October 4, 2013

You’ve evolved with a brain. Use it.

CrossFit’s Uncle Rhabdo

If you’re on social media, chances are you’ve read the article about “CrossFit’s Dirty Little Secret.”  And hopefully you’ve also read the rebuttal articles: this one on the Huffington Post and this one written by Mike Ray, an owner of CrossFit Flagstaff who is also an ER physician. (special shout-out to JJ who now works out at XF Flag and knows Mike Ray!!)

Yes, rhabdo exists and yes, it’s bad.  You might even know someone who’s had it.  The thing is, rhabdo is also preventable in the context of exercise.  It’s all about scaling and perfecting form before increasing intensity!

And then there’s this comment on the CrossFit main site:

“Well, that runs into what CrossFit is not, namely a dangerous, hyper-intense program that has a high injury rate, something too over-the-top for “regular” folks. Uh, uh. The real “dirty little secret” of CrossFit (if I may crib a rather recently famous phrase) is that scaling the stimulus and subbing in favor of more approachable movements is decidedly the norm in almost every setting where CrossFit is done. Technique. Then consistency. Then, and only then, intensity. Says so everywhere. Are there small pockets of CrossFit or CrossFitters who jump the gun and go straight to intensity? Sure. But that is hardly an indictment of the program, especially since the program and the company incessantly beat the drum: technique, then consistency, and only then intensity.”


In summary, we close today’s post with a quote from the infamous JJ:

“Check your ego at the door, drink water, rest, SCALE to your own ability.
You’ve evolved with a brain, use it! Rhabdo is no one’s fault but your own, take heed, don’t be stupid, you only have two kidneys but you can live with one, survival is NOT mandatory, so choose wisely…”


  • Avatar
    Wicasa Yatapika October 4, 2013 Reply

    Mike Ray is a quite, soft-spoken guy who is not ego driven. When you first come to CrossFit Flagstaff chances are you will not even know who he is. He will just be a guy that shows up for class and works out alongside you. You will suspect he is just another member as he does not coach. It took me months before I even realized he was one of the owners. He does not say much but when he does people listen. In fact it was not until very recently that I even knew he was a doctor. Ergo, he is a great spokesman on the subject of Rhabdo…cuz he is not ego driven…

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