Crossfit vs Gym: Which One is Better For You? (Including Advantages and Disadvantages) | Altinify (2023)

Whether you have just decided to get in shape or are an experienced gymgoer reevaluating your workout routine, you might wonder about Crossfit vs gym and how you can choose one to reach your fitness goals.

Both Crossfit and traditional gyms can help you burn calories and reach your health and fitness goals. In addition, they have many similarities and differences in their structure, goals, and equipment.

While CrossFit is perceived to be a little more challenging than traditional gym workouts. CrossFit is a highly productive and beneficial means of accomplishing health-related goals in a short amount of time. On the other hand, a survey found that about 55 percent of traditional gyms members waste their time on unrelated activities.

See also: The 9 CrossFit Foundational Movements You Need To Learn!

Crossfit vs Gym: Which One is Better For You? (Including Advantages and Disadvantages) | Altinify (1)

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What Makes Crossfit Different?

With over 14,000 independently owned CrossFit gyms— or “box” Crossfit has established itself as a worldwide lifestyle movement. It takes the best and most effective movements and exercises directly applicable to everyday life and combines them for optimal benefits for cross-fitters.

Whether you want to improve your health or increase your body’s performance, CrossFit will help you get there.

Check out the video below for a glance at what CrossFit is.

Crossfit vs. Gym: What Are The Differences and Similarities

First, at the gym, you usually perform exercises and weight training in repetitions to form a set successfully. And most gym members’ goal is burning fat by building up strength in the body and developing muscle mass.

In addition, at a gym, you may or may not hire a personal trainer. However, CrossFit workout includes a personal trainer who focuses on helping you track your results.

On the other hand, CrossFit focuses on meeting general goals that will boost your overall fitness level. For example, CrossFit workouts concentrate on performing more repetitions in exercises to get more movement within a certain amount of time.

Here is a snapshot of the differences and similaritiesbetween gym and CrossFit compared side by side.

Price$150 to $300$10 to $150
SafetySafer since you train within a group and a coach. CrossFit training is relatively safer than traditional training modalities, as found in a2018 study.It can be unsafe because you are alone unless you hire a trainer.
Risk of Injuries?Less risky – you increase your risk for injuries anytime you increase your workout intensity level or the amount of weight you are lifting.Without a personal trainer, the risk of injury is higher at the gym because most members don’t learn the proper form of exercising.
Members by Gender60% of CrossFit athletes worldwide are females, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE)Mostly Males participants
AimMotivate you to push your strength and challenge yourself.Give you access to a well-equipped space to train each of your body parts.
Time RequiredStandard CrossFit workout lasts about an hour and a halfA gym workout could last as long as you want it.
Main BenefitsIf you go to a CrossFit gym, it is more of a community, and everyone works out together, providing motivation and tips on your form as you go. It also helps you develop physical and mental fitness confidence and push to reach your full potential.if you go to the gym (assuming alone), you will have to rely entirely on yourself to motivate yourself.
Muscles TargetedBack, hamstrings, glutes, core, quads, shoulders, and triceps.Most gym members focus on the upper muscles body and neglect the lower body.
And most gyms work on the outer look of a person; rarely, they work over strength.
Workout TypeWorkout is organized with an average of 13 to 18 people per class, according toCrossFit.Work out alone or with a personal trainer. Most gym members waste about
55% of their time on unrelated workout activities.
Best forCrossFit is the best choice if you are a regular person with a limited amount of time and resources to spend on your fitness goals.
If you are new to fitness and working out, I highly recommend you start with a basic gym routine in the gym before starting CrossFit.
Beginner and self-motivated person with sufficient time to allocate to exercising.

Is CrossFit Better Than Gym?

It depends on what you want to achieve, a muscular physique or a good physique with flexibility, grip strength, and core strength. You can build a muscular physique at a CrossFit gym and flexibility at a normal gym. However, most of the normal gyms don’t have the equipment to focus on multiple muscles at a time.

