and Ashley, your story with the CrossFit. So for me, I was a collegiate soccer player and then I transferred to Boise state. And I, long story short, I thought I wanted to go to law school and that didn't end up happening because I spent all my time at the gym instead of in glass. Okay. So I was a drop in and power seeker and Mike my first day there, Brent was like, Hey, do you want to coach for me? So that ended up happening and Brandon and I actually met at power seekers. So it was a great outlet for me to go from being a collegiate athlete, still needing like that competitive atmosphere. So needing something to keep myself active.

Speaker 1: (03:35)
Um, Lee's were seeking other opportunities, other like communities within the treasure Valley. And then we ended up back at power seekers. So, Oh, you forgot though. We started dating there as well. Yeah. That's where we met. I kind of figured as much. Yeah, I kind of figured that's kind of how things evolved. So it's been a, it's been a very, uh, interesting circle. Yeah. You know, it's crazy. Yeah. I, I, you know, CrossFits uh, an interesting culture to say the least. Um, you know, you said you kind of jumped into it by mistake. Uh, I first started doing CrossFit, uh, about four, four. You probably about the same time as you. A friend of mine, like literally begged me, just come try it. He's like, just try it for 30 days. And in my head I had like this image of like, uh, people in a garage like throwing rocks and jumping over garbage cans and stuff like that. Just like this very like we're trying to be as primitive as possible, you know? And, and when I got there, I was pleasantly surprised. Like my experience with CrossFit, at least with, with him wasn't anything like that. It was like, what I loved about it was that it took a lot of the thinking out of the equation for me. You know, I would, I would find myself prior to going to CrossFit, going to the gym and like walking around aimlessly. Like, Oh, that machine looks good. I'll try that.

Speaker 1: (04:58)
You know, I'm sure there's some video footage of me floating around out there somewhere of like that guy who's doing the machine completely wrong or he's like doing, you know, like the, the head, the head twister or whatever. And it's like not meant for that at all. And so, uh, anyways, but, but, uh, my experience with CrossFit was really positive and it changed a lot of my perceptions from what I had heard. Cause there's a lot of, a lot of, uh, you know, misconceptions and stigmas associated with CrossFit. And so I guess we can kind of dive right into the question. Is CrossFit bad for your health? Yes. No, maybe so. I think a hundred percent. No, I mean, I agreed. Yeah. So, so then the other question then, if it's not bad for your health, where do we hear like all these or where and, or why do we hear a lot of these classic misconceptions about it that it, that it's going to hurt you, that you're going to get injured if you do CrossFit?

Speaker 1: (05:51)
Uh, there are some doctors that we've had experiences with that, that, uh, dissuade or even tell their patients don't do CrossFit. You know, some chiropractors even say that to their patient, friends of ours don't do CrossFit. It's, it's bad for you. You know, you're just asking to get injured. I've had doctors say, Oh, CrossFit CrossFits great for business, ya know, they keep sending me, right, right. Like, come on. Couches are great for business one. I think a lot of that, you know, uh, depending on where you go and how often you go and the coaches that are there, you know, everybody can have an awful experience. Go into Chevron. You know, everybody can have a great experience going to Sheva I think. I think the mentality that you get from places is, you know, I can do, I can do a setup. Cool. Okay, well if somebody teaches you how to do a proper setup, then that's what it is.

Speaker 1: (06:37)
But if they teach you how to do an incorrect set up, of course you're going to get hurt. You're going to strike something. And then there's where CrossFit is not the issue. The coaching is the issue, right. We are all in. And the interesting thing, I saw an interview with Greg Glassman for those who don't know who Greg Glassman is, he's the founder of CrossFit and he's a very kind of outspoken, fairly polarizing individual, uh, you know, no, yeah, yeah. He's, he just, he, he's, he's definitely a very charismatic individual, but I thought it was really cool, his response because to that end of the coaching that a lot of people criticize, uh, in the interview anyways, they were kind of saying, people are kind of critical that you could get certified to be a CrossFit coach in a weekend. And they were like, that's kind of, and he's like, yeah, isn't that great?

