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Is CrossFit Dangerous?

By Ben Smith

This is the first in a series of six posts written to shed light on the “6 Myths of CrossFit”. Be on the lookout for additional posts in the coming weeks.

The media storm and subsequent stereotypes surrounding CrossFit have led many to believe it’s a dangerous regimen that results in injury. As with any physical activity, there is some possibility of injury involved, however, with proper coaching, CrossFit is undoubtedly a safe workout philosophy.


Many people join CrossFit gyms for the highly personalized attention they receive from their coaches. As CrossFit requires proficiency in many different exercises, teaching is of the upmost importance. CrossFit exercises are meant to be executed with proper technique first, consistency second (can you perform reps and movements well, and consistently?), and intensity last (moving quickly while using good technique, consistently!) At Top Tier CrossFit, we firmly believe in that philosophy, and do everything in our power to ensure each participant abides by those principles, thus minimizing injury and yielding the best possible results.


It’s important to note that all CrossFit workouts are scalable, meaning the difficulty and weight used in each workout can be varied based on ability. This means, for example, that a 67-year-old grandmother who has just begun CrossFit, can participate in the same workout as a 25-year-old man who played sports throughout high school and college. The two individuals may not use the same weight and degree of difficulty in each exercise, but they are still more than able to workout side by side in the same class. If the workout was:

50 Pull-ups

50 Burpees (up downs)

50 Deadlifts

… the grandmother would likely use bands for her pull-ups and a much lighter weight for the deadlifts… this, in essence, is scaling. Both individuals are completing the same workout, just customized to their particular abilities (whether they’re limited by age, fitness levels, past injuries, disease etc.)


As mentioned above, good coaching can greatly help decrease the possibility of injury. This hypothesis holds true with any sport or physical activity…if taught and executed correctly, your chances of injury are extremely low. In the instance of CrossFit, it is the coach’s duty to recommend certain scaling options to those who attend his/her class. In short, CrossFit is absolutely safe, if taught and executed well.

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