The benefits of CrossFit are huge, and in this post we’re going to take a look at 10 reasons why training in CrossFit is most definitely a good idea.
CrossFit is a fitness program (some might call it a lifestyle) that uses functional movements and high intensity training to improve health, increase fitness, lose weight, and build muscle.
CrossFit routines can be scaled according to your ability and fitness level. Because workouts are so varied, it not only encourages progressive workload in your exercise regimen, but also keeps you mentally stimulated and prevents workout boredom.
Below, we look at 10 of the benefits of CrossFit: some of the reasons that millions of people utilize this training technique on a daily basis.
What Is CrossFit?
CrossFit is an exercise brand based on a specific and well-balanced approach to working out for all-round strength and fitness.
CrossFit combines High Intensity Interval Training with functional strength exercises based on movements used often in your everyday life. Practiced all over the world in more than 12,000 affiliated gyms, as well as international competitions, part of what makes CrossFit special is it’s vibrant global community and dynamic workout philosophy.
While often making use of equipment like kettlebells, medicine balls, gymnastic rings, resistance bands and plyo boxes, many CrossFit WOD workouts are designed to be performed with zero equipment.
The official CrossFit brand often releases new exercise routines and a Workout Of The Day (WOD) which can be performed at home, outdoors or in a gym. Check out our guide to the best CrossFit workouts and WOD exercises.
What Are The Main Benefits Of CrossFit?
Whether you’re looking to build muscle, increase endurance, or enhance mobility and flexibility, CrossFit offers a range of benefits:
1. It Burns A Lot Of Fat
HIIT workouts have become very popular as a means of losing weight. A session takes less time than a weight training routine and it has been shown to have incredible afterburn effects, which means that your body continues to burn calories even after you’ve finished the workout.
Although the exact number of calories burned will depend on the intensity, level of training, and exactly what is included in a daily plan, the American Council on Exercise reports that women burn between 13 and 15 calories per minute and men between 15 and 18 calories per minute, equivalent to between 800 and 1,100 calories per hour.
2. Builds Functional Strength
Functional training means that you perform actions during your workouts that mimic or closely replicate movements you make every day. Such daily movements can include reaching up to get items down from cupboards to running up the stairs. CrossFit workouts can make everyday activities easier and can even help prevent injuries in your daily life.
3. Increases Muscle Mass
CrossFit isn’t designed to help you pack on huge muscle, but it builds functional, lean muscle. It will yield a toned, muscular physique, and offers a range of benefits to help get you there.
For a start, exercise routines are hardly ever repeated: whenever you turn up to class or follow the daily workout, you will be doing something different. This prevents your body and your muscles from getting used to the exercises and prevents gains from plateauing.
4. Cardiovascular Benefits
Not all benefits of CrossFit are weight and muscle related. The intensity of CrossFit workouts means that they improve target heart rate and they ensure better circulation of oxygen around the body. CrossFit can improve breathing, heart health, and your blood pressure.
5. Progressive Overload
If you perform the same workout or the same exercise over and over again, you need to find a way to increase the intensity or load. Otherwise, your body becomes accustomed to the workout and the benefits of the exercise diminish over time. This can mean increasing reps and weights, but there are limits to time and to the amount of weight you can lift.
Rather than keep increasing the reps and weights, performing a broader range of exercises and movements enables progressive overload without having to lift competitive weights or spend hours at the gym each day. CrossFit uses a range of exercises and equipment to help continue to achieve progressive overload.
6. Classes Are Short
There are several reasons that short workout classes are good. For a start, it is much easier to fit a 20-minute CrossFit workout into your day, than it is to go for a 1 hour run. It is also easier to concentrate solely on your workout for a shorter period of time, rather than worrying about what else you should be doing with your time.
7. CrossFit Increases Endurance
CrossFit increases cardiovascular and breathing endurance. It also builds lean muscle. This combination means that, over time, you can increase endurance and stamina. Muscle endurance is especially important in certain sports, such as cycling. As such, CrossFit is not only popular for its own sake but it is popular with endurance athletes.
What’s more, endurance is important in daily life. It enables you to stand, walk, and perform physical activity more efficiently, for longer, and with less recovery time.
8. Easy To Track Progress
Tracking progress enables us to set and measure our progress towards our physical goals, and it is an important, but sometimes difficult, aspect to physical workouts: but not with CrossFit. There are dozens of CrossFit benchmark workouts, and you can monitor your physical progress by recording times and reps when you perform them.
As well as doing these benchmarks during CrossFit classes, you can track your own progress by implementing them into your home workouts.
9. Increase Mobility
Mobility and flexibility are important components of CrossFit workouts. You won’t be able to perform too many gymnastic rings exercises if you lack mobility. Similarly, mobility is important in everyday life. By training to increase your workout flexibility using functional exercises, you will increase general mobility levels, too.
10. There Is A Strong Community
CrossFit is said to be a way of life, or a community, and with thousands of affiliated gyms around the world, it’s easy to see why. This not only means that it should be easy to find a local CrossFit gym, but it means that participants can find other like-minded people that are undergoing the same journey. A community can help spur you on, pick you up, and keep you going, even when you feel like there’s nothing left in your tank.
Benefits of CrossFit – Conclusion
CrossFit was launched in 2000 and has become a global phenomenon since the start of the millennium. It involves a wide range of different exercises that can be used to hone muscles, increase strength and endurance, and aid you in getting fit and healthy.
There are thousands of classes throughout the world you can join. Or, with just a few pieces of equipment, like a barbell, pull up stand or gymnastic rings, you can easily set up your own CrossFit gym at home.
Resistance bands are another popular CrossFit workout tool. Here’s a video showing you how to use bands to exercise your back and shoulders: