What is CrossFit?
Well, I feel pretty stupid because before I tried it, I thought it was a type of workout class similar to a boot camp. But actually, CrossFit is a brand. I tried to describe it but honestly, the actual CrossFit brand website does it best:
“CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. All CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more…The more work you do in less time, or the higher the power output, the more intense the effort.”
What is the Difference Between CrossFit and HIIT?
CrossFit and HIT are the same in many ways. In fact, when I first started reading about CrossFit I almost dropped the idea of it for the Strengthen Series since I had just finished up the HIIT workouts. However, I gave it a chance and did notice some differences. So here’s my comparison:
- both are high intensity
- exercises are in short(ish) intervals rather than continuous exercise for long periods of time
- both are a very good workout and will definitely get your heart rate pumping
- CrossFit incorporates unique exercises like gymnastics and rowing where HIIT is typically burpees, squats, and more traditional exercises.
- CrossFit feels faster. Not exactly sure how to explain this so maybe a reader can help me out in the comments. It’s just not as structured as HIIT and feels more rushed. This isn’t a good or bad thing, it’s just a quicker pace.
- HIIT isn’t as competitive.
- CrossFit uses more equipment than HIIT…which is actually a downside for me.
My Experience With CrossFit
I only took a couple classes because it’s pretty expensive. I was even a little pissed I spent money on classes because it seemed like a glorified HIIT workout to me. There are differences, but it just wasn’t enough for me to justify spending money on.
I’m not saying one is better than the other but if I had to choose, I’d choose HIIT. My CrossFit workout was awkward. Yes, it was my first experience but I don’t like equipment. I MUCH prefer workouts that you can do on-the-go or at home.
I’m a student and I’m not always going to get my ass out of bed at 5am to get to the gym. BUT I can get my ass out of bed to do some pilates or a youtube workout video before I get on the train to school. To me, it just wasn’t worth the money. Because CrossFit is a brand, that means only certain gyms are “affiliates” with it and it’s likely that they pay loads of money to keep the CrossFit trainers. That cost gets passed on to the consumer when you sign up for a class or gym membership.
So, is CrossFit Worth It?
No. At least not for me. As a student, I have to be realistic about where my money goes and CrossFit is an expense that I really don’t need. I didn’t hate my experience but if I need an intense workout I’d rather save the money and do some HIIT workouts. There’s also a competitive element to CrossFit that I’m not a fan of.
If you’re (reasonably) fit, you like competition, and don’t mind shelling out the cash for a good workout, definitely give it a try. As for me, this just isn’t my thing. Let me know in the comments if you’re a CrossFit enthusiast!
Read more from the Strengthen Series