CrossFit has become a popular fitness trend in recent years, with gyms popping up all over the world. But is CrossFit right for you?
Like any fitness program, CrossFit has its pros and cons, and it’s important to weigh them before jumping in. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of CrossFit to help you decide if it’s the right choice for you.
Pros of CrossFit
1. Full-body workout
CrossFit workouts incorporate a variety of movements, including weightlifting, gymnastics, and cardio. This means you’ll get a full-body workout every time you hit the gym.
This is a key differentiator compared to typical globo-gyms which recommend that you focus on a specific muscle group each day i.e. chest monday.
CrossFit gyms have a strong sense of community, with members often cheering each other on during workouts. This can help motivate you to stick with your fitness goals and make new friends.
CrossFit is a great place to meet friends when you move to a new town, or country.
CrossFit workouts can be customized to fit your fitness level and goals. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced athlete, there’s a workout that can challenge you.
It is not uncommon for CrossFit athletes to scale workouts. Don't stress if you can't do a handstand, or lift a heavy barbell. There will always be a scaled option ready for your capability!
4. Improved Athleticism
CrossFit workouts focus on functional movements that improve overall athleticism. You’ll be better prepared for everyday activities, like carrying groceries or playing with your kids.
CrossFit coaches and members hold each other accountable, which can help you stay committed to your fitness goals. You are often required to book into classes in advance which ensures you attend.
Set class times & pre-booking ensures you can get into a good routine of attending classes on a consistent basis.
Cons of CrossFit
1. Risk of injury
CrossFit workouts are intense and often involve heavy weights and complex movements. This can increase the risk of injury if proper form and technique aren’t used.
To combat this, most CrossFit gyms have dedicated introductory classes, where the coach will dedicate time to ensuring you can complete all movement patterns correctly.
CrossFit memberships can be expensive, with some gyms charging hundreds of dollars per month.
Whilst this may sound excessive, consider this an investment to your health. The high price you pay makes you more likely to attend frequently and less likely to spend that money on unhealthy habits (e.g. drinking excessively, take-away food).
CrossFit workouts often involve timed or scored events, which can create a competitive environment that’s not for everyone.
Whilst this is a great way to measure your progress, it can be intimidating. The exciting thing about CrossFit is that other members in your class will cheer you on until you've finished your last rep. Sometimes it's more motivating to come last VS first as you will typically have the whole class cheering you on!
4. Emphasis on speed
CrossFit workouts are often timed, with an emphasis on completing the workout as quickly as possible. This can encourage sacrificing form for speed, which can lead to injury.
In saying this, most CrossFit workouts have a "time cap". This is the longest amount of time that you will need to workout for before the class finishes. It is not uncommon for the common CrossFitter to not finish the workout before the time cap.
5. Lack of individual attention
CrossFit classes can be large (typically between 8-16), which means you may not get as much individual attention from coaches as you would in a one-on-one training session.
Conversely, you may be used to going to the gym by yourself. Having a 'coach' watch your movements could be a great way to identify weaknesses and exponentially improve your fitness.
In conclusion, CrossFit has its pros and cons, and it’s up to you to decide if it’s the right choice for your fitness goals and lifestyle. If you’re looking for a full-body workout, a supportive community, and customisable programming, CrossFit may be a great fit for you.
However, if you’re concerned about the risk of injury or the cost of a membership, it may not be the best option. As with any fitness program, it’s important to consult with your doctor before starting and to listen to your body to prevent injury.