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CrossFit vs. Gym: Which Is Better?

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Whether you have just resolved to get in shape or you are an experienced fitness buff who is reevaluating your routine, you might be wondering what how CrossFit compares to traditional weight training in terms of burning fat.

Both can burn calories, but they have many differences in their goals, equipment, and structure.

Some of the goals of traditional weight training may include building strength and increasing muscle mass. Muscle burns more calories that fat, so by adding more muscle, a person can burn more fat.

Typically, this by performing a certain number of lifts, known as repetitions, to form a set. They may do one to three sets of a particular exercise per weight lifting session.

In contrast, CrossFit was designed to meet more generalized goals of achieving overall fitness. Many CrossFit moves incorporate standard weight lifting moves, but the focus is not only on increasing weight, but also on getting more repetitions in a certain amount of time.

Many weight lifters train on their own or with a workout partner or personal trainer in gyms. There is little uniformity throughout the country, and weight lifters select their own workouts and design their own programs.

CrossFit, on the other hand, prides itself on having a greater sense of community.

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Amy Crouse, CEO of Bolderband, a fashion headwear line that appeals to women CrossFitters, said, "The encouragement, camaraderie, and friendly competition at my gym helps me take my workout to a whole new level. The trackable results keep me coming back again and again. Even though the workouts are extremely challenging, CrossFit meets people where they are, and then allows them to constantly surprise themselves as they safely discover what they're capable of."

A major benefit of weight training is that it can help build bone mass among younger participants and preserve bone mass among middle-aged and older adults. Weight lifting exercises not only strengthen muscles, but also force bones to adapt to the increased load from the activity, making them stronger.

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Cover model and martial arts champion Angelike Norrie is a fan of standard gym workouts.

Norrie stated, "My style of training is focused on one to three body parts at a time. CrossFit seems to be the opposite of specific and promotes an all or nothing approach. Personally, I feel that simply makes you a Jack of all trades, master of none. It's like the law of diminishing returns."

CrossFit fans would argue that CrossFit can provide these same benefits, even though it emphasizes strengthening all over the body in each workout. CrossFit incorporates aerobic activities such as running. These activities raise the heart rate and burn more calories and fat than weight training.

Garret J. White has been using CrossFit to prepare for Ironman World Champion in Hawaii.

"CrossFit gives me power and perspective. It pushes me to limits and beyond lints of what I feel as possible for me. This was crucial to preparing me for Ironman. CrossFit has prepared me for the inevitable unpredictability of a 10-12 hour endurance race," explained White.

However, a substantial risk comes with these great benefits.

Potential of injuries.

Their random nature of programming is considered dangerous by many top levels fitness professionals. The random nature of the day's workout (called a WOD), not designed for anyone or a specific outcome other than to push your body to the limit, is not a recipe for a sustainable, injury-free lifestyle.

The programming of the compound movements, for reps in time, combined with intervals of sprints, rowing is also dangerous.

Darren Casey, 11-time martial arts champion and UK Team Member stated, "Simply, sustaining effective form / technique through those technical movements, such as the snatch, overhead press, etc. followed by rounds of sprints and coming back to these complex techniques, whilst even more fatigued and less able to maintain the safety of your back and other joints is high risk. Using a gym and custom fitness plan, you can design something around your desired outcome."

In summary, which is better really depends on the person.

Weight training wins hands down for safety, but CrossFit wins for camaraderie and support. Both can build lean muscle, burn fat and have overall health benefits.

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