8 Reasons Cycling Is Way Better Than CrossFit
I’ve publicly declared my love of CrossFit as a way to build serious strength for life – on and off the bike. CrossFit makes you strong, athletic, well rounded, and most importantly, builds muscle that can slip away over time. I won’t go through another off-season without it, and I’ll keep it in rotation for strength maintenance.
That said, I won’t be giving up my wheels for WODs (workouts of the day) or trade gravel grinders for the CrossFit Games because, although CrossFit has proven to be the perfect complement to my riding life, cycling still rules my world. Here are eight reasons why.
1. Brushing my teeth never hurts after I ride my bike…
…neither does trying to lift a milk jug out of the fridge or moving mail from the kitchen table. As one of my CrossFit and cycling buddies texted after a particularly arduous upper body day: “My arms would like to secede from my body.” Cycling is challenging in its own way, but I don’t struggle to perform everyday tasks after a day on the bike.
2. I can take my sweet time.
We cyclists could fill a thesaurus with poetic terms for “easy ride:” tranquillo, conversational cruise, piano pace, social roll. I only have one word for an easy day in CrossFit: dead.
3. You don’t have to learn another language.
Okay, so maybe you thought you had to learn a foreign tongue when you tried to get a grasp of the cycling lingo. Psshh! You can generally nod and fake it when someone says, “We’re going to ride threshold and do a few openers.” But when your WOD is a 10-minute AMRAP with 100 DU, 50 Wall Balls, 30 DB Snatches, 10 Clusters, finishing with 3 x 10 T2B, it’s a lot of, “WTF are they talking about?!”
4. …Or do advanced math for that matter.
Sure, cyclists have intervals. But even if you’re doing eight sets of tabatas, you can set a timer for four minutes, and all is well. When you have a 30-minute EMOM with 12-cal ski erg, 12 T2B, 15 KB SDLHB 35, 15 KB Russian swings 35, 30-second plank, you’re suddenly sorry you didn’t pay closer attention in algebra.
5. It just sounds better.
Cycling is an auditory symphony of clicking gears, humming tyres, whirring wheels, and rushing wind. CrossFit sounds more like a building implosion thanks to very strong people dropping very heavy weights from very high places. It took me a few weeks to stop jumping out of my skin every time I heard a slam.
And fresh air, and trees, and vistas … Enough said.
7. You can zone out.
You must enter a very specific mental zone for CrossFit. It demands every ounce of your being to get the job done. But you can’t really zone out the way you can on a quiet road, kays from nowhere with nothing but the sun in your face and the wind at your back. The wind is never, ever at your back in CrossFit.
8. You feel like a badass.
Sure, CrossFit makes me feel crazy strong, but there are times when I feel like a total badass on my bike – when I feel strong, light, and powerful all wrapped into one flying blur of speed. Those are glorious times that I will never fully realise in the CrossFit box. Not that it doesn’t feel pretty badass to back squat 68 percent of your weight 20 times, but whatever you’re doing will likely pale in comparison to the boss moves of the person next to you doing handstand pushups and ring dips. It’s good to be humbled, but to me, that humble pie tastes better as fuel for a nice 100-kilometre ride.