By Adrian Bryant

Is CrossFit Enough To Be Ripped?

If you are a sports type, or if you just hit the gym once a week for a quick exercise, you must have encountered the new high-intensity exercise program called CrossFit. It's the new major gym trend and the number of people practicing and competing in it is growing every day.

With ESPN CrossFit covers, various CrossFit marathons and games across the world, people are looking at it as some kind of a miracle working technique to get you jacked up. But is it so?

We've gone through some of the research and testimonials and we've collected it here in order to try to answer the question…

Is CrossFit really all you need to look buffed?

What's Crossfit?

CrossFit represents a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) program focused on various aerobic and strength exercises. It basically covers everything from push-ups to sprints to deadlifts and so on.

CrossFit encourages friendly competition and performance is tracked and ranked. Exercises are combined in a style of "Workouts of the Day" (WODs), quite short (from 30 to 45 minutes) and quite intensive and demanding.

Generally, what you'll hear from most of the CrossFitters is that CrossFit is the way of life. It compels you to be harder on yourself and it helps you build your body.

Of course, not all agree with this point. A number of professional bodybuilders and fitness instructors emphasize that CrossFit can do great things for your body, but it can also cause some serious harm.

If you aim to get ripped through CrossFit, it can be done, but you should follow some general guidelines, and make sure your coach knows what to do and how to do it.


High-intensity training calls for proper nutrition. You will find a lot of testimonials where CrossFitters swear that they have made amazing progress without any nutritional focus, but if you really want to build your muscle mass you need calories.

Body composition is defined by your calories input and output. To properly define the needed intake, you will need to calculate your basal metabolic rate (MBR) and continue from there. There are various formulas and principles how to do so, and you will have to find the one that suits your metabolic needs the best.

Best practices have shown that combining the proper nutrition with CrossFit can actually be quite helpful when it comes to building muscle.

Experts say that getting between 25-45g of fiber daily, combined with 20-35% of overall caloric intake from fat, and a healthy dose of 0.8 - 1.2g of protein per pound of body weight. The rest of the caloric intake should be filled out with carbs.

Supplements and nutritional additives like whey protein powder, creatine and fish oil can be quite helpful, but keep in mind that with bad nutrition, no supplement can help you become ripped on its own.

Crossfit Vs. Bodybuilding

Based on the experience from bodybuilders that have actually participated in CrossFit training for long time periods have interesting observations

Most of the bodybuilding experts realized that their strength building techniques are more effective, yet CrossFit training made them leaner and helped them build more quality muscle mass.

There's a very high risk of injury with CrossFit training. Inexperienced CrossFitters may try to perform an advanced Olympic lift or a deadlift, and without the proper guidance, this results in injuries. Some even very serious ones like torn ligaments.

Also, there is the question of performing a complex physical activity when fatigued, especially not big compound exercises.

Most doctors agree that repeating movements in situations in which the form is compromised with fatigue are in direct opposition to Olympic lifting philosophy. It can increase the risk of injury significantly while providing little results.

With that said, most of the CrossFitters describe the feeling of deadlifting heavy weights fatigued and with high heart rate as something truly magical and incredibly stimulating.

Some bodybuilders experienced quite a significant improvement with back, shoulder, and leg regions really fast. The muscle structure got stronger, but they testify getting very lean. Most of them even testified that they were satisfied with their looks for the first time in their lives.

Mobility and general movement change quite a lot, after serious CrossFit training sessions, as different groups of muscles are built. A number of bodybuilders said that they felt more athletic, and more confident, even that they were starting to feel fit.

Generally, most of the professional bodybuilders that tried CrossFit decided to keep it as a part of their training, combined with the knowledge gained from bodybuilding. This way they get complete control over their body and how it looks and feels.


We've summarized some of the pros and cons of CrossFit, and we tried to get the answer to the question in the title. Will it help you get buff? It may, but the key to the successful muscle building isn't just in one type of activity or the other. Usually, it represents the combination of many factors.

We hope you learned something from this article and that it will help you decide whether CrossFit is the best way for you to build your body.

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