Speaker 1: (07:21)
And they're like, what do you mean? He's like, well, at least we have standards. Oh no. He's like, he's like, there are some standards that are there that you have to abide by, you know, that the, you know, it's like, at least that's the case, you know? And uh, and so it was just that, that, that perspective he had on it was, was really good. And I would, I would wholeheartedly echo what you just said there in the sense that my experience has been, it's not CrossFit as a whole, it's the coaching and or the, the, the, the gym that you go to in terms of what happens there is really going to determine the, the experience that you have. I think the benefit of, of having that weekend to get potentially get certified, cause you have to take an exam and if you fail the exam and you don't get to be a coach, right.

Speaker 1: (08:04)
So, but I think the benefit of that weekend is you're going in there and you're actually applying what you're learning. So it's very hands on. Yeah. You're not just taking the test online or reading a bunch of books. It's very hands on. And then you're actually learning how to apply it in class where yeah, if you maybe take like the ACE test or if you take a personal training class online, it's not giving a tool as of like this is how you apply it and this is how you see and correct a flaw. This is what, this is the criteria. Now you figure out how to apply it. That's not what CrossFit is about. And I think that's the benefit of those two days of being with the best coaches in the world. And there they're giving you their tools, they're giving you their secrets. Yeah.

Speaker 1: (08:47)
You know the, the other interesting thing that I think we were, Dr. Allen and I were talking about this just a couple of days ago in preparation for today's interview is the thing that I think that's really interesting about CrossFit is that it's a sport, right? You, you have the, the fitness side of it, but then you also have the competition side of it. Um, and the thing that I find funny is, is that in the competition side, injuries are, we'll just say a common occurrence. People at that, at that level of, of competition and people like they, they like almost thumb their thumb. Their nose is to the right. Like they, they, they look down on it like, Oh, that's so stupid. Why would you do that and get yourself injured? And the thing I find interesting is no one says that about football or any other, any other sport where injuries are just an inevitable part of the game.

Speaker 1: (09:36)
You know, soccer, football, you know, baseball, any of these places, injuries are just an inevitable fact of competition that anytime you push yourself to a higher level, there's always running. You're always running some level of risk. Like you said, motor cross motorcross how many motorcross uh, patients have you seen over the years? I've seen tons of them busted. One of the very first I ever saw it was a 22 year old kid. And I'm like, how many bones have you broken? And my first question, how many bones have you broken? Cause he competed, right? And he's like, Oh, probably 20. At least. Here's a 20 year old, 22 year old kid that's broken. 20 bones. Don't kid yourself, you know, so, so I mean, yeah. What were you gonna say? I mean, CrossFit really has been around 10, 15, 20 years, right? The idea that, or it actually getting out for just your general public to see it is pretty new.

Speaker 1: (10:29)
Um, football, soccer, all of these big sports have been around for ever. And so I mean it's more common to just see that football injury and then be like, Hey, they're just going to go back in the chair and they're going to get a shot and then they come back out on the field. Right. That doesn't really happen in the CrossFit world. And I mean those competitive athletes who are showing at the CrossFit games, that's less than 1% of our community, right? So it's not a matter of if they're going to get to hurt, it's a matter of when they go into that profession, like they make CrossFit a career, knowing that that's part of the game. Any competitive level athlete of any kind, you're going to have those types of injuries right here. And that's what I would say too, is for your guys' experience.

Speaker 1: (11:11)
You know, the average CrossFit goer, which would be like me, which even then, I don't even think I'm to that level yet, but what's my risk of injury? High, low, low. I think for us, I mean, and I would like to hope that every CrossFit gym is like this, but unfortunately it's not for us. We're not trying to make you come into the gym to be a CrossFit games athlete, right? Trying to make you functional to apply it to your life outside of the gym. Right? We're trying to make sure you're picking up the dog food the right way. Right. I think everyday life movements mimic everything that you do inside the gym. It's just can we teach you a better way to do it? Right. That's, yeah, that's a great point that you bring up there too, because I heard, uh, I can't remember who it was.

