This is something that I have wanted to talk about for awhile now.
Truth be told, nothing bugs me more then when a member of Crux leaves to try another program that includes no resistance training. Part of it is obviously that I don't like to lose members at all. Even though a lot of times its for reasons beyond our control, it still feels personal when someone leaves the Crux family. But it is especially disconcerting, when I know that the individual is leaving us to try a program that does not include lifting heavy weights. Most people seem to think that lifting weights is 'just another way' to get fit. Like it is interchangeable with any number of classes (like 'Cardio Drumming' class for example...I kid you not, it's a thing). But I know in my heart that they have made a choice that will decrease their life span and quality of life, just because they don't understand how important resistance training actually is to overall fitness.
Don't get me wrong, I realize that CrossFit is not right for everyone and there are many good program options out there. But ALL of the good programs include lifting some form of heavy weights. The difference between CrossFit, Zoomba, Kickboxing, Spinning ...or any other 'cardio blast' class, is that CrossFit is the only stand alone fitness program of the bunch. All the others can be a great addition to a resistance training program, but on their own, they are not enough.
I decided this morning it was time to make a post after reading this study. This is a a wake up call for all the cardio junkies. I don't expect too many to actually read through the whole study, but the abstract is worth a read.
"Low muscle strength was independently associated with elevated risk of all-cause mortality"
Let that sink in. Translation - You not only need more muscle mass, but stronger muscles to live longer and healthier. That means that some form of resistance training MUST be part of any fitness program that purports to increase health and fitness over the long term.
If you or a loved one are one of those people that just want to sweat or have some fun working out, I'm here to tell you that you need more. Zoomba may be fun and Boxercise may help you get your 'sweat on', but programs like that alone will not help you age gracefully. When it is time for your kids to check you into a nursing home because you cannot take care of yourself anymore, it will be due to a lack of muscle mass and strength. And for the record, it doesn't matter your age or whether you have ever lifted a weight before. It is not too late to start training with weights. A simple google search of 'CrossFit, seniors' or 'elderly CrossFit' will turn up many good examples of people in their 70's, 80's and even their 90's having success with resistance training.
And it should be noted that it doesn't have to be CrossFit. There are many gyms that can teach you how to lift properly and safely. But whatever you do, please don't ever stop lifting weights and for those that haven't tried it yet, consider adding resistance training at least a couple of days per week to your routine. Get a qualified instructor, like the ones found at CrossFit Crux and learn how to lift safely for a long and healthy life.