T Nation

Physique Question


To start with, sorry for the crappy screenshot, it just didnt work:(

Well, everybody who is 'big' seems to hate on crossfit to a certain degree. I totally understand that the wods are not conductive to good form, maximal strenght or , everybodys pet peeve, safety.

But seeing guys like CT seeing improvement, and helping crossfit evolve, I have hope for them. Guys like Max Shank also seems to help promote the all-round athleticism idea.

TBH I would rather look like Rich Froning than probably every bodybuilder.
(Strange thing, his New Bmi is 28.88, with abs showing, that's frickin' big! Very paradoxical: he has above human stamina, but is really big for a man with such gas tank)

So I would like to know what you guys and galls thinks of crossfit. I'm fiddeling with some concepts they use alot: density work, a pull-heavy program, making workouts have conditioning element to finish, focusing on OHP's instead of benching, using different skills like basic BW stuff (loaded eventually), heavy barbell deadlifts, squats and O lift variations.

Hope you guys have a opinion and some things you stole from CF?


Crossfit as a competition = good (entertaining for sure).

Training crossfit =/= good.

Froning doesn't train using the WODs the majority of the time. Neither do any of the other high level crossfit athletes from what I've read.

It's also worth noting Froning is probably assisted. I like his physique as well. Same with Jason Khalipa.


My opinion anyway.


You could do a lot worse than crossfit. Depends on your goals. Seeing a lot of folks transitioning from crossfit to strongman at recent comps, and it seems to provide a decent enough base. Don't really see a lot of great physiques, but that's true of the strongmen as well.


I really don't get it when people go "I'd rather look like so and so than every bodybuilder" when comparing training methods when their main goal is building muscle.

What is your point? If you think crossfit will build less muscle than a bodybuilding routine, why wouldn't you do a bodybuilding routine and get there faster?

Or do you think the exercise selection will build muscle in certain areas better thus giving you more desirable proportions? Then target the muscles you want to build with a bodybuilding routine.

Or have you not derived results from a normal routine? Then you're doing something fundamentally wrong. It will be the same on other methods you use.

Pretty much common sense isn't it?


Look at that guy's pecs, and re-read your own description of CF above. Then ask yourself which aspect of the CF approach is responsible for his amazing pec development.

Finally, ask yourself how many CFers you know who look anything like this. I know a fair number, and while many are very fit, lean and athletic-looking, none are even remotely this muscular.

The point: This guy doesn't look like that because he does CF. (In fact, it would probably be more accurate to say he looks like that despite doing CF.) I'm not saying you shouldn't incorporate CF elements into your training; rather, I'm suggesting you shouldn't expect physique outcomes like that to come of it.


I like the crossfit "concept" for conditioning. Apart from that, doesn't interest me in the least.


Agreed. Froning has stated many times his approach on training. Rarely, does he do wods. Doesn't even abide by the standard paleo diet. You see him on YouTube banging out benchmark wods merely for marketing and promoting the sport since he's been the poster boy for years now. I agree his physique is admirable, but crossfit is not responsible for it.

Years back I experimented with crossfit when it was a growing trend. Even though I was in incredible shape, I was small and unimpressive. My joints ached everyday. I'm all about intensity in my workouts but the moment you involve a clock, form goes to shit. Fatigue sets in and it becomes dangerous during compound movements. I felt that if I continued, injury was inevitable. Especially with box jumps. But that was just my experience. Gave that shit up and focus more on a bodybuilding approach to my training. Had to make up years of gains that I lost training crossfit. IMO crossfit sucks.




https://www.T-Nation.com/training/bodybuilder-goes-crossfit/training/bodybuilder-goes-crossfitI am aware alot of top notch crossfitters don't do wods every day. Thats just counterproductive, you don't see many top fighters fight hard every day. It bangs you up and doesn't teach you the technical stuff because you're stressed to think about it.
However,I do believe they have pioneered some concepts that are very usefull for other athletes.

They side-rant of mine that says I would rather look like froning than most bodybuilders was meant to be in perspective, sorry if I didnt make that clear. I meant that Froning has exceptional stamina, which ussualy means a person has less muscle mass. I would like to have exceptional stamina, and I want to be strong an big (ish). I would be very happy to look like froning instead of like most bodybuilders. Being able to combine stamina and physique/strength/power is my dream, and Froning seems to have found the midway.
Not to say BB methods are not usefull for building a great physique.

About Rich's pecs, I thought they were a by product of dips, maybe he is just genetically gifted with those.
I see what you mean: 'after so therefore' is a creaky logic. Probably Rich would have looked quite the same when he did powerlifting and tried to be lean. And like there"s mentioned before, Froning is training FOR CF more than training CF itself. He probably does a ton of strength work each week. I'll be saying some more after a little jump.

Loads of average CF'ers look small because they don't do progressions, skill and strength work. Thats not weird as they're doing almost only Wods, and conditioning only doesn't make you buff.