Speaker 1: (11:58)
It meant it might even been that same Greg Glassman interview that I saw, where they talked about, well, you're having old ladies do dead lifts, which for those who aren't familiar with dead lifts, it's lifting the bar belt, obviously using proper mechanics, uh, straight from the floor, you know, and, and when people see that, that image of an older woman or an older man like doing that, like very like, uh, you know, uh, you know, heavy lift for the, and, and we, and we shouldn't even say heavy because you're obviously gonna modify the weight accordingly. Um, but his response to that was, well, yeah, is that old lady ever gonna pick something up off the ground? Grandkids, you know, groceries. Right, right. And so that's the thing is these are very practical and very functional things that you guys are doing with people. So, so yeah, very, very practical from a day to day standpoint, even for people that wouldn't consider themselves like athletes or competitors or anything like that.

Speaker 1: (12:55)
And that was the thing for me that I noticed when I was doing CrossFit regularly. So my quick story real quick, cause I did it for, like I said, it was about four years ago, but I haven't been doing it for four years. I did it for about two or three years pretty consistently. And then I started, uh, converting my garage into my own little personal kind of CrossFit ESC setup, which yeah, tight time-saver for sure. And I know I'm not getting nearly the same level of workouts that I would be getting. Uh, if I had like professionals like you guys actually preparing those workouts for me because it's a lot easier to, uh, to, to make the workouts easier on yourself than to have them, uh, designed by you guys. But uh, but that's the, anyways, th th th the point being is when I was doing those workouts in CrossFit, I noticed that they were very practical in terms of, you know, strengthening your core and strengthening your, just your overall frame and making sure that you could do a lot of that.

Speaker 1: (13:47)
Just regular things that you do on a date it day in, day out basis. So any help. So what do you guys love most about being CrossFit coaches? Oh man, go ahead. I got too much to say about that. For me it's the people like yeah, I could really care less about the business side of it. I just, I love coming in and getting to know every single person and knowing them, like knowing them outside of the gym. Yeah. So I don't want to, I obviously need to know and I want to know your injuries and your limitations and all of that stuff inside of the gym. But I want to know was work crap today cause that's going to affect your workout inside of the gym. But I also want to know how are your kids, how's your wife? Yeah. What are you eating outside of the gym?

Speaker 1: (14:34)
Like I, I love the relationship side of CrossFit. Perfect. That's awesome. I would say I would totally coming from someone from the outside, you know, attending your gym before CrossFit. I was just like Chad, I mean I and I worked out pretty regularly at the gym and um, I remember yeah, it was w for at least four days a week consistent. I thought I worked out hard. I remember my first week of CrossFit workouts and I was like, Holy crap, have I ever worked out a day in my life? You know, like it was a different kind of training and then it was, it really was the, um, like if, if it's left up to me, I'm never going to push myself as hard as, um, as I, as I should or as I actually even think I could the workouts and CrossFit, I would never, you know, there are certain workouts that I'm like, I would have, first of all, whoever thought this up cause they're insane.

Speaker 1: (15:23)
But what's crazier is when you actually do them and you're like, I finished it, you know, like it's, that's awesome. So that, that community part of working out for me is, uh, is just massive. So being held accountable and like not cutting that squat short and going just low enough to feel that burn. Like are you still getting below parallel? You still hitting that target with that wall ball every time or you go on a few, are you cheating yourself? Yeah. Yeah. [inaudible] box at the top. Yeah. I think for me like what, what I enjoy the most is, is seeing that expression on somebody's face after you convinced them that putting those two and a halves on each side are going up five pounds heavier. The expression on their face after they do it and they're just, I mean, just amazed and the happiness that you see in them.

Speaker 1: (16:16)
Sure. I mean it just, I mean I could just float away. I mean it made sure so good seeing people break through either physical and or mental barriers that they will, 90% of it is mental. Like nobody's ever convinced me to do that or nobody's ever told me that I should turn the box over to a 24 instead of a 20 or you know, like that Oh shit factor. So yeah, but you're good. That is, that's it's a huge show and and no, and the critical thing is knowing just how much to push that person to where they can do it and not hurt themselves, not hurt themselves. Right? That is, that is such a fine line of am I doing it correctly, am I doing it properly? And then that expression in that gratitude that person has is man, right? It's believing in our members when they can't believe in themselves.

