What should a bodybuilder expect when transitioning into CrossFit?
The entire fitness industry adapts and changes to new innovative ways of thinking just when the previous trend has gone beyond maturity. With the coming of functional fitness, we have a return to a “fun” and “engaging” community and practical training.
CrossFit is becoming the forefront of a trend, whose immensity we are just starting to grasp. As a result, many people are transitioning from bodybuilding, weight lifting, and powerlifting. The majority of athletes have their goals focused on a particular sport/program.
The point is that there will be a transition period for these athletes, that is their new CrossFit training experience will be different from what they were used to. And due to the previous experience from their former training, they can be proficient in some aspects of the performance but not so well in others.
So, what assets does a bodybuilder carry with him to the CrossFit training? What areas will they be familiar with and what could they find challenging?
Let’s find it out.
FROM BODYBUILDING TO CROSSFIT:
A bodybuilder is an athlete whose goals are to maximize muscle mass and minimize body fat to achieve optimal size and posture. When bodybuilders transition to CrossFit, the biggest advantage to them is that they have high lactate tolerance. That is, they have developed an efficient system to circulate out the waste products that are produced by repeated muscle contraction, that would otherwise weaken their ability to exercise at high intensity.
Bodybuilders continually push their lactate threshold. Thus, they have become accustomed to the pain-caused during the workout and the next day. This capacity proves useful to them in high repetition WODs(workout of the day).
But the main problem they face in CrossFit is mobility. ROM(range of motion) is affected by 7 factors: joint structure, gender, age, connective tissue, activity level, training with limited ROM, and muscle bulk. The last two factors: training with limited ROM and muscle bulk are the factors that create problems for bodybuilders.
Moreover, bodybuilders train in limited mobility to accentuate muscle contraction and minimize the short relaxation of the muscle that can occur in repetition. These factors negatively affect ROM in some joints, especially in the shoulder.
An athlete who cannot achieve 90 degrees of rotation should perform external rotation mobility exercises as long as he can ace it. Shoulder mobility exercises also will help a bodybuilder become more proficient in shoulder flexion exercises.
Bodybuilders do not press overhead as much as CrossFitters do, they also do not usually take a wide grip. So they often struggle to maintain a position in the overhead squat.
The good news is ROM can be improved and all the disadvantages can be gradually erased with mobility training.
As a beginner, start with bodybuilding. Muscle strength and size are necessary for a tough and complex workout like CrossFit. Bodybuilding can help you prepare for the needs of CrossFit training, where having good muscular endurance is very important.
CrossFit involves complex lifts such as deadlifts and squats, which could be a bit complex for beginners. Therefore it’s advisable to master these lifts through bodybuilding.
If you are a beginner, then start with bodybuilding and then move to CrossFit for total fitness. But, if you want to be a “Perfect Machine “, try to alternate bodybuilding with CrossFit.