T Nation

Crossfit vs Powerlifting


Say what you want to about crossfit but, they have their shit together:

Reebok sponsorship? People actaully in attendance at a competition? Their infrastructure is ridiculous. Every gym feeds athletes to these regionals. Then the winners of the regionals compete in the crossfit games. Then thats it. Literally, 2 competitions a year and one winner for each catergory. Oh yea, then reebok gives the winners a million fucking dollars. How many registered powerlifters are there... 15,000 MAYBE. There are over 200,000 people with crossfit memberships.

I've also heard that reebok is trying to do the same thing with strongman. They have a contract to open 20+ stronman gyms all over the US. They will feed strongmen to regionals, nationals, and worlds strongest man. That means that those guys that make it there will actually be able to make a living from their sport.

Nothing like this will ever happen with powerlifting. It's sad but, powerlifting sucks.


you going crossfit?


That's a big dude at 4:40 doing those box jumps.


Judging by the talk on their business forum, Crossfit affiliates make a lot of money selling group fitness classes to people who will never compete in crossfit, or in anything else. A good chunk of this money finds its way to the national organization. So the national organization can fund stuff like this based on services sold to non-competitors (as opposed to charging spectators, which by the looks of the video wouldn't yield all that much). This is where PL can't compete - PL federations are funded almost entirely by their members. Even before taking sponsorships into account, PL draws from a much more limited revenue base.


Reebok is a joke, but it's still hard to argue with a large corporate sponsorship with an assload of cash.

The crossfit games really are taking off, compared to just 2 years ago where it was really a relatively small gathering at a little ranch in Aromas, CA. Last year they moved to some stadium. I watched it and am generally impressed with the caliber of athletes in the upper echelons of their "sport".

I'm interested to see how these games go and who wins it. Now that $$ is there, I want to actually see some real athletes transitioning in. The high level competitors are good, but I want to see some real professional level capable athletes enter, who couldn't make it professionally for whatever reason. Already, a lot of the top level guys are ex-collegiate athletes in sports with no earning potential or an inability to make it in a real league.

The marketing appeal is there, as these athletes tend to be muscular, more muscular and stronger than most 'hobbyist'/wannabe bodybuilders, lean, and in shape (relatively strong and conditioned).

I do disagree with the un-marketability of powerlifting though. I don't think the general exercise population will be impressed or is even capable of understanding, fat guys with multiple plies moving obscene amounts of weight. I do think that there are competing powerlifters out there that are capable of being marketed towards more general 'fitness' oriented people.

In the end though, most people paying for memberships at crossfit gyms tend to be very easily led, weekend warrior types. They have a large amount of discretionary income and tend to tow the party line when it comes to what gear to purchase (vibrams + boardshorts) what supplements to take (progenex). I know this because I've been training with 2 crossfit trainers, both who are going to regionals, one as a team and one individual.

The handjobbing is large with this group, as pretty much whenever anybody does anything they are rubbing each others backs and telling each other how good or inspirational their performance was.

The one girl gets it, and has spent the last year or so working on strength, while doing a couple crossfit workouts a week. She still spends her cash on overpriced whey protein. I still think the other one is clueless and does whatever she is told. She also gets very butthurt when we joke about the stupid shit she does.

You can build a crossfit gym with 10 bars a stack of 25lb bumpers, a pull up rig, and a place to run. You can charge people $150/month for group workouts where they are in and out in <45 minutes with a warmup and cooldown. You don't even need to give them a place to shower.

These clients present a huge group of people willing to give their money to reebok. Somebody posted a sample pic of reebok's prototype crossfit shoe somewhere. Glassman is making a killing on this as well. $3000/year affiliate fee's, level 1 certification fees, crossfit journal subscriptions and what not. Not to mention, entry fees for the games and specatator fees, plus now corporate sponsorship.

Powerlifters on the other hand, are cheap as shit.


Looks like a bunch of frat boys humping weights.



People don't understand powerlifting. Crossfit still sucks =/


theuofh - nice writeup. Maybe I'm naive but I think crossfit is just another fad that will disappear given a few years.

It is a little disheartening to see a sport come out of nowhere and have corporate sponsorship when powerlifting has been around for much longer and doesn't receive that kind of attention...and we could speculate all day as to why.