Speaker 1: (17:08)
Truly believe in. If you can just, if you can have that confidence for them through that and then just help them, help them reach that goal, you believed in them and then at the end of the day they believe in themselves. So awesome. I think what you guys are saying are all elements are at the heart of, of what good coaching is all about. It's really finding what you said, that kind of fine line of of stretching somebody to the point where you know they're going to break through some of those barriers. But then also knowing where that, where that limit is in terms of, you know, cause you can run that risk of injury and or whatever. But but knowing that is again, that's going to come from years of experience of knowing that those kinds of, and just like any other profession, I mean you guys, you guys go to school and you get your certificate or your degree, it's not like you just stopped there.

Speaker 1: (17:57)
Right. You continue to learn, you continue to drive and you continue to make yourself better. It's the same for us. It's not like we go to that one week and then we get our level one and then we just go, okay well now we can own a gym at the top. Yeah. I mean how often do you guys, that being said, how often do you guys do continuing education? I mean, I mean it will say we'll say a formal continuing education cause obviously every day in the gym, like just like everyday in practice, you know you're learning. But in terms of like how, how often do you guys go to conferences and things like that. So I don't, I don't go to any conferences. I have another business that I go to 100% of the time too. And so my learning, my learning is more visual and physical, like being on on spot.

Speaker 1: (18:40)
Like I learned from people every day. Okay, that cue worked for this guy, but it doesn't work for that guy. So how am I going to make up something that I can say the same thing but in different ways? Sure, sure. I think for me, for me having, um, a dictionary of cues that mean the same thing, you know, is, is a huge learning experience for me. And I think I get a lot of that every single day, every class. And even when I'm on the other side of coaching as an athlete. Sure. Hearing people talk to one another, sharing their personal cues. And then I just absorb that because it was awesome. Sure. And so I learned a different way. I learned from the athletes themselves and yeah, no, that makes sense to me. And how about you saying no. For me, I think you could have all the credentials in the world and I honestly don't think that they mean anything if you're not providing results.

Speaker 1: (19:34)
Right. Yeah. I have my level one and I have my level two and I would potentially love to get to level four. I think being seminar staff would be an incredible, incredible opportunity. But, um, every day, like I'm watching videos, I'm trying to read books, I'm listening to podcasts. Last week she just bought some a anatomy book for my favorite anatomy books. There you go. You've got her. Netters there we go. I mean, there are tons of opportunities. Um, they don't all come to the treasure Valley area. So if you want to get that CrossFit oper offers a ton of online certifications that you can get. But if you want the hands on one, a lot of times you're going to have to travel for them, which is fine. We traveled for my level two and that was awesome. Um, I mean we have a lot of certifications and stuff, but like she said, you know, if you don't, if you don't practice that are in the trenches doing it.

Speaker 1: (20:30)
Yeah. It doesn't make sense. Yeah. Cool. I got 900 certifications. Cool. Yeah. But I haven't taught anybody anything. Right. Yeah. Right. That's for me. I don't, I don't want somebody to come into the gym be like, Hey, um, today's my first day. Like what can you guys offer? I got my level two you're going to be, you're in great hands cause I got my level two, no, I'm going to make sure that I provide a result for you and then I don't care about any of the certificate and all that. Makes sense. Um, so for those who are listening who are local, uh, what would be the best way for people to get in touch with you guys? Go ahead. Okay. So we just updated our website. If you had ever been on our old website, it was, boy, I mean when we took over a power secret, there was no website.

Speaker 1: (21:18)
It was literally you typed in power to your crossfit.com and it was like, do you want to buy this bill? So we had a, um, one of our coaches, her husband put our website together and all we said was like, we need a phone number, our address and our class times. That's all we need on it. But then now with this new transition, I was like, okay, okay, we got to get a website, legitimate website. We have to have something. And so you can go to our website power. So your crossfit.com, it's our seeker, crossfit.com. We'll make sure in the show notes we have the link there. Powerless on Facebook or Facebook, Instagram. Um, we have emails, phone numbers. I don't know if we want to put all of that stuff in there. Yeah, we can put, we can put whatever. Yeah. And we'll put links to everything.