If you have a goal of competing in bodybuilding shows or want a muscular physique, you should hit a typical gym but if you want a decent physique with good flexibility and strength, go for CrossFit gyms.

CrossFit is the best choice if you are a regular individual with a limited amount of time and resources to spend on your health and fitness goals. It is similar to boot camps and has the added benefit of coaching since the instructor can help correct your form, set goals, and provide advice.

In addition, CrossFit gyms also usually offer other classes, including boxing and yoga, for some variety.

At a regular gym, you are pretty much on your own unless you join a class or hire a trainer. The good thing about this is you can choose your own workout. Still, in that case, it is best if you are more familiar with this, so you ensure you work out “properly,” including avoiding overworking yourself, workout with proper form, continuous improvement, and focusing on specific areas that need development.

See also: Is It Really Safe to Put a Raw Egg in a Smoothie Here’s The Truth!

Benefits of CrossFit

CrossFit is a great way to get functionally fit. You will learn interdisciplinary skills such as Olympic Weightlifting, Gymnastics.However, it is essential that you learn the correct form and strengthen your ligaments and tendons before doing CrossFitness. Let’s discuss the benefits of CrossFit workouts.

1- You Will Meet Like-Minded People

CrossFit encourages community building and social interaction. At CrossFit, people usually talk before and after class, offer encouragement throughout workouts, often stay after to stretch together, and organize social events outside of class.

However, at a standard gym, you primarily work out individually, and you may never talk to other gym members, compared to CrossFit.

2- Classes Are Short But Effective

High-intensity training, known as HIIT and also forms the foundation of the CrossFit program, is proven to be more effective than low- or moderate-intensity exercise at improving your cardiovascular fitness and body composition.

Volunteers who engaged in group-based, high-intensity functional training, such as CrossFit reported higher satisfaction. In addition, more of them said they intended to continue the program compared with volunteers who engaged in a moderate-intensity training program.

In other words, you are more likely to enjoy a high-intensity workout and stick with it, meaning people joining CrossFit are more like to enjoy and stick to it than the regular gym, according to a study published in August 2014 in the journal BMC Public Health​.

People who exercise at high intensity spend significantly less time working out and experience the same results in their body composition.

See also: How Healthy Is It to Have a Fruit Smoothie every day?

3- CrossFit Improves Cardiovascular Fitness

Researchers analyzed the effects of two different CrossFit workouts on a group of males and females by gathering and analyzing data on heart rate, VO2 max, calories burned, max heart rate, and other variables.

CrossFit works better than regular gym workouts due to the higher demands on aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, according to a small 2013 study issued by American Councils on Exercise (ACE).

A small study issued by theAmerican Council on Exercise(ACE) analyzed 16 people and found that most people reached 90% of their maximum heart rate during two popular CrossFit workouts.

4- CrossFit Workout Helps You Develop Physical and Mental Confidence

Challenging and pushing yourself every day at the gym to surpass your previous personal records gives you a tremendous sense of accomplishment that can improve your feelings about yourself.

Whether it is doing your first pull-ups, chin up or push-ups, it is always motivating to see your progress and increase repetitions.

Most CrossFit athletes often remember with great pride the first time they could execute specific challenging movements.

5- CrossFit Develops Muscular Endurance

Muscular endurance means the ability of your muscles to perform over a long period without exhaustion, crucial for participants in endurance sports such as running and cycling. Still, it’s an essential part of performing well in any activity in your daily life.

A January 2014 study issued in theJournal of Sport and Human Performanceexamined the effects of CrossFit and a traditional training program on muscular endurance.

The researchers discovered that CrossFit participants developed muscular endurance by 22 percent and their aerobic capacity by six percent.

See also: See also: How Safe Is It to Wear Fitness Trackers?

6- CrossFit Supports Clean Eating

Many CrossFit boxes offer nutritional guidance, suggesting a dietary plan including eating whole, unprocessed foods consisting of lean protein, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts.

