A good fitness regime has become an important part of daily life around the world and in Dubai specifically. Each year brings with it a slew of different fitness services and while a lot of them come and go as passing trends, both CrossFit and HIIT can definitely be highlighted as something which is here to stay.
Crossfit and HIIT are not just about high-intensity workouts, they are characterized as a lifestyle choice with a balanced combination of safe, effective exercise and proper nutrition. Whether you want to improve health, lose weight or increase overall performance, following their path is sure to provide you with all of the above. We’ll walk you through their benefits and risks so you can decide which one (or maybe both) is the way forward for you.
What Is CrossFit?
Founded in 2000, the original CrossFit is all about a high-intensity power fitness which is usually carried out in specialized gyms known as “boxes. It focuses on dynamic exercises like plyometric jumping, Olympic weightlifting, kettlebells and explosive body movements whose purpose is to improve physical strength, increase agility and burn calories simultaneously.
Stronger Than Iron
The fact that strength training is one of the pillars behind CrossFit will have something to do with your newfound ability to lift weights, big weights. It will also help you prevent serious injuries if you play any sports. Added bonus, picking up your kid and carrying heavy loads of groceries will become easy breezy.
Bring Out The Champion
A little competition never hurt anybody. All CrossFit “boxes” encourage their participants to post their daily numbers on a public scoreboard. And while you may be a bit hesitant to write about your first couple of pull-ups, look forward to the day when double digits will leave you with an ear-to-ear grin.
Part of Your Lifestyle
It’s not just about how many burpees you can do in a minute or how much weight you can lift in one go. Yes, CrossFit is about promoting strength training but it’s also about building a community so you can stay motivated. It’s about making it ok to say on its online support group what takes you out of your comfort zone and what improves your personal development. And of course, it’s about balancing all this with healthy nutrition.
A Little Overboard
Where in most forms of exercise, instructors motivate only up to a certain extent, CrossFit trainers have been known to push athletes despite burning muscles and overall strain. This can then lead to a higher possibility of injuries. The best bet here is that you know your body and you know its potential, so as long as you listen to that inner voice, you should be able to enjoy a stellar workout.
What is HIIT?
Short for High-Intensity Interval Training, HIIT as a form of exercise has been around since the 1970s but really took off a couple of decades ago when findings showed that it not only increases stamina but also the ability to build muscle. How it works is, the individual performs a series of intense exercises over a short period of time and follows it up with even shorter rest periods.
Burn, Baby, Burn
One of the key factors that made the HIIT popularity soar is that it allows individuals to burn more calories in a short span of time. Everyone seems to have an uber-busy schedule and every minute needs to be accounted for these days, so the 30-minute HIIT sessions prove to be extremely efficient. Wait for the best part. Because sessions increase your metabolic rate for several hours after your workout, your body continues to burn calories for a longer period.
You Lose A Little, You Gain A Little
As people are becoming more aware of diet and nutrition, they are also becoming more conscious about body weight. So the fact that HIIT allows you to lose body fat and reduce waist circumference ends up holding a lot of appeal. That and the additional fact where you get to enjoy an increase in muscle mass.
This one here will be a pleasant surprise. HIIT sessions have found to increase oxygen consumption, improve blood sugar and reduce heart rate and blood pressure. All these health benefits are only effective if you stay the course and show effort and consistency, however.
Ease On Down
Sometimes beginners can’t contain their excitement about a new exercise regime and want to go in guns blazing but this should not be the case with something like HIIT. If you are the kind of person who has been keeping the couch warm the last six months and has a sudden desire to get fit, plunging right into HIIT central may leave you with the risk of pulled muscles, strained ligaments, and overall burnout. If you’re still keen, however, take it slow. Real slow.
Take The Plunge
While exercise in any form is a step forward for any individual looking to improve their health, both Crossfit and HIIT take this improvement and multiply it twice over. Their popularity has less to do with their high-intensity workouts and more to do with their complete philosophy of maintaining optimum health. Several well-reputed gyms in Dubai are packed with fitness classes carrying quality equipment and run by qualified trainers, ready to assist you in achieving your highest level of fitness.
About The Author
Engine is a state-of-the-art health and fitness center in Dubai which provides programs best suited for your fitness goals, including CrossFit and HIIT sessions. Highly qualified instructors will be on-site to keep you challenged and find the right balance of motivation and training.