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With the number of fitness trends that exist today, you’re bound to be swayed one way or another. CrossFit has been around since 2000, and is widely regarded as one of the most intense, competitive workout routines you can take part in. However, like any other form of exercise, it’s best to understand your own body before diving into a routine that may be ineffective, or even harmful.

CrossFit comes with many obvious physical benefits from exercises like sprinting, plyometrics, and weight training, but perhaps one of the greatest aspects of this program is the sense of community. Individuals who take part in CrossFit support one another regardless of how experienced one may be. It’s a judgment-free zone where people of all fitness levels can experience a bond while reaping the physical benefits of an intense workout. While all of this may seem tempting, there are some considerations to take into account that often steer people away from the routine.

First, it can be fairly expensive. CrossFit gyms typically cost around $200 a month for a full membership, and offer very little room for negotiation. If you’re visiting a location different from the gym you visit regularly, the fees associated with using a new one can be quite hefty as well. While not all gyms charge this visitor’s fee, the cost alone can certainly make starting CrossFit seem like a financial burden.

Second, CrossFit can be extremely time consuming. For beginners, the time it takes to learn the skills required can last up to an hour, and the workouts themselves can be just as long. In order to get the most out of this workout, you do have to devote a decent amount of time, and those with demanding work schedules or families may find it harder than others to do so. There is a period of stretching before the routine begins that can take up to 20 minutes or so, and the cooldown session afterwards may take an additional half hour.

A downside that comes with many intense workouts is the risk of injury. With CrossFit, that risk is higher than most routines. The lifting methods applied and high-octane cardiovascular workouts can lead to a string of injuries if done incorrectly, or too often. Shoulder injuries seem to be particularly common among those involved with CrossFit, which is most likely due to a combination of extreme lifting, bad form, and overuse of the shoulder muscles.

In conclusion, CrossFit is certainly a beneficial workout, but it isn’t for everybody who wishes to make some sort of physical change. The demanding routines may deter beginners, especially when in a gym filled with experienced CrossFitters who are all working alongside one another. But, it’s worth trying to see how well it fits into your daily schedule.