These 9 CrossFit Benefits Make You Happier and More Athletic

Jeff Baldelli
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First Things First

If you’re not familiar with CrossFit, you’re in for a treat. It has a reputation for being hard, scary, and mysterious … and that’s all by design. No stranger to controversy, CrossFit is a fitness system with a loyal fan base that’s growing in popularity.

But again, it’s not just another flavor of the fitness fad … it’s designed with a philosophy, too.

CrossFit intentionally limits the number of equipment options available to athletes. CrossFit explains this decision by saying,

‘’They believe that’s how things were done in the early days of physical preparation, and they believe it’s the best balance between effectiveness and efficiency.’’

These aspects of CrossFit call to mind old-fashioned workouts like push-ups and sit-ups. However, if you’re familiar with CrossFit, you’ll know that it’s definitely not old-fashioned. In their own words, CrossFit is,

Is CrossFit Good for Beginners?

CrossFit incorporates strength training with bodyweight exercises and cardiovascular workouts. Generally, workouts are done in a circuit. It’s a pretty intense workout, and beginners are typically encouraged to start slow.

Ultimately, however, it’s a matter of the body’s recovery ability. Everyone is different and one person may be able to do CrossFit from day one while another may need a month or so to build up to it.

No matter where you fall on the spectrum, the benefits you get from CrossFit make it worth the time and effort to try it.

As soon as a person begins doing CrossFit, they’ll notice the results. Being fit feels great. It gives you more energy and confidence.

But there are some additional, surprising benefits to CrossFit. If you’re reading this because you’re interested in trying CrossFit, learn the following benefits so you can feel even more justified in doing it.

Do I Need to Be in Shape to Start CrossFit?

You can get a great workout and feel proud of your accomplishments if you just stick with it. Don’t be dissuaded by the big or bulky people at your CrossFit gym. It’s all about the effort you put in. Eventually, you’ll start to see your fitness levels improve.

How Do I Start Doing CrossFit?

You can do CrossFit without joining a CrossFit gym. There are workouts posted daily for free on the Internet. If you enjoy doing CrossFit, you can also purchase home training equipment that makes it possible to do CrossFit at home.

How Do I Use CrossFit as Part of My Weight-Loss Strategy?

You don’t have to lose any weight doing CrossFit if you don’t want to. You can just maintain your weight and have fun. If you enjoy weight lifting, this is a great option for you. It’s also helpful for injury prevention.

How Do I Do a CrossFit Workout?

TOP 9 Benefits of CrossFit

When you first try CrossFit, the results are impressive and immediate.

I used to hate working out, and CrossFit changed that. It’s fun. It’s fast-paced. It’s challenging. Here are the top 9 reasons why you should be hooked on CrossFit, too!

Improve Your Cardiovascular Fitness.

Most people are surprised how fast they can get out of breath initially. Your first class will typically be cardio-focused, such as running or rowing, but along with the strenuous exercise, your breathing will also become more steady and you’ll get stronger. CrossFit involves something called high intensity interval training (HIIT), which alternates bursts of high-intensity cardio with strength training using free weights or partner-assistance moves to build muscle.

Bypass Boredom.

You have no idea what’s coming next. You’re not going to repeat that same workout over and over. You might get an endurance workout, such as rowing, and a strength workout, such as deadlifts. You can even play to win and compete against other people. What more could you ask for?

Get Stronger.

Burn Fat and Lose Weight

CrossFit coaches regularly say that weight training is for mass and CrossFit training is for fitness.

If you want to get ripped and lean, CrossFit may the safer bet.

If you want to compete in Olympic lifting, powerlifting, or strongman, then you’ll get more mileage out of your efforts by doing CrossFit.

CrossFit co-founder Greg Glassman outright says, “[CrossFit is] just weights and cardio. It’s the best all-around workout one could possibly do. Period.”

There’s weightlifting, but many CrossFitters don’t follow a traditional regimen focused on squat, bench press, deadlift, and power clean. Most CrossFitters are just doing the lifts as accessory movements to their overall CrossFit workout.

Still, it’s possible to build strength and muscle with CrossFit training.

You Will Get Stronger

When you go to the gym, you can always see people using the cables and pull-up bars. However, there is another, fun way to workout your arms using the weight of your own body.

This can be very challenging, but it allows someone to get stronger without adding much more weight to their exercise routine.