Speaker 1: (22:02)
So, um, for those who, yeah, for those who are here locally, um, that's how you get ahold of them. Uh, what would somebody locally, so let's say we've got people who are like, I want to check this out. What can we expect, uh, coming in for the first visit at power seeker CrossFit? So, um, we don't offer an OnRamp class. We just, we invite all new people to just jump into class. Okay. Um, if, if you're super intimidated or you haven't worked out for a really long time, I would say don't come to the five or 6:00 AM cause those really big classes. Sure. Okay. But Oscar levels all abilities, it doesn't matter. Sure. Size, age. And I guess for those people who are maybe intimidated, is it an intimidating experience coming? So I, I love, I love the fact when somebody comes in and they're, you know, have their arms crossed and they're kind of standing by the front door and you go up and you're like, Hey, how's it going?

Speaker 1: (22:58)
You know, what can I do for you? And they're like, well, I've heard about this and I want to try it. And then you're just pumped and you're excited and you tell them about it and they're like, Oh, so it's not that bad. Right. Getting in the car, driving to the gym, that's the hardest part. Driving down, knowing that you're scared out of your mind and then you get there and then you see everybody, all walks of life in, they're working out, sweating and cheering everybody on. You know, I think, I think that helps out a lot too because everybody from a to Z in our gym, you know, and it, they all love it. Yeah. That was the thing, I think that really did actually surprise me quite a bit when I came into CrossFit for the first time, was seeing a very diverse, uh, you know, clientele in terms of that, you know, that there was people from, like you said, a to Z in of levels of ability.

Speaker 1: (23:46)
And so that made it far less intimidating to me, you know, in terms of getting started where I'm like, these other people are doing it so you know, you, and we naturally think some sometimes identify where we fit in the line. You know, like, I'm like, that guy's probably a little bit stronger than I am and a little bit more fit than me. But I definitely know I'm probably better than him. So, and in my case I had to like, look at the women. I'm like, I'm, I'm better, I've gotta be better than her. She's like 80 and then I wasn't in a classic statement as well. I need to get in shape to go into CrossFit. Right? No you don't. You just need, yeah, I need to get, you know, I need to go run or get some workouts in and then I'll come to CrossFit.

Speaker 1: (24:25)
Yeah. And it's not like if we program a handstand pushup or a muscle up, if you can't do that, you can't show up today. Right. Show up and we're going to give you something and modify it for you. That's still gonna well, if you came in, if you came in ranger motion, yeah. If you came in to any class, anytime we're open 11 hours a day and if you came into any one of the classes, I guarantee you half of those people are doing a different movement. Excuse me. The same movement, but in a different way. Yes. Modification are doing the same. Weighted motion. Different poundage, right? Yeah. So everybody's doing the same workout so they don't feel isolated or you know, Oh, well why is that person doing that when I'm doing this? Yeah. You know, everybody has the same workout. It's just modified to their ability and everybody finishes roughly in the same timeframe and it's awesome.

Speaker 1: (25:14)
That is awesome. Yeah, we'll, uh, we appreciate you guys taking time out of your schedule. Again, I'm sure you guys probably have classes today and tomorrow going on, so thanks for, uh, thanks for being here with us and taking time to share this with us. Uh, for those who are interested, uh, power seekers CrossFit, um, hope this has been valuable for you guys. If you know other people that could benefit from what we've shared, uh, share this with them. Uh, be sure to subscribe to the podcast and we'll share more with you guys on the next episode. Awesome. Thanks. Appreciate it.

Speaker 2: (25:42)
Thanks for listening to the health fundamentals podcast. Be sure to subscribe so that you stay in the loop. And in the note with all of the cutting edge health information that we share, if you know other people that could benefit from this information, please share it with them as well. Also, be sure to give us a review. These really help us to ultimately help more people. Last but not least, if you have questions that you want answered live on the show, or if you have ideas for topics that you would like us to cover, please shoot us an email and let us know at info@thehealthfundamentals.com.

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