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Crossfitters--Need Advice (HELP: Learned Fear of Box Jumps)

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  • #16
    Your fear of box jumps is completely justified. Very high risk of injury for very little benefit.

    Come to think of it, that could apply to Crossfit in general.

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    • #17
      Thanks, everyone!

      Badkty & heatseeker--I'm so glad that I'm not alone on this!! I thought that I was crazy for having this fear of box jumps. Everyone else at my box seems to not have any problems.

      Badkty - Yikes, you attempted 32" jumps?! I don't think anyone/anything can get me to attempt a 32" jump. Max effort box jumps be damned. I think 20" is going to be my max, and I'm okay with that--just as long as I can do the 20" ones. If I could see the workouts before they happen, I think I'd avoid box jump days too. But I go in the morning, and they don't post the workouts until a little later in the day--mid-morning, after the class that I go to.

      I bought some shin guards. They're kind of tight, but I think they'll work since our WODs are always pretty short. Not sure if wearing them will make me less scared though. The fear has become quite irrational.

      The problem with jumping onto stacked plates is that--the surface area is so small, and that freaks me out too. So we have two kinds of boxes--rectangular ones and ones that are tapered at the top. The tapered ones, I think, are actually easier in a way, but they scare me more because the area at the top is so small.

      Heatseeker--I think I'll try stacking plates on the floor and jumping from the stacked plates onto the box like you did and removing plates incrementally. I've gotten to the point where just looking at the boxes and thinking about box jumps (when we're not even doing box jumps) causes my adrenaline to spike. Seriously, I'll be at the gym doing other things, and every once in a while I'll look at the row of boxes, like they're some kind of menace. (It's like what OD said about people having a tendency to look at things that they think are threatening.) It's really weird.

      So my globo gym has some boxes--just one set of three boxes of different heights. I think the middle one is a 20" one. These are the kind that's covered in rubber or plastic or whatever that material is that mats are made of. At first, I thought that they'd be wobbly on top, but I tried them yesterday, and they're quite firm and sturdy on top. It took me a bit, but I was able to jump onto the 20" ones (after ascertaining that the edge was not sharp and that even if I missed, it wouldn't hurt that much). I wish my crossfit gym had that kind of box too. *Sigh*

      OD - I definitely don't like crossfit injuries and scars! Seriously, I wish they used safer boxes.

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      • #18
        Have you ever thought about doing step ups? You get the same leg work without risk of falling on the box. Much easier on the knees and Achilles too. Unless you are a regionals/games level competitor they really won't hurt your score/time and might even help because it will allow you to catch your breath.

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        • #19
          Jimmy, I think my coaches won't like it very much if I started stepping instead of jumping. They'll pester me to jump since they know I can. I don't really care that much about my score/time and am definitely no competitor. But I also want to do the workout correctly. That said, I do step down since I read that most of the risk of ankle injury is caused by jumping down.

          Sent from my LG-VM696 using Marks Daily Apple Forum mobile app

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          • #20
            Posted by Heatseeker:

            For some reason, covering up the edge makes it easier for my brain to let me jump onto the box.
            Good point.
            Covering the part of the box that triggers the "danger" response in the brain is a great Idea.
            The rough edges always concern me as well.

            Diene: The rubber covered boxes at your globo-gym are a great idea. Any way you can post of a picture of one of them sometime?

            There are so many ways to correct the "problems" with the boxes themselves, but most crossfit boxes don't (or won't) "see the problem" in the first place

            Originally posted by diene View Post
            Jimmy, I think my coaches won't like it very much if I started stepping instead of jumping. They'll pester me to jump since they know I can. I don't really care that much about my score/time and am definitely no competitor. But I also want to do the workout correctly. That said, I do step down since I read that most of the risk of ankle injury is caused by jumping down.
            Diene: let me stop you right there if I may.
            There are a few things you (and the rest of us as consumers) have to remember about crossfit or any other fitness routine.

            1) You pay the bill! - While you're of course there to get fitter, stronger, whatever your purpose, you still have to remember that it's you that pays the bills to keep the box open! While you're paying for their "expertise" and "guidance", you have to ask yourself if you're getting what you're paying for? What are the coaches credentials?
            The Level 1 certification, is not that difficult to obtain, just expensive. That aside, what are their creds? Their background? What do they do in the "REAL WORLD."