You can achieve optimum arm strength with a basic pull-up bar.

It’s the perfect exercise to become strong and flexible all in one go. You can start by doing a chair climb.

It is a great way to move quickly up and down a few times before you begin. You want to start sitting on the bar and grab the top to support yourself.

Next, you want to have your knees slightly bent. From there, you simply want to pull your body up and then lower yourself down.

It’s important to keep your feet on the ground at all times or else you will be creating some major stress on your joints.

Just like with any activity it’s important to know your limits. Don’t force yourself to pull-up or you will be putting your body’s alignment drastically out of place.

Metabolic Conditioning vs Steady-State Cardio

For those who have never tried it, CrossFit can look like a strange form of exercise. If you have seen someone performing a CrossFit workout, you may wonder why you would want to do the same thing. The movements can look barbaric at times, and it may look more like a competition than an exercise program.

However, before discussing what CrossFit is, it is imperative that you understand what CrossFit is not. The program isn’t focused on getting a workout in that delivers a few short-term benefits. CrossFit is a workout method that brings you a long-term workout routine that has numerous benefits. Some of these benefits include:

Burning fat. Most people who work out regularly want to lose some fat and increase their muscle mass. This happens because when you workout with weights and your body has fat to metabolize, you can burn the fat for energy.

Nutrient dense meals. While CrossFit doesn’t supply you with the meal plan, the diet that comes from it is healthy and good. This makes it a lot easier to make better choices in the kitchen.

Mental clarity. Your mind won’t deteriorate as quickly when you workout. The routine that a CrossFit workout provides improves the coordination and the speed of your brain.

Endurance and agility. Working out on a regular basis means that you can go longer before feeling tired.

Community Aspect

For most people, when they start CrossFit, it becomes the center of their life. From the moment that they wake up until the moment they go to bed, the goal is to get better and better at the fitness program.

While some people may think that this is unhealthy or unbalanced, most people don’t mind, especially newbies. The reason why is that it’s not just a program to get you in shape. Although that’s a goal, there is an even bigger aspect to the community. You may find yourself making new friends who are just as enthusiastic about the sport as you.

You may also find that meeting with friends will help to make your workout more fun.

People who compete in CrossFit see their lives as revolving around performance and health. Even their free time is spent with other people who are enthusiastic about the sport. These benefits are what inspire people to compete in CrossFit.

You Will Have Fun

When someone says they are going to hit the gym and gain some muscle, it’s a difficult thing to get motivated for.

However, if someone says they are going to do a CrossFit class, then it can be more of an exciting thing to think about. That’s because CrossFit is more than just working out, and it’s defined as a competitive fitness sport that is fairly new to the community.

It’s true that the end result of group fitness workouts is working out muscles, but it’s not all about that.

CrossFit classes are designed more as a way to get people out of their comfort zone, build strong relationships, and to stay motivated and engaged in fitness.

All of these characteristics can lead to positive physical changes and higher levels of happiness, which is one of the reasons that a lot of people love CrossFit.

There is also something to be said about the sense of achievement you feel when you make it through a workout.

Solid Intro to Weight Lifting and Resistance Training

CrossFit is a great way to get a lot of variety into your exercise routine. In many ways, it also makes weight training more fun.

If you’ve never done weight-lifting in the past, then you may not realize how many benefits it actually has. Weight training has been proven to help you with weight loss goals, improve your cardiovascular endurance, reduce the risk of injury, improve your mood, improve bone mass, and build more lean muscle.

If you haven’t checked out weight training / CrossFit yet, then you should give it a shot. CrossFit is a great way to get yourself a solid intro to resistance training. It’s cheap, there are no gym memberships, and you get a lot of variety. If you focus on it and give it an honest shot, then you’ll get a lot of great benefits out of it.

Cheaper than Personal Trainer with Many of the Same Benefits

Not only is CrossFit a cheaper alternative than having a personal trainer due to the savings on a monthly membership, it has plenty of additional benefits:

Increased Endurance

CrossFit involves a number of high intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions for short bursts of time. The intense workouts that provide the best CrossFit results have been shown to be as good for aerobic endurance as pedaling on a level 8 stationary bike.

Increased Flexibility

The high reps involved in most CrossFit movements work to increase muscular flexibility.

