Boxing and CrossFit are two popular fitness training programmes that claim to help you lose weight, build muscle and gain strength. They’re both capable of producing fit athletes that’re well renowned on the international stage. Yet, there are clear differences.
Fitness boxing is a full contact sport involving hand-to-hand combat between two participants in a ring. Besides sparring with a partner, you may also punch the air or a heavy bag during a boxing workout. Fitness boxing is what we do here at Delray Beach Boxing Club – and we can vouch for the results!
CrossFit is a non-contact, non-combative, high-intensity fitness training program that you do by yourself or with a coach. It’s also known for life-changing body transformations and thousands swear by it. CrossFit workouts are less structured than boxing with a more varied selection of exercises to work out the entire body.
- TL; DR – CrossFit is phenomenal for weight loss and overall fitness, but when it comes to maximal strength, endurance, and muscle gains, fitness boxing is the clear winner. CrossFitters may find it more difficult to increase maximum strength and build muscle due to the insufficient recovery times and the lack of structure and periodization in the workouts.
Although we sometimes incorporate elements of CrossFit into our fitness boxing regimen, we’ll recommend boxing over crossfit any day. But let’s make this a fair fight and compare the effectiveness of the two programmes in these five categories:
- Strength gains
- Muscle building
- Weight loss
Obviously, either training program is going to make you stronger over time if performed consistently. However, boxing training gives you a better advantage if your aim is to get stronger. Boxing workouts are carefully structured and periodized so each muscle group gets adequate training as well as recovery time.
On the other hand, CrossFit workouts are short training sessions called Workouts of the Day (WODs), where you perform several exercises as quickly as possible. It’s comparable to a cardio workout, and you won’t see much improvement in your maximum output.
Also, CrossFit WODs are chosen randomly. While this is intended to ensure that no body part is left out, it isn’t exactly conducive to building strength. Even when WODs include “strength training”, they primarily involve working up to a maximum output within a fixed time limit. This only tests your max output – it doesn’t increase it.
True strength training involves going real close to your one rep max, and maintaining that weight over a few reps until you’re out of breath. That’s how boxing training works, not CrossFit.
A popular argument in favor of CrossFit is that the physical conditioning provided improves your endurance. This is true, but only to an extent. Boxing training is far more effective than CrossFit in improving the physical stamina you need to last the entire duration of a fight.
You just can’t get that same level of conditioning by constantly working out at your redline everyday. Rather than boosting power endurance, you’re hurting your body by sending mixed aerobic and anaerobic signals. In a CrossFit WOD, you’ll run out of breath pretty quickly since the intensity of the exercises forces you to rely on anaerobic respiration early on. However, your body soon reverts to aerobic processes in the latter part of your workout, since you’re already gassed out.
To develop high levels of body conditioning and physical stamina, you don’t want to be overly fatigued at the end of your workout. You need a boxing studio like Delray Beach Boxing Club, which offers a fitness programme that maximizes your endurance.
3. Muscle Building
Hypertrophy, or muscle building, is a function of high-intensity exercise, and sufficient recovery time for the gains to accumulate. CrossFit definitely wins in intensity, but ultimately falls short with recovery.
CrossFit WODs lack a fixed structure, which means you’re likely to overwork certain muscle groups at the expense of others. This means some of your muscles are bound to be neglected, while those that you’re constantly training don’t get sufficient time to recover and actually grow.
Now, professional CrossFitters do look fit. In fact, they compete favorably with many boxers. But what you don’t know is that their training schedules are carefully structured for high performance at competitions.
The bottom line? If you’re looking to gain strength and build muscle, the structure of a boxing training regimen does much better for you than random CrossFit WODs.
4. Weight loss
CrossFit is extremely effective at losing weight and getting trim. The high intensity of the workouts lets you burn calories quicker than many traditional weight lifting exercises. It’s also quicker and more effective since there’s no emphasis on technique. But boxing training is no slack in weight loss either, and here’s why –
- Boxing workouts tend to last longer than CrossFit WODs, so you end up burning calories for longer than you would with a CrossFit training regimen
- The muscle you tend to build as a result of fitness boxing increases your basal metabolic rate, so you burn more calories even while you aren’t working out.
- Boxing training is intense, yet the workouts don’t leave you as + as after a CrossFit WOD. You’ll be a lot less tempted to eat a ton of calories after working out and ruin your hardwork in the gym.
So who wins this round? Obviously we’re a bit biased, but we’ll call this a tie. CrossFit is phenomenal for weight loss, but we’ll argue that boxing gives better fitness results.
It’s possible for you to get the best of both worlds if you choose a boxing studio that incorporates certain elements of CrossFit. You’ll lose weight quickly, and develop combat technique at the same time.
5. Is A Boxing Studio Fun?
Are you kidding? Boxing is wayyy more fun! Punching stuff is a great way to relieve stress and lose some steam, and you get to work out with a community of people in the same environment trying to reach the same fitness goals as yourself.
Fine, we’re biased. Some people like the high intensity, speed and variety of CrossFit. Being able to configure your workout any way you’d like is quite a compelling feature, but having a structured regimen doesn’t make fitness boxing any less fun.
In the end, the fun factor is really up to your preference, as well as the boxing or CrossFit studio you choose. Here at Delray Beach Boxing Club, we not only provide an authentic boxing experience, but our community of trainers work hard to make your experience as fun as possible.
Crossfit Vs Boxing Studio
The results are in! A Fitness boxing studio is the more effective training program in three out of five categories. So which would you choose?
Ultimately, both Boxing and CrossFit are great at weight loss and overall fitness. If we had to choose only one, we’d recommend boxing over fitness, any day. It’s better at improving strength, stamina, and muscle.
However, if you think CrossFit is fascinating – we think so too! – you don’t have to forbid it forever from your training. Delray Beach Boxing Club combines the structured training of a fitness bidding program with selected CrossFit elements, so you get the best of both worlds!
Thinking of signing up?