            Are they certified on a national level by an accredited group as a personal fitness trainer?
            Do they hold "advanced" crossfit certification?
            Do they have college level training in sports physiology, physical therapy, or other medical/fitness related training?
            Are they a licensed or certified professional?

            Or, are they former gym rats that decided to throw money at a level 1 certification and open a box?

            These are all good questions that deserve an answer.
            Do this in a quiet or at least semi private setting out of respect to the coaches.
            If you're going to place your health and safety in their care, not to mention throw lot's of your hard earned money at them, you deserve an answer. If they can't or won't answer the questions, leave...quickly!

            The two that I had issues with at my box, were an engineer and insurance salesman in "real life."
            Both came from a standard weightlifting/body building or sport (foot ball for example) background.

            The female coach however, had a background in sports, and had worked (and still does) as a gymnastics coach/trainer.
            Her credentials (I don't recall them at the moment) were good, and her personality/attitude with the students was outstanding!!
            She was constantly walking around the box, assisting, not belittling, those with problems.

            So, don't be afraid to ask. After all, it's your money, and your safety!

            2) SCALE your workouts for YOU!- that's what crossfit is all about. Scaling the workouts to allow people with injuries, restrictions, etc., to complete the workout and build to a higher level.
            Unless you're planning on competing (even there, there are some scaled events), there is absolutely no sense in hurting yourself while doing crossfit or any other exercise program. Soreness is an expected byproduct, along with it's associated pains. Injury means you fouled up somewhere. Ask me how I know (LOL).

            Belittling and embarrassing/admonishing a student in front of others, is generally counter productive.
            This is not the military or the police academy! Frankly, it was somewhat counter productive then as well.
            You are paying GOOD MONEY to train and be trained by a professional. They need to conduct themselves as such.

            Worse case scenario, continue to STEP UP on the boxes as suggested, until you're "ready" to jump, and ignore the coaches.
            Yes, I said ignore them! You need to be both psychologically as well as physically ready before attempting the effort. Building up to that "readiness" is part of the program. If the coach can't see this, then they're not much of a coach!

            Again, don't be afraid to turn to them and say, I'll jump when I am ready to jump!
            The absolute worse that can happen, is they'll ask you to leave. That won't happen because they need the membership to keep the doors open.

            I heard one of the above mentioned male coaches at my box, once state that "people doing alternate exercises (rowing instead of running for example), caused a disruption in the 'workout routine'." What he failed to take into consideration, was those rowing, for whatever reason, couldn't run at the time.

            His thought was to "push through the pain", and while I fully support that theory in most applications (I'm prior military and retired law enforcement, so that's my mindset), I do not support it when someone is coming back off an injury.

            Don't let a bad coach ruin your health or your crossfit experience.

            OD
            "Live Primally, Train Practically, Prepare Tactically..."

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            • #21
              Hey, OD, thanks for the advice. The coaches at my box vary in experience. The head coach and one of the assistant coaches have extensive personal training/coaching experience. The assistant coach (she's really my favorite) works as a fitness trainer at a university where she works collegiate athletes. She really knows her stuff. The other people there don't really have much experience--like the engineer and insurance salesman at your box, they have other unrelated careers in "real life."

              That said, my coaches are pretty nice, and they definitely don't belittle people. But they will encourage me to jump, especially since they've seen me do it a bunch of times before. And I also feel ridiculous for suddenly developing this fear of box jumps (although I feel better now knowing that I'm not the only person ever to have this problem). I haven't had to do a box jump yet, and I don't know for sure what I'll do the next time we have to do them. Maybe I'll just do it; maybe I won't be able to and will just step up (and promise that I'll work on it). Box jumps are weird--until I walk up to the box and do it, I always think that there's no way I can do it. So it's hard to know in advance whether I'll actually be able to do it. In any case, if I really don't feel like I can do it, I'll give myself permission to not do it. Haha--and they won't ask me to leave! They'll encourage, but if I tell them I can't do it, they won't flip out or anything. I think a big part of it is getting over feeling like an idiot for not doing it and being okay with not doing it. So it's all in my head--like so many other things. *Sigh*

              In the meantime, I'll work on jumping onto the "safe" box at my globo gym. Maybe if I got really comfortable with those, I'll be okay jumping on the wooden boxes again. And I'll take a picture of those boxes when I'm there tomorrow and post it here.

