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CrossFit for Weight Loss: Why It’s Not the Best Idea

Thinking CrossFit? Think Again!

Posted by KateBregovic - June 5th, 2019

CrossFit isn’t as much a type of exercise as it is a sport in its own right. From the fact that it combines weightlifting, plyometrics, gymnastics, powerlifting, and a few other practices which can burn off a ton of calories, it might be thought that this is the perfect type of workout for weight loss. But you would be wrong to think this way because CrossFit is definitely not the system to use when your goal is losing a few pounds. In fact only those who are strong, trained, and in great shape should be subscribing to this program by default. For the rest of the population (which means about 90% of people), CrossFit might be too much unnecessary risk.

Before we move on to discussing why CrossFit is hardly the best choice for your weight loss workout program, you need to make sure you aren’t making any mistakes that will prevent you from burning fat. These would interfere with your results, thereby making it impossible to evaluate the actual efficiency of any workout plan.

Why CrossFit Is Good in Principle, But Not For Weight Loss

First of all, don’t get me wrong, CrossFit burns calories at a rate that can hardly be matched by any other form of workout. And yet this is exactly the reason why it’s not a good choice for weight loss programs. This is a perfect example of a ‘too much of a good thing becomes bad’ situation.

The two most important characteristics of CrossFit are intensity and competition. This means that the workouts in this program are extremely intense, and competition only spurs the poor souls who are busting their guts to do even crazier things. Is it any wonder that CrossFit injury rate is rather high?

It must be noted here that if people only did what the basic CrossFit program prescribes, the rate of injury would be lower. However, those who get into this sport tend to push boundaries and ignore the fact that they have vulnerable human bodies. This often results in extreme cases of injury and even breakdown of muscles.

Luckily for everyone, CrossFit has a very high dropout rate. Therefore, people who would have added to the injury rate of this sport choose other options before they can seriously hurt themselves. And as people who aim to lose weight are in poorer health by default, they definitely should be avoiding CrossFit. If you are interested, you can always come back to it when you become much fitter and stronger.

If Not CrossFit, Then What?

When you need to lose weight effectively and, above all else, safely, you should let CrossFit be your dream and focus on level-appropriate workouts instead. If you can’t afford a personal trainer who will create the perfect program for you, use YouTube or even CrossFit plans for inspiration and design your own routine.

These days you don’t need an expensive gym membership either. You can equip your home with affordable tools to get your blood pumping. Listen to your body when attempting different personalized workouts so that you can determine what works best for you.

If this is also beyond your budget at the moment, you can always look up instructions for making DIY weights. You can also use your natural environment to boost your workouts, for example try a stairs workout or use the playground as your own personal gym.

The perfect workout routine for weight loss should look like this:

  • Day 1: Cardio (30 minutes of jogging or walking or swimming)
  • Day 2: 20 minutes of strength training (work one muscle group at a time)
  • Day 3: 30 minutes of cardio
  • Day 4: Work a different muscle group with weights for 20 minutes
  • Day 5: 30 minutes of cardio (different type of exercise from the previous)
  • Day 6: Stretching and yoga for 20-30 minutes
  • Day 7: Rest or some moderately-intense recreational activity, like a bike ride or skating.


Forget about competition when you are working to lose weight and seek support instead. You can also work with a group, but only if it includes people who are in the same situation as yourself. Remember, you need others to help maintain morale and offer support when you fail to accomplish daily goals. You don’t need to surround yourself with those who will goad you further and thereby not only expose you to the risk of injury but also shatter your self-esteem.

And finally, do bear in mind that you need to be reasonable about your weight loss speed. Simply put, your exasperation over not losing weight might be presumptuous if you are simply not losing weight too fast. But this is not such a bad thing because when you go slow, the results are more likely to stick. It’s only if you don’t see any changes over a week or two that you should think about changing your weight loss exercise program.

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