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by WorkoutHealthy  on March 30, 2012Comments(0)

Crossfit: Pros And Cons

Crossfit

If you’re looking to get into shape quickly, one form of workout that you might have heard about before and are giving some consideration to is Crossfit.  More and more people are jumping on the Crossfit bandwagon and for good reason – the workouts are very effective and can provide much of what many people are looking for.

But are they right for you?

As with any workout program, it’s always important to evaluate the pros and cons that it provides so that you can see if it’s a good fit for the specific goals that you are trying to achieve, along with your own personal preferences.

It would make no sense to put yourself on a workout that you don’t enjoy because chances are you wouldn’t be sticking with it all that long and as soon as you fall off the bandwagon, all results would come to a halt.

Let’s look at the pros and cons that Crossfit has to offer so you can see for yourself whether this is the workout for you.

Pros

To get started, let’s first consider some of the pros that Crossfit has to offer.

Fast Paced

The very first plus to a Crossfit workout session is that they are very fast paced in nature. You’ll be moving from one exercise to the next almost immediately without rest, so you’ll improve your cardiovascular ability tremendously and help to burn plenty of calories with each session you do.

Furthermore, Crossfit workouts don’t tend to take all that long when done properly, so you can be in and out of the gym in 30 minutes if you need to be.

Excellent For Fat Loss

The second pro to Crossfit is that it is so excellent for fat loss purposes.  You’ll not only burn up a high amount of calories during each session as we just pointed out, but you’ll also be burning up a high number of calories once the session is over as well.  This is due to the intensity of them and the metabolic effect they have on your body.

Plus, since Crossfit is going to have you performing resistance based movements, they won’t only help you achieve weight loss, but also improve your overall muscle definition and shape as well.

This means they are more of a complete transformation based workout session.

Great For Strength And Power Building 

Speaking of improving your muscle shape, Crossfit workouts earn top marks for being able to boost your strength and power ability.

Many of the exercises you’ll be performing during the Crossfit session are going to use multiple muscle groups at once, meaning you’ll have more total force behind you. Being that the exercises are compound in nature, this lends to greater overall strength developments, helping you get stronger and faster as time goes on.

The explosive nature of many of the exercises, especially those performed with kettlebells, will also help to work on your power capacity as well.

Good For Core Strength Enhancement  

Finally, the last big benefit to Crossfit training is that it is excellent for those who want to improve their core strength level.  Many of the exercises, especially those utilizing the gymnastic rings will require you to sustain a very high level of balance, which recruits each and every muscle fiber in the core.

If you want to get flat abs, Crossfit is a workout to help you achieve that.

Cons

So now that you see some of the pros of Crossfit training, let’s take a look at the cons.

Very Demanding

The very first con of Crossfit training is the fact that they are very demanding on the body.  These sessions are definitely what you would call intense and as such, there is a much greater risk that you could start to overtrain if you’re doing too many of them.

If you’re someone who also likes to participate in other workouts as well, you may find that you have to let some of those sessions go if you plan to do Crossfit on a regular basis.  You’ll simply need more downtime to rest and recover when doing these workouts.

May Not Work For Beginners

The second con to Crossfit training is that they may be just a little too much for someone who has never exercised before.

While there definitely are beginner workouts that you can perform, if you have no experience in the gym prior to signing up, you could find it overwhelming.

In this scenario, taking a month or two to perform a traditional weight training program before moving to Crossfit would be your best approach. This will give you the strength base that you need to work off of as you prepare for the Crossfit exercises you’ll be doing.

Increased Risk Of Injury

Finally, the last con to be aware of is that Crossfit sessions do pose a slightly higher risk of causing an injury compared to other workout varieties.

The movements that you’re doing during Crossfit are very full-body based with higher weight loads, so if you do happen to slip and use poor form, the consequences can be quite devastating.

Taking care to maintain good form during the workout session can definitely help you avoid this from occurring, but there’s never any guarantee.

So there you have some of the top pros and cons with regards to Crossfit workouts.  Crossfit is a very comprehensive type of workout so the good news is that if you are someone who tends to be short on time and looking for something that you really only have to do two to three times a week to see benefits from, it could be the perfect thing for you.

Just be sure that you do take some initial time to learn the exercises properly that are required in the workouts that you will perform so that you can feel confident about your ability to execute them when external loads are being applied.

About the Author
Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Sports Performance and Psychology.  In addition to her degree, she is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and has been working in the field for over 8 years now.

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