The 3 Reasons CrossFit Won't Make You Lose Your Gains
Will CrossFit Make Me Lose Muscle?
With so much conflicting information circulating regarding different types of exercise --- what’s good, what’s bad, what you NEED to do --- we often come across people who are reluctant to do CrossFit for various reasons. One common assumption (mainly from the guys) is that you will lose all your muscle mass and/or strength because of the amount of conditioning involved in a CrossFit program.
While CrossFit isn’t a bodybuilding program, it is a very effective strength program that’s great at creating athletic and muscular physiques. Here are 3 reasons that CrossFit won’t make you lose those sweet, sweet gains.
Reason #1: Reps and Intensity
When we refer to bulk or #gainz, we are often talking about hypertrophy of the muscle. This is the focus of bodybuilding workouts --- to move moderate to heavy weights for high reps (10-20 reps) --- forcing the muscles involved to adapt by becoming larger.
Most CrossFit workouts are also centered around performing high reps of moderate-to-heavy weights. It is not uncommon to perform a few hundred total repetitions of exercises within a 10-20 minute window in many of Elevate’s CrossFit workouts. These workouts are just presented in a way that also keeps your heart rate up for an extended period of time. Kind of like killing two birds with one stone!
Reason #2: Not Every Day is “Cardio” Day
In reality, CrossFitters are not your traditional cardio people. You know who I’m talking about --- the ones trying to work off calories from lunch on the elliptical for two hours. In fact, the majority of CrossFit workouts are focused on anaerobic capacity (meaning you are recruiting energy from muscles and lactic acid, not just oxygen). Most of us hate running long distances as much as the next guy. That's why a lot of workouts involve a structure that more closely resembles HIIT (high intensity interval training), which is proven to stimulate muscle growth while improving cardiovascular health.
Besides days with intense conditioning, there is also a lot of slower paced strength work and accessory work mixed in to our CrossFit program. Because we know that everything is easier when you are STRONGER!
Reason #3: You ARE What You EAT
Muscles grow as a result of stimulus via resistance training. We know this to be true, but don’t forget that muscle growth or maintenance requires FUEL. Your body composition is mainly controlled by food --- what and how much you eat. Increased your conditioning and want to maintain that muscle mass? Eat more of the right stuff to support it and you shall succeed! Plus, being part of gyms such as ours will have you exposed to much healthier approaches to eating than you may have previously known.