Crossfit vs. Bodybuilding


Authored by Andy Chasse’ in Exercise 
Published on 08-29-2009

All recreational lifters and athletes, regardless of where you come from or what you know, have some kind of goal or series of goals you’re working towards. Football wide receivers want to get better at catching the ball, as well as build speed and agility. Olympic weightlifters are concerned with overall power and and performance in the snatch and clean-and-jerk. Everyday gym goers often hope to simply lose a little bit of fat and pack on some solid muscle. What kind of programs do these guys use? To put it simply, they use entirely different routines based upon their goals. That is one of the fundamental concepts of exercise. To single out two different exercise programs that may be used by one or more of the above groups, we’re going to take a look at Crossfit vs. bodybuilding.

Bodybuilding is a sport based on aesthetics – overall appearance and muscular balance and symmetry of the human body. Bodybuilders work hard in the off-season to pack on as much muscle as possible so that they can diet down to a shredded state for competition. These men and women then hop on stage and strut their stuff. However, bodybuilding is not just a sport – it is a method of training. Many recreational weightlifters that desire more muscle and less fat often implement bodybuilding techniques into their training. Wait, there are bodybuilding techniques? Of course. As with any other sport or method of training, there are a number of underlying concepts that define the specific modality. In the case of bodybuilding, the workouts are based on a high volume of isolation exercises in hopes of exhausting the muscle and forcing growth.

Crossfit, on the other hand, is a completely different monster. Crossfit is not a sport, but a method of training. It is a unique strength and conditioning program used by a number of local, state, and federal agencies to improve and maintain the physical fitness levels of the staff. These agencies primarily include fire and law enforcement units, although many military units around the world are beginning to make use of this conditioning-based program. Crossfit is a very general, non-specialized program that focuses heavily on overall physical fitness. As for the exercises used by Crossfit – there are many. These movements are often performed in a circuit fashion. The goal is not necessarily amount of weight lifted or reps performed, but rather time to complete the circuit. Although some of the exercises are complex in nature, the majority used in the Crossfit program are simple and fundamental.

As for the Crossfit vs. bodybuilding debate, it depends entirely upon your individual goals. Each program has its strengths and weaknesses. Powerlifters generally won’t find much of a benefit from performing a bodybuilding routine, however they might decide to incorporate some aspects of Crossfit into their program to help keep conditioning up between meets. On that same note, bodybuilders may benefit from their traditional bodybuilding-type training, but some of the Crossfit techniques may be helpful during the fat-shedding phase. Choosing the right program for you all comes down to your individual goals. Think carefully before committing to a weightlifting routine.


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