Pilates VS Crossfit - why does it have to be one or the another?
As a physical therapist, Pilates instructor, and Crossfit enthusiast, I’m surrounded by communities that seem to have some choice opinions about one another. For some reason, it’s my experience that Crossfit gets the shortest end of the stick.
Crossfit. Strength and conditioning. Whatever you want to call it. It can include gymnastics, kettlebells, Olympic lifting, Power lifting, etc. No Crossfit gym is the same. Just like no Pilates studio or PT clinic is the same. In all of these settings, there are good movement coaches, and there are bad ones.
Some of the criticism I’ve heard of Crossfit:
- “Too many people get hurt. I’ve seen a lot of broken Crossfitters.” - Research has shown that more people get injured running than doing Crossfit. Should we all stop running?
- “Crossfitters don’t care about form. It’s all about weight and reps” - Unfortunately, many PTs, Pilates instructors, and personal trainers are guilty of the same thing. Secondly, do you know what that individual needs? Maybe it IS more weight...
- “It’s a cult of meatheads.” - Simply, not true. However, I’ll admit I thought this before I tried it.
I’m not a Crossfit athlete by any stretch of the imagination. I’d be ecstatic if I had a fraction of a Crossfit athlete’s physical prowess. I take both Crossfit and Pilates classes. I crave the spinal articulation and deep motor control that I get with Pilates and I take pride in the strength and power I gain from Crossfit. I think they complement each other nicely and give me a well rounded, whole-body workout.
Also, if you haven’t experienced a Crossfit workout, what are you basing your opinions on? Crossfit isn’t perfect, but there are skills that you can learn that will transfer over into other movement practices or functional activities. I’m all for having a personal preference - you chose what movement practice suits you best, but don’t knock another till you’ve tried it. How you practice movement seems more important than what your choice of fitness is. Go out and do a little research. Find a Crossfit gym that has coaches who are mindful movers. San Francisco Crossfit staffs physical therapists and exceptional athletes that can PERFORM and TEACH smart movement (biased promotion). Get out there, pick up a barbell, and learn a thing or two.
Instead of criticizing other movement practices, I’d like to promote a conversation on what these modalities can bring to the table. Let’s all try and participate in intelligent fitness.