The latest fitness regime to take the world by storm is cross-functional training. There are currently over seven million #gymselfie and #wod posts on your Instagram feed right now showing every inch of lean muscle, tight abs and bodacious buns, so we know that weight loss training is big biz.
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Cross-functional training, sometimes branded as CrossFit or F45 is a series of varied functional, high intensity movements AKA high intensity interval training (HIIT). It’s a culmination of weightlifting, running, rowing, gymnastics and a host of other movements. The theory is, the more you do, the higher the power output and the quicker and more dramatic the results.
“Cross-functional training is an amazingly effective weight loss method as it challenges the body so much more than steady-state or continuous aerobic exercise,” says Personal Trainer Justin Moran. “It requires greater co-ordination, increased muscle activation and places a greater demand on the heart and lungs. As a result, it increases your metabolism.”
Owner of Just in Time Personal Training and with 20 years of experience under his belt, Justin knows all the tricks and tips when it comes to rapid weight loss – perfect for those of us who are seriously time-poor but desperately desiring a dream bod.
“Cross-functional training would most likely be the best and most efficient way to lose weight – assuming that you remain injury-free and that your body is up to the increased demands placed on it. Put simply, it requires a greater energy output and places a vastly increased stress on the body.”
Several studies have reported the acute metabolic, cardiovascular and physiological responses to certain CrossFit training sessions and its effectiveness in inducing increased cardiovascular fitness.
“These small studies certainly indicate that CrossFit can provide an alternate method of training that induces positive changes in a person’s physiology and fitness,” says Dr Mark McKean (PhD), Senior Research Fellow at USC and Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Fitness Research.
“There is certainly a lot of material available on the internet, but the limited body of evidence suggests that CrossFit training potentially has a number of benefits and is worth considering as a training option.”
We all know that movements getting you huffing and puffing are bound to yield results. Further studies show that maximum capacity exercises where you work-flat out for short bursts of time, as opposed to jogging for an hour, is better for your fitness and your health. However, don’t throw in the towel just yet, as Justin still encourages running as a very effective weight loss method due to the increase in heart rate.
CrossFit, along with F45 has received mixed reviews from personal trainers and exercise physiologists but in general, has appealed to the masses seeking to quickly lose weight because of the boutique class setting, pumping music and shorter time in training.
Worth noting, however, is that cross-functional training is not for everyone. Quite literally, it’s not for the faint-hearted. To minimise the risk of acute injury, take the time to undergo a screening and induction process prior to what will be a very rigorous training regime. Otherwise, your weight loss efforts might go south quick.
Justin warns, “Effective weight loss requires the absence of injury or debilitating soreness. Anyone cross-functional training for the first time or without much regular exercise behind them should go slowly and ensure that your trainer or instructor guides you through the exercise at your individual pace.”
To find an accredited Personal Trainer in your local area, check out the fitness.org.au directory.