Sports enthusiasts always have different opinions about whether they are into CrossFit or bodybuilding. These two sports differ with each other in so many ways. People aiming for weight loss or strength tend to choose CrossFit. Others, especially men, prefer bodybuilding because they want to gain muscle mass and enlarge their muscles.
Both of these sports differ with each other. Crossfit is a strength and conditioning program that involves high-intensity functional movement and focuses on the overall fitness of the individual. Normally a CrossFit workout consists of a WOD program, which stands for Workout Of the Day. The official WODs comes in both easy version and insanely tough versions. The toughest is called “Hero WODs” and is not a program a newbie should start with. But there are many beginner workouts out there too, like all “the girls” WODs. And don’t fear a loss in masculinity because the workout is in the group called “The Girls”. They are called that because all programs have girl names, like Cindy, Chelsea and Fran and not because it’s a “girly” workout. CrossFit is a perfect sport for people on all different fitness levels. Almost everyone can keep up since the WODs is about doing it as fast as YOU can. So how tough it’s going to be is also up to yourself. The faster you do it, the tougher the workout will be.
CrossFit promotes a fit shape and a healthy lifestyle. Many people mix CrossFit with the Paleo diet, to achieve a healthier fitness.
Check out the different WODs here.
Bodybuilding is mostly used by people who would like to increase their muscle mass and control their physical appearance. Bodybuilding is mostly a sport for men, where CrossFit is something many women are into too. I believe that men love bodybuilding because their masculinity and testosterone make them interested in a big and strong physique. And it’s no secret that many women are attracted to a ‘swole’ male body…
Bodybuilding consists of weight lifting, a strict diet and nutritional supplements at the same time. And you can’t forget cardio, all professional bodybuilders do cardio many times a week to keep their fat mass down low. And the tricky part is to make sure you won’t burn muscle mass when doing it, only fat. A good solution many bodybuilders use is the growing cardio method called HIIT.
Crossfit and bodybuilding have the same goals as well. It promotes stamina, strength, agility, accuracy, endurance for both respiratory and cardiovascular systems, speed, coordination, balance, flexibility and power. Both sports also make use of their lungs and heart when exercising. But there is a difference on the physical look and structure of the body. Bodybuilders usually have a larger muscle mass than crossfitters where crossfitters normally have a more athletic body. If you do the sports right, you will become fit from both. However, Crossfit will make you fit faster than bodybuilding will for sure.
CrossFit targets almost all the muscle groups through the same exercise. For example, the famous Thruster exercise uses your legs, core, back, chest, arms and shoulders at the same time. In bodybuilding, it requires an individual exercise to target each muscle group in the body and thereby it takes a longer time to train your whole body.
But if an aesthetic body is your goal, you should definitely choose bodybuilding. You need a strict diet and individual muscle group exercises to achieve this. CrossFit doesn’t focus on special parts of the muscles as bodybuilding does. Like the rear shoulder, there are special bodybuilding exercises to tone this part of the shoulder that you never do in CrossFit. In CrossFit, you would do an all-round upper body exercise like shoulder press that focuses on all the parts of the shoulder. You may do pull ups or rows for your back in CrossFit where you have tons of area-focused back exercises in bodybuilding. You will still gain mass through CrossFit, you just won’t be as ripped as you will through bodybuilding.
Some say that people who prefer CrossFit have weaker bodies. They might say this caused by the difference between the physique and structure of a body builder and a crossfitter. However, this is not true. CrossFit gives impressive results, too. There are crossfitters who have better physiques than some bodybuilders. And when people who say this sees a guy like Rich Froning snatching 305 lbs after many other exercises they should change their mind.
Both bodybuilding and CrossFit strengthen your bone structure through training. Your body will force the bones to increase to the next level of weight or load in order to make them stronger. However, CrossFit exercises will work a lot on your core too, making your whole body structure strong and robust.
Body building exercises are mostly done in the gym with weight lifting and cardio machines while CrossFit is done both in a box (a Box is a CrossFit gym. Find your local Box here) and outdoors. That’s one of the cool things about CrossFit, there are so many different activities you can do so you won’t get tired of the same exercises day in and day out. Running, biking, swimming, bodyweight exercises, Olympic weight lifting exercises and so on. Those activities are put together in a WOD with the goal of achieving a better physique.
Both sports vary on the time spend on a workout. Basically, you can be done with a WOD in 20 minutes. In that time you have managed to work out your whole body because the WOD is so intense. Where with Body building you normally have to spend at least 1 hour to train all the muscle groups.
Aside from those fundamentals, both also have diet plans that should be followed aside from the workout. They both eat a lot of protein rich foods and avoid fatty or harmful foods that can ruin their diet plan. They both aim to burn calories to achieve the size and shape of the body that they desire to have.
The athletes of both sports need to figure out the specific amount of calories their body need in order to achieve the fitness goal they desire. Nutrition is king when it comes to sports. If you work out as intensive as many bodybuilders and crosfitters do, you need to eat nutritious food in order to survive the daily workout.
CrossFit is worldwide known for being a social sport. Many Boxes host BBQ events, trips, competitions and so on for their members. That is also one of the reasons that people are so passionate about CrossFit, they make friends at the box. People tend to bond in a special way if you go through hell together. And hell is probably the best word to describe a Hero WOD.
With bodybuilding, you also have a similar community, just not as social in my experience. Bodybuilders work out together and go to competitions together, but I have never been to a gym where they held a BBQ event for the members, just saying… In the gym, people have their sports headphones on and most of the times keep them to themselves.
It doesn’t matter whether you are into CrossFit or bodybuilding. What matters the most is how you are able to cope with it and how you achieve your goals in the best way for yourself. You can choose whatever you want as long as you are comfortable and passionate about doing it. You just need to remember that self-discipline is the key to help you make your goals possible. Both can be done by all people who want’s to be fit and healthy and they are effective in so many ways.
Choose the path that motivates you the most and stick to it!