When it comes to fitness, there are so many activities and sports to choose from it’s hard to know where to start. Today we are taking a looking a CrossFit.
CrossFit has been all the craze in recent years with its thrilling movements, muscle-bound men and toned athletic women. But what about for beginners? Is CrossFit suitable? After all, those movements look pretty challenging, right?
In this article, we’ll look at the pros and cons of CrossFit and whether or not it’s right for you.
Let’s get started.
What Is CrossFit?
CrossFit has been around for decades now but really rose to popularity in the early 2000s. As a matter of fact, CrossFit is now televised, with many of the competitions offering up to $2 million in total prize money.
But what actually is CrossFit? In short, all most every exercise found in CrossFit is based on daily movements, such as bending over to pick something up and squatting down. In scientific terms, these are referred to as ‘functional movements.’
Many of the exercises also take the best aspects from sports like rowing, running, and weightlifting. The movements are designed to mimic those of everyday life while helping you build strength to prevent injury.
CrossFit places a great emphasis on high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which is a great way to work out, burn fat and have fun in a limited time. However, HIIT does require a decent level of fitness, so many beginners find their first few CrossFit classes extremely challenging, to say the least.
The workouts in CrossFit are constantly changing, so if you get bored easily, CrossFit might be for you. Even as a beginner, many of the exercises will be familiar, such as squats, push-ups, and pull-ups. One of the beauties of CrossFit is that it’s ‘scalable’, meaning every exercise allows you to start easily and build up.
Four amazing health benefits of CrossFit?
1Boost your muscular and core strength
The movements involved in CrossFit can help build muscle strength and even stamina. Many of the exercises, such as body weight squats, are tough without weights, but once your fitness levels improve, adding weight to these exercises can further strengthen your body.
Because CrossFit workouts are constantly changing, it provides a total body workout like no other activity. The only downside is that you need a good fitness level to get the most out of it. That said, the movements are scalable, allowing beginners to make fitness gains, too.
2Improve aerobic performance
Because many of the CrossFit workouts are based on high-intensity interval training, your aerobic fitness can see a real boost in performance. Research in this area is limited, to say the least, but it’s reasonable to suggest that performing CrossFit regularly would enhance your aerobic capacity.
3Improve flexibility and balance
If you’re looking to improve your flexibility, then CrossFit is for you. Most CrossFit movements mimic that of everyday life and provide a great way of improving your functional fitness and movement. Improving flexibility can also reduce the chance of injury, particularly as you get older.
4Help with weight management
Who doesn’t want to lose a few extra pounds, right? CrossFit workouts burn a lot more calories both during and after exercise compared to traditional weightlifting. For instance, a 165lb female will burn 15 calories a minute doing CrossFit compared to only 9 calories doing weight training. But remember, you can never out-train a poor diet.
Is CrossFit right for you?
All sports and activities have their pros and cons, and CrossFit is no different. Let’s look at whether or not CrossFit is for you.
If you’re an athlete looking to specialise in one sport-specific skill, then CrossFit is not for you. This is not a negative or a ‘knock’ on CrossFit. It’s just that CrossFit focuses on improving all areas of your fitness rather than specializing in just one element.
Groups or alone?
Many people, myself included, prefer to work out alone rather than with a large group. On the flip side, if you’re a sociable person and love to meet new people, then CrossFit is perfect. The classes are a great source of support and motivation, especially when the going gets tough.
Underlying postural problems
If you have any underlying health conditions, particularly with your posture, then Crosssfit might not be for you. While CrossFit is scalable, there’s no avoiding the exercises are meant to be performed at a high intensity. If you can’t do that, it might be time to look for another option.
As a professional coach, I can tell you that not all coaches are created equal. Coaches are just like everyone else, with varying styles and personalities. Some coaches are loud and boisterous, while others are more subtle in their approach. There’s no right or wrong coaching style; it’s just a matter of finding a coach you like.
Sum it up
CrossFit is an excellent physical training activity with benefits such as improving functional movement, boosting strength, and burning calories. That being said, CrossFit is not for everyone. Beginners, in particular, may find many of the movements complex in nature, which might be off-putting.
There’s no doubt, though, that CrossFit will improve your fitness and overall health and well-being. Remember, beginners must start out slowly and resist the urge to lift more and work out longer. Doing this will only lead to unwanted injuries.
Finally, ensure you thoroughly research your CrossFit gym. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like whether the instructors are qualified and whether they will guide me as a beginner.
Want to learn more?
Below is an exceptional video specifically targeted toward beginners to CrossFit. You’ll learn how to safely and correctly perform the top 5 most common CrossFit movements, such as the squat, the press, and the burpee.
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