Starting Strength’s New Take on an Old CrossFit Concept

CrossFit: A New Take on an Old CrossFit Concept?

By Mark Rippetoe

In my opinion, there are two ways to train: strength training or weightlifting. If you want to get strong, then you need to lift weights. But if you just want to look good naked without lifting weights, then don’t bother with it!

The other way to train is through bodyweight exercises like pushups, sit ups, pullups, squats, lunges and all those other things that make you feel like a pudgy little nerd. I’m not going to go into too much detail here because I’ve already done so in several books (see “Starting Strength” and “5/3/1”). However, let me say this: You can do these exercises for hours at a time without getting tired.

And they’re fun!

I have a friend named John who is a former competitive powerlifter. One day while I was talking to him, he mentioned that he had recently read an article in the March issue of Men’s Health magazine about CrossFit. Apparently, CrossFit is a new take on old fitness concepts such as weightlifting and bodybuilding.

According to John, it’s very similar to what he used to do when he trained for competitions.

I told him that I had heard of CrossFit before because a friend of mine (Mark) was a big fan of it. As a matter of fact, he had recently opened up a new gym called the “Garage Gym” in order to spread the gospel according to Crossfit. Although I don’t have anything against Mark and his business ventures, in my opinion, he seems to think that he’s just a little bit better than everyone else simply because he trains Crossfit.

John and I went on to have an in-depth discussion about the pros and cons of Crossfit and how it compared to weightlifting. In my opinion, doing no weight training at all would leave you tremendously weak and soft. But John said that he actually combined weightlifting with Crossfit and had already noticed a remarkable difference in his size and strength.

He told me that I should try it out for myself, because he thought that it would be right up my alley.

In the following days I did a lot of research on Crossfit. Like I said before, it’s a relatively new concept. It was created by a guy named Greg Glassman and started getting popular a few years ago.

Now there are Crossfit training centers in almost every major city and town in the US and even abroad. The Crossfit “boxes” (their word for gym) are very hardcore and most of them don’t even have a spinning class!

Starting Strength's New Take on an Old CrossFit Concept - GymFitWorkout

But I noticed that not all of the boxes were alike. Some had more of a bodybuilding approach while others were more geared towards competitive athletes. So after doing some comparison shopping (so to speak), I came across a place in Austin called “Element Fitness.”

Sources & references used in this article:

Inside the Box: How CrossFit® Shredded the Rules, Stripped Down the Gym, and Rebuilt My Body by TJ Murphy – 2012 –

Strong is the new sexy: Women, CrossFit, and the postfeminist ideal by MS Washington, M Economides – Journal of Sport and …, 2016 –

CrossFit: Fitness cult or reinventive institution? by MC Dawson – International review for the sociology of sport, 2017 –

An investigation of motivational variables in CrossFit facilities by JA Partridge, BA Knapp… – The Journal of Strength …, 2014 –