Is it possible to love and combine these two sports at the same time? Can they complement each other? Maybe they are two separate worlds, which training philosophies contradict each other?
Bodybuilding is a sport discipline consisting in shaping the body through the process of skeletal muscle hypertrophy as a result of strength exercises performed with the participation of specialized devices (machines, barbells, weights, lifts, etc.). The beginnings of bodybuilding date back to the second half of the nineteenth century. It was then that the performances of the German strongman Friedrich Wilhelm Muller, known more as Eugen Sandow, were famous. His impressive silhouette and extraordinary stunts made many people wonder at those times. He also set the scene for modern strength training, speaking about multiple repeating one exercise in several series.
The shape of modern bodybuilding, however, we owe to two brothers from the United States - Ben and Joe Weider. Joe Weider, based on trial and error and many years of practice, has constructed all the principles of strength training that have been basically unchanged to this day. After many years, scientists with the help of specialized equipment have proved that performing exercises in series, repeatedly and systematically repeated, give expected results in the form of muscle mass growth. This confirmed Weider's earlier theories. In 1946, together with his brother Ben, they founded the IFBB (International Federation of Bodybuilding) International Federation of Bodybuilding, which is the most prestigious organization associating players from around the world.
In bodybuilding strength training, the most important are the accuracy and control of each repetition of a given exercise. The pace of movement, full stretch, full tension and synchronization of the breath with the movement based on stretching – inhalation, contraction - exhaust are important.
The training is based largely on the isolation of each muscle through specialized exercises. Properly planned, they involve muscle fibers at different angles, which gives the full spectrum of muscle work and heightens their growth. In bodybuilding training, everything matters: the number of series, repetitions, the length of the break between sets, the order in which the exercises are performed, the skillful combination of individual muscle parts on a given training unit. Everything is usually carried out in full concentration, silence and the attachment of the greatest attention to the technique of the exercises. The training plan is performed repeatedly for months and only after achieving stagnation is possible change.
Bodybuilding is a sport for everyone. Sex or age are not important - anyone can begin to improve their figure. Bodybuilding training has a positive effect on health - it prevents muscle atrophy, increases their strength and endurance, improves the cardiovascular system, burns body fat, develops motor control and visional-motor coordination.
CrossFit is a relatively young creation, since its beginnings date back to 2001, when American Greg Glassman began using this way of training in the physical preparation of police officers in California. The CrossFit boom in Poland began quite recently. It is currently at its peak of popularity, which means that you can see many newly opened objects (so-called boxes) offering this type of activities. Also, many classic gyms in the interest of increased demand for this service have introduced CrossFit classes to their offer.
This training primarily focuses on diversity. WODs (workout of the day) are different each day. Therefore, they allow for the comprehensive development of many exercise skills such as strength, power, speed, efficiency, endurance, flexibility and coordination.
Exercises in training are often difficult and require basic physical preparation. There is no place for isolating muscle groups. With most exercises, the whole body is involved on an all or nothing basis. We always use full power here, we train at the highest speeds. Of course, all of this should be done with the utmost care and attention to technique, but the time pressure in training (WODs are done on time and often the largest number of repetitions or rounds are performed in each time interval) often pushes the technique to the second plan to perform the greatest possible number of repetitions or rounds. In many cases this leads to injuries, therefore CrossFit is considered a highly contusive sport.
Certainly, it is not a discipline for everyone - first I would advise against elderly people because of its dynamics and intensity and beginners due to the complexity of the exercises. The advantage of CrossFit over bodybuilding is certainly the community that is formed by people training it. Group classes and common struggles in the classroom effectively integrate CrossFit players creating friendships based on trust and respect. Bodybuilding is a self-contained sport focused on the individual.
Certainly, it is possible to combine these two disciplines in developmental training. I know many people who complement CrossFit strictly with bodybuilding training and vice versa. Borrowings between these disciplines are on the agenda. In my work I implement many elements of both bodybuilding and CrossFit, thanks to which training is both functional and properly shaping the figure. Many CrossFit players are also happy to perform isolated exercises, taking care not only about the efficiency of their body, but also about its appearance. In the same way, bodybuilders, not wanting to lose their efficiency and fitness, often treat CrossFit training as strength intervals conducive to fat burning.