Many of you have heard the buzz about CrossFit training and how great it is. But what are CrossFit training workouts really? CrossFit training is simply optimizing general fitness over a broad area of physical activity. Basically it is a combination of many exercises which tax the aerobic and muscular systems simultaneously.
So what do the workouts consist of? What is the benefit of a CrossFit work out? Is it any different from circuit training workouts? Good questions. I am glad you asked!
The CrossFit workout of the day, known as CrossFit WOD, is the staple component of CrossFit training workouts. Without the CrossFit WOD, CrossFit training would be no different from general circuit training. While very similar in many ways, a CrossFit work out is different in one distinct way.
Circuit training consists of completing a group of exercises back to back without resting in between, hence a "circuit" of exercises, after which a brief rest period is taken when the exercises in the circuit are completed. A CrossFit WOD differs in that there are no scheduled rest periods at all. Crazy right?! Instead, the goal of a CrossFit WOD is to complete the prescribed amount of exercises and repetitions as quickly as possible or "for time". For avid CrossFit members, there is a CrossFit website that allows each of them to post the CrossFit WOD completed and the time it was completed in. In a sense, it is a sort of competition.
What's unique about each CrossFit training workout is that they are all named. For example, there is a CrossFit WOD named "Fran." The "Fran" CrossFit WOD consists of 21 push presses followed by 21 pull-ups, 15 push presses followed by 15 pull-ups, and 9 push presses followed by 9 pull-ups. Complete 3 rounds of "Fran" without resting as fast as possible and you have completed a CrossFit WOD!
So what are the benefits of CrossFit training? How can a CrossFit workout help me lose weight? Can it help me perform better in sports as well? These are excellent questions and I intend on answering them!
Benefits of CrossFit Training
There are many benefits of a CrossFit training workout. First and foremost, CrossFit training allows you to train in multiple areas of fitness including strength, endurance, power, agility, and speed. Why is it important to training in all areas of fitness?
First off, nearly every competitive sport involves a few of the fitness components listed above. Take a running back for example. Not only must a running back be able to run fast to outrun defenders, but he must also be agile to quickly change directions and have endurance to continue running throughout the course of the game and strength to break through tackles and power to explode out of the backfield. Getting the picture? Additionally, a CrossFit work out typically consists of compound exercises which train nearly every muscle in the body in a coordinated fashion.
Secondly, a CrossFit work out typically burns many more calories per session than traditional weight training. So if losing fat and looking good is your goal, CrossFit training can definitely help you accomplish that (as long as you are counting calories to lose weight). For example, an average 150 pound woman can burn over 300 calories for just 30 minutes of CrossFit training. For that same woman to lose over 300 calories during a traditional weight lifting session she'd have to work out for approximately 60 minutes. Double the time!
If you're looking for an exercise program that effectively works both the cardiovascular system and muscular system, this type of training is for you. It is an exercise concept in which all areas of fitness are worked through various cardiovascular, strength, and explosive exercises. Don't think it is just for athletes. People of all fitness levels can participate in CrossFit training, although some CrossFit WOD may have to be modified slightly for less fit individuals.
There are many benefits of CrossFit training workouts, which include:
- increases all around fitness
- shorter workouts
- burns more calories than traditional strength training and slow, long distance cardiovascular exercise
- works major muscles of the body in a coordinate fashion
- utilizes functional training which makes real life physical activities easier
So, now that you know how amazing CrossFit training is, go out and do it! Start out slowly and build yourself up. Do not be discouraged if you cannot complete a CrossFit WOD. Most of them are extremely difficult. Stick with it and don't give up.
As always, you should always consult your physician before starting any type of exercise program.
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