Fitness Fads: Crossfit

 

CrossFit 

One of the most popular fitness fads right now is CrossFit, a high intensity strength and conditioning program that is extremely competitive.  They use plyometrics, Olympic lifts, and gymnastics in their workouts.   Routines vary, and you rarely repeat the same routine twice. Workouts can last between 10 to 60 minutes and will typically take place in a large warehouse with large classes.

 

Pros: 

 

Supportive Community. The CrossFit community is very supportive and provides great motivation to all their clients.  They encourage and welcome people of all ages to join in on the fun and compete with everyone on the WOD (workout of the day).

 

HIIT. High intensity interval training is an effective and efficient way to improve strength and cardiovascular training.  The fast past workouts are a great way to improve stamina, muscular strength and muscular endurance, while burning a serious amount of calories.

 

Strength and power. CrossFit is a great way to increase your overall strength and power.  Many of the lifts you will perform are Olympic lifts utilizing multiple muscle groups at once.  These complex lifts will help you increase your overall power capacity making you faster and stronger.

 

Workouts on the go. CrossFit is also great in that you can incorporate body-weight exercises when you’re on the road or unable to make it to the gym, making it easy to develop your own workouts.  This allows you to get in a workout while traveling or on vacation without sacrificing all your hard work.

 

Cons: 

 

Increased risk of injury. The major downside to CrossFit exercises are that you are much more prone to injury than with other fitness styles. CrossFit workouts are derived from traditional Olympic lifts and gymnastic exercises. They incorporate very complex movements that can take many years to master. Performing these movements at high intensities with high repetitions and heavy weights can lead to incorrect technique. Workouts are very one dimensional, utilizing movements only in a single direction. This can lead to overuse of the same muscle groups, causing tissue fatigue and breakdown leading to injury.  Simple injuries such as rope burns and blistered hands can lead to infections. More severe injuries such as herniated vertebral discs, tendinitis, ruptured tendons, and rhabdomyolysis are commonly seen in CrossFit participants.

 

Advanced workouts. If you have no exercise experience before signing up for a CrossFit class it can be very overwhelming.  Theses workouts are very advanced, and for people new to weight lifting this can lead to frustration and possibly push you away from strength training.

 

Big classes.  CrossFit gyms are usually in a big warehouse with lots of space and room for bigger classes.  With more people working out alongside, you may feel more motivated receive more encouragement from your fellow CrossFitters. However, bigger classes may have less supervision, decreasing the appropriate monitoring of technique you need when performing these complex lifts and once again leading to injury.

Conclusion

Crossfit is a great high intensity interval training program that can help with strength and cardiovascular fitness. But this fad workout isn’t for everyone and you might want to ask yourself a couple of questions that can help make your decision on whether or not to commit to this skilled workout regiment. Are you a newbie to working out? Do you have any injuries? If you said yes to any of these questions, Crossfit may not be for you.  If you are an experienced lifter and can execute Olympic lifts without much supervision, Crossfit could be a great class to attend, keeping in mind you still will need additional workouts to help with your performance in classes and keep you functionally balanced. Adding traditional strengthening, core stability and flexibility would be great supplements to your workout program.

 

Do you want to start a new workout regimen but don’t know where to start?  Set up a free no obligation consultation with us at Elite Nutrition and Performance.

Jesa Culy Jesa Culy, ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Ace Certified Personal Trainer

 

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