If there’s one thing that the fitness community is good for, it’s creating trends and fads, similar in theory to those seen in the fashion industry. Over the years there have been many fitness “trends” and fads that barely stuck around for one year before being forgotten about and replaced by something else. There have been workout routines and programs, fitness tools, products and accessories, supplements, and much more besides, all of which were considered at the time to be the next big thing to revolutionize health and fitness as we know it, only to fail miserably not long after the initial conception. A few years back, a revolutionary new form of training emerged, combining a number of different training elements into one, with the sole purpose of being able to improve and enhance what is known as “functional strength and fitness”. That revolutionary new form of training was known as Crossfit. At the time, Crossfit was extremely popular, with more and more people deciding to try their hands at it with each passing day. Many die-hard fitness enthusiasts turned their noses up at it, thinking it was just another craze or fad that would be forgotten about a few months later – how wrong they were! Fast forward several years and Crossfit is now a multi-billion dollar industry, with crossfit centres and training facilities popping up all over the world. There is now even an annual Crossfit games tournament, when the best of the best crossfitters compete against one another in a series of events. If you’ve been seriously considering trying crossfit yourself, here are five reasons why you should.
Crossfit breeds athletes
There are still a fair few individuals who turn their noses up at crossfit and mock it, despite having never even attempted it themselves, and sadly many of those who mock it are huge bodybuilders, who whilst looking great, may not be the healthiest or the most supple of people. If you’re trying to simply build large muscles so that you can look better in a tank top, crossfit isn’t for you. If however, you’re looking to improve your body, whilst improving your athletic ability in the process, you may want to give it a go. Many of the movements performed during crossfit lifts for example, will be high power and functional movements that fit under the compound exercise category perfectly. For that reason, you’ll be training your entire body to be more functional, rather than specific muscle groups and body parts. Then of course there’s the cardiovascular and conditioning side of things. Crossfit basically helps to promote functional health and fitness that will not only help you to look fit and healthy, but will more importantly make you become fitter and healthier.
Crossfit promotes functional fitness
You’ve probably noticed the phrase “functional fitness” being used quite a lot in this article, and there’s a reason for that. The main emphasis behind crossfit, is to improve functional health and fitness. But what exactly is meant by functional strength, health, and fitness? Well, basically, functional fitness is designed to improve your everyday life, making your entire body more functional for day to day living. With functional strength for example, this may help you around the home or in the garden. A bodybuilder as an example, may be able to bench press more than 400 pounds, which is an extremely impressive feat. Impressive yes, although in functional terms, perhaps it isn’t all too useful in everyday life. You see, with those types of exercises, you train just for those exercises, making the rest of the body weaker and less functional. He may be able to bench press over 400 pounds, but if his core is weak and you asked for help moving a heavy item of furniture, he may struggle, unless of course it was on top of his chest like a 400 pound barbell. With functional strength however, which is achieved mainly via a strong core, lifting heavy items of furniture, digging in the garden, playing sports etc, become much easier.
There is a very competitive element
Let’s face it, when we’re competing against somebody, it doesn’t matter who it is, or what we’re doing, we generally step up the intensity and push ourselves harder than usual, because we want to win, it’s in our psyche. If you go to the gym with your buddy, and casually float from exercise to exercise, stopping to have a chat and check your phone every few minutes, you obviously won’t be pushing yourself as hard as you could, which in turn would make your workout much less productive. If however, you and your buddy had a wager on who can run the furthest, or the fastest, or perform the most reps, you’d try harder because you were in competition. The great thing about Crossfit is that each and every workout is very competitive, and takes place in a very competitive environment, which many people thrive on. It doesn’t matter whether you’re competing against other crossfitters, or even yourself by trying to beat your previous best, by adding the competitive element to the mix, crossfit becomes even more beneficial.
Crossfit is a community
When you take up crossfit, you aren’t walking into a gym full of strangers that barely speak to one another, you’re walking into a class with the same faces that were there last session, and will be there the next session. Joining a new class may at first be intimidating, but the wonderful thing about the crossfit community is how incredibly helpful and friendly they all are. Other members will spur others on, will help motivate them, will congratulate them on successes, and will provide nothing but an incredibly positive environment, which in itself is hugely beneficial. Then of course there’s the online community as there are numerous crossfit forums and websites where crossfitters can seek advice, share success stories, seek motivation, offer advice, or simply have a friendly chat and get to know one another a little better.