Like CT mentioned in his 'Bodybuilder goes Crossfit' article, CF seems to really helped his Lats and Delts alot because of the style of training. In his article 'A Crossfit Apology' he speaks his thoughts about high frequency low back training crossfitters do and the benefits.
CF just has some legit ideas, and I was using some to gain both my physique and athletic goals faster, and with more fun. He also admits his own workouts for building strength are far more productive for that specific goal. Wods can be a tool in the toolbox for a few things, but Im not even maybe gonna drop my strength work.

Funny to see I never had a post with this many strong opinions so fast. CF seems to polarize alot:)


I think there might be a few articles discussing crossfit on here already:


Having said that, my thoughts are as follows:

Crossfit main site WOD's and programming sucks huge dangly balls for your particular goals. I've been to a fair few boxes, met a fair few crossfitters, including some low level competitors, and the only ones with even remotely impressive strength or muscular development are those who supplement main site WODs with their own targeted training. All Crossfit Games competitors pretty much do their own thing with their training to the best of my knowledge, using mainsite WODs purely for marketing.

Having said that, I think there's some excellent things about Crossfit that I love. First of all: the Crossfit Games are awesome, no question about that. Secondly: Crossfits exercise selection is fantastic IMO. Their use of those exercises is often terrible (high rep, fatigued box jumps with kipping pull-ups anyone?), but I think it would be hard to criticise most of the exercises themselves. Lastly: Crossfit seems to have conditioning pretty much sorted. Some of their best workouts have turned circuit training (or peripheral heart action or metcon or whatever you want to call it) into a fine art. I think they are one of the most effective tools for improving your conditioning out there.


your initial post only mentioned wanting to look like Froning, which is why bodybuilding methods were mentioned. If you want to look like Froning, bodybuilder-style training is the most efficient way to get there.

But if you want to actually be Froning as suggested by your other post, then yes, a mixture of strength work and crossfit is the way to go.

Some steroids wouldn't hurt, either.


Dagill, same idea here. I would love to use the same excercises. CF doesn't really have a dogma ot tradition of what works and what doesn't, just an eclectic collage of things they like. Awesome on that. I too agree high rep isnt a good idea at most of those excercises. Although I could argue about skill. Of course my Snatch form would go out the window for high reps, but some pretty solid pushups when gassed aren't that hard. Same for back squats and front squats. The latter are a excercise I would do when fatigued because I just drop the bar and be safe. Maybe wods with low(er) skill excercises are the way to go.

I'm aware most high level people train FOR crossfit, not just doing crossfit. I def would design a sane program, not just kill myself randomly. Fun and variation is all jolly good, and I don't wanna miss it, but progress is priority #1

Yogi, well looking like froning is also a dream...:slightly_smiling:
The mixture of stamina and strength (and the hawt bawdy it brings) is my attracts me the most, not 1 part more than the other. As the martial arts wannabe I am, I would like a good gas tank, and having the strength to throw your opponents around helps with having an easier time for sure.

And the roids, Rich can be on them, I would believe he is. Even than an exceptional athlete.
I prob won't do them any time soon, they say it makes your junk shrink, and I like my junk.


Just your balls, and they come back.


Matt Fraser, who won this year's Open, is relatively new to Crossfit, but trained as a high level olympic lifter. He was working towards the Olympics until he hurt his back and required surgery. My point being, even for the top athletes, strength takes a while to build, its the conditioning that comes quickly and goes quickly. I like parts of CF for conditioning, and I like the games for watching some impressive performances, but in training, strength is what matters.


Agreed.....nobody gets big/strong doing CF. Big/strong people have few problems adapting to CF.


Rich is listed as 5'9" @ 197 lbs. It is reasonable to believe that could be possible for a disciplined athlete with top-shelf genetics.


I have never followed CF or had any interest in it at all but I always thought that if a mid to higher tier lighter olympic lifter shifts over to that he would win.


Yeah, Fraser had been doing CF for just over a year when he got second in last year's games. I suspect he will finish first this year with more experience under his belt.


Klokov has been basically "playing around" with CF workouts the last two or three years, almost making them seem like a goof.
WOD of 30 snatches with 135 for time (he accidentally only did 29. Finished in 1 minute 11sec, faster than Froning has. They've also both done it with 225 pounds, Klokov still finished faster):

But if we're talking crossover, I'd be more interested to see what some top lightweight strongmen competitors could pull off in a straight-up CF WOD, since they generally train for more diverse events and have a bit more of an anaerobic endurance element (from loaded carries and other "for time" events).

^ Dude's 5'9", competes at 175 and walks around 185ish, right around the average size of CF games competitors.

I wrote some pros and cons of CF training here:

"Stole from CF" would imply that CF created certain concepts, which they didn't (other than kipping pull-ups, supposedly). They popularized some techniques.

But like I said in that article, the idea of being well-rounded, training for different abilities (strength and agility and speed and power, etc.), and mixing training implements within a session (bodyweight exercises plus free weights plus medicine balls/odd objects plus conditioning/cardio) has been around for literally about 100 years.