At CrossFit LPF, we always have new clients asking … how is CrossFit different than a traditional gym? Great question. If you’re going to choose a place to work out at, lose weight, build muscle, learn new skills and movements, and join a community of like-minded people … then it should be the best gym for YOU.
So, which one is better? Well, CrossFit gyms and traditional gyms are both considered membership-based facilities that are designed to improve and maintain physical fitness and health. However, there are many differences in how you work out, the guidance that you receive, the program, and the equipment. So, it depends on your goals.
CrossFit gyms offer classes at varying times throughout the day and they’re always led by a coach. At CrossFit LPF, all of our coaches have CrossFit certifications in many areas. Having an experienced trainer leading the class means that your safety and success are a huge priority, therefore reducing the risk of injury. The coaches are there to teach you how to perform the movements properly, correct your form if needed, make recommendations, offer modifications, set goals and encourage you. Another benefit to being in a class is that you are part of a community and this often encourages friendships, accountability and motivation.
At a regular gym, members work out individually and at their own pace. They can train on their schedule, anytime while the facility is open. There is no coach guiding them and this could increase the risk for injury. However, a member may be able to enlist the assistance of a personal trainer by purchasing private sessions or, take a type of fitness class if it is offered. Working out alone can also be challenging for people who need a little more motivation and accountability.
CrossFit gyms provide the workouts. Every day a new WOD (Workout of the Day) is presented and each of the classes will do the same one. The workouts change daily and with so many different movements, there is a lot of variety in CrossFit training. This keeps the workouts fun and unexpected.
A regular gym does not provide workouts. Members would need to create their own or hire a personal trainer.
CrossFit workouts were designed to improve one’s overall fitness level. They are well known for assisting in weight loss, building muscle strength, improving endurance, and increasing flexibility and stability. Workouts are performed at a high-intensity and include weightlifting, aerobic exercise, body weight movements, and some gymnastics. In order to get the most out of a workout, CrossFit focuses on performing more repetitions while maintaining proper form, within a certain amount of time.
In a regular gym, the workouts tend to be more body part-specific. Members perform exercises and weight training by placing an emphasis on building up the strength in the body and developing muscle mass in order to burn fat. Typically, this is done by carrying out a certain number of lifts (or movements) known as repetitions, to form a set. Typically, they may do 3-5 sets of a particular exercise and then change movements. Because members are creating their own workouts, it’s often hard for them to know whether or not the training is appropriate for their specific goals.
While CrossFit gyms do provide a variety of equipment, generally the workouts do not require a lot of machines. For strength training we use free weights such as barbells, dumbbells or kettlebells. We incorporate body weight movements which require very little, if any equipment. And our workouts will always include some type of aerobic exercise like running or training on a stationary bike or rower. Every member will have equipment assigned to them during the workout so there’s no need to wait until something is available.
At a regular gym, there are a lot of machines that offer many choices when it comes to working individual muscle groups. However, since members train alone, they may not know how to use all of the machines, how to use them correctly, or what weights are appropriate for their goals.
CrossFit gyms and traditional gyms are both good for improving and maintaining your health and fitness. You just have to find the environment that meets your particular fitness needs.