5 Reasons Young Athletes Shouldn't Use Standardized Programs Like P90X, Insanity and CrossFit

June 9, 2014

Must See Training Videos

Because they’re so challenging, standardized workout programs like P90X, Insanity and CrossFit have become popular with fitness enthusiasts in recent years. But should a 25-year-old ex-jock’s workout look like a developing adolescent athlete’s? A workout isn't always the right choice just because it’s hard or popular. Here are five reasons why standardized programs like CrossFit and P90X aren’t appropriate for high school athletes.

1. No Coach

DVD workouts like Insanity and P90X are appealing because they can be performed alone at home. While this approach is simple and convenient, it presents major problems for athletes. A big part of learning skills such as footwork drills or plyometrics is correction through a trained coach's observations. Without a coach present, athletes can form bad habits that hurt their performance and lead to injury. Plus, many of these programs are high intensity. Without a coach to act as a guardrail, high-intensity workouts can increase an athlete’s risk for injury.

2. No Screening

Since many standardized workout programs don’t require a coach, athletes don’t get the benefit of pre-screening processes such as the Functional Movement Screen. These tests make sure athletes don’t carry strength or movement imbalances caused by seasonal play into their training. Building strength on top of these imbalances can greatly increase an athlete’s risk of sport injury. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Strength and Conditioning Association recommend an orthopedic pre-screening before starting training.

RELATED: Should Youth Athletes Strength Train?

3. Random Programming

Most standardized programs are randomized. In P90X, one day may be plyometric based, another will be yoga and so on, with the only goal being to get a good workout each day. CrossFitters pride themselves on "not knowing what is coming next," and the program bills itself as "planned randomization." Unfortunately, athletes need repetition, practice and progression. They need to start at an easy skill and increase difficulty once they’ve mastered that skill. They can’t do this with random daily activities.

4. No Mechanical Lessons for Speed, Lateral Movement and Deceleration

Athletes don't just need to run and jump, they need to learn how to move correctly. According to Peter Twist, movement is one of the three pillars of youth development. Companies such as Velocity Sports Performance, EXOS, IMG Academy and Ignition APG have become famous for training even the best collegiate athlete to move better. Neither P90X nor CrossFit contain systems for teaching these skills.

5. Maximum Lifts

CrossFit is big on max lifting attempts—their boxes sponsor max-out week events and post results nationally. Both the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that adolescent athletes should never perform maximum attempts until their skeletal growth is finished at the end of puberty. The consensus is that the increased risk of injury outweighs any gains made through maximum lifting.

RELATED: Youth Strength Training Do's and Don'ts

Topics: CROSSFIT
- Tony Duckwall is the athletic performance director for KIVA volleyball and IFHCK field hockey and co-owner and sports performance director for Louisville-based EDGE Sports Performance....
- Tony Duckwall is the athletic performance director for KIVA volleyball and IFHCK field hockey and co-owner and sports performance director for Louisville-based EDGE Sports Performance....

Featured Videos

Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 1,265,894
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 196,326
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 4: Skill Training Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 4: Skill Training Views: 396,070
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,172
Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,354,155
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,209
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,920,872
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 6,134,125

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Train Like a Pro: Beginner Triathlon Training Program

Train Like a Pro: Beginner Triathlon Training Program

Triathlon is an amazing sport because anyone can compete. For those who want to finish a beginner triathlon, various distances and supportive race...

Kobe Bryant's 5 Most Beastly Moments in the Gym

Kobe Bryant's 5 Most Beastly Moments in the Gym

Michael Bamiro's Big Breakthrough

Michael Bamiro's Big Breakthrough

3 Goals of Off-Season Hockey Training

3 Goals of Off-Season Hockey Training

3 Great Ways to Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

3 Great Ways to Reduce Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Gym for Your Summer Workouts

10 Questions to Ask When Choosing a Gym for Your Summer Workouts

How to Repair Your Body and Mind After a Long Season

How to Repair Your Body and Mind After a Long Season

13 Things You Should Do Before You Start Training This Summer

13 Things You Should Do Before You Start Training This Summer

3 Keys to Successful Off-Season Training

3 Keys to Successful Off-Season Training

LeBron vs. Steph: Who Trains Harder?

LeBron vs. Steph: Who Trains Harder?

Building Elite Soccer Players

Building Elite Soccer Players

Challenge Yourself With These Balance-Boosting Plank Exercises

Challenge Yourself With These Balance-Boosting Plank Exercises

The Ultimate Fat Loss Workout for Athletes

The Ultimate Fat Loss Workout for Athletes

This Full-Body Workout Has Everything You Need

This Full-Body Workout Has Everything You Need

Coaches: How to Customize Your Team's Workout Routine

Coaches: How to Customize Your Team's Workout Routine

10 Reasons To Take Your Workout Outside

10 Reasons To Take Your Workout Outside

7 Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles That Ruin Summer Workouts

7 Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles That Ruin Summer Workouts

How Kerri Walsh Jennings is Gearing Up for Her 5th Olympics

How Kerri Walsh Jennings is Gearing Up for Her 5th Olympics

How to Time Training Peaks to Be Your Best When It Matters Most

How to Time Training Peaks to Be Your Best When It Matters Most

10 Summer Fitness Tips to Help You Get Ripped

10 Summer Fitness Tips to Help You Get Ripped

Your Posture is Hurting your Performance—Here's How to Fix It

Your Posture is Hurting your Performance--Here's How to Fix It

The U.S Women's National Soccer Team's Road to the World Cup

The U.S Women's National Soccer Team's Road to the World Cup

All of the Football Positions, Explained

All of the Football Positions, Explained

Lindsey Vonn’s Summer Core Workout

Lindsey Vonn's Summer Core Workout

You Can't Do It All in the Weight Room

You Can't Do It All in the Weight Room

YardBarker