Most CrossFit gyms organize nutrition competitions in which participants compete to see who can stick to their diet most consistently. For example, potluck events, seminars, and recipe sharing give CrossFit participants the push they need to stop eating junk food and feel better.

7- CrossFit Pushes You Out of Your Comfort Zone

When working out at the gym on your own, you can pick and choose the exercises you want to do, meaning you can easily avoid the exercises you like the least. But avoiding the most challenging activities for you is not helping; it’s keeping you in your comfort zone.

CrossFit will not let you do comfortable workouts. Instead, it will push you to your limits and make you perform things you have never done nor ever thought you could achieve. You will work harder than you have ever worked in your life. You will be sore in places you didn’t know you had muscles. Some people may even shed some tears. However, you will get faster, stronger, and better.

8- CrossFit Will Help You Build Healthy Habits That Last

Many CrossFitters notice that joining CrossFit helps them build healthy habits, including sleeping better, eating healthier, feeling happier, and even improving their focus at work.

Once you have caught the CrossFit bug, you will most likely start making healthier choices in other parts of your daily life. For example, instead of skipping your workout to go to happy hour, you’ll probably ensure to fit in your workout beforehand. You might even end up skipping happy hour altogether.

See also: Can Smoothies Really Cause Diarrhea?

Crossfit vs. Gym for Weight Loss

Do you want to lose weight? Without changing your diet and consuming the same amount of food you used to consume, you will lose a LOT of fat and keep your muscles because you will burn more calories with CrossFit.

For example, if you compare performing a CrossFitness routine to a regular gym routine where you do 2 or 3 sets of 10 to 12 exercises, you will likely burn more calories doing the CrossFit workout.

Want to get that beach body? You will get the most attractive body aesthetics that exist in the mainstream right now. Ripped, muscular, but with no bulked-up body-builder body.

Males burned an average of 20 calories per minute doing CrossFit, while females averaged 12 calories per minute, found theAmerican College of Exercise.

What Are The Disadvantages of Gym?

The most common issues people dealing with the gym face are:

  • For most people, going to the gym every day is a struggle
  • Time restrictions. Most time, gyms are full when you go, and you might get bored of waiting for workout equipment.
  • Keeping up with your routines on your own after a couple of weeks
  • Staying motivated to work out day in and day out
  • Keeping track of your performance to measure results
  • Pacing yourself and working out properly.

You can overcome most of the above issues by hiring a personal trainer. And if you still want to work out at the regular gym on your own, try to go light on some of the workouts so that you will not overtrain and step your progression door to fatigue.

However, you will not be dealing with these issues at CrossFit gyms known as the box.

See also: The 9 Mushrooms That Have The Most Protein

Crossfit vs. Gym: Which One is Better For You?

Crossfit vs. gym: which one is better depends on the person. Both regular gyms and CrossFit can build lean muscle, burn fat, have health benefits, and are better than not exercising at all.

CrossFit is the best choice if you are a regular person with a limited amount of time and resources to spend on your fitness goals. And it is the easiest way to reach your fitness goals, no matter what they are.

CrossFit workout is real time saver compared to a regular gym, as a survey found that most gym members waste 55% of their time on unrelated activities.

If you are a disciplined person, you may be more successful with a regular gym and do the same exercises without a Crossfit gym and save yourself about 80–120/month.


Crossfit vs Gym: Which One is Better For You? (Including Advantages and Disadvantages) | Altinify? ›

The better one of the two depends on your fitness goals. If your primary aim is to build strength and increase muscle mass, then the typical gym could help you achieve this goal. But if your goals are body composition and increasing your anaerobic capacity, then CrossFit would be the better choice.

Is CrossFit more effective than gym? ›

Crossfit workouts will help you burn more calories, boost endurance, build up and tone muscles, and improve body shape. On the other hand, gym workouts will help you increase strength and beef up muscle mass more than CrossFit. So depending on your fitness level, you can do one of them.