              I think it's a balance--part of my reason for going to crossfit, other than to learn how to lift properly, is to get that extra push you get when working out in a group environment. So it's a delicate balance between getting that extra push and working harder than you otherwise would on your own and going at it too hard and risking injury. I'm usually pretty good at not exceeding my capacity. It's just occasionally near the end of a WOD when I suddenly get this *fuck it* attitude that I get in trouble.

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              • #22
                Diene, I want to second what OD said. Have you talked to your coaches about your fear? I think if you let them know that you want to get over this fear, and you're working on it, they should be okay with you doing step-ups and not jumps. Just tell them you're working on it, and when you feel ready, you'll jump.

                A few months ago at my box we had a hard workout with a lot of box jumps in it. My coach actually had several of us time how long it took to jump v. step and we discovered that (for a lot of "jumps") it was actually faster for most of us to step. Our coaches also suggest that any of us in the over-30 age group step DOWN instead of jumping down.

                The ONLY injuries I've ever gotten at Crossfit were from box jumps, both on the same shin. For me, it's a matter of where I'm looking (as a previous poster said). You go where you look!

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                • #23
                  Thanks, Goldie! I'll talk to them next time we have to do box jumps. And I do step down. I was jumping down for a while but after reading about the risks of injury, I decided that it wasn't worth it.

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                  • #24
                    Took me a while, but here's a picture of the "safe" boxes at my globo gym. I can officially do box jumps onto the intermediate height one with no problem. I think that one is around 20 inches.

                    [IMG][/IMG]

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                    • #25
                      I've never had anything to do with crossfit beyond looking it up on the internet. It surprises me to see how many women are seriously afraid of box jumps. It seems like they ought to take that into account and have more intermediate sizes on hand.

                      But it is also a possibility that you could deal with this fear like any other irrational fear or phobia: through the use of hypnosis, NLP, or EFT. You might want to look for a practitioner of one of those to help you with that.

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                      • #26
                        I was reminded of this topic (painfully) this morning... Yup I had an "incident" with the box (and I was using a 15.5" one) and now I'm bruised on knee, thigh, wrist and forearm (and this is a box height I can get onto pretty easily)... The trainer had earlier told me I should be able to use the 20" box! Glad I didn't try .

                        It's too easy to hurt yourself doing box jumps even on boxes you know you can get onto! Just glad I had my fall during the last round of the WOD and not the first!! Anyway it's put me off trying the higher box for awhile!

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                        • #27
                          Hey, sorry about your box jump accident! The times when I've had accidents, it's usually during the last round of the WOD too because I think it's more likely to happen when you're tired or feeling rushed. They should really use padded boxes.

                          The last time we had to do box jumps at crossfit (last Friday), I just did step-ups instead of jumps. It was only during the warm-up and not a WOD so it wasn't a big deal. I'm somewhat hopeful that I'll be able to do them again soon because I've been practicing on the "safe," padded boxes at my globo gym.

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                          • #28
                            I only jump on the tiniest box I can find, and I do step ups if I can't find small box. It may not look cool, but it looks cooler than falling down and missing a few weeks.

                            I think that knowing when to get the f**k out of the gym is an important skill. It's like quitting while ahead with gambling....
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                            When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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                            • #29
                              Well I have ascertained that I can jump 20" but I won't do it on the hard box!! Too easy to have a mishap and I'm still a bit scared (worse now haha). I learned that I can jump 20" by jumping on the bed (safe and soft).

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Leida View Post
                                I only jump on the tiniest box I can find, and I do step ups if I can't find small box. It may not look cool, but it looks cooler than falling down and missing a few weeks.
                                Good move on your part.
                                In the end, it's all about what works for "you."
                                From experience I've found, that the more injuries you sustain, the more down time you have, the less likely it will be that you'll want to continue.

                                I think that knowing when to get the f**k out of the gym is an important skill. It's like quitting while ahead with gambling....
                                That's about the best quote (and advise) I've seen in a long time.

                                Originally posted by Iron Fireling View Post
                                Well I have ascertained that I can jump 20" but I won't do it on the hard box!! Too easy to have a mishap and I'm still a bit scared (worse now haha). I learned that I can jump 20" by jumping on the bed (safe and soft).
                                And there ya go!
                                Congratulations. By thinking outside the box (no pun intended), you've found a way to find your height without risking your safety.
                                "Live Primally, Train Practically, Prepare Tactically..."

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