Body Transformation With CrossFit – Introduction
CrossFit Body Transformation: 8 Great Ways How Your Body Changes
Since its inception over two decades ago, CrossFit has gone from being viewed as a fad to one of the most significant fitness movements in the world.
Currently, there are over 13,000 CrossFit gyms in 120 countries, and there are even professional CrossFitters.
We’ve also got the CrossFit games, a mass-participation fitness competition open to all, and that even average Joe exercisers have a chance to qualify for.
For the uninitiated, CrossFit is a training system that borrows from a wide range of workouts, including gymnastics, calisthenics, Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, and athletics, to challenge and develop all aspects of physical fitness.
Workouts, called WODs or Workout of the Day, are highly varied, involve many different training methods, and are designed to challenge and develop a high level of all-around fitness.
You could find yourself doing a bodyweight circuit against the clock one day, then working up to a heavy single, double, or triple-rep set of squats the next, followed by a maximum effort 5k run the day after.
While CrossFit is mainly about improving physical performance, there is no denying that doing CrossFit can also dramatically change your body.
CrossFitters often have very impressive physiques, despite not training for physical appearance alone.
This article explains the remarkable ways that CrossFit can transform your body.
CrossFit Body Transformation – What to Expect
Because CrossFit workouts involve so many different types of training, you can expect a wide range of changes when you join this popular fitness activity.
If you are new to this style of training, many of these changes will start to happen very quickly, and you’ll begin to feel and see the difference within 3 months of CrossFit®.
However, it’s important to stress that you’ll only get out of CrossFit what you put in.
To transform your body with CrossFit, you’ll need to commit to at least three weekly workouts and align your eating habits to your fitness goals.
Even the best CrossFit workouts won’t do much if you only do them occasionally or fuel your body with junk food.
But, providing you do CrossFit regularly and eat healthily, these are the changes you can expect to see in your body when you put in the hard work!
How CrossFit Changes Your Body
#1. Lose body fat and get leaner
Because CrossFit workouts are so varied, it’s impossible to say how many calories you’ll burn per hour.
That said, because most WODs are performed at a high level of intensity, it’s safe to say that you’ll burn more calories with CrossFit than most other workouts.
In addition, CrossFit workouts can trigger something called EPOC, which is short for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.
EPOC describes how your metabolism remains elevated for many hours after your training has finished.
So, not only do CrossFit WODs burn a lot of calories while you are working out, but they also increase your caloric expenditure afterward.
Combined with a healthy diet, these factors could help you lose fat, get lean and achieve incredible results towards your weight loss and fitness goals.
#2. Build muscle mass
CrossFit workouts often involve compound exercises that build muscle, such as:
- push ups,
- pull ups,
- overhead presses, and
- Olympic lifts
These exercises are done with heavy weights for low reps and lighter weights for higher reps.
While bodybuilding is not really one of the elements of CrossFit, the high-intensity nature of some WODs can lead to impressive muscle growth, especially in the shoulders, back, glutes, and thighs.
The core is also an important muscle group in CrossFit.
Take a look at the physiques of the top male and female CrossFitters.
Many of them look like ripped bodybuilders despite not training for muscle growth.
Of course, if you want to specifically build muscle, a bodybuilding-type workout or powerbuilding program is usually the best way to go.
But, with CrossFit, increased muscle mass is a happy side-effect of this style of training.
#3. Increased strength gains
A lot of WODs involve lifting heavy weights for low reps.
For example, you might have to work up to your one, two, or three-rep maximum in the deadlift.
These sorts of workouts develop strength, which is your ability to generate maximal force.
CrossFit even has its own version of powerlifting, called the CrossFit total, where participants test their one-repetition maximum in the barbell squat, overhead press, and deadlift.
Needless to say, all this heavy lifting will contribute to muscle growth as well as your functional strength.
#4. Improved anaerobic fitness
CrossFit WODs are often short, sharp, and against the clock.
Such high-intensity workouts improve your ability to produce energy without oxygen, i.e., anaerobically.
Examples of anaerobic activities include sprinting, rowing intervals, and circuit training.
Most team sports involve bursts of anaerobic activity, and this type of training is also excellent for fat-burning and weight control.
#5. Improved aerobic fitness
While most CrossFit workouts are brief and intense, some WODs are slower and last longer, such as rowing or running 5-10k.
