Crossfit or Bodybuilding in Gym? Which one would be good ?
Updated: Oct 20, 2022
Crossfit Versus Gym
Physical fitness is a broad topic that sparks a lot of controversies, especially when choosing between cross fit and gymnasium (gym) workouts. This debate has spread over social media and various internet forums, with many questioning the benefits and differences of crossfit compared to gym workouts. According to a study analyzing what motivates athletes to spend more time in the gym and their motivation for crossfit, it was clear that every form of workout has its structure and unique goals (Sibley & Bergman, 2018). The fact that one training method is more popular than the other does not qualify it to be superior to the other. This post will analyze crossfit and gym workouts to determine the best choice among the two options.
Crossfit workouts are effective for everyone, regardless of their physical appearance (huge or slender). The crossfit program does not advocate for any particular physical appearance. Instead, its goal is to help everyone become physically fit. Crossfit goes beyond the normal gym routine because it is a way of life that involves integrating healthy diets with rigorous physical activity. According to Sibley and Bergman (2018), cross-fit workouts combine the most beneficial and efficient exercises, and it does so in such a way as to assure that the person conducting the exercises will get optimal benefits from the workout. For instance, daily push-ups strengthen the upper part of the body (shoulders, chest, neck) and abdominal muscles, as illustrated in the figure below.
The primary objective of Crossfit is to improve the fitness level by setting and achieving broad, attainable objectives. Crossfit exercises lay more emphasis on performance than beauty/aesthetics. Therefore, these exercises are repetitive, allowing for more intense workouts in the allotted time. Within a few months, those who commit to Crossfit will see significant improvements in their physical health. Crossfit ensures that its many fitness regimens are among the most efficient by focusing on functional training. Most of the workout routines included in the program are highly strenuous. Examples include squats, push-ups, shoulder presses, and pull-ups. Crossfit workouts are borrowed from the harsh training regimens used by the military and law enforcement agencies to develop challenging training methods (Adhikari et al., 2021).
A gymnasium usually referred to as a gym, is a building that provides a covered space for physical fitness and sporting events. The facility intends to provide all its users with the means necessary to achieve their ideal levels of physical fitness. Gym workouts are very important because they help boost energy levels and improve stamina, thus increasing flexibility and blood circulation. According to Sibley and Bergman (2018), a professional athlete would often train five to six hours every day in a gym, thus enabling them to achieve peak performance in the event of a real marathon. Some exercises or workouts performed at the gym include; bench presses, Shoulder lateral raises, weight lifting or weight training, and assisted push-ups, among many others.
However, working out in a gym increases the risk of injury and physical and mental exhaustion. Exercises like weightlifting should be performed cautiously, and their intensity and duration should increase steadily over time. According to a study investigating the prevalence of muscular injuries among gym instructors, it was evident that common exercises such as squatting and weight lifting were reportedly overused and resulted in injury (Estes et al., 2020). Despite that, gyms are well equipped with training instructors and various body training equipment such as treadmills, stationary cycles, dumbbells, etc. In addition, gym workouts are coordinated in a controlled environment, which means that the space is efficiently utilized and equipped with first aid instructors who are ready to aid in case of an injury.
General Benefits of Bodybuilding
1. You can sculpt your physique more intentionally. So if aesthetics, symmetry, and shape are the most important things for you, this training methodology probably wins out. The most common example of this is probably women who want bigger glutes or men who want a bigger chest or bigger arms. Crossfit could certainly help with that, but a bodybuilding training style would be much more appropriate for a specific goal like bringing up a specific body part.
2. You're probably less likely to get injured, but it's no guarantee. I would just personally say it's less likely because the movements are generally less explosive, but some might disagree. You can hyperextend your knee on a leg press and fold in half like a piece of cheese just like you can tweak your back at Crossfit doing a heavy deadlift. And the only sense in which this injury piece has anything to do with getting and staying lean is that it’s hard to maintain an impressive physique as a wounded soldier.
3. Your workouts will be significantly easier in a "cardio sense" if you train like a bodybuilder. In other words, you never really get out of breath or feel like your lungs are going to explode. Some people really hate that feeling, so I think this is a notable perk for the bodybuilding camp.
4. You don't have to be athletic to train like a bodybuilder. While Crossfit might have you jumping onto boxes, running, and doing ring muscle-ups, bodybuilding is mostly about staying in fixed positions and focusing on a maximal mind-muscle connection.
General Benefits Of Crossfit
1. Getting leaner and stronger happens fairly thoughtlessly if you show up consistently and continue to challenge yourself. That elimination of thought-fatigue is enormously important in my opinion. Most people already have enough to think about. Do you really want to have to design your own optimal diet and training program for glute hypertrophy?
2. You get to eat more food than bodybuilders and physique-minded people, which can have major lifestyle implications for people who don’t have the time or energy to be obsessing over food scales and precise macronutrient targets. Why? Bodybuilding doesn’t burn very many calories when compared to Crossfit workouts.
3. You actually get to take home a bit of fitness with your vanity. As amazing as some bodybuilders look externally, their aesthetic appearance is the extent of their “fitness.” Crossfit focuses on physical fitness above all else, which allows physique improvements to be byproduct of the greater goal. I think this has powerful psychological implications for people who want to be leaner and more muscular but are tired of being told to focus on “being in caloric deficit.”
So Which One is Better? Crossfit? Gym?
Ultimately this is a personal choice, that depends on your fitness levels, goals and what you arelooking for in your training, and the way in which you enjoy training. There is no right or wrong answer here, both gym and Crossfit have a lot to offer and on balance, we should all aim to try and be active a few times a week, find a training routine that we enjoy and can stick to, and essentially make it part of our lifestyle rather than a chore.
Adhikari, P., Hari, A., Morel, L., & Bueno, Y. (2021). Exertional rhabdomyolysis after CrossFit exercise. Cureus, 13(1).
Estes, C., Sadoughi, B., Coleman, R., D'Angelo, D., & Sulica, L. (2020). Phonotraumatic injury in fitness instructors: risk factors, diagnoses, and treatment methods. Journal of Voice, 34(2), 272-279.
Sibley, B. A., & Bergman, S. M. (2018). What keeps athletes in the gym? Goals, psychological needs, and motivation of CrossFit™ participants. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 16(5), 555-574.
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