Achieving Optimal Fitness with CrossFit: It's More than Just a Fad

Achieving Optimal Fitness with CrossFit: It's More than Just a Fad

It seems like everywhere you look, CrossFit gets a lot of hate. But regardless of which side of the fence you sit on (or on the fence), there's no denying that its popularity is immense.

It isn't a trend that has evaporated after a meteoric rise, but instead, keeps moving from strength to strength.

If you feel frustrated by the lack of progress from your workouts, or relish the challenging nature of CrossFit workouts, in this blog post you'll develop a new appreciation for the workout lifestyle.

Let's dive into what it really is.

A Bit About CrossFit

CrossFit is a physical fitness program developed by American trainer Greg Glassman in 2000. Its name breaks down to "cross discipline fitness" and combines elements from different types of exercise, such as high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, girevoy sport (kettlebells), calisthenics, and strongman events.

The program was designed to enhance 10 physical skills: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. Initially developed as an individualized form of fitness training for those seeking to achieve general physical preparedness (GPP), the program has spread rapidly over the years and is now used to train athletes of all sporting levels.

Benefits Of CrossFit Workouts

Improves Aerobic Fitness

VO2 max is a measure of how efficient the body is at using up oxygen during physical activity. It's often used as an indicator of aerobic fitness, and the higher your VO2 max value the more aerobically fit you are.

vo2 max measurement

CrossFit training has been proven to significantly improve one's VO2 max by increasing both the amount of oxygen your body uses during physical activity, as well as its ability to use it more efficiently. The program combines elements from different types of exercise, such as high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, and plyometrics, which all aim to increase your aerobic capacity or oxygen intake during physical activity.

This form of exercise has been proven to boost anaerobic capacity and improve overall fitness levels more quickly than traditional steady-state cardio exercises like jogging or cycling. CrossFit’s HIIT approach involves alternating short periods of intense exercise with recovery phases at a lower intensity rate. This increases both the amount of oxygen your body uses during physical activity, as well as its ability to use it more efficiently.

Additionally, CrossFit's focus on compound movements instead of isolation exercises recruits multiple muscle groups simultaneously and can help increase the number of calories burned during the workout session due to increased energy expenditure compared to something like running alone which only targets one muscle group at a time.

Finally, CrossFit is also instrumental in improving aerobic capacity through strength gains obtained through Olympic lifts such as snatches and cleans. Increasing strength can have exponential benefits for your aerobic performance as you’ll be able to push your body harder for longer before fatigue sets in due to increased muscular endurance capabilities from lifting heavier weights over time.

Improves Caloric Utilization For Weight Management

CrossFit can be a great way to increase calorie burning and promote weight loss due to its use of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and its focus on compound movements that target multiple muscle groups simultaneously. The HIIT approach helps to maximize calorie burn in less time than it would take for traditional cardio exercises like jogging or cycling.

The intense nature of workouts yields a larger calorie burn in the post-workout period as well, sometimes referred to as “afterburn”. This is because your body needs to recover from the workout and will require more energy than it would have otherwise used if you hadn't engaged in physical activity of that intensity.

Crossfit has so many things going for it when it comes to weight loss. Its movements target multiple muscle groups and its intensity helps to burn calories quickly, making it an ideal fitness routine for those looking to shed some extra pounds.

Excluding these compound movements while attempting to lose weight is counterproductive and might actually lead to a decrease in muscle mass. Crossfit promotes fat loss while preserving muscle, which is an important consideration if you’re looking to maintain your weight or recomp your physique.

Muscle Gain and Hypertrophy

Is muscle gain important to you? Then you may want to consider Crossfit as part of your training regimen.

Crossfit is a great way to build muscle due to its focus on compound movements and intensity. It’s important to note, however, that hypertrophy isn't the primary goal of this type of training program; rather, it’s a byproduct of the focus on strength and power.

You would have undoubtedly noticed many CrossFit athletes with world-class bodies, forged from the power of the workout.

Crossfit uses barbells, kettlebells, and bodyweight exercises to target multiple muscle groups at once. This helps to build strength and muscle in a way that isolating individual muscles with single-joint movements cannot. Plus, having the right type of intensity can help create an environment where muscle growth is more likely to occur.

To maximize this growth, ensure you are consuming enough protein and supplying your body with enough of the essential amino acids it needs for positive nitrogen balance and growth to occur.

Crossfit utilizes heavy resistance, which helps to stimulate muscle growth, as well as promoting improvements in strength and power. With regular CrossFit workouts, you will be able to improve your physicality and create an aesthetic physique that is sure to turn heads.

Improves Agility, Balance, and Flexibility

CrossFit is also great for improving agility, balance, and flexibility. As it incorporates exercises from multiple disciplines such as weightlifting and gymnastics, there is a focus on movements that require coordination and control.

This helps to promote neuromuscular development which can help with various sports or activities that involve reflexes, speed, or coordination.

Whereas many weightlifting disciplines are believed to create stiff, muscular logs with no agility, Crossfitters are never placed in this class.

Their agility, balance, and flexibility are continuously improved through the variety of movements incorporated into the Crossfit methodology.

In terms of fitness that translates to real-world results and application, Crossfit is one of the best you can get.

