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CrossFit started a revolution at the turn of the millennium and has since risen in popularity exponentially. It combines various workout regimens to help you build more power, speed agility, or just for staying fit. However, you can also do CrossFit to lose weight and build muscle. Here’s how you can do that:
Lose Weight with CrossFit
CrossFit workouts are perfect for fat burning since they are fast and highly intense.
- Burn more calories in less time - Compared to low-intensity jogging, swimming, and other such aerobic activities, circuit training, sprinting and other such high-intensity workouts are more effective for calorie burning. CrossFit incorporates all of that and the amount of calories you burn depends on your workout rehome and the time you spend on it.
- More calorie burning after exercise - CrossFit training is great at triggering the afterburn effect. It means that your metabolism stays at higher levels for several hours even after your workout. You build a tremendous amount of lactic acid during CrossFit training and your body breaks it down after the workout. Hence, you have an enhanced metabolism. This helps you burn more fat even when you are just sitting on a desk or watching television.
- More muscles help you burn more fat - Even if building muscle isn’t your primary goal, CrossFit training will stimulate muscle growth. Even if your routine doesn’t involve lifting weights, HIIT exercises will help you grow muscles. Unlike fat, muscle is an active tissue that helps you to burn calories constantly. So, each pound of muscle you add to your body weight helps in fat loss.
- Raised insulin sensitivity - You consume carbohydrates for energy. The carbohydrates are broken down into glucose that is moved by insulin to various parts of your body. Excess glucose is turned into fat. When you aren’t active enough and have high levels of fat in your body, you develop insulin resistance. With high-intensity CrossFit workouts, your body’s insulin sensitivity is increased and glucose in your blood is actively used by your tissues and organs. This discourages fat gain and helps to keep you lean.
Muscle Gain with CrossFit
CrossFit is extremely versatile and if your goal is muscle gain, your coach can modify your workout regime to involve heavy weights and higher reps for quick and efficient muscle growth.
- Make strength training your goal - When you focus on strength training, reduce cardio activities like running and rowing and ask your coach to make a workout regime with exercises that involve weights. Opt for training exercises like dips, power cleans, squats, overhead presses, pull-ups, and deadlifts. These will help you build more muscle mass more efficiently in a quicker time.
- Compliment CrossFit with bodybuilding training - CrossFit is composed of compound exercises that target plenty of muscle groups at the same time. While this is effective for building strength, this isn’t very effective for targeted muscle growth that comes from muscle hypertrophy. Hence, you should complement your CrossFit workout with bodybuilding exercises. Add leg curls, lateral raises, tricep pushdowns, and bicep curls to your CrossFit training to grow more volume.
Diet for losing weight and muscle gain through CrossFit
To lose weight you need to change your diet to create a calorie deficit and consume the right kind of macronutrient for muscle growth. As you damage and stress your muscle fibers through rigorous exercises, your body needs the right nutrients to repair them and help them grow to adjust to the change.
- One gram of protein for a pound of body weight - Eat good sources of protein like fish, meat, eggs, and poultry or nuts, beans, and lentils if you are vegan. Your body needs protein so that it can repair damaged muscles and help them grow.
- Align your food consumption with your training - Eat most of your carbohydrates for the day an hour before and right after your CrossFit training. This helps your body to use most of the carbs so that you get more energy for training harder and also prevents those extra carbs from meddling with your body’s fat-burning process.
- Reduce calorie intake on non-training days - You need to eat more during workout days so that your body can generate more energy for the workout and for breaking down the lactic acid post-workout. Similarly, you don’t need a lot of energy during non-training days. Consume fewer calories during non-training days so that you don’t have unused carbs in your body that can get turned into fat.