When it first appeared some 15 years ago Crossfit was lumped into the “fitness craze” category. There were plenty of experts who were sure it would become a “remember when” in just a few short years. But a funny thing happened on the way to irrelevance. Crossfit endured. The many benefits of this type of intense interval training became quickly apparent to health-conscious people from all walks of life. All the leading athletic shoe manufacturers began producing Crossfit shoes and today there are Crossfit boxes in every major city on earth. So just what are the benefits of Crossfit?
Crossfit is more than a fitness craze. It’s an exercise philosophy intended to provide those who adhere to it with tight, tough, strong bodies and outstanding endurance. It combines elements of Olympic style weightlifting with interval training and more unorthodox exercises like rope climbing. Below are 10 undeniable benefits of Crossfit.
1. An Amazing Level Of Fitness
Let’s start by cutting directly to the chase. Probably the biggest benefit from Crossfit is the incredible level of physical fitness you’ll achieve. You’ll be stronger, leaner, tighter, tougher and have greater endurance than you thought possible. You’ll also enjoy enhanced confidence in both your personal and business life. Crossfit covers the entire spectrum of fitness from cardio to brute strength. Which is what makes it so appealing.
2. No More Endless Workouts
Crossfit is nothing if not intense. You’re not going to enter the Crossfit box to partake in the WOD and then stand around chatting about the Ethiopian restaurant where you had dinner last night. If you show up you’ll be expected to keep up. No slackers allowed. In short order, you’ll have burned a boatload of calories and pushed numerous muscle groups to failure. Crossfit is not for the timid. It’s for the committed.
3. The Fellowship Of The Box
The people in the average fitness club are just a random collection of strangers going about their business at their own pace. Many of them in their own little bubble. And that’s fine. But that’s not Crossfit. Crossfit athletes are there to push and support each other. To provide encouragement and tips and a high-five when you all dismount the assault bikes. Everyone is in the same boat and the intensity of the experience fosters a sense of camaraderie.
4. Personalized Instruction
Crossfit classes are not allowed to get too big. This is so that the coach can maintain an effective rapport with everyone. No one gets lost in the crowd. If you have questions or concerns you can take them directly to the coach and know they’ll be properly addressed. But don’t expect you’ll only hear from them when you have a question. If you’re dogging it or using bad form you can be sure you’re going to hear the coach calling your name.
5. Improved Cardiovascular Health
From a cardio standpoint, Crossfit is one of the most effective training methods out there. Your heart rate stays elevated throughout the WOD which promotes proper blood flow that delivers oxygen and nutrients to long-neglected corners of your physiology. Everything from your Sunday bike rides to your golf game will benefit from the improved cardiovascular health.
6. Lifestyle Enhancement
It’s one thing to go to the gym, put on the headphones and hit the treadmill. It’s another thing altogether to join a group of like-minded individuals on a quest for optimal health. Sure, you won’t become best friends with everyone. But most Crossfit fans rave about the boost the experience has given not only to their physical well-being but to their social life as well. But that’s not all. Even when alone you’ll find yourself seeking out healthier snacks, sleeping better and being more engaged in your work.
7. Increased Flexibility
Crossfit isn’t just about building the kind of arms that can propel you up battle ropes in weighted vests. It’s also about improving your cardiovascular health as we mentioned and cultivating greater flexibility. Because you’re not just focused on one thing, like bench presses or bicep curls, all the muscles, tendons and joints in your body get engaged and this helps promote a higher degree of flexibility. This increased flexibility and mobility will also help you stave off injuries when you’re out riding your bike or playing basketball with your friends.
8. Quicker Results
Because Crossfit is high-intensity training you’re going to see results much faster than if you took a more relaxed approach to fitness. Visiting the gym once a week and doing a bit of lifting, maybe hitting the treadmill for 10 or 20 minutes and then heading for the shower is certainly better than no exercise. But it’s going to take a while for it to produce noticeable results. HIIT training, on the other hand, produces results fast. And the more dedicated you are to it the faster and more pronounced will be those results.
9. It’s Cost Effective
While membership in a Crossfit gym isn’t free it’s nonetheless one of the most cost effective types of training out there. Lots of people spend money on gym memberships and a year later when the membership expires they have little to show for it except some nifty workout underwear. That won’t happen with Crossfit. If you stick with it every penny you spend will produce noticeable results.
10. Weight Loss
There’s no doubt that one of the biggest benefits of Crossfit is that those WODs burn calories like nobody’s business. As you slim down and get into better shape your metabolism also responds and naturally begins to process the food you eat more efficiently. So you’ll lose weight and your new improved body will metabolize food faster to help you keep the weight off.
Crossfit is not for everyone. It’s for those who are tired of nickel and dime health club experiences that promise the moon and deliver little more than a monthly charge to your credit card. So grab a pair of Crossfit gloves and get to work. All you have to lose is your current level of uninspired health. And all you have to gain is everything.