It seems that the new trend of fitness is the Crossfit concept. Crossfit is a combination of powerlifting, gymnastics and functional training exercises. Though there is nothing wrong with this type of training, in fact, some guys and gals have made big improvements in their strength, power, endurance and body composition. The problem with this type of training is that it is not for everyone. Just because a person on the poster is ripped, lean and muscular doesn’t mean that everyone that does the program will look like that.
Those that benefit most in Crossfit are those that have a well distributed ratio of fast twitch and slow twitch fibers. Even though the best scenerio is the mesomorphic body type, the other body types can benefit, but the endomorphs must use caution. The slow twitch dominant folks (ectomorphs) can do squats, deadlifts, pull ups, power cleans, snatches, until the cows come home and will most likely never get really big or bulky, they will stay lean and stringy. Those that are more dominant in fast twitch fibers (endomorphs) tend to gain muscle in addition to gaining fat. These are the powerlifter type physiques that are smooth, bulky, big hips and glutes, and thick distended abdominals. Men and women who fall into this category will have a tough time trying to cut up and get lean through powerlifting techniques. Not all exercises are designed for everyone, and not all exercise programs will produce the same result for everyone.
I believe that it is important to know your muscle fiber type before partaking in a particular exercise regime. If you don’t have any specific goals or don’t really care what you look like then jumping into any kind of program is your choice. But I have been in the fitness business a long time and I can pick out those folks that are performing the wrong exercises for their physique. I see it more with women trying to lose body fat. They end up getting bigger, thicker, fatter, and can’t seem to ever lose body fat. This is because they are following the wrong type of program for their physiological make up.
If you are not aware of your body type and physiological processes you could end up building a big, thick, bulky body.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed