We here at Broscience love to make fun of CrossFit as much as the next guy. In fact, we’ve spent hours laughing our asses off at CrossFit fail videos on YouTube. Now, we aren’t about to tell you guys to join your local CrossFit gym. Hypertrophy training will always be the best way to build muscle. However, there are definitely some things we can learn from the CrossFit community. You could say this article is a way to atone for all the times we laughed at people doing kipping pullups.
Males love competition – it’s what drives us to work our ass off every day so we can be the top performers in our office, sports teams and other pursuits. The problem with bodybuilding is sometimes we lose sight of that motivator and focus instead just on ourselves. That leads to mediocrity since we think “well, I put on 5 pounds of muscle this year so i’m pretty happy” but if we had been pushed harder, maybe we could have put on 8 pounds of muscle.
CrossFit meets attract people of all skill levels – beginners to advanced trainees. It motivates people to train hard and learn the movements so they can perform at a high level when it’s time for the meetup. We also love CrossFit meetups because they end up producing tons of hilarious fail videos – but that’s another story.
The point is, these meetups help instill competition and motivate people to perform at the highest level. Think back to a time in your life when your competitive juices motivated you to work extremely hard and lead to you performing at an insanely high level. If you applied that same determination to lifting you would definitely see an improvement in results. Now, don’t go organizing a CrossFit meetup, but you can organize another type of competition. Get together with some friends and see who can increase their bench press the most over the next 3 months. Alternatively, see who can do the most pull-ups. You will be surprised how much harder you work just to come out on top.
Having Someone to Hold You Accountable
Since bodybuilding is a solo-pursuit for the most part it can be hard to stay on top of your game. It’s easy to slack off here and there when nobody is around to keep you on track. That’s where CrossFit gyms help – they motivate everyone to stay on track and show up every week. There are instructors there to show you how to perform movements correctly (or in some cases, completely incorrectly).
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Look, we get that sometimes you can’t make it to the gym for a legitimate reason, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look for ways to perform more consistently. This is where a gym partner can help you. Find someone who is at least as motivated as you are, preferably even more motivated, to go with you to the gym each day. They will push you to go hard on every exercise and set. You will be shocked with how much faster you make gains.
Another way Crossfit helps support it’s members is by providing them with customized coaching which includes goal setting. Like any pursuit in life, you really need to make sure you have a goal in mind that you can work towards. When we set goals, we wake up every morning and think “What can I do today to help me achieve that goal?” You become obsessed with it and therefore far more likely to achieve it. Even something as simple as cooking a healthy, high-protein meal is considered working towards your goal of building 10 pounds of muscle.
When it comes to bodybuilding, set specific goals like “I want to gain 5 pounds of muscle in the next 3 months”. Measure your weight change each week and adjust your diet as necessary. You will find that as you put more focus on achieving goals rather than just “getting bigger” your gains will come a lot quicker.
In terms of the actual time it takes to achieve goals, you should have a variety of them. Short-term goals (<1 month), medium-term goals (1-3 months) and long-term goals (3 months – 1 year). Start with some short-term goals and them add in some medium and long-term goals as you start to see the gains come in. Before long, you will be addicted to goal setting.
Trying New Movements
When the average guy steps into the gym he isn’t thinking about doing squats, deadlifts, cleans and pull-ups. He’s thinking about doing simple exercises like curls, lat pulldowns and shoulder raises. It’s easy to fall into doing basic isolation exercises because they are easy to understand and perform. However, when you step into a Crossfit gym they get you doing challenging, compound exercises on day one.
While it might be easier to stick to simpler exercises, like anything in life you need to step outside of your comfort zone to grow. We aren’t asking you to attach a sled full of weights to your body and run up and down your street (some people actually do this as cardio). What you can do, however, is make a point to learn challenging exercises like the squat and deadlift. These exercises work the most muscles, allow you to lift heavy weights and results in the most testosterone production (which actually leads to more muscle growth everywhere in your body).
A Note on Testosterone Levels
It’s worth mentioning that testosterone levels play a huge role when it comes to making gains. One of the reasons people are able to make gains even on ridiculous programs like Crossfit is that they incorporate compound exercises which work many muscle groups and result in increased testosterone production.
In addition to lifting heavy and eating a clean diet, we also recommend taking a testosterone booster. These products will help amp up your t-levels so you will be ready to handle those grueling workouts. Obviously there are a ton of products out there and it can be overwhelming to someone who is new to all this, so we’ve put together a page to simplify everything for you. Click here to check out our dedicated testosterone booster page!