Why I Quit CrossFit. - Dean McMenamin

Why I Quit CrossFit.

If you’re one my readers who’ve been here for years, you’ll know I was into CrossFit some time ago.

And I get clients and followers who either:

1 – have tried it before themselves.

2 – are curious whether it’s right for them.

So I’m gonna share my experience and why I eventually left.

First, I’m not one of those CrossFit haters who loves to shit on it.

I genuinely loved my time there, improved my fitness game and made some good mates for life. 

And when I was right into it I really couldn’t see past it.


I kept getting injured.

So I planned on a short-term break whilst I rehabbed my right knee and shoulder (again).

And whilst I was doing that I also wanted a way of training that didn’t beat up my joints.

Because I still wanted to be strong and look good.

Which is when I came across Jason Ferruggia’s renegade podcast, and dived into his training programs.

All of his stuff is about getting jacked with ‘joint-friendly’ training for men over 40.

I’m still only 38.

But even back then, 8 years ago, I related to his message and wanted to start prioritising my joint health.

And don’t get me wrong, I had some great coaches at Crossfit who were all about looking after your mobility, and looking back, there’s things I could have done way better on a personal note.

But when you’re pushing the envelope to beat the clock, do as many reps as possible with complex movements like Olympic snatch, muscle ups and heavy deadlifts, whilst breathing out your rear end in a competitive group environment?

It’s HARD not to get injured.

And being out of Crossfit for a while I also realised my muscles weren’t as sore nor was I hobbling around each week in general.

I was making great pain-free progress with my fitness, and although I was following another coaches programs, I was also enjoying the independence of my training and working it around my own schedule. 

So that was that.

This process also shaped a lot of the principles I now use helping dads over 35 lose fat and build muscle. 

I get them in shape whilst preserving (and improving) joint health.


Here’s a few principles that work great for me and my clients:

  • Dumbbells and gymnastic rings are way more joint-friendly than barbells (especially for pressing exercises).
  • Higher rep ranges (8-15+) are way better for your joints than lower, heavier rep ranges (1-5).
  • Mobility training is essential as you age, don’t use it you lose it.
  • Take your muscles through full range (think deep quats over half squats, deficit press-ups over half rep presses, etc).
  • Execution mastery of every exercise (truly master for and control. Don’t rush, don’t use momentum).

Those will take you a long way in your mission of building the 2.0 version of yourself.

Any questions, give me a shout.


About the Author Dean McMenamin

Dean McMenamin is an Army veteran, father, dog-lover and body transformation coach to every day men all over the UK & Ireland. He's also a big eater of ice-cream.

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