Founded by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai in 2000, CrossFit became one of the widely known workout programs for fitness enthusiasts. It has proven that you don’t need to spend money on fancy exercise gadgets to achieve your health and fitness goals.
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is a form of high intensity exercise program. It is a combination of strength training, speed training, explosive plyometrics, Olympic weight training, kettlebells, gymnastics, body weight exercises and endurance exercises.
CrossFit involves movements you perform daily, such as squatting, pulling, and pushing. Several workouts feature squat variations, push-up variations, and weight lifting exercises that are performed for predetermined amounts of time to help build muscle.
Is CrossFit Effective?
To answer the question simply: it depends on the individual and level of exercise experience.
One of the key principles of CrossFit – the high effort the workouts consistently call for – means that anyone, regardless of their previous fitness level, can stand to benefit from the challenging workouts.
Additionally, CrossFit classes tend to be community-oriented. Therefore, you may be more comfortable in CrossFit classes rather than doing the workouts alone. This means that you can be more motivated in achieving real improvements efficiently.
There’s a reason why CrossFit has earned its fame— it yields results.
If you are considering CrossFit for yourself, but you aren’t sure if it’s right for you?
Here are some of the benefits a CrossFit program can offer.
1. Boost Strength
CrossFit won’t give you the biggest muscles but bodyweight exercises like squats, deadlifts, muscle ups and handstand push ups.
CrossFit involves a lot of compound movements that recruit muscles throughout the body. Lifting, for example, like a squat, or deadlift, activates and strengthens all the muscles in your body.
2. Torches Calories During Workout
CrossFit is a great way to torch more calories during training.
Basically, CrossFit workouts involve high intensity interval training (HIIT) which utilizes more muscles- the more muscles you use, the more calories you’re going to burn.
According to the American College of Exercise, men burn an average of 20 calories per minute doing CrossFit, while women burn an average of 12 calories per minute. Thus, we can say that CrossFit works to improve aerobic fitness and burn plenty of calories at the same time.
Best of all, HIIT-based workouts have been found to have the greatest afterburn effect, meaning that calories and fat continue to be burned long after the workout has ended.
3. Improves Mobility
There can be a misconception that CrossFit does not build mobility like yoga or Pilates, but it actually is one of the best exercises for improving mobility.
Plyometric exercises like box jumps, broad jumps, and jumping rope can enhance mobility and flexibility. Squats, if performed correctly, can also make your hips more flexible.
CrossFit focuses on functional movements so it allows you to keep your spine neutral, keep everything stacked and improves the efficiency of your movements.
Everything becomes simpler when you are able to move freely so if you want to improve your mobility, you can consider the CrossFit program
4. Builds Lean Muscles
CrossFit workouts are ideal for building lean muscle. You may not get a massive muscle, but you can achieve a lean and defined muscle mass.
In order to build lean muscles, you need to perform specific exercises at specific intervals in order to create the right hypertrophy and recovery process and most importantly make sure you are consuming a surplus of calories on a daily basis.
If your CrossFit routine burns more calories than you consume, you aren’t going to gain muscle mass, but you will lose muscle mass instead. This means that your CrossFit muscle building diet will have to be different from your fat burning diet.
5. Good for the Heart
CrossFit provides a cardiovascular workout which involves your entire body with a combination of running, squatting, pushing and pulling. CrossFit improves your target heart rate and maximum oxygen consumption.
Your heart health is improved, alongside your breathing rate, and blood pressure with every CrossFit workout you complete.
CrossFit exercises are designed to get your heart pumping at its peak.
CrossFit has advantages and disadvantages, like any other exercise routine. Workouts are challenging, fast-paced, and constantly changing.
You might want to give it a shot if you are healthy and can handle strenuous exercises. Most Crossfitters enjoy them, so you are likely to enjoy it too.