How CrossFit Works
CrossFit is relatively new if you compare it to established fitness programs such as the P90X or HIIT. However, it has taken the world by storm and thousands upon thousands of people all over the world have taken up CrossFit to lose weight and get in shape. This article should answer any questions you might have about CrossFit where to start.
Many people have benefited greatly from how CrossFit works and have shed their excess pounds, boosted their stamina and built rock solid muscle just from this program alone.
What Does CrossFit Involve?
It is a type of training method that uses full body workouts routine to boost your metabolic rate and get your heart pumping. Deadlifts, box jumps, jump ropes, kettlebells, push-ups, squats, pull-ups and many other exercises are incorporated into a typical CrossFit routine.
The emphasis is on endurance and resistance training exercises. Speed is a core component of CrossFit. You are expected to complete all the exercises in the shortest possible time while maintaining good form. This is exhausting and no mean feat.
The CrossFit program is highly effective because it uses several different muscle groups and pushes them all to their limits. Many types of training are not as varied or demanding. For example, bodybuilding gives you huge muscles but your stamina is neglected and you need separate cardio sessions. Cardio training such as running gets your stamina at an all time high, yet your upper body muscles are neglected.
Can CrossFit build muscle?
A CrossFit fitness workout, however, works the muscles with the resistance training and also boosts your endurance because of the emphasis on speed. You will be killing two birds with one stone… and also feel like you’re killing yourself because CrossFit is challenging. It is not for wimps. You have to be determined and a certain level of hardcore to do it.
Ideally, you should find a certified CrossFit trainer to guide you in the initial stages. You must understand how to do the exercises with good form. You’ll need to learn how to do a dynamic warm-up, execute the various exercises effectively and also stretch and cool down. You will also need some guidance on structuring your own workouts.
Many people from fire fighters to law enforcement officers use CrossFit to train themselves. It gets you into shape fast and almost guarantees results if you follow the plan.
The fitness industry generally looks upon CrossFit for fitness with some skepticism. They feel that it is too intense and will set you up for injury. They think that it’s dangerous and the people who do it are almost like a “masochistic cult” that is training in a way that goes against the grain.
CrossFit can cause injury if the person executing the moves does so in a haphazard manner. This can apply to any exercise if you do it improperly. Sometimes, a very small group of fanatics may push themselves beyond their limits and develop a serious health problem known as Rhabdomyolysis.
This happens when the training is so merciless that muscle tissues breakdown and enter the blood stream and poison it. Always know your limits and if you have led a sedentary life for a long time, slowly ease yourself into this program. Rome wasn’t built in a day.
If you wish to get in shape and you want a training program that uses both cardio and resistance training, CrossFit is your answer.
CrossFit Diet Plans
There is a saying that is often quoted by fitness trainers. It goes like this, “You can’t out exercise a bad diet.”
This is an excellent piece of advice and holds true. Despite the fact that the CrossFit program is intense and highly effective, if your diet is not on point, your results will be lacking. Your stamina and strength may improve but if you’re looking to shed those stubborn pounds, it will be an uphill struggle.
Always remember that this month’s diet is next month’s body… and your body keeps an accurate journal regardless of what you write down.
It’s essential to give your body what it needs in order for it to build muscle and repair itself. The hard truth is that what your body needs and what it usually wants are worlds apart.
There are two CrossFit diet plans that are most frequently associated with it. Both diets are structured to provide your body with sufficient amounts of protein for muscle building and just the right amount of fats and carbs to fuel the body for the demanding CrossFit workouts. The amount of processed foods that you will consume is severely restricted.
First, you’ll need to know exactly how many calories you should be consuming a day. You can find this out at http://www.freedieting.com/tools/calorie_calculator.htm
Next up, you will be aiming for a balance of micro and macro nutrients. 30 percent of your calories should come from proteins which are the source ingredients that are used to repair and build muscle cells.
40 percent of your diet will be comprised of good carbohydrates, especially complex carbs. You get these carbs from consuming vegetables and fruit. Avoid bad carbs such as white flour products and other processed carbohydrates. The goal of keeping your carbs clean is to minimize insulin spikes in your body to prevent fat storage.
Every time your blood sugar levels spike from consuming carbs with a high glycemic index, insulin will be released by the body. This will translate to the body shuttling fat to its fat stores. This is the main reason why obesity is endemic in society these days.
