Gone are the days when CrossFit was viewed as another cult fitness program or an unintended ‘fad.’ Regardless of where you reside, you’re probably within driving distance of a CrossFit gym or, as they’re called in CrossFit, a ‘box.’
When it comes to CrossFitters, you’ll find a range of fitness levels from professional athletes and amateurs to rank newcomers. The beauty of CrossFit is that everyone can participate, regardless of gender, sex and physical fitness level.
The benefits of CrossFit are many and include improving aspects of your fitness such as increased muscle strength, improved flexibility and range of motion. CrossFit is considered a high-intensity exercise that enhances your anaerobic and aerobic fitness.
Although there are cons to performing CrossFit, today, we’re keeping it positive and focusing on the top ten benefits.
Let’s get started!
Top 10 benefits of CrossFit
CrossFit has continued to grow in recent years, and the benefits are now very well-known. But it’s not just elite athletes performing CrossFit, a huge boom in beginners are now also reaping the benefits of this dynamic and functional sporting activity.
Let’s take a look at the top ten health benefits for the average CrossFitter.
1Shreds body fat
CrossFit is a fast-paced, high-intensity workout that builds muscle and helps to burn unwanted body fat. CrossFit’s fitness modality is based on High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT. This training style focuses on short spurts of high-intensity exercise followed by short rest periods and then repeated for a specific amount of sets.
Numerous studies have shown that HIIT helps to burn fat by raising the body’s metabolism. One of the best things about HIIT is that participants continue burning fat long after their ‘workout of the day’ or WOD has finished.
Because many CrossFit workouts are 60 minutes in length or shorter, you get a fat-burning total body workout in half the time of a traditional weightlifting session.
CrossFit movements are based on traditional weightlifting exercises, with the sport offering an effective way to build muscle in a fun and supportive training environment. CrossFit exercises focus on movements that people undertake in daily life, like squatting while gardening or lifting groceries off the floor.
These ‘functional movements’ improve your strength and increase your flexibility and range of motion. You’ll complete several strength training movements while performing CrossFit, such as:
Shoulder presses, just to name a few
Again, this increase in strength will significantly benefit your daily life and reduce the chance of serious injury.
CrossFit Workouts are the perfect activity if you’re looking to build muscle in under an hour. Sure, you might not develop into a ‘mass monster,’ but you will increase the size of your muscles while performing CrossFit.
Women will see improvements in muscle tone, particularly around the waist and buttocks. This is because many of the movements require high-intensity dynamic actions like box jumps, squat jumps and skipping and help to induce hypertrophy.
4Boosts aerobic fitness
Did you know that according to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC) that nearly 200,000 deaths are the direct result of poor cardiovascular health? Moreover, the sad part is most of these deaths are preventable. While most people work out to look better, one of the hidden advantages is the increase in aerobic fitness.
CrossFit WODs are designed to get your heart pumping by combining weightlifting exercises with functional and aerobic movements like jumping and skipping. Other benefits of performing CrossFit on a regular basis are:
Lower blood pressure
Stronger and healthier heart.
Boosted immune system
5Increases bone and joint health
A sedentary lifestyle has been shown to increase your risk of developing health conditions such as osteoporosis, a condition that weakens the bones. This can lead to an increase in falls, particularly for seniors.
CrossFit helps to support bone health by performing strength exercises. These exercises have also been shown to reduce joint inflammation and help relieve pain.
6Boosts confidence and self-esteem
One benefit of performing any type of exercise is the boost it provides to your confidence and self-esteem. There’s no other feeling like knowing you’ve committed to and achieved a goal. And let’s face it, your confidence only continues to grow once you see your body transform after all the hard work. Studies show that exercise does indeed boost confidence.
7Passionate and supportive community
It’s no secret that the CrossFit community is one of the most passionate, motivating and supportive sports communities you’ll find. CrossFit is also scalable, meaning everyone can join in the fun regardless of their fitness level.
Beginners to CrossFit will find this supportive community helpful, especially as they initially struggle with the intensity of the workout. Knowing there is always something there to encourage and motivate you when things get tough is reassuring.
CrossFit workouts of the day are typically only 60 minutes long, meaning they’re perfect for time-crunched parents, busy professionals and budding entrepreneurs.
Take, for example, my passion for cycling – I love it; just ask my wife and daughter 🙂 However, the biggest downside of cycling is that a good workout requires 2 hours in the saddle; CrossFit can manage similar results in half the time.
9Variation is unparalleled
Going to the gym day in and day out and repeating the same mundane exercises can get incredibly boring, and it’s one of the main reasons many gym-goers drop out. Guess what? You won’t face that problem with CrossFit.
Every ‘workout of the day’ is different, and if you ask most CrossFitters, they will tell you they rarely do the same workout twice. If you’re someone who gets bored easily, then I would highly recommend considering CrossFit.
The variation of workouts also has physical health benefits, like improving strength, boosting cardio fitness, and increasing flexibility.
10Not your average gym session
I’ll be honest, even as a professional coach, I’ve never really enjoyed going to the gym and lifting weights. On the contrary, I prefer sports where I’m outside with friends experiencing different workouts and challenges. That’s not to say going to the gym and lifting weights is bad; it’s just that it’s not for everyone.
CrossFit is an excellent alternative for those of you who find the gym to be mundane and monotonous. CrossFit is challenging, but the community is supportive, and the workouts are a lot of fun. The atmosphere at most CrossFit workouts is ‘on fire.’
Sum it up
Although many sporting activities claim to be ‘suitable for everyone’, more often than not, they don’t pass the litmus test. However, one sport that does is CrossFit. Not only are the exercises scalable, but so are the intensity and duration of the sessions.
CrossFit can prove beneficial to everyone, whether it’s a professional athlete looking to maintain fitness during the off-season or beginners wanting to improve their health. In my opinion, the biggest benefit of CrossFit is that it doesn’t discriminate against race, age, sex and fitness levels; not many sports can offer that.
The benefits to heart health and aerobic capacity cannot be overstated. But perhaps the most important benefit of CrossFit is the impact it has on your functional movements in daily life.
At the end of the day, people want to perform their daily tasks pain-free, play with their kids and enjoy time with family; CrossFit offers just that.
Want to learn more?
WOW. Every now and then, you come across some good videos, but this is one of the best videos on CrossFit I’ve seen. The video looks at the positive impact that CrossFit had on 6 everyday people. From helping them to walk without a cane to losing over 100 lbs of body weight, the interviews are motivational and aspiring.
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