On Monday, we dove into fun workout options for 2019. In this post, we’re going to discuss the benefits of CrossFit, one of the workout options highlighted there. While any and all exercise is good for you when done safely and with the appropriate level of intensity, CrossFit adds a certain element of mental benefit and relational development some of the other options don’t.
Top 3 Benefits of CrossFit:
CrossFit gets blamed for many things. Too many injuries (debunked and NSCA forced to pay for false claims) and being “cultish” are among the top reasons not to give CrossFit a try, according to naysayers. This post isn’t meant to argue these stances. As with most things, there are a variety of different experiences you can have with CrossFit. Every gym is different, and finding one you enjoy and feel comfortable with is, of course, important. Regardless of the gym (or “box”), as they refer to their facilities, the following benefits of CrossFit should be consistent at every location.
1. Intensity is the secret sauce
People often ask, “what is the trick to getting immediate results?” While everything comes down to consistently making smart decisions over a long period of time, the reason you see incredible CrossFit transformations is the focus on intensity this workout style brings.
While CrossFit has gone a bit over the top with the Pukie the Clown character, it is not uncommon to see an entire room of people laying on the floor following a CrossFit workout. This is because this group just pushed themselves to the point of actual exhaustion.
Does this mean you’re going to feel like dying after doing CrossFit the first time? It shouldn’t. Very often beginners feel the least uncomfortable after a workout – they haven’t mastered the technique to a point of being able to push themselves to that level, and if they are being coached properly, are not given a hard enough workout to reach that level of discomfort.
CrossFit refers to this as “relative intensity” and it is why you will see everyone from 24 year old college athletes to 70 year old grandmothers working out at the same time.
2. mindset overhaul
Your brain is hardwired for survival. It actively undermines your ability to level up your life, because the little voice in the back of your head says, “that is too hard, go back to what’s comfortable, what you know how to do.”
One of the main benefits of CrossFit is that it simply does not allow you to feel this way for very long. Within your first week, you’ll be tasked with doing something you’ve never done before in your workout. You’ll also be given all the tools to succeed, and although you may not on your first try, eventually you’ll do the thing you never believed you could. This will happen over, and over, and over.
Suddenly in your every day life when you’re faced with obstacles, you’ll believe you can conquer them without even a second guess. You become stronger, and you show up better in every aspect of your life because you truly learn to believe in yourself.
3. well-rounded routine
If you spend all your time lifting weights, you will have a deficiency in your cardiovascular ability, and your ability to move your own body. If all you do is cardio, you will be missing out on the myriad of benefits which come from resistance training (besides building muscle). If all you do is body weight training, you’ll get very good at pull ups, but you won’t be able to go run around with your kids, or help your friend move their couch next time they need to change apartments.
With CrossFit, you address all of the major aspects of fitness. There are very long workouts, very short workouts (hello, Fran), and everything in between. This forces you to learn to lift very heavy for a short period of time, moderate weights for moderate amounts of time, and lighter loads for very long periods of time. This is known as work capacity, which allows you to carry things like groceries in from your car with ease. It allows you to hoist your kids onto your shoulders without any issue, and to go hiking with your husband/wife/significant other without your body holding you back.
In short, the benefits you see from CrossFit extend well beyond the gym and into your every day life. And isn’t that the benefit we want most?