Powerlifting vs. Crossfit

Posted on June 29th, 2020 by Caitlyn Miller

Are you considering taking on powerlifting or crossfit? Or are you just curious about the differences between the two? If so, then this post is for you! Many people get powerlifting and crossfit confused and the two groups usually get insulted when you confuse them. This is due to the sports being VERY different. The lifting technique between powerlifting and crossfit are one of the very many differences. Keep reading if you want to learn the distinctions between the two! 

Table of Contents 

  1. Powerlifting 
  2. Crossfit
  3. Powerlifting vs. Crossfit 


Powerlifting consist of squat, bench press, and deadlift. The competitions are usually divided by weight class and gender. This makes it a fair competition, as so someone who is 100 pounds isn’t competing against someone who is 200 pounds. The competitors will get three attempts to lift as much as they possibly can in each of the exercises; sometimes a fourth attempt is aloud. This fourth attempt is just for the competitors sake, as it does not go towards the final score.  During each of these three attempts, only one reputation is required. Powerlifting is truly a sport that test someones true maximal strength. This may not sound like a lot of action is required, however, these competitors are putting all of their strength into these attempts in order to lift the heaviest they possibly can. Don’t think that powerlifters are only training with these 3 movements. Powerlifters do not just train with these 3 exercises, they also train with accessory movements. 


Crossfit contains many aspects of fitness and is very unpredictable. This means one day you might have weights on your schedule and then the next day you might have sprints on it. Crossfit contains olympic weightlifting, circuits, swimming, and gymnastic movements. Crossfit has what are called “WOD” workouts, which mean workout of the day. You can make up your own or look up ones all over the internet! Crossfit consist of high rep sports, which makes them have amazing muscular endurance. At crossfit gyms, you typically will find only free weights. This sport requires strength, endurance, and agility. You may have heard of crossfitters get made fun of due to their incorrect version of pull-ups and how they drop weights constantly. Crossfit is an unpredictable sport and you never know what workout you’ll be doing the next day. 

Powerlifting vs. Crossfit

Both of these sports are very high intensity and require a good amount of strength. This requires an athlete to be well rounded in all health aspects. By this I mean, one must practice proper nutrition and recovery methods. These sports put a great deal of stress on the body, therefore, the body must be taken care of. If you are more interested in lifting heavy amounts of weight, then powerlifting is the perfect fit for you. If you are more interested in working on more functional movements and mobility, then crossfit is the perfect fit for you. If you are wanting to have an overall fitness experience, I would recommend incorporating a little of both of these into your training. 

Both of these sports are intense and require an amazing amount of strength. Which one do you prefer? 

2 thoughts on “Powerlifting vs. Crossfit

  1. My brother got into CrossFit about a year ago, and it has significantly improved his life! He can run for miles at a time and lift moderate weight. It’s been a great adventure for his whole family.

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