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Tired of your old exercise routine? Want to get better results in less time? Or perhaps your training program could use some variety? If so, CrossFit is the way to go! Touted as one of the best workouts out there, it shapes your body from head to toe. You’ll not only get leaner but also gain strength, power, and stamina.
CrossFit has emerged as the go-to choice for millions of people worldwide. It appeals to all ages and can be customized according to your needs. With over four million practitioners, it has shown explosive growth on all fronts since its inception. Currently, there are about 13,000 CrossFit studios in 120 countries.
These numbers should be reason enough to give it a try. Getting started is the hardest part. Just like any other workout, CrossFit has its challenges. Let's see how it works and what to expect:
CrossFit at a Glance
CrossFit was introduced to the public in 2000. Since then, it has been marketed as a competitive sport and exercise philosophy. The workouts change daily, and consist of functional movements that build strength, power, and speed. Most exercises incorporate elements from strongman, plyometrics, gymnastics, powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
Due to its diverse nature, this training method keeps you engaged and wards off boredom. Each day, you can try new exercise routines known as WODs (workout of the day).
The movements are performed at high intensity, which helps increase work capacity and improves overall conditioning. Most gym goers gain strength and explosive power while losing stubborn fat.
CrossFit guarantees a strong, lean body and better health. The exercises are designed to build muscle, burn fat, and boost your metabolism. This training method is the opposite of steady state cardio and endless gym sessions that leave you bored and tired. The heart-pounding workouts ignite your fat-burning engine will building mental and physical strength.
Some exercises require dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, or truck tires. Some are done with your own bodyweight. Others involve distance running, sprinting, or gymnastics. This ensures that a total fitness level is achieved.
Unlike other training methods, CrossFit targets all aspects of fitness, including:
According to its advocates, this approach promotes hormonal and neurological adaptations across all metabolic pathways in the body. Since it consists of functional movements, it can make daily activities easier.
Another factor that differentiates CrossFit from other training method is the camaraderie. Once you begin to practice this sport, you become part of a community. You're no longer on your own in the gym.
Everyone has the goals as you do: to get in the best possible shape. They support and encourage each other, helping you push your boundaries with every workout. The friendly competition, the camaraderie, and the encouragement will keep you on track and boost your motivation.
Is CrossFit Right for You?
However, age isn’t the only factor to consider. Your fitness level matters the most. This training method works best for athletes, experienced lifters, and gym goers who are in a good shape. If you have never entered a gym or lifted weights, take the time to improve your fitness before getting into CrossFit.
This workout method isn't recommended to those who are obese or suffering from certain autoimmune disorders, bone diseases, or cardiovascular problems. Also, if you prefer working out alone, you may not enjoy the social factor. Give it a try anyway - you might get hooked from the first session!
How Safe Is CrossFit, Really?
These rigorous workouts carry a higher risk of injury compared to other training methods. In an interview, the company's founder has actually said that this sport could kill you. Due to its intense nature and the heavy weights, it's not exactly safe.
However, you can stay injury-free by using good lifting form. Start with baby steps and focus on building up your strength. This is particularly important for beginners. Most times, the benefits outweigh the risks. As long as you watch your form and listen to your body, injuries shouldn't be a reason for concern.
What Are the Benefits?
Additionally, it helps build lean muscle, strengthens your bones, and improves your posture. You'll also enjoy greater balance and flexibility, enhanced mental focus, and better overall health.
CrossFit is also a great way to drop those pesky pounds and stay fit year round. Due to its high intensity, it revs up your metabolism and burns fat.
According to a recent study, subjects following a CrossFit program experienced a greater reduction in body fat levels compared to those doing traditional workouts. Moreover, their VO2max, body composition, and physical endurance were significantly improved.
With CrossFit, you'll get better results in less time. On top of that, you'll no longer get bored as it happens when you lift weights or do steady state cardio.
Evidence shows that CrossFit workouts lead to greater enjoyment and adherence to exercise compared to other training methods. Plus, you'll benefit from a solid support system and become part of a community focused on health and well-being.
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