Cross Fit - Is It For You?
By Jason T Boyd
If you're staying up on all the latest in workout trends at the moment, one type of workout program that you've likely heard being talked about before is Cross Fit.
Cross Fit is rapidly catching on among many and may almost seem to be cult-like with the followers it has. Those who perform this in group sessions are very close-knit and form a community where they come together day after day, enhancing their health and fitness level.
If you're someone who enjoys the group atmosphere for getting your workouts in and really needs that community and support system, Cross Fit may just be for you.
Let's take a closer peek into what this type of workout is so that you can decide if it's right for you.
What Cross Fit Is
First let's go over what it is so that you can get a better idea of the nature of this type of workout. Cross Fit is a combination of different exercises that are put together in a full and very comprehensive workout session.
It includes some gymnastic based training as you'll be using the rings as you move through the workout sessions, it includes some powerlifting and Olympic lifting style of movements that are going to foster great strength gains and muscular definition, and then it also involves an aerobic component to it as the workouts that are performed are incredibly fast paced and will definitely get your heart rate up high.
If you're doing the workouts on a regular basis, there's definitely not going to be any need to go adding cardio session after cardio session to the mix. You'll touch upon both strength and cardio elements of your fitness plan in this one workout protocol.
The Physical Benefits Of Cross Fit
So now that you know a little more about what Cross Fit is, what are some of the benefits that you'll get from it?
First, you'll see good strength gains. While some of the movements you'll complete will be bodyweight in nature, so you'll just be working against your own body resistance, other exercises will have you lifting heavy external loads. Often the rep range is kept quite low per set, which allows you to really max out the weight, seeing good strength development in the process.
As just mentioned, you'll also get into good cardiovascular shape doing the workouts, especially on the anaerobic side of things. Cross Fit training is closely going to mimic an interval sprint training session, so for those who are used to doing that type of workout, it will be a very natural and smooth transition for you.
Cross Fit training, due to the fact that it is so intense and will also have you using shorter rest periods throughout the workout, is also going to work very well to boost your metabolic rate up higher so that you can continue to burn calories for hours after the workout is completed.
If perform three workouts per week, you'll essentially have a higher resting metabolism all week long, so if your goal is to see faster fat loss results, this is a great workout to help you achieve that.
Finally, Cross Fit is also very good for improving athletic performance. Those who are able to complete the workouts are going to gain excellent balance and agility benefits, see improvements in their mind-muscle control, and are also going to gain the ability to stay highly focused throughout feelings of fatigue.
This is critical to success in many different sports that you may play, so the transfer over benefits of these sessions is definitely strong.
Cross Fit And Traditional Training
Now, one thing that you might be wondering is if it's at all possible to combine Cross Fit training with traditional style of training as well. Can you do both in your workout program?
All in all, you should be able to do so as long as you remember to include enough time for rest and recovery.
Remember that the muscles do require at least 48 hours between workout sessions to rebuild themselves after a hard workout session, and if you're doing Cross Fit, you will be taxing each and every muscle in the body.
Therefore, before you hit the gym for any type of weight lifting workout, a full day must past.
If you're just planning to go and perform an easy cardio workout, then this can easily be done on the days between your Cross Fit workouts.
It's any form of strength training session where you must be far more careful about how much you're doing on a weekly basis.
Combining Cross Fit with numerous strength training workouts would be a fast way to suffer from overtraining.
Who Should And Shouldn't Do Cross Fit
Finally, last but not least, is there anyone who shouldn't be doing Cross Fit?
Overall, most people will benefit from this style of workout if it is what they want to be doing. The only people who may want to think twice about it are brand new beginners or those who are looking to develop maximize muscle strength and size.
Beginners will need a bit more of a fitness base before attempting Cross Fit workouts since they are more intense workout sessions. A month or two of training beforehand will better prepare them for what's ahead.
Then those who want maximum muscle size and strength will be better off performing a workout that has them taking longer rest periods between their exercises so that they can lift more weight and obtain a state of full recovery.
So there you have the main points to know about Cross Fit training. If you're serious about improving your fitness level and getting the results you're after, you should get serious about doing these workouts regularly.
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