American Council on Exercise by American Council on Exercise

Watch the video below of individuals attempting the "continental clean and jerk" at a Crossfit gym, and you will know why it has gone viral among fitness professionals and strength and conditioning coaches:


Even if you are not a trained strength and conditioning coach or fitness professional, it's hard to avoid cringing in fear that someone is going to injure themselves.

And that's exactly why this video has gone viral and caused outrage throughout the fitness professional community.

ACE's Fitness Expert & Exercise Physiologist, Pete McCall, said this video "is not an indictment against Crossfit, but a reminder of why it's important to emphasize good form when learning and performing challenging exercises."

And it's the trainer's obligation to teach the fundamentals — from basic movement forms to progressing to the advanced movement. "When starting an exercise program, learning proper form and movement skill is fundamental before progressing in intensity," McCall said.

Obviously, the coaches of the individuals in the particular video above did not take the time to teach their clients proper skill. McCall said this is particularly concerning and that without the fundamentals, "the participants WILL get injured."

Speaking to the same video, Michael Boyle of lists "we will do no harm" as the first item of a manifesto for strength coaches. Boyle writes, "athletes and clients trust [their strength coaches and personal trainers] to make decisions for them," so it's important to ensure they are safe and know their limits.

If you're looking to work with a strength coach or personal trainer, how do you know they are the type of professional who will take the time to show you the fundamentals so that you won't end up in the next viral YouTube video?

"If a trainer demonstrates a technically challenging exercise that you don’t feel comfortable attempting your next exercise, run (not walk) away from that trainer in order to avoid an unnecessary (and completely preventable) injury," McCall said.

Always make sure to ask, understand and practice the basic movement before progressing to the more challenging movement. As great as it would be to tell brag to friends and family that you completed a difficult continental clean and jerk, wouldn't it be better to be able to say you did it with proper form and without injuring yourself? Master the basics first.