CrossFit: Advantages continued...
Athletes and ex-athletes will enjoy the challenges of each WOD, as they are similar to sports conditioning.
There are a large number of WOD routines and they are always changing. This adds to the excitement of each CrossFit workout and decreases the risk of becoming bored.
The WOD can be done at home, without a lot of expensive equipment. The exercises can be very tough. However, there are a number of videos and written descriptions on the web site that can help you modify each movement according to your current level of fitness.
You do not have to be a member of an affiliate to view the free CrossFit web site. However, subscribing to the online CrossFit Journal costs $25 a year.
Bodybuilders and powerlifters will not get the results they need for their specific competitive purposes by just performing CrossFit. But these types of athletes may benefit from training this way for brief periods during their off-season, for the sake of variety.
Marathoners, triathletes, cyclists, and long-distance swimmers should dedicate most of their training time on their sport's specific needs. However, CrossFit may be a good way endurance athletes can train with weights and not interfere with their main objectives, due to the short amount of time needed to complete each WOD.
Also, there are alternative CrossFit programs dedicated to endurance sports, football, and gymnastics.
CrossFit is a good way for mixing up the common exercise routine by providing variety.
The possibility of injury is an increased risk with participation in anyhigh-intense fitness regimen like CrossFit, especially if you are new to Olympic-style weight lifting and plyometric workouts, or have a previous injury. Not only are the exercises themselves risky, but performing them under a fatigued state, such as during an intense circuit, increases the risk of injury even further.
WARNING: A very serious, yet rare muscular injury known as rhabdomyolysis is also a major concern with participation in vigorous exercise. In short, rhabdomyolysis is a condition in which skeletal muscle becomes so severely damaged that it rapidly breaks down. If this happens, muscle cells may rupture and important contents could leak out into the bloodstream, eventually damaging the kidneys even to the point of kidney failure. It must be treated in a medical facility as it is potentially life threatening.
Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis depend on severity but can include general weakness, extreme stiffness, soreness and swelling of the affected muscle, and abnormally dark colored urine. There are a number of factors that can cause rhabdomyolysis (e.g. alcoholism, genetics, dehydration), but it can be brought on by extreme physical exercise.
To prevent rhabdomyolysis, make sure you start slow and gradually increase the intensity of each workout. Drink plenty of water, and avoid exercise in a hot and humid environment.