Let’s face it – CrossFit was always going to get scrutinized more closely than almost any other discipline to manifest out of the fitness sector, here are some Tips for the healthy lifestyle.
This is as a direct result of the principles and thought processes that helped to shape its very foundations. It aimed to deliver the world’s most “complete” fitness package, offering anybody undertaking its sometimes tremendously harsh workouts a platform to achieve “total” fitness.
We’re not just talking about being “average” across a spectrum of areas here – we’re talking about being highly muscular, being anaerobically and aerobically fit all at once whilst being incredibly strong to boot.
Anything that claims to “do it all” is always likely to set itself up for failure… But just how effective is CrossFit in terms of achieving this goal?
A typical CrossFit workout blends the anaerobic and aerobic energy systems together in unison whilst challenging the muscle fibers in such a manner that they’ll not only condition themselves for athletic performance; they’ll also grow.
Realistically though, how much of each energy system is used and what is the average CrossFit athlete typically going to be “good” at over an extended period of time?
Though both of the primary energy systems are used – it’s primarily the anaerobic energy system that the average crossfitter is going to rely heavily upon in order to make it through a tough “WOD” (Workout of the Day.)
This means that, provided the individual is faced with physical challenges that rely on short, sharp bursts of energy; they’re likely to come out on top without too much of an issue.
ADL’s, or ‘Activities of Daily Living’ are another aspect of any fitness regimen that most people will want to consider – these activities simply comprise of the “normal”, everyday movements that we all perform in order to make it through the day.
It could be something as simple as running to get the bus or carrying a shopping bag – for many, these movements and how easily they can be performed are actually a priority for many fitness enthusiasts.
How actively does CrossFit impact these movements though, and to what degree?
Due to the blend of high-intensity strength training coupled with stretching and varied bodyweight movements – it’s completely fair to say that CrossFit is definitely going to make almost all ADL’s easier.
All of the various energy systems/muscle groups required to perform these tasks are “nailed” as part of a CrossFit workout, meaning that you’ll, without doubt, find moving through your day to day tasks much easier.
There actually isn’t a “catch” per se – the truth is that by taking part in regular CrossFit workouts, you’re going to get fitter, stronger, leaner and find life, in general, easier to live.
Where the problem at large (if you can call it that) with CrossFit lies is that the individual is never going to achieve “peak” performance across anyone singular area of their fitness.
For instance, truly high-level strength training or Olympic lifting requires a great deal of downtime, a certain level of muscle mass and a certain level of body mass in order to maximize potential.
The caloric consumption in conjunction with the brief, non-specific stimulus provided by CrossFit in this area makes it quite literally impossible to become a “master” strength trainer whilst adhering to its principles.
The same can be said for maximising anaerobic and aerobic fitness – you’re not actually going to be able to adhere to the relevant training principles, periodisation in terms of recovery or active time spent performing tasks within these specific energy “sectors” in order to become 100% effective at them.
What CrossFit will undoubtedly do for you is make you fitter, stronger and leaner. Should you participate in it with these aims in mind, you’ll never be disappointed.
What you shouldn’t do is adhere to the “extremist” mindset adopted by certain founding members of the movement in a bid to achieve world fitness domination across all areas. The truth is; you just won’t get there.
Luckily, CrossFit and the fitness community at large seem to be moving away from this one time “standard” CrossFit concept, and are instead focusing on the discipline for what it really is; an excellent means of achieving a high level of fitness, strength and muscle tone.