The remaining 30 percent of your calories will come from good fats such as fatty fish, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocadoes, nuts, etc. It may seem excessive to consume 30 percent of your calories in fat. However, in order to lose fat, you need to eat fat. While it may seem counter-intuitive, this is one of the principles of effective fat loss.
Furthermore, the CrossFit program to follow is highly strenuous and you need to consume fats to cope with the demands of the program, satiate your hunger and to stay healthy. The goods fats will also lower your bad cholesterol level.
A rule of thumb is that you should avoid foods that contain refined sugar and also starchy carbohydrate foods. White potatoes, white bread, pasta, etc. are best avoided. The 2 most popular diets that many CrossFit followers observe is the Paleo diet and the Zone diet.
Paleo Diet To Lose Weight
This is also known as the caveman diet and it follows the concept of eating what our ancestors foraged and ate in the wild. The focus is mostly on meat and natural foods. In the past, they didn’t have foods that contained artificial flavors, preservatives, coloring, refined sugars, etc.
This is a very restrictive diet and there is a list of foods that should be avoided. Adhering to this list is difficult and will take getting used to.
Zone Diet CrossFit
This diet focuses on consuming foods that have a low gycemic index number. This diet is much easier to follow than the Paleo diet.
On this diet, you will be required to consume lean proteins, healthy fats and generous servings of fruit and veggies. As long as it’s all clean and natural, it’s all good.
There is much more to these diets and you should do more research on each diet to see which one works best for you. Start slow and make gradual, incremental changes till your body fully adapts to the diet. Do not try to make the change overnight or you will end up highly stressed and just give up.
Do watch your diet closely when doing CrossFit. Abs are made in the kitchen and you are what you eat. Eat clean, eat right and train hard. You will get the body of your dreams.
5 Benefits of CrossFit Exercise
Thousands of people around the world swear by CrossFit as being the best of all fitness programs. They love their workouts and everyone in their community supports and motivates each other during the grueling training sessions.
Make no mistake about it, CrossFit is one of the toughest training programs out there. The workouts focus on speed and use a combination of cardio and resistance training at the same time. This is what makes CrossFit for fitness so challenging.
Traditional training methods such as bodybuilding or running only focuses on one aspect of training. Bodybuilding is focused on resistance training while running is primarily a cardio session with some muscle work in the legs.
However, a CrossFit typical workout uses box jumps, burpees, deadlifts, kettlebell snatches, sprints, etc. All of these are done as fast as possible. The goal here is to get as much work done in the shortest possible time. Since the workouts are executed so intensely, the entire session becomes a cardio session using resistance training.
Let’s look at 5 benefits of CrossFit exercise.
Struggling to lose weight? CrossFit has your name written all over it. The intense workouts will have you gasping for air. This will translate to a release of lactic acid and also a boost in your metabolic rate. You will be on calorie burning mode for 12 to 14 hours after your workout, depending on how intense it was.
Promotes muscle growth and tones muscles
The resistance training sessions will tone up your muscle. As you lose the fat, your body will look toned and the jiggly bits that used to be the bane of your existence will melt away revealing a sinewy or svelte body, depending on your gender. CrossFit has helped thousands of people to have fantastic body transformations.
Increases strength, stamina and energy
This is expected. Your fitness level will improve by leaps and bounds with CrossFit. As long as you are giving it your best, these positive results are inevitable.
When you see yourself improving and you motivate yourself to keep beating your personal bests, you will develop a sense of inner confidence that is unparalleled. You know that you are capable of great things and that you have motivated yourself to stay the course. This sense of confidence is priceless.
Makes exercise and proper nutrition a habit
CrossFit is more than just a training program for athletes. It is a lifestyle. It takes a lot of will power to stick with CrossFit since it is so challenging. Many people who try it give up. However, those who stick with it for 2 to 3 months will notice just how rewarding it is.
Once you see your excess fat disappearing and your muscles starting to show, you will be motivated and look forward to each CrossFit workout with excitement and dread at the same time. This is normal. You dread the torture but you know that your body will thank you for it.
Many people who do CrossFit also go on a Paleo or Zone diet to accelerate their progress. At the very least, they try to eat healthy so as not to negate their CrossFit workout results. A CrossFit workout is just too tiring to sabotage with a slice of cheesecake.
With time, you will master the habit of regular exercise and good, clean nutrition. It will usually be a slow, gradual process. When you look back on your life after 3 to 5 months of CrossFit and see how far you’ve come, you will thank yourself for starting CrossFit.