Pros and Cons of Crossfit

Pros and Cons of Crossfit

Crossfit is a form of workouts that uses high intensity interval training with body weight, dumbbells, Olympic bars, and other forms of weights. Since its inception in 2000 Crossfit has slowly been taking the workout world by storm. Branding itself as a lifestyle. Crossfit uses exercises that involve functional movements performed at a high intensity. It has gained so much traction that the Crossfit games are even broadcasted on ESPN every year. For how much praise it has gotten Crossfit has been met with criticism too. Many avid weightlifters scoff the idea of doing Crossfit as they view it as being inferior to traditional weight lifting. Instead of writing Crossfit off right away because of what others said I decided to see what it was all about by doing some of the exercises and doing research on it. Here are my findings on what the good and bad of Crossfit are:

 

Pros

Other than looking pretty dam bad ass when you perform its uncommon exercises, Crossfit does have desirable benefits.

1) Crossfit workouts have you working both cardio and strength at the same time. If you watch the Crossfit games it is easy to see that these athletes are something special. Their combination of endurance, strength and versatility is truly admirable. Strictly lifting heavy weights will help you to get stronger but it does not help too much with other aspects of physical performance such as versatility and cardio. With Crossfits diverse exercises you will be able to improve your physical functionality through high intensity interval training and burst training. The focus of Crossfit is not on isolation but instead power and explosiveness. This added versatility and strength will not only help you to look good at the beach but will also help you perform everyday tasks with more ease.

2) Crossfit workouts can help you to avoid plateauing. Crossfit exercises are not like conventional body building exercises. They involve more explosive movements as opposed to isolated ones, and a larger range of motion that you will not be used to. This will force your body to adapt to these new stresses effectively preventing plateauing from occurring. It also helps that the Crossfit games website posts new workouts every week (they are for qualifiers for the Crossfit games but they are available to the public).

3) Fully investing yourself in Crossfit can help to improve your gym motivation. The combination of community and competition will surely keep you hungry to try and improve yourself regularly. The community that Crossfit has created is incredible. Crossfit gyms are becoming more popular and the number of applicants for the Open stage (the stage that anyone can compete in) has been increasing every year. Joining Crossfit boot camps or classes is a great way to spice up your workouts. Adding competition to your workout is a great way to up the intensity. Seeing people around you trying to push themselves to the next level will surely help you to get your butt moving.

Cons

There is always two sides to every coin. Despite the above benefits Crossfit does have its downfalls and it may not be the type of workout that is compatible with your desired results.

1) There is a higher potential for injury relative to other workouts. This is especially true if a coach is not closely monitoring your workouts. Many of the lifts that are performed in Crossfit exercises take a while to perfect. If you are brand new and try doing some of these exercises it can easily result in you getting injured. Also due to the competitive nature of the workouts and the dynamic movements of the exercises, form can very easily be compromised for reps. This becomes even more likely to happen if you are competing with other people in Crossfit competitions. When you are in a competition the first thing on your mind is going to be winning followed by how your form is. In trying to pump out those extra reps of a dynamic exercise your form can easily begin to slip without you even noticing it. This can be especially dangerous in exercises that require you to push the weight over your head.

2) If you are looking to gain size Crossfit is not the best way to do so. To gain size in your muscles you must put stress on the muscle, which will tear the muscle fibers in the muscle. Your body then repairs these muscle fibers during rest. When you isolate the stress on your muscles in weight lifting more tearing and recovering occurs allowing the muscle to grow even more. Crossfit however lacks this muscle isolation because of its dynamic movements thus robbing you of potential size that you could be adding to your muscles. You will still gain muscle from doing Crossfit however it will be at a slower pace than if you were to do traditional bodybuilding workouts.

 

The idea of doing Crossfit to me is intriguing because of its combination of lifting and competition. The one thing that turns me off from it though is the lack of gains that result from the workouts so for now I am definitely going to stick to traditional bodybuilding exercises. If you are looking for a fun way to spice up your workouts then Crossfit may be for you. Just make sure you have someone teaching you all the lifts and that your form does not waiver at any point. If you are still on the pursuit of gains though then I recommend you stick to bodybuilding exercises.