Hey CrossFit enthusiasts! You know as well as anyone that our beloved CrossFit workouts are a thrill ride of adrenaline - they're tough, exhilarating, and let's face it, a bit intense. We're all here for a healthy mix of strength training, HIIT, and a whole lot of grit, right? But, what if we added a sprinkle of aerobic training into our CrossFit cocktail? Yes, the good old heart-pumping, oxygen-boosting aerobic exercise! Let's dive into why scientists and athletes are giving it a double thumbs up (Powers & Howley, 2020).
1. Endurance? Yes, please!
When it comes to CrossFit, endurance is the name of the game. We all want to keep the energy high and performance peaking right through our workout. Enter aerobic training, our new best friend. With a dash of this in your regimen, you're signing up for boosted endurance.
Now, the science isn't hard. Aerobic exercises make our hearts stronger and more efficient at supplying oxygen to our muscles (Jones & Carter, 2000). This means your muscles get a supercharge to work harder and longer. So, for those longer "METCONs" or competition days, your body won't be waving the white flag so soon.
2. Bounce Back Faster!
If workouts are the exciting part of our fitness journey, recovery is the silent hero behind the scenes. It's when our muscles take a break, fix themselves up, and emerge stronger. Here's the cool part - adding a little aerobic training, particularly at lower intensities, can supercharge this recovery process.
This isn't just a hunch, science backs us up. Research by Van Hooren & Peake (2018) shows that low-intensity aerobic training boosts blood flow, helping your muscles get all the good stuff (nutrients) and get rid of the bad stuff (waste). Quicker muscle repair, quicker recovery, more workouts - sounds like a win-win-win to me!
3. Fewer Injuries, More Fun!
Nobody likes injuries. They're like annoying roadblocks on our CrossFit highway. Here's where aerobic training could be our secret weapon. By boosting our endurance and heart health, it could help keep injuries at bay.
Scientific evidence supports this idea. A study by Yamato et al. (2015) found that a majority of CrossFit injuries come from overuse. It's often when our muscles get tired. But with aerobic training helping to fight fatigue, we might just see fewer injuries. Plus, better heart health ensures our muscles and joints are well-fed with oxygen and nutrients, keeping them healthier and less prone to injury.
Striking the Right Balance
All this isn't to say we replace our existing workouts with purely aerobic ones. Remember, CrossFit is a smorgasbord of exercise variety. Aerobic training is a fantastic side dish, not the main course. According to Feito and his team (2018), magic really happens when we mix strength, flexibility, and aerobic training.
To wrap it all up, aerobic training could be the secret sauce you need to supercharge your CrossFit journey. It can help you last longer in your workouts, recover quicker, and potentially save you from some annoying injuries. So why not give it a go?
Feito, Y., Heinrich, K. M., Butcher, S. J., & Poston, W. S. (2018). High-Intensity Functional Training (HIFT): Definition and Research Implications for Improved Fitness. Sports, 6(3), 76.
Jones, A. M., & Carter, H. (2000). The effect of endurance training on parameters of aerobic fitness. Sports medicine, 29(6), 373-386.
Powers, S., & Howley, E. (2020). Exercise physiology: Theory and application to fitness and performance. McGraw-Hill Education