Combining CrossFit Training With Mass Training

Closeup image of a fitness equipment
Mass training allows you to bulk up your muscles. (Image: DeanDrobot/iStock/Getty Images)

Incorporating variety into your workout routine prevents your body from adapting, which slows results over time. Changing things up every couple of weeks optimizes your benefits. The CrossFit training program throws together many types of exercises to create routines designed to consistently challenge you. Combining CrossFit with mass training is a good way to build muscle.

How CrossFit Works

The idea behind CrossFit is to avoid specializing in one type of exercise and working only one group of muscles. Instead, the program creates a workout of the day, or WOD, that includes strength training and cardiovascular exercise. CrossFit may aid in weight loss, muscle building and improvement of your overall health. Given that CrossFit WODs typically include lifts, this makes it simple to combine the program with mass training.

The Theory of Mass Training

Mass training involves using free weights to build bulk in your muscles. This type of training is ideal for bodybuilders and Olympic weightlifters; both populations benefit from the CrossFit program, according to "The CrossFit Journal." In many CrossFit WODs, power lifts, kettlebells and Olympic lifting appear, allowing you to benefit from CrossFit while also mass training. In addition, mass training is most successful when you cycle your routine every week, which makes including it with CrossFit an efficient way to benefit from both.

How to Combine the Two

CrossFit newbies may benefit more from the program by following the WOD that appears online or in a fitness center setting. If you are experienced in both CrossFit and mass training, creating your own WODs allows you to optimize the benefits of both for building muscle. Mass training includes the power lifts -- bench presses, deadlifts and squats -- which also appear in the CrossFit exercise choices. Include these options in your CrossFit WODs to create a workout that builds muscle mass and keeps you lean and healthy. Cycle the moves among your WODs, which is the best way to adhere to the guidelines of both types of exercise.

If You Are New to Lifting

CrossFit and mass training are intense forms of exercise and might not be the best choice if you are sedentary and just beginning to exercise. Use of an instructor for either is a good way to learn the techniques and form, which helps you get the most out of each workout and reduces the risk of injury. Get enough calories and protein to support the intensity of the routine. Talk to your health-care professonal or trainer about the appropriateness of using CrossFit and mass training as well as how much additional protein and calories you need.

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