Time Efficiency

CrossFit workouts can be incredibly efficient when it comes to saving time in the gym, due to its emphasis on high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and its focus on compound movements that utilize multiple muscle groups at a time.

time efficiency

CrossFit focuses on full-body, multi-joint exercises on top of lighter accessory work and mobility. This helps target multiple muscle groups simultaneously which significantly boosts the efficiency for burning calories and increasing aerobic capacity, not only leading to improved overall fitness levels but also helping you save time by not having to spend hours upon hours focusing exclusively on one muscle group like traditional exercise or steady-state cardio does.

Finally, CrossFit is also beneficial for those looking save time because most gyms offer programmed WODs (Workouts Of the Day) designed specifically for its members that can be completed relatively quickly; this means that rather than having to design a program yourself or hire somebody else to do so, you can simply show up and complete a pre-set routine according to your own availability and level of skill/fitness.

Workouts Vary Significantly

Would you say that you get bored from repetitive workouts? Surprisingly, many people share the sentiment.

CrossFit offers different workouts each day, meaning that you’ll never get bored. Whether it's strength training or conditioning, the energetic and competitive nature of CrossFit is sure to keep you engaged and motivated.

Plus, with many boxes offering challenges and competitions like Murph (a hero workout) for its members which takes place annually on Memorial day, there’s an additional layer of competition that can help keep you inspired and further improve your performance. All in all, CrossFit offers an entertaining and motivating workout experience that’s sure to keep you hooked and be the opposite of boring.

Builds Workout Compliance and Confidence

Given, any sort of exercise will help to build up your confidence and compliance over time as you become stronger, fitter, and healthier. CrossFit is no different and the challenge it provides can help to build up your confidence over time as you measure yourself against a particular benchmark or PR (personal record).

Crossfitters are also known for the supportive environment they foster in their gyms. Many people feel like they belong when they join a box (gym), which can help to motivate them and keep them on track with their fitness goals. Watching others in your class tackle challenging workouts can also be inspiring and further build up your confidence and desire to continue working out.

Boosts Brain and Mental Health

Last, but not least, CrossFit is a great way to boost your brain health. Research suggests that regular physical activity enhances cognitive function as well as decreases the risk of developing mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

brain fitness and health

The endorphins released during a CrossFit session have been known to reduce stress levels and improve mood - which could help to reduce the risk of developing mental health problems. The intense physical demand also helps to improve cognitive performance, as increased oxygen flow can help enhance mental clarity and focus.

The welcoming nature of CrossFit and the camaraderie among fellow members can help build a sense of community, which can be beneficial for mental wellbeing as well.

Types Of CrossFit Workouts

Rounds for Time (RFT)

As the name suggests, rounds for time workouts involve completing a certain number of rounds in the least amount of time. These types of WODs are commonly used to test an athlete’s speed, strength, and endurance. This could be anything from 5 rounds with 10 reps each or 7 rounds with 3 reps each; the possibilities are endless!

RFT workouts are classified as circuit training, as they involve a combination of cardio and strength movements. This can help to improve your overall fitness level quickly due to its intense nature.


AMRAP stands for “as many rounds/reps as possible”. During an AMRAP workout, you must complete the given exercise combination as many times as possible within a certain time frame. This type of workout is used to test your endurance and stamina.

AMRAP workout


EMOM stands for “every minute on the minute”. During an EMOM workout, you must complete a specific set of movements within the first minute, then rest until the beginning of the next minute. This type of WOD is used to test your recovery speed.


Chipper workouts involve completing a large number of exercises in succession, with minimal rest between each move (for one completed round) This type of WOD is used to test your endurance and aerobic capacity.


Tabata workouts consist of 8 rounds of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off. During these intervals, you must complete a specific set of movements that can range from squats, burpees and more.


A ladder workout involves ascending (or descending) a prescribed number of reps for each exercise. For example, you might start with 1 rep and work up to 10 reps or even 15 reps, and vice versa. This type of workout is used to test your aerobic capacity and stamina.

How Many Days a Week Should You CrossFit?

The frequency at which you should CrossFit is dependent on your individual goals and fitness level. If you’re just starting out, then it’s generally recommended to start with 2-3 days per week in order to give your body time to adjust and recover from the workouts.

As you become more advanced in your training, you can increase the frequency up to 5-6 days per week. This will help you to further challenge yourself and reach your goals faster. However, it’s important to ensure that you get enough rest in between workouts to allow for proper recovery.

Ultimately, it’s best to consult with a coach or trainer if you have any doubts about your personal fitness plan. They will be able to provide tailored advice and guidance on the best program for you.

Is CrossFit Healthy for Your Body?

CrossFit is healthy per se, but in terms of injury potential, it depends on your form and technique. If you don’t pay attention to proper form, then you can easily increase the risk of muscle strains or joint injuries, notoriously associated with the training style. That's why good nutrition and interventional supplementation such as Radiance collagen peptides are highly advocated for.

Reports of a life-threatening condition called exertional rhabdomyolysis are often linked to CrossFit, but they are quite rare and a result of severe overtraining, lack of recovery, improper form, or a combination of these.

It’s also important to note that CrossFit is a high-intensity workout, so it’s essential to listen to your body and push yourself within your limits.

Final Words

After all is said and done, CrossFit isn't a discipline to be made fun of. Diligent followers of the training style benefit greatly from balanced health, although not exceedingly in one particular discipline.

Winners of the annual CrossFit games are aptly given titles of World's Fittest Man and Woman, and it's a hard point to argue with.

If you feel that you need more from your current workout plan, give the CrossFit training methodology a try, and who knows, you might become a follower for life.