I would like to speculate on one thing...
Maybe I'm talking out of my ass here but even weightlifting isn't as popular or as lucrative as crossfit.
Few places are equipped for weightlifting...I've never heard of local, regional or national weightlifting events where competitors receive cash prizes...very similar to powerlifting...right (or am I wrong)?

What are the commonalities between powerlifting and weightlifting? Lifting heavy shit. I think this scares alot of folks, they have ideas in their heads about it already. There are folks who think they need to sweat their asses off for their workout to be productive...same folks who'd rather deadlift 100 lbs. for 100 reps than lift 500 lbs. for 1 rep. Take your average housewife, mother or whatever and chances are she thinks she needs to "feel the burn" for an exercise to be working...she isn't going to want to put 500 lbs. on her back and squat it. And that's where the marketability comes in...regardless of whether someone is capable of squatting 500 lbs. or not, the thought of lifting lighter weights for many reps seems much more achieveable. Who wants to be involved with a sport if they don't feel their goals are achieveable?

There are a couple of ladies I work with that occasionally train with my small group and the other day I had one of them squatting. See was sure she couldn't lift the weight we expected her to. She took the weight and missed it. We corrected a few things and she came back to hit it for 3 singles. She needed someone pushing her to build that confidence...you don't need that same confidence to lift light shit over and over again. It's very sellable.


I see form is still not an issue here.. Those row/chin/flopping about like a fish things look so retarded


I think of Crossfit as fitness hipsters.

It's funny that reebok is a big sponsor since so many of them wear either five-fingers or oly shoes. It's also funny that for a minimalist sport dues are so expensive. But still it's good that cross fit gets some wealthy professionals off of the elipticals at planet fitness.

II think one of the reasons crossfit is getting ahead of powerlifting is that powerlifting has three lifts that are measured in absolute terms. And some guys are unwilling to compete until they get their bench above 300. But crossfit has unconventional exercises. So a crossfit hipster can smugly announce he can do 30 burpees and 50 kippers in 15 minutes and his peers and like "what is a burping kipkins?!"


Crossfit is a fitness fad, dont worry, it will be dead soon. With the amount of injuries and weak human beings (bunny rabbits, cardio all day, no MFD) soon people will realize that there is more to fitness than this one section of glorified circuit training.

I think crossfit has its place, but its on the way out.


Just like fitness centers like planet fitness and 24 hour fitness where people continue to go to and never get results are going out of style.... wait... wut?


Well spin class, body pump and all that garbage went out of style, its still around but WAY less popular, thats what I assume will happen with crossfit.


could somebody xplain me wat is crossfit ?
wat is the goal of training that way ?
and why there are so many hot chicks in that video ?


I would explain it to you, but i fear you would not be able to understand my proper spelling.

If you try very hard, and don't give up, I'm sure you would be able to Google it yourself.


Once again I think there's been an under and overreaction to what crossfit is and where it's going. Is it a fad that will die out? Hell no but it's certainly not going to maintain the level of popularity it has right now. Working in a crossfit gym I'll be the first to say that coaches and participants alike get waaaaaayyy too wrapped up in all the fancy crap without mastering the basics.

However dismissing most of the crossfit athletes as being "weak" would be a mistake as well.....many of the competitors who actually have a chance to compete in crossfit at a high level have a decent base level of strength, certainly not what a good powerlifter or o lifter would have but definitely much better than the average gym goer. Also, I think it shouldn't be underestimated as to what crossfit can do for other sports. We've had athletes at our gym branch out and do other competitions such as oly meets and powerlifting comps. These are people who wouldn't have done so on their own.


In the name of a good troll job, I'll attempt a pictorial summary of crossfit.

This is Coach Greg Glassman, referred to as "Couch" by some. He is the founder of Crossfit and an ex gymnast, who supposedly sustained a nasty neck injury and has let himself go to shit.


where powerlifting has failed crossfit has overachieved...

1) Strong leadership

2) Exercise and judging standards

3) Easy access to training and instruction

4) Sponsorship

5) Mass appeal


This is ex-mrs. couch, I believe her name is Lauren Jenai. I don't have all day to look for pics, but there are some nice ones out there that really show off her 'eyes'.

I believe she divorced couch because of numerous infidelities.


This is getting old quick. Google the couch thread for the real deal on what Crossfit is. There's some real dirty stuff in there, that I guarantee not even a bunch of new affiliate owners know about.

Plus there are numerous gems like this.