This type of training vs that type of training…
Crossfit vs Outdoor Bootcamps
CrossFit has exploded with popularity in recent years and most people tend to be die-hard lovers or haters of the training regime. Here goes with trying to be something in the middle!
CrossFit tests all aspects of fitness (cardio, strength, agility, stamina, flexibility, power, speed, co-ordination and balance) and incorporates valuable functional movements into ‘Work-outs of the Day’ (WODs). WODs are often timed and results are recorded, creating competition and motivation between clients. ‘Boxes’ (CrossFit speak for the gym) are often the hub of a tight knit community with lots of goings on outside of the regular classes too.
But! Often the WODs include high repetitions, heavy weights and are completed at speed – a recipe for disaster and injury. It is not unheard of for physios to claim that CrossFit keeps them in business. Some boxes can feel quite cliquey and intimidating on first try.
In conclusion, find a good, safe, CrossFit instructor and box and try to keep the ego in check when completing the competitive WODs. Don’t ever sacrifice good exercise form for speed or a lifting PB. And, unless you want to lose all your non-CrossFit mates, try to keep the CrossFit lingo for inside the box!
At OzSquad, we’re a bit biased on this one. 😉 But, what beats a bit of fresh air with your burpees to get you awake and ready to tackle the day ahead? No stuffy gyms, no stench of socks – instead views, sunrises and the elements.
Bootcamps should offer varied training and (unless you are going to a big branded one) don’t have to follow any prescribed format like CrossFit – which should mean that you get access to lots of creative, fun work-outs and no time to get bored. Bootcamps too should be an opportunity to make new friends and help make you feel part of a fitness community.
Ultimately though again, this one comes down to the individual business operator and instructors. Do your research and try out a few bootcamps in the area – most will offer free trial sessions. Many outdoor fitness groups come and go with the seasons and cancel sessions as soon as the weather gets a little bit iffy. For the best results and enjoyment, find one that is reliable, professional, provides you with a fitness community and has motivated, experienced committed instructors at the helm. Like OzSquad for example! 😉
Group fitness training vs Personal training
Exercising in a group can be really motivating – especially if you are a Type A competitive person! You might be slower than that person up front this week, but next week you’ll catch them, if that dude next to you can keep going, then so can you… Fitness groups are often social communities and a chance to catch up with friends before or after your working day too.
But! In larger group exercise classes, you can all too easily become anonymous and you might not get the attention you want from an instructor or the type of session that you really need. Make sure that you find a good group exercise instructor that insists on correct form and makes an effort to know your name and injuries/issues.
The clue is in the name really… personal training is personal to you. At the time you want it, where you want it, the type of session you want/need and totally modified for your issues, injuries, abilities and energy levels on the day! A PT will watch your back, make sure you’re doing things right and keep you challenged week after week by giving you new things to do and pushing you that little bit harder each time.
If you have an appointment (with a PT) and know that somebody is waiting for you – chances are you won’t hit snooze, meaning that personal training is often easier to stay committed to. Otherwise, that is an expensive sleep in!
High intensity interval training vs Steady State training
High intensity interval training
HIIT has been a buzzword on the fitness streets for a while now and is great if you are time poor as you can complete an effective work-out in as little as 20 minutes. Pick an exercise, go hard, stress the body for a short amount of time and alternate with less intense recovery periods. A great structure to follow for HIIT is ‘Tabata’ – 4 minutes of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off – pick 5 different exercises and with a warm up and cool down you have yourself a fab little (painful) 30 minute work-out.
The calorie burn of a HIIT session can last up to 8 hours after the exercise – known as the ‘Afterburn effect’. Studies have also shown that HIIT is more effective at improving cardio-vascular fitness than more traditional endurance training.
Steady state cardio training
Defined as something that is completed for more than 20 minutes and even though steady-state cardio currently has a bit of a bad rep, it does come with different benefits to HIIT.
If you back up too many HIIT sessions you’ll know about it – either through fatigue or injury. Steady state fitness training can be alternated with HIIT to give the body a chance to recover and it still burns calories (albeit less than HIIT, but anything is better than sitting on the sofa!) and may be better both physically and mentally, for someone new to exercise. HIIT might just be a little too daunting (and painful!) for some initially.
Steady state cardio often also results in that ‘runner’s high’ and for many is a chance to clear the head in a way that isn’t possible when you are puffing, swearing and sweating your way through a HIIT session. Training should also be specific for any goals/events that you are working towards too – unfortunately if you want to run a marathon, then unless you are planning on doing it in Tabata bursts, some steady state cardio will need to be included in your training routine!
There is no right or wrong answer here though….. Find the type of training that you enjoy and that works with your routine. Mix it up a little if you’ve only ever tried one of these types of fitness training. Find something that will become part of your lifestyle, that you will stick with and is not just a flash-in-the-fitness-pan for you. That way, you won’t yo-yo with your fitness and you won’t waste your $. Win win.