CrossFit Journal Article Review


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Introduction of the Article: Research objective/Purpose of the study Since 2014, there has not been any studies to see if CrossFit® instructors were experienced enough to prescribe a workout of the day (WOD) program based off their website (Waryasz, Suric, Daniels, Gil, & Eberson, 2016). This study was created because there was evidence from Weisenthal and colleagues in 2014 showing a significant decrease in injury rate when CrossFit instructors were involved in workouts. The purpose of the study was to look at the education and certification levels of the instructors to see if their exercise programs were legitimate.

Summary of Methods: What and how data was collected CrossFit gyms in the U.S. were given a letter of recruitment and a survey to give to all the instructors they knew. The letter and survey were sent out to all instructors’ emails and/or their gym website email, Facebook®, and the CrossFit.com website forum (Waryasz, Suric, Daniels, Gil, & Eberson, 2016). The instructors did not have to answer all the questions in the survey and it was made to be filled out only by CrossFit instructors. It was unknown how many instructors read the recruitment letter and therefore the response rate was incalculable.

How the data was analyzed Statistics for the survey was analyzed by using the Chi-Square test with P value set to less than 0.05 as significant (Waryasz, Suric, Daniels, Gil, & Eberson, 2016). The analysis examined the instructor’s credentials based off their college degree, gender, and CrossFit certification status.

Findings: Main results reported in the study The demographics of 193 surveyed CrossFit instructors showed that the ratio of female to male instructors was 66/122, age range was about 36, years working in an exercise field was about 9 years, and primary employment in an exercise-related field was about 75% for women and about 25% for men (Waryasz, Suric, Daniels, Gil, & Eberson, 2016). Based off all the participants, 86.6% were CrossFit instructor certified, only about a quarter (26.7%) of those instructors had a bachelor’s degree in an exercise-related field, 16.2% had a master’s degree in an exercise-related field, about half (51.2%) of the instructors were personal trainer certified, and about half (51.8%) had a strength and conditioning certification (Waryasz, Suric, Daniels, Gil, & Eberson, 2016). Olympic lifting with proper form was done after a warm-up exercise which helped with preventing injury and muscle fatigue. There was little evidence of footwear to prevent injury for resistance training and Olympic weightlifting.

Article Critique/Evaluation (Importance of the Findings): Positives: Insightful observations and contributions to the field Now that CrossFit is beginning to be popular, it’s was a good time to make a study on people teaching this form of movement to see if they are legitimate instructors. It would make sense that the majority of the instructors were certified CrossFit instructors. It’s also not a surprise to see that only about a quarter of those instructors have college degrees in an exercise-related field. The reason for that is because it is still a young trending form of exercise. You will see many people jumping into the business with or without a college degree. In addition, there is opportunity to create your own CrossFit program by getting certifications in other exercise-related classes instead of following your traditional college program. Seeing about one third of the participants in this study as women makes it a promising career for women and other minority groups. Overall, if CrossFit is known to significantly reduce injuries for people who practice it, you can see programs designed in colleges nationwide in the near future.

Negatives: Contradictions, inconsistencies. Determine if there is enough data or research included to support the author's claims. Find any unanswered questions left in the article Overall effectiveness of the study It would have been more credible and accurate to calculate the number of individuals who received the survey invitation because that would have helped with finding a response rate to all the surveys that were distributed. A good idea for the next study would be for the researchers to include a confirmation that the survey and letter was received. Much like when you send a message on social media showing that your message was “seen” or your email was received by an automated response. Another time issue I noticed was that this survey was conducted from February to May of 2014. I would have like to see how they determined the length of time for the survey. I would have like to see the survey done over a longer period of time like maybe six months or one year, which would give the instructors more time to do the survey and make the statistics more accurate. Because the researchers had to send the survey out to instructors in a more informal fashion (e.g. Facebook, CrossFit websites) responses were not as high. Hopefully in the near future the nation will create a board or council to standardize CrossFit nationally so you need to be put on a database list as a certified CrossFit instructor. Overall, the study was an eye-opener for those looking into decrease their likelihood of injury and take on a new form of exercise. CrossFit isn’t for everyone, but you could design a program that fits your individual needs to help you with whatever physical limitations you may have. I look forward to hearing and seeing more on CrossFit in the next 5 to 10 years because I know it will evolve to include more participants from different walks of life.

References: Waryasz, G., Suric, V., Daniels, A., Gil, J., & Eberson, C. (2016). CrossFit® instructor demographics and practice trends. Orthopedic Reviews, 8(6571), 106-111.

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