CrossFit has been on fire for the last decade as far as fitness trends are concerned. From garage workouts to a national competition every summer, CrossFit is here to stay. Are you considering CrossFit for yourself, but you aren’t sure if it’s right for you? Let’s review the top 10 benefits of CrossFit so you can decide whether or not to give these intense workouts a try.
1. TORCHES FAT
CrossFit workouts are based on the principles of high intensity interval training. This is where you perform a series of exercises with little to no rest in between. It isn’t until you’ve completed the repetitions for every exercise one time that you can take a breather.
HIIT-based workouts have been shown to dramatically increase the body’s metabolic response and fat-burning ability. In fact, HIIT workouts are an important part of spot reducing fat.
What’s more, these workouts are shorter in duration than your traditional weightlifting workout. The result? You’ll be getting equal if not better results in half the time.
Best of all, HIIT-based workouts have been shown to have the best afterburn effect, which means your body continues to burn calories and fat well after the workout has stopped. (1)
2. BOOSTS STRENGTH
CrossFit is a combination of bodyweight exercises such as the pull-up and Olympic-based lifting such as the clean-and-press. With a focus on functional movement patterns, agility, and cross-training, this exercise combination is ideal for pushing your strength gains to new heights.
There are several strength-focused exercises that you’ll learn when taking a CrossFit class:
Developing strength in CrossFit will translate over to your day-to-day activities. For example, you’ll be able to perform household chores without the risk for injury of pulling something. (2)
3. BUILDS MUSCLE
CrossFit workouts are ideal for slimming down as you build muscle. You may not get as huge as Phil Heath, but you can pack on lean and defined muscle mass akin to Hugh Jackman in Wolverine.
Building muscle requires the right amount of resistance taken to the point of muscular fatigue. Since CrossFit workouts are based on the principles of high intensity interval training, you can rest assured that you’ll achieve muscular failure each and every workout. Just be sure to be as dedicated to nutrition and rest as you are with your CrossFit workouts. (2)
4. SUPPORTS CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
While many of us are chasing the aesthetically-pleasing look of being in lean and muscular, we don’t realize how we are benefiting our cardiovascular health.
CrossFit workouts are intense, helping to improve your target heart rate and maximum oxygen consumption. With every CrossFit workout that you complete, you are improving your heart health, breathing rate, and blood pressure.
This is crucial because the Center for Disease Control estimates that over 200,000 deaths occur each year in the United States due to preventable cardiovascular conditions. Remember the next time you’re working out: It’s not just about the muscles you can see; it’s about your heart health as well. (3)
5. IMPROVES JOINT HEALTH
Lack of physical activity can result in the breakdown of muscle and connective tissue around your joints. As a result, you’re more prone for injury or breaks if you fall.
Strength training such as a CrossFit workout can help to improve joint health and possibly alleviate current levels of lower back pain. (4)
6. INCREASES CONFIDENCE
Once you see how your body is transforming thanks to a consistent routine of CrossFit workouts, you’ll notice that you feel better about yourself.
Studies show that improving your health and fitness levels with CrossFit has an impact on positive body image. You’ll feel better about how you look, helping to boost your confidence levels. (5)
7. STRONG COMMUNITY
Outside of the physical benefits of CrossFit, this intense workout class is famous for the level of support each gym provides. When you join a new CrossFit gym and take the workouts seriously in order to change yourself, you’ll find that you have a new family and plenty of support.
8. SAVES TIME
As mentioned above, CrossFit workouts are intense and fast. You’ll achieve the same if not better results as a traditional workout, but you’ll only be exercising for half the time. Imagine being able to look your best and only spending half the time doing it. You can dedicate that saved time to stretching, supplementing your recovery, and meal prep.
9. NEVER THE SAME
Weightlifting is great, but it can get repetitive fast, especially if you’re trying to improve in one or two specific exercises. CrossFitters rarely see the same workout twice.
CrossFit workouts are based on different WODs (workout of the day) and there are literally thousands of combinations of exercises that you can perform. You might see the same exercise more than once but rarely will you see the same arrangement.
For those who get bored quickly, you’ll love the variety that CrossFit provides.
10. IDEAL FOR NON-GYM PEOPLE
We all know someone who has never been a gym person; maybe it’s you. They’ve tried the machines, the barbells, the dumbbells, and the benches, but nothing ever clicked. Maybe it’s the monotony of the workouts. Maybe it’s the lack of connection to others. No matter the reason, the traditional gym scene isn’t for everyone.
CrossFit has a lot to offer those non-gym people. While you may have to visit a gym, it’s much more than that. It’s a meeting place to better yourself with friends. The workouts are effective and you always have supporters. If you’re not a fan of the gym, give CrossFit a try; you might just be surprised at how much you like it.
FIND A CROSSFIT GYM
Convinced about the benefits of CrossFit and ready to start? It’s time to find a CrossFit gym.
Searching for a CrossFit gym isn’t as easy as walking into a standard commercial fitness center; you have to know what to look for. Check out our article on how to find a reputable CrossFit gym so you can get started right away.
- Boutcher SH. High-intensity intermittent exercise and fat loss. J Obes. 2010;2011:868305.
- Mangine GT, Hoffman JR, Gonzalez AM, et al. The effect of training volume and intensity on improvements in muscular strength and size in resistance-trained men. Physiol Rep. 2015;3(8):e12472.
- Vincent KR, Vincent HK. Resistance exercise for knee osteoarthritis. PM R. 2012;4(5 Suppl):S45-52.
- Sharma A, Madaan V, Petty FD. Exercise for mental health. Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry. 2006;8(2):106.