3 Ways Barbell Cycling Benefits YOU

Every exercise program has unique features that make it easily identifiable. When it comes to CrossFit, one of those features is barbell cycling. Barbell cycling is safely, efficiently, and effectively moving a barbell from point A to point B as quickly as possible for many consecutive reps. How does barbell cycling benefit you though?


Something else that separates CrossFit from other styles of training is that we define fitness. We do this with several models, one of which is the 10 General Physical Skills. When you practice weightlifting, like cleans, jerks, and snatches, you will be improving 8 out of 10 of these skills, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Coordination, Agility, Balance, and Accuracy. When you hold onto the barbell for big sets and cycle reps, as you will commonly do in a CrossFit workout, you will also improve your Stamina, and Cardiovascular/respiratory Endurance. Barbell cycling gives you all the benefits of weightlifting, like improved muscle mass, bone density, and connective tissue strength, as well as helping you have a healthy, strong heart and lungs.


CrossFit did not invent the clean, jerk, or snatch. We simply apply these lifts differently than most other programs by holding onto the barbell and cycling them for big sets. This is not the conventional technique for these exercises, and sometimes it unfairly gets a bad wrap due to outsiders misunderstanding our intent. Generally we are moving a light to moderate weight as quickly as we can for as many reps as we can, rather than simply trying to move the maximum amount of weight for one rep. In doing this you will need to use your body to move the barbell while also moving your body around the barbell. It’s like dancing, and your dance partner is made of steel and rubber. Barbell cycling will improve your body awareness and carryover to every other exercise you do. It will make you better at body weight exercises, conventional cardio exercises, and, of course, any exercise where you are moving weights around. Furthermore, better coordination and balance will also make you more “fall proof”, so you can lead a long, healthy, independent life.


The most common reason most of us start working out is to build muscle and burn fat. Great news! Building muscle and burning fat go hand in hand. An excellent way to build muscle and strength is by moving light to moderate weights for large sets approaching failure. Sound familiar? If you’ve done a CrossFIt workout with a barbell, it sure does! Improving your muscle mass will increase the number of calories your body needs to sustain itself, thereby helping you burn more even when you’re not working out. Muscle mass is also a key indicator for longevity.

Barbell cycling is a unique feature of the CrossFit training program. It will improve your coordination, balance, and durability, so you can live a long, healthy, fit life. Barbell cycling is fun! It gives you the benefits of cardio and strength training all at once, burning fat, building muscle, and helping you get in the best shape of your life!


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