T Nation

Crossfit vs Running


#1

I did my first cross fit today. A lot of moving 95lbs quickly. Strength wise useless but it did make me breathe pretty hard. Any thoughts of the cardiovascular benefits of timed crossfit workouts vs. running?


#2

Strictly cardio, sprinting as long as you can is better. Go all out for a 100 meters you will breathe a lot more than pretty hard.

Overall cardio benefit if your not just worried about speed, or vo2 max I would think crossfit might be better. Keeps all your muscles working, blood flow to every part, and is a little easier to put effort into.


#3

Well if you start running, or jogging, and just go for 45 minutes or more at your comfort level pace then you're just that...comfortable. Nothing really wrong with that, as if you're going to do 10K or more then you sort of need to prepare your body for that.

I think some of the stuff on CrossFit can help change things up and give your heart a lot more work because you go from throwing 95lbs around as you said then sprint 400m or something.

Whether doing CrossFit will then make your running times go down, I'm not so sure.


#4

What activities are you competitive in/focused on outside the gym? "Cardiovascular benefits" is pretty general.


#5

If you do any research at all into interval training, you will see that it has superior benefits as compared to just performing steady state exercise of any kind when you are looking to improve cardiovascular capability (V02 max) in a short amount of time.

Depending on what your goals are (as batman asked) will depend on the type and length of interval training you should perform. Runners training for a marathon perform intervals but they are much different compared to the intervals run by those training for a 5k. So you need to clarify what your goals are and what kind of running you are wanting to do.


#6

I was mostly just curious what the different advantages were, since crossfit felt a lot like interval training. high output, change to low output and back. at 165 lbs: short term goals: 19 min 5k, clean 225 lbs, bench 315 lbs. I'll re-assess once I'm back to my baseline.


#7

If you have only done one workout, you can't really put the crossfit program into a nice little box to explain it. Crossfit prides itself on having not much of a specialized pattern at all. They try and "specialize" in every component, which includes interval training type workouts. They also utilize some lower repetition schemes to help increase strength.

The program will help you gain strength, improve your cardiovascular endurance and metabolize fat and provide you with a lean body composition. Based on your goals I think they are certainly attainable using the crossfit program. If you are wanting to specialize in strength or size only, Crossfit is probably not the best option. However you could also do much worse.


#8

I've been doing Crossfit for a few weeks now, and I've definitely noticed improvements in my run timings (recently shaved half a minute off the timing of a 4k run a year ago after adding more than 10kg on my frame). But in my opinion, I don't think Crossfit is in any way superior to a well thought out and executed running plan, particularly at times when you have to stop to rest before attempting your final set of 30 snatches when your legs could probably have kept going during a run.

That said, I suppose Crossfit has probably got a good carryover to races 5k and shorter i.e. the typical duration of WODs. Anyway, if you really like Crossfit, a good idea would be probably to incorporate both Crossfit as well as longer distance running (e.g. 30-45mins) for an endurance base since Crossfit already provides the HIIT effect.


#9

I'm transitioning out of bodybuilding. 180 lbs 5'9 and running 5k for time is just not fun. I think its doable to get close to my strength I had at that weight and still fun. I think i'm going to rob cheat and steal from crossfit and make my own program, closer to strong man. Thanks for the input.