Improved alexithymia. Alexithymia is a psychological syndrome characterized primarily by a difficulty identifying and describing emotions, and difficulty differentiating between emotions.

Alexithymics often use a combination of words that may not mean anything to anyone but themselves and do not necessarily agree with how the majority of people view a situation.

Alexithymia is often associated with high rates of drug abuse, mood disorders, and a number of other negative personality traits.

Moderate levels of alexithymia are not considered to be clinically significant, but high levels of alexithymia can often be considered to be a mental disorder.

Researchers believe that an inverse relationship exists between physical activity and alexithymia, meaning that physical activity can actually help improve the quality of life for those who suffer from alexithymia.

Strengthens Your Mind and Will

CrossFitters are typically people who set out to conquer huge goals and complete extreme challenges. This is what makes them so successful. The drive to do this comes from a strong mind and will, which is why CrossFit helps strengthen the mind and will.

Heath, mental and physical are all intertwined. Your mind controls your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. In turn, your emotions control the way you behave. Together, they determine how you execute the tasks and challenges you choose to take on in life.

When doing CrossFit, you’re forced to constantly think about how you’re going to complete a task, not what the outcome is. This helps you overcome your fears and break out of your comfort zone, which can make you more successful in life. Knowing that you have the ability to carry out a challenge, no matter how big, gives you confidence and mental strength.

Increases Overall Fitness in 10 Areas

Unlike other forms of fitness, CrossFit gives you a wide variety of ways to sweat. It covers ten different styles of fitness: cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, accuracy, agility, balance, and accuracy. CrossFit exercises tend to be fast gauge and explosive. They are often performed as a circuit or in a timed fashion. CrossFit workouts and general workouts are intense, functional, and goal driven. Completing a 10 minute CrossFit workout challenges you more than a 30-60 minute standard aerobics session.

They are hard and intense. Intensity is part of the reason why some people love or hate CrossFit.

In addition to its functional benefits, CrossFit also emphasizes body awareness. In fact, they encourage you to become aware of your body’s natural weaknesses and to discover ways around them. This awareness helps you be a better athlete in any sport.

Can I do CrossFit from Home?

Are you thinking about joining a CrossFit gym but don’t want to attend their classes? If so, you’re not alone! Thousands of people are turning to CrossFit workouts at home with the help of some useful equipment.

But just because you do CrossFit at home doesn’t mean that the exercises are less effective than they are at a gym. There are actually several things that CrossFit at home offers that its gym counterpart can’t.

These are the top CrossFit benefits:

Eliminate Competition

People who work out at a CrossFit gym often determine their level of fitness based on what they can do compared to others at the gym.

When you work out at home, however, you don’t have to compare yourself to anyone but yourself.

Personalized Workouts

Although CrossFit workouts are designed by professional trainers, they’re not personalized to suit your preferences and capabilities. This is where home workouts shine.

Even if you’re completely new to fitness, you can purchase a bodyweight fitness program that’s customized to suit your needs.

Do I Need any Special Equipment, Gear, Clothes or Shoes to Start CrossFit?

Y the time you do your first WOD, which stands for Workout of the Day, you’ll be glad you invested in a few pairs.

CrossFit uses the combined efforts of five basic movements, each of which is represented by its own color in the workout.

P RX or P ull-up RXing is the act of doing one pull-up.

W RX or W eight RXing is the act of doing one weighted pull-up with the option to use one's bodyweight in place of the weight.

Push RXing is the act of doing one push-up.

Balance RXing is the act of holding a handstand.

Double Unders, abbreviated DU, are jumping rope without losing the rope’s momentum.

As you can imagine, this quickly adds up. In the workout, you’re given the choice of using weight or your own bodyweight. If you’re a beginner, you may want to make the workout easier by sticking with your own bodyweight. If you’re more experienced, you can start upping the weight. You can also choose to push yourself with the conditioning (strokes per minute) to make the workout harder.

Wrapping it All Up

So there you have it, the top 15 CrossFit benefits that you can find. These benefits can help you reach your goals faster than you would other wise.

I hope that this information has been helpful for you. Now that you know the top 15 CrossFit benefits, you can work towards living a healthier, better life. Next time you hit the gym, know that you’re doing the right thing.

For one last item about CrossFit, check out the next article, which covers the CrossFit weight loss program and how it helps people get fit.