WEDNESDAY 20-08-14: It’s an Educated and Worthwhile Risk

WEDNESDAY 20-08-14: It’s an Educated and Worthwhile Risk
20-08-2014 Imtiaz

We live in a cotton wool society today. Most people are encouraged to be helpless and everyone else is too scared to tell them otherwise for fear of some irrational lawsuit. There’s also a general lack of accountability for one’s actions.

The cotton wool nation has unfortunately shaped the way many industries operate, and the fitness industry is no exception. Take this pill and your performance will increase twofold in six weeks; rock on this device and you’ll have abs in four weeks; stand on this vibrating machine to achieve a toned body (but hold on to the handlebars because we don’t want to be sued if you fall off). Anything else other than a magic pill or machine is considered unsafe.

The reality, as all our members should know, is that health and fitness actually requires a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and some risk. Yes, you could cut your shin on a box, twist your ankle while running, or injure a shoulder while practising some gymnastics. Those are educated risks. But thanks to the society that would rather live in a padded room, CrossFit is deemed unsafe because of those risks.

Yes, much of the ammo against CrossFit comes from people being unduly hurt in CrossFit gyms. Having been a part of the CrossFit grassroots in Africa and New Zealand I’ve witnessed (and continue to witness) uneducated or simply negligent coaching and programming. I talked about those cowboys earlier and I believe that they’re like those people trying to sell magic pills and fancy machines; they won’t be around for very long. As for the cotton wool nation, they’re both uneducated and too scared to risk becoming better people.

At CFJ we have always recognised that the most important factors of a fitness facility are safety, effectiveness and efficacy. Our training programs would be no good if 20% of the members were injured all the time. Likewise, our members wouldn’t be progressing if we didn’t teach them how to train at a productive AND safe level. Because of that, we’re constantly evaluating the efficacy of our program.

In our almost four years of operation there have been three severe injuries that occurred during training. I can count the number of cut shins from box jumps on one hand, and no one has broken a limb. At any given time, only 3% of our members are either taking time off or scaling workouts to rehabilitate and treat aches, pains, niggles and minor injuries. But that’s sometimes what happens when you’re striving to get fitter. I’m also aware of many affiliates who have similar records. Pretty good odds, don’t you think?

CrossFit isn’t dangerous. Bad coaching and programming, and athletes with a lack of common sense are dangerous.

There have been a number of published articles about “Reasons you should not do CrossFit.” We have hundreds of members each with a different reason about why you SHOULD do CrossFit. If you’re reading this, scroll down to the comments section of this blog and write one reason why you believe people should do CrossFit. I’ll send the responses to as many media outlets as possible.



If you’re an L1 athlete and are unable to test for kipping pull-ups yet, you simply sit that component out because we’ve already tested your ring rows. If however you didn’t train on Monday then test your max rep horizontal ring row. For the ring dips and push-ups, don’t get sloppy. Ensure proper range of motion especially.

Max rep kipping pull-up
1 attempt

Rest 3 minutes

Max rep ring dip (kipping allowed) or push-up
1 attempt

AMRAP 7 minutes
7 push-ups
14 KB swings (24/16)
21 DU


  1. Roxanne 4 years ago

    1 reason to do CrossFit – there is NO other way to feel this good!

  2. Amanda 4 years ago

    Your grow stronger mentally and physically..

  3. Gareth Wright 4 years ago

    I’ve had the pinched nerve in the neck that kept me off Crossfit for two months doing push-press much to heavy, did it happen at Crossfit – yes, was it because of Crossfit – no, it could have happened at Virgin Active, at work or even at home putting a heavy box on a high shelf, it happened because leaving your ego at the door is easier said than done especially in the beginning (even for those of us of slightly more mature and supposedly experienced age) and guess what? the coaches cannot be everywhere all of the time.

    Sadly included in this cotton wool society is the “blame someone else when something goes wrong” society, i.e. Crossfit , the coaches, the government or even some poor guy in China – if at most by the second time a coach telling you that if you do not use correct form and going to heavy you will injure yourself – well really whose fault is that – oh do I really need to draw a picture?

    Crossfit inspired me to give up 30 years of smoking – I got tired of feeling like my lungs were in in a vice grip after every WOD, that’s one of about 10 other good reasons I have to go to Crossfit, in 20 years of “normal” gym not once did anyone come to me and tell me that I was going to hurt myself doing the exercise that way, and it still

    • Author
      Imtiaz 4 years ago

      Thank you so much, Gareth!

  4. Walter 4 years ago

    Crossfit is a far better fitness system than traditional gyms. Constantly supervised with great trainers. I fell much more confident at Crossfit than traditional, boring, gyms. I’m new to Crossfit but love it!! Will never go back to traditional gyms.

  5. AntoineAntoinettette 4 years ago

    There are not many places where you will be constantly surrounded by people who want to see you be the best that you can be!!

  6. Rachel 4 years ago

    I love the fact that anyone can do CrossFit, any shape, size and fitness level all doing the same workout together, scaled to their own abilities.The sense of community and belonging is sometimes happily overwhelming. I always walk out of the box feeling that for the past hour i took part in something magical.

  7. Andre 4 years ago

    CrossFit has enabled me to be active in a competitive environment that I love to be in with like minded people regarding their fitness and health. But as a coach it has also enabled me to help people overcome fears they had and help them accomplish things they never thought they could have.

  8. Kristian Fesel 4 years ago

    In two years at CrossFit Jozi I have learnt more about my body, nutrition and doing the right movements than I have in twenty years at a global gym (VA). I have remained injury free in these two years, besides losing skin on my soft office hands doing pull ups.

    As injuries go, I have also hurt myself a lot more cycling my bicycle on SA roads. I trust the coaches at CrossFit Jozi 100%.

    Kristian Fesel
    11 x Ironman finisher

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