My Two Cents on Crossfit.
For a little over a year, I've been doing Crossfit, and I've enjoyed it. However, I've noticed that Crossfit seems to be in the press more and more these days, and I decided to share my experience for what it's worth.
First of all, I came into Crossfit with a decent level of fitness, having been a casual runner and gym goer for a good few years before starting. I think this makes a difference: when really unfit people come to our box, they tend to disappear just as quickly as it is pretty high intensity. So first lesson: have a slight baseline of fitness when you start. Most Crossfit's offer a 'bootcamp' style of workout which is more body weight focused (push ups, squats etc), so a much lower chance of injury. Start here, work up.
Secondly, I've been to great boxes and some shit ones, and good coaches and equipment make the world of difference. The Shanghai Crossfit I attend (Mewellness, the worst named outfit in the world) is fantastic (as are these two in Sydney), has brand new equipment and is run by two extremely patient, talented and clever coaches. Compare this to the shitty boxes I've been to in Australia, Bangkok and Singapore: these places should have had an ambulance out the front. Meathead coaches 'pushing' you further (read: screaming at you) aren't a good thing. Neither is not knowing the in's and out's of the technical side of the programming. If your coaches aren't good, or the classes are over packed, get the fuck out before you sever your spine or shatter a knee.
Finally (and this one took me a bit of time to figure out), if you do Crossfit, shut the fuck up about it. Sure, you can chat to other people who do it, but the whole Crossfit community thing is a massive crock of shit, and it starts sounding like a cult. People hate you talking about it, so don't. If people ask, tell them, but detail isn't your friend.
So there you go.