CrossFit™ is the Most Dysfunctional Fitness Program on the Planet

Dig a little deeper baby!

I realized something ironic yesterday. CrossFit™, an “evidence based fitness program” by their own account — and widely praised for it’s focus on “functional training” — is the most dysfunctional fitness program currently known to man (that has some meaningful level of popularity).


  • Not operating normally or properly.

I base this on the premise that big C CrossFit has such a colossal, anti-reality, anti-health injury rate, that over a life time, one effectively has a 100% chance of suffering traumatic injury. One is virtually guaranteed to injure themselves practicing CrossFit — injure themselves in the pursuit of health, no less.

No matter the attention to detail, form, environment, personal skill, training, and even “good luck”.

The chance of injury — and let’s not even start on cumulative, difficult to observe, long-term damage — is so astronomically high, I am convinced it is appropriate to call CrossFit a fitness atrocity.

Running neck to neck with the former, joint-destroying, muscle wasting champion, cardio.

Guess what lies in store for 100% of long-term CrossFit “enthusiasts”?

Inevitable dysfunction of one’s joints, connective, bone, and skeletal muscle tissue. But hey! Maybe you’ll get lucky and suffer rhabdomyolysis before you do any permanent joint damage.

And there is your irony. The highly touted, absolutely unsustainable “functional fitness program” leads directly to serious, painful, incredibly consistent, and often permanent dysfunction.

The truth is, CrossFit is the fitness equivalent of Russian roulette, played with an unusually large, yet still finite revolver. Even with a 1,000 round capacity revolver, the day is coming when a bullet comes out.

The question is, are the players naive enough to keep pulling the trigger?

And the naysayers say …

The number one knee-jerk emotional response to the ideas above is that “all exercise comes with some risk of injury”. While technically true, this is an ignorant derailing of the argument, and has absolutely nothing to do with what I’m saying.

I’m not saying CrossFit is simply more dangerous than other available programs. I’m saying there are gross, systemic, widespread, fundamental contradictions in the program that make it an irrefutably stupid way to improve one’s health and level of “fitness”.

By my guesstemation, you have a better chance of winning a $300 million lottery ticket, than practicing CrossFit from ages 20-30, a *single* decade in a long life, and not getting injured.

A reader might now ask … what should I do then?

If anyone is asking this question, you are still not getting it. What you should go out and do is not important. It is much more important to first define what you should not do, something the entire movement of CrossFit is utterly fucking clueless on.

Truly, literally, walking is more functional than CrossFit.


Now, for your viewing pleasure. (Caution : may disturb some viewers).

(photo credit :

(photo credit)

About Anthony Dream Johnson

CEO, founder, and architect of The 21 Convention, Anthony Dream Johnson is the leading force behind the world's first and only "panorama event for life on earth". He has been featured on WGN Chicago, and in the NY Times #1 best seller The Four Hour Work Week.    His stated purpose for the work he does is "the actualization of the ideal man", a purpose that has led him to found and host The 21 Convention across 3 continents and for 6 years in a row. Anthony blogs vigorously at and

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9 Responses to CrossFit™ is the Most Dysfunctional Fitness Program on the Planet

  1. enlite March 29, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    Great post Anthony. I realized years ago when i first heard about and saw this ” exercise system ” that people who engaged in it were going to hurt themselves. All the ludicrous movements like burpees,clean and jerks,flinging pull-ups, and the like would seriously injure people.

  2. Oliver March 31, 2013 at 8:00 am #

    Dream you seem unable to realise other variables when you form your one dimensional opinion.

    For example EVERYTHING can be dangerous, even safe things if we did it too often. For EXAMPLE BBS done too often can lead to serious CNS burnout and mess with other functions.

    CC is safe for relatively functionally fit and strong people especially if warmed up properly. It’s just like any other sport, it comes with its risks but like I said so does everything else. I mean what are your views on sports? Do you have a problem with them? It would be incongruent if you didn’t.

