In last week’s article I talked about how using some Crossfit methodologies could potentially help weightlifters during the offseason. Today is about the flip side of that idea: why crossfitters should practice weightlifting as a sport.
This one may seem super easy, as anyone who has done either of these sports before can tell you weightlifters typically have better (occasionally much better) technique than those who strictly CrossFit. So the obvious benefit would be to improve technique and help improve movement patterns over the long term. However I am not looking to delve into that today. That is too obvious, and too much on the surface. There are some other really great benefits from temporarily switching from CrossFit to Weightlifting.
Typically the volume that CrossFitters use is far higher than that of weightlifters, which has shown to greatly improve their physical capabilities. However the enormous volume does have a downside. If the amount of volume is never reduced then the adaptive process won't occur. You need to bust your ass for a while and then pull back and relax in order to reap the rewards of your hard work. Too often crossfitters just push it to the limit year round. There is rarely any thought to taking a couple weeks or months to scale back so that the muscles, joints, and nervous system may adapt to the incredible demand placed on it.
Weightlifting is a great way to do that, because typically the volume is reduced drastically even if the intensity is the same or slightly higher. As long as the volume decreases you will be able to recover. If you allow a long enough period of recovery then you will stabilize your hormone levels as all of the other body systems settle into their new normal levels. This sounds great right? You will have optimal amounts of testosterone, GH and other hormones. One thing this switch also does is reinvigorate people to WANT to train again. So if you're getting burnt out by constantly crossfitting 2 times a day 6 days a week this may give you the refresher you need!
Both sports have some really helpful training styles and methodologies for people to improve their performance. If someone says that one is so much better than the other you should walk away because they don’t understand the human body. We can learn and improve from the results both are able to provide, as long as you’re willing to honestly look and think for yourself.
There is one other thing that both crossfitters and weightlifters could benefit enormously from that seems to be left out of the conversation all too often, and we will cover that next week.