CrossFit. Many of us have heard the word, but do we understand what it actually means?
There are 13,000 gyms across 120 countries offering CrossFit, with 7,000 of them being in the United States. The exercise phenomenon is growing in popularity due to its effectiveness and camaraderie.
Should you do CrossFit? Or is the gym meeting your needs? Let’s explore all there is to know about CrossFit vs gym life.
What Is CrossFit?
First things first, what is CrossFit? Simply put, it’s high-intensity interval training. It includes strength and conditioning workouts. CrossFit uses functional movements (like squatting, pushing, and pulling) and incorporates them into intense workout routines.
CrossFit is effective because it emphasizes load, speed, and distance. Over time, a person builds upon the number of reps they can accomplish. This leads to better endurance and power.
The workouts often call for equipment, including:
- Medicine balls
- Plyo boxes
- Stationary bikes
- Speed rings
CrossFit establishes a WOD, or workout of the day, that all participants complete. The daily workout is posted on the official CrossFit website (which is free to use) along with any guidelines or tips.
Advantages of CrossFit
One of the top reasons people participate in CrossFit is because of its variety. Mixing up your workout prevents your body from plateauing. It also keeps you motivated, knowing that each day brings a new challenge.
CrossFit workouts are also geared towards people of all ages and athletic abilities. Each WOD calls for completing as many rounds as your body can handle. Beginners ease into the workouts while advanced athletes continue pushing their bodies to the next level.
Many people choose CrossFit because it’s a lifestyle, not a hobby. CrossFit encourages people to cut out unhealthy foods and replace them with nutritional meals that provide long-term benefits.
Problems With CrossFit
When it comes to CrossFit vs a traditional gym, CrossFitters yield great results. However, they come at a price.
CrossFitters are more likely to injure themselves than regular gym-goers. Pushing your body to its limits makes you stronger, but it also increases your risk of a strain, sprain, and tear. Therefore, proper technique is critical.
Another problem with CrossFit is that it might be too extreme for some people. Performing high-intensity workouts day-after-day is no easy feat. It’s painful and tedious. Thus, many people find themselves skipping out on workouts.
What About Going to the Gym?
Hitting up your local gym is a great way to stay on track to reach your fitness goals. Fitness centers are where people of all ages, athletic abilities, and body types should feel safe working out.
If you’re new to the workout scene, most gyms have wellness coaches to show you how to use their equipment. The coaches are also available to spot you during a workout and prevent an injury.
Advantages of the Gym
Similar to CrossFit, gyms have a lot of variety. Unlike CrossFit, you can choose what you do each day.
Choosing a gym with different weight machines, cardio equipment, and group exercise classes can help you stay motivated. Spend one day on the treadmill, another in the weight room, and the following day in a yoga class. Being well-rounded at the gym leads to full-body results.
Gyms are also a social place. People from all over the community gather at the gym to workout. It’s a good place to meet like-minded people who can help you stick with your goals.
In addition, many gyms come with bonus amenities. They may feature swimming pools, saunas, and tanning booths. People can reward themselves for a solid workout by enjoying a soak in the jacuzzi afterward.
Problems With the Gym
One of the biggest cons of joining a gym is the cost. Many people find fitness centers do not fit their budget. However, many facilities offer plans for those who qualify for financial assistance.
Another disadvantage of the gym is the crowds. Getting in a workout after work is a good idea in theory, but it’s also one of the busiest times at the gym. It’s frustrating to share equipment and weights with others.
CrossFit vs Gym: Which Is Better for You?
Deciding between joining CrossFit vs a regular gym comes down to your personal preferences and lifestyle. For some, going to the gym works better for their schedule. For others, a high-intense CrossFit WOD is just what their body needs.
If You’re in Recovery, Choose the Gym
CrossFit is extreme. Therefore, if your body is on-the-mend, stick with low-impact workouts at the gym. Whether you’re recovering from surgery or dealing with knee problems, intense CrossFit routines may be too much for your body to handle.
If You Want Fast Results, Try CrossFit
When it comes to a CrossFit body vs gym body, CrossFit wins.
High-intensity workouts push your body to its limits. It leads to better strength and endurance quicker than normal gym workouts. Many participants claim they notice changes in their stamina after just a few weeks of CrossFit.
If You Want to Be Part of a Team, Go With CrossFit
CrossFit is a lifestyle. When you join a CrossFit facility, you become a part of their team. Your coaches hold you accountable to show up for your workouts. Many people thrive in the team atmosphere.
There are also over four million CrossFitters throughout the country, so joining CrossFit means becoming a part of a huge community.
If Working Out Is Your Alone Time, Stick With the Gym
For some, exercise is a way to decompress and tune out of the world. They enjoy plugging into their music and destressing while on the treadmill. Some people don’t want to be bothered or told to go harder.
If this sounds like you, then stick with the normal gym.
Get More Fitness Tips
When it comes to deciding between CrossFit vs gym life, familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of each workout. For some, CrossFit is the lifestyle change they need to reach their fitness goals. For others, the gym is ideal for their schedule and personality.
What other fitness tips do you want to explore? From healthy teas to losing body fat, we’ve got plenty of expert articles designed for your interests.