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What does CrossFit stand for? Is it healthy to do? Is CrossFit better than weightlifting? Is it more expensive?

crossfit group training. Group training indoors.

What does CrossFit stand for?

So, the question is, what does CrossFit stand for? Well, the official definition of CrossFit is: “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity”. But, what exactly does that mean?

In a nutshell, CrossFit entails a load of different functional-fitness exercises which are done quickly, in a set format, over a set period of time. 

These functional exercises are more geared towards mimicking real-life movements and tend not to require much equipment—if at all. Movements like push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, including some movements using barbells, dumbbells, jump ropes, medicine balls, and pull-up bars. 

It’s often referred to as both an exercise and a sport – however, one of the best descriptions of CrossFit is a “competitive exercise”. 

Another way of looking at it is in CrossFit, you don’t use machines because you yourself are the machine. 

Cropped shot of muscular woman standing in crossfit gym. Fitness female model in sportswear with kettle bell on floor.

Cropped shot of muscular woman standing in CrossFit gym.

Is it healthy to do CrossFit?

now, is it actually healthy to do CrossFit? The short answer is yes, absolutely. However, there is such a thing as doing CrossFit wrong. First, we’ll look at the great health benefits that CrossFit can bring – followed by mistakes that you can make which could result in injury. 

 

The health benefits of CrossFit 

  • You will gain strength
  • You can burn high amounts of calories during workouts
  • The calories continue to burn afterward
  • It can help promote weight-loss
  • It’s good for that heart of yours
  • Improves mobility 
  • It can help reduce the risk of injury *
  • Increases stamina
  • Better sleeping patterns * 
  • Improved mental health * 
Athletic young man doing some CrossFit exercises with a rope.

Athletic man doing some CrossFit exercises with a rope.

“It can help reduce the risk of injury” * – Of course, taking part in any physical activity comes with an element of risk. That said, when you follow instructions to the letter and focus on precise movements, those risks are reduced. Similarly, as you continue to improve on your CrossFit training, you will become more in-tune with your body. With a better understanding, connection, and control over your body, the risk of injury is significantly reduced. 

In the same breath, if you burn the candle at both ends and push yourself too hard in CrossFit too soon, you can end up injuring yourself. Similarly, if you are working hard and burning yourself out with excessive exercise it may end up having a detrimental effect on both your physical and mental health. 

So, yes CrossFit is healthy to do, but you have to find the correct balance. In doing so, you can reap only the benefits without the risk of causing yourself any problems. 

 

“Improved mental health” * – This won’t necessarily apply to everyone. We all have our own internal struggles, but on the whole, exercise is good for the mind in general. When you stick to an exercise routine and feel your body progress over the coming months, it can indeed improve your overall mental health and well-being. That said, this isn’t a guaranteed fix for ailments like depression and so on – however, many people who incorporate regular exercise into their lives report on improved self-esteem and general feelings of optimism and fulfillment. 

 

“Better sleeping patterns” * – One of the biggest causes of poor sleeping patterns is a lack of exercise. By introducing regular exercise to your week you should find it much easier to fall asleep at night. Again, this isn’t an instant fix as there may be other factors contributing to a poor sleeping schedule. However, with a solid routine and enough exercise, on the whole, most people report having a much better sleeping routine. 

Strong female working out with heavy barbell in CrossFit gym

Strong female working out with a heavy barbell in CrossFit gym

Can CrossFit be bad for your health? 

With so many benefits, it’s difficult to imagine CrossFit being bad for your health. This is because, in essence, it is not. However, as mentioned above, if you push yourself too far too soon, you may end up injuring yourself. Similarly, if you do not follow proper instructions and get stuck in the habit of poor and inefficient movement, you can injure yourself as well. 

So, ultimately CrossFit is good for your health, but it must be approached properly, with the appropriate care and consideration. You should also be sure to eat well whilst exercising. Taking part in CrossFit without eating enough whole foods can result in exhaustion and poor recovery times. 

Also, if you are taking part in CrossFit to lose weight, you must be conscious about what you are eating – weightless begins in the kitchen. Exercise is important, but without a proper diet, it will be far less effective. 

 

Is CrossFit better than weightlifting?

Is CrossFit better than weightlifting? It really depends on what you are trying to achieve. The fact is, CrossFit and weightlifting share many of the same benefits, however, weightlifting is focused more on building strength and muscle, whereas CrossFit does the same – including movement, endurance, and agility. 

If your goal is to build up your muscles as quickly as possible, then focusing solely on weightlifting can be effective. However, since CrossFit builds muscle as well, including a wide range of other fitness-building benefits, if you join a CrossFit gym, it will be the more comprehensive solution. 

Is CrossFit expensive?

Is CrossFit expensive? No, not really. Certainly, joining a CrossFit gym will cost you more than joining a regular gym, but you are getting so much more bang for your buck. When you join a CrossFit gym you will be taking part in group exercises with regular guidance from certified professionals. When you join a basic gym membership, you’ll be left to your own devices. 

If you want to exercise alone and save as much money as you can then a regular gym may be more appropriate. However, if you want to take part in dedicated classes and have the support of other people and the motivation of a professional CrossFit trainer, it is worth every penny. 

Man jumping during exercises in the CrossFit gym.

Man jumping during exercises in the CrossFit gym.

Conclusion

  • CrossFit is: “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity”. 
  • CrossFit is healthy to do and comes with a wide range of physical and mental health benefits.
  • CrossFit is better than weightlifting if you want to improve your overall physical fitness, endurance, agility, and mobility. 
  • CrossFit is more expensive than many other forms of exercise, but comes with a wide variety of additional features that are worth every penny (e.g., AMRAP in CrossFit refers to “as many rounds as possible” – when you exercise alone, it can be difficult to push yourself further. However, when taking part in CrossFit, with other people working with you and a fitness instructor breathing down your neck, you can push your body to previously unimaginable lengths). 

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