5 Pitfalls CrossFit Masters Need To Avoid


CrossFit is a dynamic and demanding fitness regimen that attracts individuals of all ages and fitness levels. As we progress through life, our bodies undergo changes, and training in our 40s, 50s, and beyond comes with its own set of considerations.

In this blog post, we'll explore how training as a CrossFit master differs from training in your 20s or 30s. We'll address factors such as the ageing body, responsibilities, recovery ability, injuries, and medical conditions. However, we'll also highlight the immense potential for achieving remarkable results by training smart, consistently, and with a positive mindset.

1. Beware Your The Ageing Body

Quadriceps comparison between athletes and sedentary men
As we age, our bodies naturally experience physiological changes. Muscle mass tends to decline, and there may be a decrease in joint mobility and bone density. However, it's important to remember that these changes are not insurmountable obstacles. CrossFit masters can adapt their training to focus on building and maintaining muscle strength, improving flexibility, and prioritising joint health.

Many people lament a prime they never had. ‘I used to look like you’ or ‘I used to lift that before I got injured / sick / ill / lost interest’ I’m sure you’ve encountered this at some point if you consistently follow a healthy lifestyle.

2. Lack Of Time

CrossFit masters often juggle numerous responsibilities, such as career demands, family obligations, and community commitments. 

Time becomes a precious resource, and fitting in regular training sessions can be challenging. The key is to prioritise fitness and schedule workouts as non-negotiable appointments in your calendar. I realise this isn’t always possible but as a rule getting your workout done before midday ensures that no matter what catastrophe awaits you later on you’ll have time to deal with it. Here’s some of the things I do to avoid that nagging frustration that accompanies a missed workout

  •  Getting it done early in the morning before work.
  • Fitting it in at lunchtime
  • 20 Min Intense WOD or AMRAP

3. Recovery Ability

Recovery becomes increasingly important as we age. As a CrossFit master we may find that our bodies require more time to recuperate and adapt to intense training. Prioritising quality sleep, nutrition, and active recovery techniques like foam rolling, mobility work, and stretching can aid in optimal recovery.

Balancing training intensity with adequate recovery allows the body to rebuild, reducing the risk of overuse injuries and ensuring long-term progress. Now this is the usual run of the mill advice and there’s nothing wrong with it but I’ll nail my colours to the mast on this one. Sleep trumps all other forms of recovery, in fact probably all of them combined.

Protocols such as foam rolling, active recovery, massage, mobility work, stretching. They’re all great but they’re not as important as getting adequate sleep. Having worked in emergency services for 13 years and been frequently sleep deprived I’ve seen what lack of sleep can do to a body. You can have all the state of the art sleep rituals in the world to help you get sufficient sleep but the simplest and hardest to do is just go to bed one hour early.

Switch off the tv and get yourself in bed at a reasonable time. Job done!

4. Injuries

Injuries can be more common as we age, often due to previous wear and tear or accumulated imbalances. However, with proper technique, gradual progression, and appropriate scaling, the risk of injury can be minimised or mitigated. Moving with perfect form during your workouts is no guarantee that you won’t get injured but it’s a damn sight better than the alternative.

It’s a bit of a cliche but moving with intention and virtuosity helps. Everything degrades with fatigue and so it’s wise to at least start off with exemplary form to make provision for its inevitable demise.

CrossFit masters should also listen to their bodies, address any imbalances or weaknesses through targeted exercises, and work closely with qualified coaches or trainers to ensure safe and effective training. Effective preventative measures here can save a ton of pain further down the line. Any niggle or ache that you could work off in your 20s or 30s now has a good chance of lingering in the shadows for months on end without some form of intervention.

5. Medical Conditions

It's important to acknowledge that some CrossFit masters may have underlying medical conditions or specific health considerations. Prior consultation with healthcare professionals is crucial for guidance on exercise limitations or modifications. With appropriate medical advice and supervision, individuals can still engage in CrossFit training and reap its numerous benefits. Adjustments can be made to workouts, focusing on safe and sustainable progress while considering individual limitations.

Positive Hope

Rocky still going strong

Positive Hope: Achieving Amazing Results:

While there are challenges, training as a CrossFit master also presents incredible opportunities for personal growth, physical improvement, and achieving remarkable results. With age comes wisdom, discipline, and a deeper understanding of one's body.

By training smart, consistently, and with a positive mindset, CrossFit masters can excel and surpass our own expectations. Celebrate the achievements, big or small, and recognise the progress made along the journey.


Training as a CrossFit master brings unique considerations, including the ageing body, responsibilities, recovery ability, injuries, and medical conditions. However, it's crucial to approach these challenges with a proactive and positive mindset.

By adapting training methods, prioritising recovery ie SLEEP!, seeking professional guidance, and nurturing a resilient mindset, CrossFit masters can continue to achieve amazing results.

Embrace the journey, find joy in the process, and revel in the satisfaction of challenging both your body and your mind. Remember, age is just a number, and the potential for growth and greatness knows no limits when fueled by dedication and perseverance.

About the Author Stephen Devine

Steve not just a skilled Crossfit Coach, but a top-tier CrossFit Competitor who's ranked in the top 1% worldwide in the 2023 Crossfit Open! And this is despite spending six weeks on crutches following surgery to fix a broken ankle just a year ago. He's Qualified as a Crossfit L1 Coach, Crossfit Gymnastics, and is also a qualified Olympic Weightlifting Coach.

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