Before I posted that, I knew that a Crossfitter would respond and defend Crossfit. That is the level of cult-like irrationality I am talking about: looking at statistics (such as the ones about much higher incidence of Rhambo in Crossfitters) and responding with anecdotal evidence like, "well, my experiences are very different!"
You sound hopelessly confused. We are not discussing anecdotes. We are discussing actual statistics provided in the original article that clearly showed Crossfit to have much higher rates of injuries and potentially-fatal medical conditions.
When you put the burden on new people to figure out whether their affiliates are high quality, you are blaming the victim. Most beginners are not capable of accurately assessing whether the types of workouts done in Crossfit and the manner in which they are done are healthy or not. What they do is read reviews of the gym on the Internet and see all the five-star raves, then visit the gym and see everyone cheering each other on and having a good time, and think, "hey this is cool, I want to be a part of it too!" Are they supposed to know about normally ultra-rare conditions like rhabdo? Or should Crossfit do its fucking job and keep its affiliates in check?
Look dude, the problem is not that they don't talk about it. The problem is that they make people do complex exercises in a manner that significantly increases risk of rhabdo and a ton of other injuries despite knowing about those risks. This is irresponsible at best and grossly negligent at worst.
There is a way to lift weights in a safe and responsible manner. Crossfit not only refuses to teach its clients that, but also builds and encourages a culture where injuries become badges of honor. That is what makes it a cult.
I am in no way saying that the bad behaviors described above, and you can absolutely get a cult like mindset focused around entirely the wrong thing. I would also say that I think some of the nature of the workout strategies in general may attract these kind of behaviors.
This is equivalent to saying that surfers are more likely to get be the victims of shark attacks. No duh. It's a trivially obvious conclusion, but still really unlikely. CrossFit has done its job in educating people about the seriousness of rhabdo. There's absolutely no way they can ensure that none of their affiliates go off the deep end with craziness. That's a fundamental fact of scaling a business.
You're only looking at the negative side of this issue. But the reality is that from the high level of systems analysis, it's a tradeoff. For every person that has gotten rhabdo from CrossFit there are thousands of others that have had their lives significantly improved. In my case I got stronger and more fit. My body fat, cholesterol, and blood pressure decreased and I have actual data to prove it. I also noticed increased quickness, agility, and reaction time in everyday life.
> Most beginners are not capable of accurately assessing whether the types of workouts done in CrossFit and the manner in which they are done are healthy or not.
This is the case with a number of disciplines from fitness to martial arts to dance, so there's no substitute for educating yourself and making an informed assessment of the risks and rewards.
I know several people who started doing Crossfit and they became fucking lunatics about it. It's got that bad smell of crazy on it, like Scientology and pyramid-scheme scam companies.
If this is true -- and it is -- then "well, my experiences with it have been totally different" is also true, and has nothing to do with being cult-like.
That's not a very pleasant way to discuss things online. You should read http://ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html