14 Amazing Benefits of CrossFit Workout

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

CrossFit workouts are known as some of the most difficult exercise regimens, but they also produce incredible results when done properly.

What is a CrossFit Workout?

A CrossFit workout is a type of strength and high-intensity interval training typically done in a short amount of time with extreme or high levels of effort per exercise. There is a wide variety of CrossFit workouts available to you, for different types of exercises and athletic conditions. Most of these exercises include accomplishing as many reps as possible in a given time or accomplishing a list of exercise goals in the shortest time possible. These workouts are not for the faint of heart and are only intended for those who are very serious about getting in shape. [1]

There is also an aspect of camaraderie involved in CrossFit, as these exercises are typically done in a group, or at a specific CrossFit gym, rather than being done alone at home. [2]

Man in track pants showing different steps in a workout.

A CrossFit workout is one of the most rigorous fitness routine. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Types of CrossFit Workouts

There are many different types of CrossFit workouts, but some of the most common and effective Workouts of the Day (WOD) include the following:

  • AMRAP: This CrossFit variety stands for “as many reps as possible”, meaning that you were expected to do as many reps as possible of a given exercise within a set amount of time. [3]
  • EMOM: This style stands for “every minute on the minute”, meaning that athletes will begin a set number of reps at the beginning of every minute for a given number of minutes.
  • Ladder: This style includes doing one or more types of exercises, increasing and decreasing the reps, like climbing a ladder.
  • RFT: This approach stands for “rounds for time”, co athletes will try to complete a circuit of different exercises as fast as possible.
  • Tabata: This rapid style consists of completing eight rounds of high-intensity exercises lasting 20 seconds each, with 10 second periods of rest in between. [4]
  • Chipper: This consists of a single round of exercises, usually done with a very high number of reps, such as 100 push-ups followed by 40 sit-ups followed by 20 pull-ups.
  • Endurance: This approach consists of running, biking, swimming, or rowing at set intervals to increase endurance.
  • Kettlebell: These muscle straining workouts include using a kettlebell in various combinations, including snatch, press, and grab.

Other types of CrossFit workouts include couplet, bodyweight, grid, and singlet.

Benefits of CrossFit Workout

The benefits of CrossFit workout often make the effort worthwhile and include improving the health, boosting functionality, increasing energy, and supporting muscle growth, among others.

  • Improves physical conditioning and versatility [5]
  • Rapid weight loss
  • Improves the ability to beat or surpass physical plateaus
  • Provides an excellent community support system for success
  • Improves motivation
  • Boosts heart health
  • Increases personal confidence
  • Supports joint mobility
  • Strengthens overall physical functionality [6]
  • Increases energy and stamina
  • Boosts flexibility
  • Aids muscle tone
  • Promotes self-esteem and confidence
  • Helps to develop relationships with like-minded people

CrossFit Workout Side Effects

Although there are many benefits for both men and women when completing CrossFit workouts, there are also some important side effects to note. Due to the high intensity of these workouts, and the expectations to push yourself to your physical limits, there is a high risk of injury, such as the following: [7]

  • Muscle strain
  • Muscle tear
  • Physical exhaustion
  • Lack of scalability

Joint injuries related to the lower back, knees, and shoulders are also a risk due to the high impact of many of the exercises. The collective nature of CrossFit is seen as one of the benefits, but it can also increase the competitive nature of athletes. This can increase pure pressure, resulting in pushing yourself harder than you normally would. This form of exercise is also known to be quite addictive because once someone sees the physical changes in their body, it becomes difficult to stop trying for even more extreme improvement.

As with any workout, moderation is key, and you should always listen to the limitations of your body. Getting a good CrossFit trainer or exercising at a reputable gym can help to avoid these problems.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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