What is the downside of CrossFit? ›

For this reason, studies have found that the risk of injuries with CrossFit may be higher than with traditional weightlifting due not only to the high-intensity nature of CrossFit training but also the atmosphere that causes participants to potentially push themselves too hard.

Should I lift weights or CrossFit? ›

If you're looking to lose weight or improve your cardiovascular health, then Crossfit may be a better option for you. However, weightlifting may be a better choice if you're looking to build muscle mass or increase your strength.

What kind of body does CrossFit give you? ›

In fact, research has shown that sticking to CrossFit style training for as little 12 weeks can cause significant and simultaneous improvements in both muscle strength and aerobic fitness, while also causing reductions in body fat percentage and increases in muscle mass.

How many times a week should you do CrossFit? ›

Most CrossFit enthusiasts follow a three-day-on, one-day-off and two-day-on schedule for their workouts. It means working out from Monday to Wednesday, taking a rest day or active recovery day on Thursday, and finishing the exercises on Friday and Saturday.

What is the failure rate of CrossFit gyms? ›

Ready to own a successful CrossFit box gym? The average success rate for CrossFit affiliates is 98 percent. With such a narrow margin of failure, it may seem as if there is no right or wrong way to start and manage a CrossFit box gym. However, businesses start and fail every day.

Can you build muscle with CrossFit? ›

Although the CrossFit training schedule requires more work than typical workouts, it is possible to experience significant muscle gains by performing these routines consistently. Remember, muscle gains don't come from exercise alone - muscle building requires a dedicated effort and diet.

Who should not do CrossFit? ›

If you don't time to commit to your fitness, don't go with Crossfit. You like to work out alone - Crossfit is a team sport. You'll be pushed and motivated by other Crossfitters, and each workout is team oriented. If you would rather work out solo, Crossfit may not be for you.

Is CrossFit enough to work out? ›

The American College of Exercise estimated that men burned an average of 20 calories per minute doing CrossFit, while women averaged 12 calories per minute. Like other high-intensity exercise routines, the health benefits of CrossFit can persist even after your workout is done.

What happens if I do CrossFit everyday? ›

"You can recover relatively easily from conditioning training, it doesn't leave you dead and sore the next day," he says. "But if you go 100 percent every day in the strength component, you're often super sore the next day and it means you don't get the most out of your CrossFit session the day after."

What happens to your body during CrossFit? ›

CrossFit is a form of high-intensity interval training and comparable to other high-intensity exercises. CrossFit exercises increase VO2max, strength, endurance, and improves the body composition (e. g. lean body mass).

How long does it take to see results from CrossFit? ›


This is when people will start noticing and ask what you're doing that's new! You will be significantly stronger than you were on Day One … your energy will be up … your cardio fitness will be better … and you'll be on your way towards dialing in healthy habits to last a lifetime.

Is CrossFit hard for beginners? ›

Is CrossFit suitable for beginners? The beauty of CrossFit is that it's very scalable – with a good coach! So no matter who you are or how beginner you are, you can take part. You just need an experienced coach to help you find your starting point.

Does CrossFit burn more calories than gym? ›

CrossFit and gym workouts can both burn significant calories, but CrossFit's high-intensity, varied exercises often lead to higher immediate calorie burn during the workout. However, long-term calorie burning can also be achieved through traditional gym workouts by combining cardio and strength training.

Does CrossFit build more muscle? ›

CrossFit is great fun and very challenging, which is why people love it. Although you're not likely to gain a lot of muscle, you'll feel great after every workout. In addition to gaining strength, CrossFit can also improve your flexibility, agility, and endurance.

Does CrossFit give you the best body? ›

Key Takeaways. CrossFit can absolutely help you get in great shape, and depending on the coach you work with, it's not as dangerous as some people would have you believe. That said, CrossFit isn't the best way to gain muscle and strength and lose fat, which is why many people get into it in the first place.


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