CrossFit Makes You Better at Your Sport – Even Pro Athletes: Benefits of CrossFit
By Greg Glassman, M.S., CSCS (Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist)
The following are some of the many benefits of CrossFit:
1. Increases your aerobic capacity.
2. Improves your strength and power endurance with little or no equipment required.
3. Improves your flexibility and range of motion.
4. Provides a good cardiovascular workout without the risk of injury.
5. Helps prevent injuries such as tendinitis, rheumatoid arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other musculoskeletal issues associated with traditional exercise programs.
6. Reduces stress levels and improves moods resulting from physical activity, especially if performed regularly over time (i.
7. Improves self-esteem and confidence.
8. Provides a healthy alternative to traditional exercise programs such as running, swimming, biking, etc.
9. Can be used in conjunction with any type of fitness program including weight lifting, gymnastics routines, yoga classes and others.
10. Can be performed by anyone of any age as long as they go at their own pace and have the consent of their physician.
11. Can be used for rehabilitation and is especially useful in injury prevention programs for athletes.
12. Inexpensive when compared to most types of exercise equipment and class based activity programs.
13. Can be practical and fun at the same time. (No more boredom!)
14. You will get results if you stick with it. (See results below)
The benefits of CrossFit are endless.
CrossFit Makes You Better at Your Sport – Even Pro Athletes: Disadvantages of CrossFit
Disadvantages of CrossFit are extremely minimal compared to other types of exercise. The only potential ones would be the physical toll that it can have on the body if not going at your own pace and listening to your body.
Some of the other potential problems that can occur are:
1. Inappropriate form – This could cause an injury if not corrected immediately.
2. Over-doing it – This is extremely rare because the program itself pushes you to go at your own pace.
3. Eating too little or too much – If you don’t eat enough, your body won’t have the energy it needs to complete the workout and you will most likely injure yourself in some way.
On the other hand, If you eat too much before or after the workout, there is a certain amount of time your body needs to burn off the excess food because CrossFit involves a lot of grueling exercise that can potentially dehydrate you. The best method is to eat what your body tells you it needs and not to stuff yourself.
4. Poor running mechanics – If you run with bad form, you can injure your legs and joints.
5. The risk of “over-training” is also always a possibility when participating in any exercise program.
Especially if you push yourself to the extreme and do too much without allowing your body to rest. It is recommended that you take one or two days of rest after every fourth day of CrossFit.
One of the reasons CrossFit has become so popular is due to the fact that you don’t need any special equipment and that you can do it anywhere. However, If you don’t have access to certain equipment, you can still do the workout and substitute with something similar.
If you don’t have heavy kettle bells, you can use dumbbells.
If you don’t have a rower, treadmill, or rowboat you can run or jog.
However, you should always try to get the best and most suitable equipment because it will make your workouts much more effective.
CrossFit is an excellent form of exercise that will give you benefits in almost every aspect of your life. It’s fun and rewarding and can be addictive if you embrace it with an open mind.
The reason why CrossFit has become so immensely popular on such a global scale is due to the immense community support it offers. Everyone helps each other out to push past their comfort zone and achieve things they never thought were possible.
Crossfit also offers a “Rip ‘Tide” attitude in that no matter what, you should always give it your all and finish what you started. No matter how hard or easy the task may be, it’s important to push yourself to overcome hardship and accomplish your goals.
CrossFit is designed to improve your overall fitness level by pushing you outside your comfort zone. The goal is to do as many repetitions as you can of an exercise in a given time period and to increase that number every time you repeat the exercise.
Say your goal is to bench press 300 pounds. This is the number that you have determined you need to be able to lift in order to pass the CrossFit Level 1 Test. Your goal is to perform as many repetitions of this exercise in 5 minutes or less. So if you can bench press the 300 pounds for 5 repetitions, then your goal is to perform 6 repetitions in the following workout and 7 in the next.
The beauty of CrossFit’s concept is that it’s scalable to ANY fitness goal you may have.
If your goal is to run a 5k, then your goal is to build stamina and endurance.
If your goal is to lose weight, then your goal is to build muscle and increase your metabolism.
If your goal is to gain weight, then your goal is to build muscle and eat more.
You don’t need to go to an expensive gym or have equipment shipped to your house when you can achieve world class fitness results with nothing but your body and some open space. Plus, the fact that you can do CrossFit anywhere means that you’ll never have an excuse for not working out because “the gym is closed” or “it’s too far to drive”.
CrossFit can be intimidating for the beginner because there is NO easing you into it. You’re expected to keep up from Day 1, but the community support system that is built in to CrossFit is designed to help those who struggle and are willing to ask for assistance.
Crossfitters are constantly exposing themselves to grueling physical situations and pushing themselves past their own perceived limitations. In doing so, they learn important lessons about themselves and how to succeed even in the most difficult of circumstances.
Self-discipline and desire are the two most important factors to succeeding in any goal that you may have, physical or otherwise.
A strong community is an important factor in helping you achieve your goals as well. With a team behind you cheering you on, it’s much easier to stay motivated and maintain your focus on the ultimate goal.
CrossFit has been described as a cult by the media and by outsiders, but this is far from the truth. The community is what helps people stay motivated and improve their lives.
Anytime someone improves even the slightest bit, the rest of the community celebrates that accomplishment because everyone understands how much hard work and dedication went into achieving it.
With so much negativity in the world, the CrossFit community is a refreshing change and it’s one of the things I love most about it.
So if you have a goal that you would like to achieve, I strongly encourage you to find a supportive community to help you achieve it.
CrossFit’s community is the reason why I’m much stronger than I used to be and why I continue to improve every year.
I’ve been able to do things that I never thought I would ever be able to do simply because the community supported me and helped me accomplish my goals.
Best of luck to you in achieving your goals!
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Sources & references used in this article:
An epidemiological profile of crossfit athletes in Brazil by …, T Ferreira, MV de Lima, A Duarte Jr… – … journal of sports …, 2016 – journals.sagepub.com
The CrossFit sensorium: Visuality, affect and immersive sport by L Heywood – Paragraph, 2015 – euppublishing.com
CrossFit athletes exhibit high symmetry of fundamental movement patterns. A cross-sectional study by S Tafuri, A Notarnicola, A Monno… – … ligaments and tendons …, 2016 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Using sport education to implement a CrossFit unit by BA Sibley – Journal of Physical Education …, 2012 – shapeamerica.tandfonline.com