CrossFit has a reputation of being very intense, and casting a spell upon all who try it. So it’s addicting, but is it working? Is it that much better than everything else? That depends on your goals. My personal goal is to be the most all-around fit person I can be. Zumba just ain’t gonna cut it. Not like Rich Froning, anyway.
CrossFit consists of short, intense workouts without rest typically lasting from 7-20 minutes depending on your abilities. As I’ve said before, I’m not here to throw a bunch of hyped up news in your face, but the theory of the short intense workout being more beneficial hasn’t been studied thoroughly enough to please most scientists. So far, all of the studies are observational. This can prove correlation but not causation since there are so many variables. I encourage you to read the following articles, consider the information, and decide what it means to you. These articles are not peer reviewed or scientific in nature.
In the second article, the workouts suggested by the experts are very much like CrossFit workouts. I think calling these workouts “CrossFit workouts” holds a stigma for some who don’t subscribe to the cult-like nature of CrossFit. But no one can really deny the results.
So what are the actual benefits of short intense workouts?
1. Improved body composition. You’re gonna look better. Most exercise programs have this benefit. Short and intense is better because a. it’s short, and b. it will make you look better, FASTER.
2. Reduces the risk of disease. All exercise does this, but it will have a greater involvement if you really get your blood pumping. Sorry, elliptical bunnies.
3. Longer lasting afterburn. For more moderate exercises, you burn calories while you workout. For short, intense, CrossFit-style workouts, your body burns calories for long after you have finished.
4. Performance. Short, intense workouts full of varied movements will help you perform better at EVERYTHING. From basketball to sex to sleep.
5. Muscle definition. Unless you want that stick thin, supermodel, skeleton-esque body shape, lifting weights is a must. Even body weight exercises are better than cardio ONLY.
I know what I’d pick.
Anyway, do not let this post deter you from exercising in some way. All physical activity has benefits. My informed opinion tells me that short and intense is the most beneficial, so that’s what I stick with. People practice different exercises for a plethora of reasons from bucket list items like marathons to zumba because…
So bottom line…