Top 5 Reasons Bodybuilders should NEVER do CrossFit
Peanut butter and jelly, fish and a rice cake, spaghetti and meatballs; each of these pairings makes sense for most people. There are things in life that just seem to fit together seamlessly with no questions asked whatsoever; Bodybuilding and CrossFit, however, is not one of those. I’ve been a bodybuilder for twenty plus years now (although non-competitive now) and have tried almost every type of training method you can imagine. Some have worked well, while others have tanked. I’ve also been privy to a plethora of experiences in which I was witness to some “creative” styles of training. One such style which has spread like wildfire is CrossFit. Now let me first say that I am all for fitness, getting into shape, living a healthy active lifestyle and then throwing competition into that mix. That’s why I do see the benefit and draw for people getting into CrossFit. What I don’t see is the need for a bodybuilder to incorporate this type of training into their program. While some of you will most certainly disagree with me, here are my reasons for steering clear of the CrossFit way if you are an aspiring or current bodybuilder.
You’ll never be taken seriously by other Bodybuilders
That’s just the unfortunate truth here; if you are a bodybuilder and are claiming to be one to anyone who will listen, the last thing you need to be doing is performing a stork stand on top of a plyo box while transitioning into a TRX plank while trying to beat the clock. This will do nothing for your bodybuilding efforts and hypertrophy will be the last thing you’ll experience. Instead, perform bodybuilder type workouts, train with other experienced bodybuilders so you can learn from them and then hopefully you’ll eventually look like a bodybuilder and get that respect you crave so much.
Injury is Inevitable
Just like Lee Priest said in one of his videos, “There are idiots in CrossFit and idiots in Bodybuilding.” Anyone who tries to perform an exercise in the absence of proper form, or tries to handle more weight than they are capable of using, or simply loses their concentration and focus is bound to eventually experience trauma. Also, anyone who tries something that makes zero sense whatsoever is also going to get hurt. My beef with CrossFit is the fact that you are expected to perform and complete very technical lifts that have taken experienced weight lifters years to perfect for performance and safety, while under exhausting conditions. That in my opinion is just a recipe for disaster.
What’s the rush?
Many of the CrossFit type workouts and competitions rely heavily upon being able to better one’s time in certain “events”. Speed is key and moving a weight or object or person from point A to point B is all that matters in that time frame. Bodybuilding on the other hand, is a marathon and not a race. We use principles such as time under tension, we take our time to experience the mind to muscle connection, we know that our gains are incremental and take time and true bodybuilders understand the importance of patience. When I watch CrossFit all I see are a bunch of very fit people, running around solo or in a group, with a goal in mind but no real set path to success. Bodybuilders are calculated; CrossFitters take the stance of it doesn’t matter how it gets done, as long as it gets done.
Mixing Energy Systems
There’s no question that people who do CrossFit work hard and many of the events they have to complete are very tough. Most times what they do requires both their anaerobic and aerobic energy systems to be working in synergy so that they complete their task. While this type of hybrid training will elicit excellent results for getting into shape, building muscle may take a very distant second to “getting in shape”. You’ve all seen the memes stating the reason for diminished or zero gains is because of the CrossFit you are doing. This holds some truth. If you want to experience substantial gains in muscle mass, you need to fully make use of your anaerobic energy system, understand the best avenues for you personally so that you’ll experience hypertrophy and only include aerobic activities as a secondary tool when necessary. I know lots of bodybuilders both amateur and pro, and I have never seen a single one of them drop a set of dumbbells then head over to the rower or flip a tire to finish off their set.
There are enough of them out there right now that you should be very aware of the types of workouts being completed by “CrossFitters” in regular gyms. Dangerous, ridiculous, annoying and downright crazy are just a few of the adjectives used to describe these workouts. They will interfere with just about everyone in the gym trying to train and you may just end up with the unfortunate experience of someone taking offense to what you’re doing when you bother them. A serious bodybuilder is at the gym to put in work, is very serious about what they are doing and has no time to waste. The gym is not a romper room and if you think a great way to end your leg day is by hopping from one machine to the next while holding a bar across your shoulders with dumbbells hanging off the ends of them by resistance bands, you are thoroughly mistaken. You will get into a confrontation with management, one of the patrons or anyone else who can’t stand watching what you’re doing. You’re bodybuilding aspirations will end before they started and you’ll be blacklisted from every gym in your city (except your friendly neighborhood CrossFit gym).
Now let me just reiterate something here; I am not against CrossFit or the people who do it. I think it’s a hell of a lot better than sitting on your couch, stuffing your face and getting yourself into danger health wise. If the competition of CrossFit or the anomaly of the workouts is what got you up and off that couch, then that’s great; power to you and have a happy and healthy long life. I just don’t see any reason for a bodybuilder to incorporate it into their training programs. Remember, bodybuilding has been around for decades, has changed the lives of many and has endured all of the other crazy fitness phenomena’s that have popped up over the years and there’s a reason for this; it works! My advice is to stick with what is tried and true and toil away at that. You’ll be better off in the end and you’ll actually have something to show (muscle) for all of your efforts.
©Author: Dana Bushell for BroScience©
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, ENDEVR Athlete, SKECHERS Brand Ambassador, Sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.