I think that almost everyone has heard of Crossfit once in a while? For me it seems like everybody is following this hype, especially here in Luxembourg where this sport is still very new!
But I asked myself the question if Crossfit is really good for you or not?
Before I give you my opinion about Crossfit, you need to know what we are talking about. You can do Crossfit as a sport or as a training modality to achieve various individual goals.
If you do Crossfit as a sport, you might be using it to achieve an aesthetic goal or to improve your health. Usually you have worked your ass off and earned certain skills so that you can make it to the Crossfit Games.
You might also be a 'weekend warrior' who is searching for a new challenge on the weekends to escape the monotony of daily life. So you only want to switch off the world for a while and don't even think about competing in Crossfit games.
Here are some of the benefits of Crossfit:
The workouts are led by a certified coach providing individual instructions and personalized goals. This is a good alternative for people who don't have enough money to pay for a personal-trainer at the gym for example. So it's not only coached but money-saving too!
- Program led by a trainer:
- Total Body Improvement:
A lot of people don't know how to train to get a full-body fitness, so they hit the gym by hopping on the treadmills and stair-masters or by doing circuits around the machines. But they will end up missing some component of fitness : Flexbility, muscular power, balance and agility. Crossfit programs are designed to hit every area of your body and enable participants to become an all-around athlete.
Another advantage of Crossfit is that you stick to the group and get to learn the people working out there, which improves your motivation and makes it easier for you to stick to your program. While you develop friendships at your Crossfit Club you also develop rivalries, unconsciously, which will push you to work harder and you keep showing up at the Club. I've heard some people even talk about their ,,Crossfit Tribe''.
- Social benefits:
But Crossfit also has some disadvantages, let's have a look:
- Almost everyone can become a Crossfit coach:
Unfortunately, I've read this alot. Not every Crossfit trainer is created equally. You can become a Crossfit Trainer by attending a two day certification and passing a test , but without having a well-developped background in training nor coaching. Once you've been certified, you are free to open up your own affiliate with no quality control enforcement. So get to know your trainer at your local club before signing up and ask him or her about his certification , experience and background in sports and ask to get a free-testing-class before you commit to a membership.
Another problem with Crossfit is that you easily get 'addicted' ,which is usually a good thing. But if you already feel guilty about missing one single workout and you feel that you get real obsessed with this kind of sport, take a step backwards. Workouts should fuel your life, but your life shouldn't fuel workouts. You should get a balance between all this to get a full picture of health. ( You may checkout my post about over-training HERE)
- Risk of injuries:
As you may know, competition breeds injuries, in most cases. One of the biggest disadvantages about Crossfit is that it easily leeds to injuries. The problem is not that the movements performed during Crossfit are 'bad' , it is just that many of the movement require a baseline level of strength, flexibility and power. I know that every movement or exercise can be personally scaled to a person's fitness level, but it gets hardly realized. If there are a lot of people having a very high fitness level, well then logically the weaker ones try to keep up with them and are likely to hurt themselves, because they lack in correct form due to the set time limits.
On one hand I think that Crossfit is not only a good way to keep yourself in shape or get the hot body you want, as you are training every single part of your body, but it is also very money-saving as you don't have to pay a personal trainer. You are surrounded by people with whom you easily get in touch and even start to develop friendships because you have the same passion, which makes it easier for you to stick to the program.
But on the other hand I have to say that you can hurt yourself easily if you push yourself too much , or if you want to compete with others of your club who might have a higher fitness level than you. Furthermore I think that if you are new to fitness and weights you shouldn't start with Crossfit as a lot of exercises require a baseline level of strength, flexibility and power and the risk of hurting yourself is just too high as the trainer has to watch over the whole team and can't always keep an eye on every individual.