This form of cardiovascular exercise utilizing lower intensity, longer duration training builds superb aerobic fitness.
Aerobic fitness is your ability to take in, transport, and utilize oxygen and is expressed as your VO2 max.
The fitter you are, the more oxygen your body can use, and the harder and longer you’ll be able to work out.
High levels of aerobic fitness are also linked to better cardiovascular health.
It’s also worth noting that anaerobic training will improve aerobic fitness, albeit only moderately.
Like anaerobic training, aerobic exercise is good for torching your fat burning and controlling your body weight.
#6. Improved muscle power
Muscle power is your ability to generate force quickly.
It’s the difference between doing a slow, heavy squat and a fast, explosive squat jump.
Power is an integral part of most sports and can make many everyday activities more effortless, such as picking up a heavy grocery bag, getting out of a low chair, or running up a flight of stairs.
A typical CrossFit WOD often includes power exercises, such as box jumps, power cleans, and medicine ball throws.
Muscle power is very training dependent, and if you don’t do power exercises in your workouts, your muscle power will diminish over time.
Doing CrossFit will help develop this often-underappreciated muscular fitness component.
#7. Better flexibility and mobility
CrossFit workouts involve exercises with a large range of motion, e.g., deep squats, squat cleans, overhead squats, ring dips, pull-ups, etc.
These different exercises require and develop flexibility and mobility.
Flexibility is the elasticity of your muscles.
Prolonged sitting and doing exercises with a short range of motion can lead to tighter, less flexible muscles, affecting posture and your ability to move well.
Mobility refers to the health and function of your joints.
While flexibility affects mobility, it’s also a separate fitness component.
For example, doing lots of deep squats can help strengthen your knees, improve joint integrity, increase synovial fluid production, and improve the condition of your connective tissues, all of which contribute to better mobility.
#8. Agility, coordination, and balance
While improvements in strength, muscle size, muscle definition, and body composition are usually pretty obvious, some of the transformative effects of CrossFit are harder to see.
That’s because they affect your neurological and neuromuscular systems, which are deep inside your body.
For example, doing CrossFit regularly will improve your agility, coordination, and balance.
Agility is your ability to react quickly in response to a stimulus, e.g., moving your body to catch a ball, rolling in the event of a fall, or dodging a person or obstacle.
Agility is crucial during most sports and could also save you from serious injury as it could help you avoid an accident.
Coordination is your ability to move multiple limbs in a smooth, harmonious way.
Most CrossFit exercises are full-body functional movements that teach you to coordinate your upper body with your lower body.
Prolonged sitting and a sedentary lifestyle mean that many people are uncoordinated.
The good news is that coordination is highly trainable and will soon improve.
Balance is your ability to keep your center of gravity over your base of support.
Having good balance means you can comfortably stand on one leg, lean over without falling, and are otherwise more stable on your feet.
Modern life doesn’t involve much balancing, so many people have very poor balance, and it tends to deteriorate with age, too.
Better balance will reduce your risk of suffering a fall as you get older and could improve your sporting performance.
CrossFit Body Transformation – Wrapping Up
CrossFit is designed to improve every element of physical fitness.
When it started, the end goal of CrossFit was to develop the ultimate all-around athletes.
That’s why it’s such a popular form of training in the military, law enforcement, martial arts, and anyone who wants to be functionally fit and strong.
In architecture, it’s often said that form follows function, meaning a structure looks a certain way because of the role it needs to fulfill.
The same is true for fitness, especially CrossFit.
By training for improved strength, endurance, power, speed, etc., your body will adapt so you can perform those activities better.
CrossFit® combines strength training, conditioning, and cardiovascular exercise.
As a result, your muscles will grow, and your cardiovascular function will improve.
You’ll start to look and feel like an athlete.
In many ways, this is a much more effective way to train than focusing purely on how you look.
Aesthetics-based training very much puts the cart before the horse, which is why it’s often unsuccessful.
Of course, like any workout, you’ll only get out of CrossFit what you are prepared to put in.
You’ll need to try hard during the WODs and do them on a regular basis – 3-5 times a week fits the bill for most exercisers.
Fortunately, whether you’re at home or on the road, there are plenty of excellent hotel CrossFit workouts you can do to stay fit.
As is necessary for accomplishing any dream, the most important thing is to put in the hard work consistently, and you will achieve a CrossFit transformation!
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