Psychological benefits of CrossFit

In this article we count on Nereida, a psychologist who is a fan of the CrossFit who shares with us his passion for this sport and the benefits it has brought him on a psychological level.

I'm not saying it! A psychologist says so.


First of all, I'd like to introduce myself, to break the ice a bit and so you can get to know me. Nereida Ferrer Lucaspsychologist, sexologist, couple therapist and Crossfitera.

crossfit psychology

Many people when I tell them that I do Crossfit are surprised and I don't know why. Also, I don't know if it happens to you but I constantly hear things like:

  • Are you out of your mind?!
  • Those Crossfit heavyweights!
  • Always talking about Crossfit!
  • You lifting wheels?! hahaha
  • That's not for you!
  • Auntie, you're always training! Live!

I don't know about you, but I think these people don't know what they're talking about... Because if you try it once, you're hooked! It happened to me...

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But... have you ever wondered why this sport is so addictive? Could it be that we have become hooked on its psychological benefits and that is why we have become "addicted" and can't stop going? Maybe.

What are the psychological benefits of CrossFit?

- Improves brain activity.
- Improve your productivity.
- Improves self-esteem.
- Increase your happiness.
- Improve your social skills.

That is why today in this article we are going to talk about them and I want you to gain insight into each one of them and try to become aware of that benefit and how much you like it.

Does it improve the brain?

Yes, it helps to work and improve memory, thus delaying aging or cognitive deterioration. This is because it improves the stimulation of neurogenesis (the process by which new neurons are generated) in the hippocampus, which is a brain structure that plays an important role in memory.

And how do we do that, do you know when your coach tells you to close your shoulder blades, do the gripper right, lower your butt, open your knees, don't cheat and do full extension on the burpee? I don't know about you, but mine won't shut up. And so on and so forth.

What are you doing there?

Sin darte cuenta, cuando coges la barra y haces un simple power clean, tu mente está haciendo una multitarea.

In other words, in a matter of seconds you are doing a scan of your body analyzing from your feet to your head if you are in a good position and if you are not, you self-correct before your coach looks at you.

Or on the other hand, if you train "alone" as I do many times, you do the same; a scan of your body and in a matter of milliseconds you realize where you are wrong and modify your technique.

You watch your gripper, you watch your knees, the width of your feet, your elbows, your shoulder blades touching, the height of the bar, the reception of the bar, etc. And so on and so forth, a whole host of things to keep in mind during the duration of a power clean...what, 5 seconds? My goodness...you work your brain harder at Crossfit than you do at Sudoku!

And not only that, but you also improve your concentration. Since, as I said, you have to observe your technique and analyze if it is good or what needs to be improved. But to make matters worse, each movement has its own technique... and you have to learn them.

We have the solution! Is your memory and concentration failing you? Sign up for Crossfit.

Improve your productivity

It is true that this benefit is general in all sports, but since Crossfit is a sport, I also contemplate it!

No se si os ha pasado el ir a entrenar y terminar el WOD por los suelos arrastrándote como un gusano moribundo y sin fuerzas… ¡A mi sí! Y quién diga que a él/ella no… ¡Miente!.

Well, believe it or not, during training, as I said in the previous section, you stimulate the brain, so it is more active, has more brain capacity and therefore your brain is in full performance.

What does that mean?

Well, it means that after that devastating WOD and the "I'm dying" slump, comes the shower and getting things done, because your brain, but not your body, is in an optimal state of productivity and that means that your performance will be much better.

Improves self-esteem

Do you remember your first Crossfit class? If you went back to that day, would you believe that today you are able to do everything you do? I think you already know the answer.

Me coming from the Ballet I never thought I would be able to have a deadweight RM of 90kg. or of being able to make 17 HSPUs in a row.

When I started, I didn't even know how to do the pino on the wall. When I started, the second burpee I wanted to die.

When I started, I only wanted to talk about 5kg dumbbells and today, I'm going for the 17.5kg dumbbells..

But the question is... what does Crossfit have to do with improving self-esteem?

Very easy. With perseverance and perseverance you see that you are capable of that and many more things we never thought we could do. A ballet dancer doing Crossfit? Hey! And how good I feel doing it.

Every day of training is a new WOD, a new challenge, with different times, with alternate weights, which makes you break out of your comfort zone, accepting and overcoming new challenges after each workout.

And with this what you get is to face your fears and helps you overcome them.

As I said before, he didn't even know how to do the pine tree... it scared me... now I laugh because I overcame it at the time and now I like it.

There is nothing better for self-esteem than to see yourself capable of doing things you never thought you would do.You don't have to go to the box, nor those where people tell you that you won't be able to do it. Go to the Box and show yourself to be much more than your fears and much more than people talk about.

I'll tell you a secret... when people tell you that you can't do it or that you can't do it, they say it out of envy. They would love to do what you do!

Increase your happiness

Have you ever finished a WOD that you don't know if you're alive or dead but happy as hell?

This is because during training there is a release of endorphins, serotonin (related to mood), dopamine (related to the pleasure system) and epinephrine or adrenaline. With this you get your anxiety and stress levels decrease and your sense of pleasure increases. So we can say that even if you die in the attempt, you "die", but happy.

crossfit increases happiness

Improve your social skills (family)

I've left this one for the last because for me is the most important.

Many or almost all of you will understand what is inside the parenthesis. This sport helps you to improve your social skills because it is mainly based on creating a community that you call family and you are more than welcome to join.

In addition to finding people with the same tastes and interests or just that you like the same sport, you end up finding a place within that family.

On the other hand, you add the fact of training with these people who one day were strangers and now are your training partners who encourage you and support you to raise that RM and those who if you fall, encourage you to get up.

That group that if you have a bad day, they end up making you get a good workout and making your capacity for self-fulfillment higher and higher.

Supongo que todos tenéis vuestra “pequeña” comunidad o familia de Crossfiteros: el llorón, el que se queja cada vez que ve en la pizarra burpees, la que siempre te arrastra, la que te motiva, el que siempre quiere hacer abdominales, la que nunca quiere hacer snatch PR, la que te cuenta sus problemas, etc. Pero al fin y al cabo, les quieres igual.

psychological benefits crossfit
Wod on the beach at CrossFit Betulo

I would like to send a greeting to my teammates: Elena, Jose and Guaje with whom I share fun, suffering and enriching trainings, and whom I would not have met without this sport. Thank you.

Oh, and don't forget! If you are one of those who still do not do Crossfit, I hope that after seeing these psychological benefits you dare to take the plunge and try this discipline that every day gains more followers.

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