    • Anthony Dream Johnson March 31, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

      Hey Oliver

      Other sports are not touted as fitness programs, even if some people end up abusing them that way.

      CF is openly declared to be an “evidenced based fitness program”, which is complete bullshit. It is not safe. It is not even in the same category as something like BBS.

      No I do not have a problem with most sports. If you want to play sports, learn the risks, be aware of them, and have at it. Just don’t think being an ignorant dumb fuck is bliss. Quite the opposite. It hurts when you do serious or even permanent damage to your body.

  3. Sal April 8, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

    I knew crossfit was complete horseshit when I saw a video of one of the top cf trainers demonstrating a horrendous “pull up” then justifying it by saying you can do “so much more of them.” Well…big shit, of course you can do more of them. I can do a shit ton of improper bicep curls too(and end up injuring my back and training the wrong muscles.) When I hear people say that they want to get better at CrossFit, I feel like, well fuck, what’s even the point of that? The ironic part about crossfit is that in the deluded minds of it’s brainwashed cult members, they actually have this euphoric(i’ve seen that actual word used) belief that what they’re doing is making them fit and super healthy peak humans, but the reality is, they’re actually killing themselves. That’s natural selection at it’s best. Can’t really stop them, can you?

    I’m training to be a competitive boxer. I understand the risks involved, and try to minimize them as much as possible. But my training stepped up 100 percent when I let go of the bullshit “train hurt” and “push through the soreness” and miracle protein powders and gimmicky bullshit that the fitness world is flooded with. I train smart now. I give myself rest. I stretch frequently. Fitness and health should be a lifelong personal journey. Anyone selling you “the answer” cares more about your wallet than your livelihood in the long run.

    You ever see that episode of It’s Always Sunny, where Frank is training Dee…they’re at the gym, and he’s making her do an Olympic lift…he gives her comically bad advice.(ok, jerk it up over your head as fast as possible and extend your arms.) for crossfitters that joke probably goes right over their head.

    And last, but not least. Coming from someone that has the utmost respect for the training and rigorous fitness regimen’s people do, watching crossfitters in action has to be the silliest thing I’ve ever seen. The pullups is like watching salmon wiggle over a bar. The Olympic lifts look absolutely ridiculous. The entire notion of idolizing the “fitness model” in and of itself over the results is absolutely ludicrous. What I mean by this is, Joe Ferigno didn’t do shoulder raises so he could get really good at shoulder raises and do lots of them. He did what he needed to do to strengthen and build his shoulders.

    Like I said before, I’m a boxer. If I disagree with anything you’ve said, it’s that training for a sport and pursuing health are in conflict. Not that you’re wrong in most cases, but I make an effort to choose my health over boxing, but only because I believe that ends up making me a better boxer, if that makes any sense.

    Anyway, thanks for the article and sorry for the ramble. Take care.

    • Sal April 8, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

      So many spelling errors in there…and Lou Ferigno, not Joe haha. But yeah. Point still stands.

      • Sean April 18, 2016 at 6:10 pm #

        There weren’t any spelling errors other than the name you said he misspelled. Although, in your comment, “But yeah.” is not a sentence, Shakespeare.

    • Anthony Dream Johnson April 9, 2013 at 9:43 am #

      Thanks for the comment Sal, Crossfitters would do good to listen …

  4. Fernando February 2, 2016 at 11:47 am #

    As a Triathlete I was presented this option of “strength and high intensity training” a few years ago. It was the worst four weeks of my life. Literally, I was aching every single joint in my body, including back and knee problems. I deal with serious pain, specially the one that comes from long distance running after cycling. I’ve had my injury cuota through the years (15 years). I’m still going at 42 y.o. and aiming for my fourth 70.3. In 2011 I asked my Sports Medicine physician about CrossFit and its benefits. He’s still looking for them… Excuse my english. I’m not a native speaker.


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    […] it’s a pain in the ass, and everyone else in the world reminds you that THERE ARE NO EXCUSES. Sure, they are brainwashed by Crossfit, but hey – the general American and Northern European populous of the Generation Y and/or […]

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