Pilates vs. CrossFit – Which One to Choose and Why

So, you decided to start working out and you are trying to figure out what the best workout is for you? And for some reason, you narrowed the search down to three words – Pilates vs. CrossFit? Well, consider yourself lucky for opening this article, because Lifestyle Updated is the right place for the best answer.

pilates vs. crossfit

Pilates vs. CrossFit

Every individual has a unique body, and the same thing can be said about every workout. For example, some workouts (like Pilates) can be done by everybody, but others (like CrossFit) require a higher level of fitness. If you choose poorly, chances are that you are going to be either bored or overwhelmed and won’t be able to enjoy your workouts – which is crucial if you want good results.

That being said, before making your final decision, you’ll have to take a long, deep look at yourself and assess your abilities. You can do this by simply answering the following few questions:

  • Can you touch your toes?
  • Can you move your body easily without cramping up?
  • Do you go on regular walks?
  • Can you run without your heart pumping out of your chest?
  • Do you play sports for fun?

If you have three or less yeses, you should probably start with light physical activity, like running or swimming so you can prepare yourself for more intense workouts. But, if you have four or five yeses, congrats – you are in good shape! That means you don’t need any preparations before starting Pilates or CrossFit. In that case, here are a few things you should know before deciding what the best option is for you.

Is Pilates better than CrossFit?

pilates vs. crossfit

Pilates is physical fitness system created by Joseph Pilates in the early 20th century. As I mentioned above, this type of workout is perfect for fitness beginners. The exercises are easier as they are built for everybody’s comfort levels, for all body shapes and ages.

What makes Pilates special is its focus on toning the muscles primarily with your own body weight. This type of workout has the sole purpose of strengthening the body in an even way. To achieve this Pilates puts a particular emphasis on core strength as an important component of improving general fitness , movement control, balance, and agility. Also, it will help with your body definition – this happens when lean muscle mass is increased and overall body fat is decreased.

The best part? You can do Pilates on an exercise mat, either in a class or at home, with the help of the almighty YouTube. This means no more excuses that you are too busy to take care of your body. The truth is that you only need a 20-minute workout, few times a week, to notice unbelievable results. As time passes, you’ll start to feel stronger and more capable for longer workout sessions, more days a week, and before you know it, you’ll have the body you have always wanted.

If your primary goal is weight loss, than combining Pilates with a healthy diet is the easiest way to do it. Healthy eating means eating a variety of foods that give you the nutrients you need like protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals to maintain your health, feel good, and have enough energy. No need for strict regimes – just listen to your body.

Fitness experts can also benefit from it, especially if they combine it with other types of workouts, because Pilates can help with your breathing, concentration, control, centring, flow, postural alignment, precision, relaxation and stamina. Pilates also boosts strength and flexibility, making you more capable of enduring extreme workout sessions.

If this sounds like a good idea, maybe you should check out our PIYO review! It’s a 60 day workout program, created by Chalene Johnson and is available on Beachbody on Demand. It combines Pilates, with yoga and fluid movements, so it’s ideal for weight loss.

Consider, also, the preference of a Pilates body vs. CrossFit body. The first is more toned, the second far more defined. If lean muscle mass is your goal, Pilates can only get you so far.

In short, if you are a very busy fitness beginner, and your goal is weight loss and body toning, Pilates can be the perfect option for you. You’ll be able to get in shape quickly, maybe even without getting out of your comfortable home.

Is CrossFit better than Pilates?

pilates vs. crossfit

CrossFit is a fitness regimen developed by Greg Glassman. To be more precise, it’s both a physical exercise philosophy and a competitive fitness sport. It consists of diverse challenging workouts, like Olympic weightlifting, HIIT, powerlifting, gymnastics, plyometrics, calisthenics, strongman, cardio circuits, and other intense exercises.

As you can see, this type of workout requires a higher level of fitness and it’s not recommended for beginners. The high-intensity training sessions can be very difficult and can cause serious injuries if you are not physically (and psychologically) prepared. To paint you a better picture, I will share this quote from the official site of CrossFit:

‘CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams… military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide…’

But don’t let this discourage you. If you are in good shape, CrossFit may be the thing you never knew you needed in your life.

CrossFit is definitely perfect for people who enjoy a challenge, get easily bored by traditional fitness routines, and enjoy solving kinetics puzzles. It can transform your regular weight lifting program into extraordinary adventure. So if you want to redefine your looks, feel great in the process, and take immense pride in your health and fitness – you should start with this workout right away.

CrossFit will get you super fit, in record time. It will also uncover your weaknesses and show you how to work on them. But most of all, it will help you build muscle, burn fat and strengthen your heart. In the long-term, this type of workout can create miracles for your body and health. It will keep you strong, healthy, and ready for every obstacle that life throws at you.

So, is CrossFit better than Pilates? Well, In short, if you are in good shape and you want to challenge yourself, CrossFit will transform your life into an unforgettable adventure. You will strengthen your entire body, and keep your heart young and healthy.

Can you combine Pilates and CrossFit?

crossfit vs pilates

Maybe you are looking this the wrong way. Maybe it doesn’t have to be Pilates vs. CrossFit for you. In fact, Pilates can improve you at CrossFit! Even though they are defined as the complete opposites of the same spectre, the truth is that they are unbelievably compatible.

With Pilates, you are learning how to use the correct muscles – an ability that you desperately need for CrossFit. Without it, you will probably struggle even with the smallest challenges. On the other hand, Pilates is also great when it comes to deepening your mind-body connection and widening your body awareness. Both of them are needed in order to complete your daily CrossFit challenges as best you can to avoid injuries.

CrossFit can also be of great help for your Pilates classes. First of all, you’ll have a stronger core. By strengthening your core, you’ll have a stable base from which you can perform all Pilates exercises with ease. Your legs will also be stronger, making you more than qualified for an advanced workout with the help of which your entire body will benefit.

A CrossFit Pilates workout does indeed combine the best from both worlds. If you decide to combine them, it’s better if you first start with Pilates. Give yourself a few months to strengthen your body and then add CrossFit to your schedule. Depending on your level of fitness, the transition can happen rather soon. Keep in mind that it will be very difficult at the beginning, but try to keep yourself motivated to continue. Your body (and your mind) will be grateful!

Do you have any experience with Pilates or CrossFit? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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