CrossFit vs MMA: Interval based strength or hybrid combat?

Are you looking for a way to get in shape while also building your mind and body? If so, you might be thinking about comparing CrossFit vs MMA. These have become two of the most popular workout routines among people at all levels.

Some people might be looking to get off the couch for the first time, while others might be looking to become competitive athletes.

At the same time, should you perform CrossFit? Or, should you perform MMA? Take a look at a few important points below.

What Is CrossFit?

What is CrossFit

CrossFit is a specific fitness regimen that involves intensity interval training to help people get in shape. It has been popular for more than 20 years, with people of all levels taking advantage of its training methods.

Specifically, CrossFit workouts involve interval training. What this means is that people will perform multiple repetitions of high-intensity exercises for short amounts of time. Then, after taking a break, they will move on to the next activity. These functional movements are similar to those you perform in your everyday life, including pushing, pulling, and squatting.

In addition to focusing on the workout routine, CrossFit also focuses on safe exercise, smart nutrition, and a healthy lifestyle. All of this works together toward a common goal of helping someone get in better shape. It can train both mind and body.

What Is MMA?

MMA stands for mixed martial arts. It is a specific type of fighting competition that pits one person against another.

MMA is a hybrid combat sport. It incorporates numerous techniques ranging from Karate to Jujitsu, Judo, wrestling, and boxing.

This one of the true benefits of learning MMA – it’s a cross-section of martial arts that benefits from the movements, flexibility, and pure fitness that these disciplines can deliver in different ways.

Of course, a lot of people who compete in MMA already have at some background in one of these martial arts disciplines. And, unlike CrossFit, participants are broken into male and female classes.

However, even though MMA is based on competition style fighting, it still delivers an exceptional workout for pure fitness enthusiasts, or those looking to shed a few pounds.

Plus, fighting, boxing, and UFC gyms focus on individual muscle groups to help people get in better shape. MMA can also help people overcome a lot of mental issues (i.e. fear, anxiety, and low self-esteem) by encouraging them to be their best and overcome fears when competing against other people.

Mixed martial arts also focuses on other aspects, including ground fighting, grappling, striking, and other self-defense techniques. For all of these reasons, MMA can help people enjoy a truly well-rounded mental and physical workout.

How Are They Different?

There are several significant differences between CrossFit and MMA. First, a people usually perform CrossFit workouts in groups. People go to gyms, work out with other people, and push themselves and others to be their best.

On the flip side, even though MMA participants compete directly against another person, most MMA athletes workout and train on their own. If they work out with other people, they are typically working with people who are not at the same skill level.

Crossfit workout routines also focus on using motions that people perform on a daily basis, such as pushing and pulling. In contrast, MMA fighters focus on martial arts movements for combat.

Of course, another significant difference is that CrossFit workouts never push someone to physically strike someone else. Participants are also not confined to a cage or an octagon.

In contrast, mixed martial arts fighters are specifically training to take down someone else in a fighting ring. Therefore, CrossFit and MMA are significantly different from one another.

How Are They Similar?

On the other hand, there are a lot of similarities between CrossFit and MMA. Both disciplines focus on working mind and body.

CrossFit helps you push your mind by working out among other people who are encouraging you to be better.

MMA works your mind by encouraging you to overcome nervousness and stress related to engaging in combat.

Furthermore, CrossFit and MMA help you get stronger physically.

CrossFit routines involve high-intensity, interval workout routines that target specific muscle groups.

Mixed martial arts fighters also have to focus on certain muscle groups that are important in the ring. Therefore, both disciplines help you strengthen your mind and your body.

What Makes CrossFit Better?

Men in gym lifting kettle bell

There are several reasons why CrossFit might be better than MMA. These include:

  • You have a much lower chance of getting hurt performing CrossFit because you do not have to worry about being physically struck by someone else.
  • During a CrossFit workout, you maximize your heart rate several times across multiple exercises. This helps you burn more calories, and you could lose more weight.
  • CrossFit helps you hit countless fitness domains including flexibility, speed, strength, stamina, agility, balance, and respiratory endurance.

These are just a few of the many reasons why CrossFit might be better than MMA. If you want to get in better shape, consider trying CrossFit.

What Makes MMA Better?

2 men boxing

On the other hand, there are several reasons why MMA might be better as well. These include:

  • As you learn MMA, you will learn how to defend yourself. MMA incorporates a wide variety of martial arts practices that help you learn how to protect yourself in a pinch.
  • MMA provides an excellent full-body workout. No matter what your discipline might be, you will need to work your arms, legs, and core to get better at MMA. It’s excellent for burning fat.
  • MMA encourages you to overcome pain and push yourself past your limits in an effort to beat your competitors. You are in a ring, so there is no backing away from a challenge.

For all of these reasons, MMA could be the answer for you as well.

Who Should Try CrossFit?

So, who exactly should try CrossFit?

There are several examples of people who might benefit from this type of workout routine. These include:

  • If you want to find a way to simply get stronger, then CrossFit is for you. This is a great opportunity for people who want to get more involved in strength training.
  • If you are looking for a sense of community, then you should try CrossFit. You will be surrounded by people with a similar mindset who encourage you to do your best.
  • If you have never exercised before, CrossFit is still for you. There are plenty of ways you can customize and scale these workouts to meet your needs, so you can progress at your own pace, even if you’re a newbie.

There are countless people who could benefit from CrossFit as away to get in great shape, build real strength, and join an active fitness community.

Who Should Try MMA?

2 men kicking

There are plenty of people who could benefit from MMA as well. A few examples include:

  • If you are looking for a way to get better at defending yourself, then you could benefit from mixed martial arts. Not afraid to get hit few times, step in the ring and build toughness, discipline. And even have a little fun.
  • If you would like to overcome anxiety, nervousness, and stress, then MMA could force you to do so.
  • If you want to test yourself against another person in a one-on-one setting, then MMA is probably the sport for you.

You do not necessarily need to have any fighting experience to try MMA. Everyone has to start from somewhere, and MMA training alone is a true path to fitness.

Find the Right Workout Routine for You

This is just a brief overview of the similarities and differences between CrossFit and MMA. If you are looking for a way to get in better shape, you may want to consider both of these disciplines.

Both of them can help you get in better shape while also working your mind and body.

Tim Rollins, Editor

About boxletes was created by a team of CrossFit athletes and fitness enthusiasts who love to share information about the best CrossFit boxes, workout gear and equipment, and fitness and nutrition tips.

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