Bodybuilding vs. CrossFit: The Ultimate Grudge Match


When it comes to personal fitness, everybody has their favourites. But if you’re just starting out, it can something of a tall order to decide exactly which workout style is for you. Two of the most common forms of fitness regimes are bodybuilding and Crossfit. While each is unique in its approach to whipping your body into shape, there are some points of comparison. It’s these that we’ll take a look at in today’s ultimate grudge match.

Starting at the beginning

Before we really get into it, let’s start by defining exactly what each of these fitness regimes actually is. You may already know this stuff, but for the sake of completeness let’s define each one.

  • Bodybuilding is, at its core, designed to build up your body’s muscle mass. This is achieved through a rigorous routine of workouts designed to push every muscle group to their limit. Bodybuilders are often encouraged to aim for the heaviest possible weights in order to ‘rip’ the muscle and net the most gains.
  • CrossFit is a regime that is less focused on muscular gains, instead offering a balance of muscular and cardiovascular endurance exercises. Crossfit may challenge you to complete as many repetitions of an exercise as possible in a given timeframe AMRAP. As time goes on, you either add weight or reduce the timeframe in order to produce results.

What’s the difference between bodybuilding and CrossFit?

There are clearly a number of differences between these two disciplines, and some may say they aren’t really comparable at all. However, there is some small crossover, and it’s here that we can begin to identify exactly what separates bodybuilding from Crossfit. The largest difference is the fact that a traditional bodybuilding routine will not include cardio as standard. Bodybuilders generally focus only on muscle strength and endurance for the key muscle groups, and do not focus on cardiovascular fitness as part of their core routines. Crossfit, on the other hand, will usually include a blend of weight training, running or sprinting, and a little gymnastics too. Proponents of Crossfit will usually aim to get results in 10 core areas, including stamina, power, speed, and so on.

Are you a bodybuilder or a CrossFitter?

There’s no ignoring the fact that you’ll find a bit of bad blood on both sides of this grudge match. Some bodybuilders aren’t huge fans of Crossfit, and vice-versa. But don’t let this sway you in your decision – you should focus your fitness efforts on the goals you’d like to achieve. If your dream is to have a large, well-defined, torso and build core muscle strength and endurance, bodybuilding is a good choice. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more all-rounder approach to fitness, as well as some muscle tone and definition, Crossfit could be the answer. In any case, we’d always recommend that you take the time to explore both sides of this argument in depth before deciding. And don’t forget: nutrition is a core aspect of both bodybuilding and Crossfit, so whatever you choose we’d also recommend you check out our range of dairy-free protein shakes to give you the boost you’ll need.

What are your thoughts on the bodybuilding vs. CrossFit argument? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below, or via Facebook or Twitter.

About Jessica @ Sativa Shakes

Jessica has over ten years experience in the fitness industry, working initially as a fitness coach and personal trainer, and then moving into management for several years in health clubs around the UK. Fitness is a way of life for Jessica, spending many hours each week in the gym in order to constantly improve her fitness, strength and skills.
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