CrossFit weightlifting is a prominent fitness trend that has emerged in the last couple of decades. Athletes, sportspersons, and fitness enthusiasts around the world are adopting the program, owing to its numerous benefits. CrossFit competitions are also being organized worldwide and seeing increased participation. Why has CrossFit weightlifting taken the world by storm, and what is motivating people to take it up as a hobby?
What is CrossFit Weightlifting?
CrossFit weightlifting is a high-intensity program that focuses on functional training. The workout routine involves different exercises and body movements. It may include plyometrics (such as jumping), HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training), gymnastics, weightlifting, and bodyweight exercises. The focus is on compound body movements instead of isolated ones. CrossFit weightlifting may include pushups, pullups, deadlift, squat, and overhead press as well as aerobic exercises like jumping and sprinting. Activities like sled pulling may be incorporated into the routine as well. The high-intensity of the workout sessions improves cardiovascular health and burns calories, while weightlifting builds strength and promotes muscle growth. CrossFit Weightlifting is suitable for all individuals irrespective of their fitness goals.
Greg Glassman first conceived the fitness regimen in 1996 and registered it later under the trademark CrossFit, Inc in 2000. Many gyms affiliated with the organization offer CrossFit weightlifting programs across the USA and the world. Some other CrossFit weightlifting programs have become popular as well in recent years.
Differences between CrossFit Weightlifting and Traditional Weightlifting
While traditional weightlifting programs focus on strength and muscle building, CrossFit weightlifting works on functional training to improve flexibility, condition muscles, and enhance cardiovascular health. In traditional weightlifting, your purpose will be to increase the amount of weight you can lift gradually. The rest-periods are longer, anywhere from 60 seconds to five minutes, for ensuring muscle and strength recovery. It is far less intense as compared to CrossFit weightlifting. There will be a target number of reps (8 to 12) that the exerciser aims to achieve.
CrossFit weightlifting focuses on intensity and balances strength, stamina, and form & function instead of maximizing weight lifted. It has shorter rest periods, 10-30 seconds, for keeping the heart rate elevated to higher levels for longer durations. The number of reps performed will be more as well. Multiple exercises may be combined for creating a single movement. Exercisers may have to jump after performing a pushup or a squat. The objective is to complete as many repetitions of each exercise as possible within the given time.
What are the Benefits of CrossFit Weightlifting?
An ideal CrossFit weightlifting program will move your body in every way it is meant to move. You will reap many benefits by properly following such a program.
Gain Physical Strength
CrossFit weightlifting routines involve exercises like deadlifts, squats, pushups, pullups, and Olympic lifts. As you grow stronger, you will be increasing the amount of weight you can lift and the number of repetitions you perform. It will improve your physical strength over time as your body adapts and muscles grow.
Improve Muscle Endurance and Stamina
While traditional weightlifting primarily focuses on improving strength and maximizing muscle gain, CrossFit weightlifting enhances muscle endurance and stamina. You will be maximizing the number of reps that you can perform for each exercise within a given time. It will improve your endurance as your muscles will be under stress for long durations, while the shorter rest periods and higher intensity will boost your stamina.
Enhance Cardiovascular Fitness
As CrossFit weightlifting is an explosive and high-intensity workout regimen, it will keep your heart rate and breathing elevated for longer. It exercises your heart, improving its functioning and keeping it healthy. Over time, it may increase your body’s VO2 max, enhancing performance as your body utilizes more oxygen.
Improve Balance and Agility
CrossFit weightlifting routines include functional exercises inspired by everyday body movements. Jumping, squatting, swinging, gymnastics, and overhead presses are a few examples of these. They make you agile and flexible while teaching your body to balance itself when carrying a load. It will also reduce the risk of injury when engaging in everyday activities.
Burn Calories and Lose Fat
One of CrossFit weightlifting’s biggest advantages is that it burns a lot of calories, helping you lose fat and get healthier. As the exercises are high in intensity and involve explosive movements with minimum rest, it will consume a lot of energy as compared to traditional weightlifting programs. You will be burning a lot of calories, which can assist with your fat loss.
Where can I Learn CrossFit Weightlifting?
CrossFit weightlifting courses are offered by gyms, sports facilities, and clubs around the US. A few instructors provide online training through instructional videos but they are only recommended for individuals with some CrossFit experience. If you are a beginner, consider an in-person CrossFit weightlifting program.
CrossFit weightlifting programs vary in their intensity. Programs for beginners are less intense as compared to the routines followed by intermediates and experts. Most clubs, gyms, and sports facilities customize CrossFit weightlifting programs according to each individual’s requirements. The workouts are designed based on their current body state and their objectives. Many CrossFit weightlifting programs may solely rely on bodyweight exercises, allowing individuals to accomplish them at home without investing heavily in equipment.
CrossFit weightlifting can be an injury-prone activity if you are not following a program designed for your requirements or if your trainer is not well-versed with the routines. Always follow a program that is tailored to your current fitness level and your objectives. Work with a trainer who has appropriate certification and training experience. Rest, nutrition, and recovery are an important part of CrossFit weightlifting. It is a high-intensity activity and burns more calories and fatigues muscles to a greater extent. Exercisers must take adequate nutrition with proper macro (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) and micro (vitamins and minerals) intake.
Always consult a doctor before starting a new fitness regimen, especially a high-intensity one like CrossFit weightlifting. A consultation from a medical expert is necessary for individuals who have a history of diseases or injury, especially related to the heart, lungs, or joints.