I spend a lot of time around Strongman and Crossfit athletes and something that comes up almost constantly is the relationship between the two sports. Almost 100% of the time there’s two polar opposite opinions. Strongmen tend to feel Crossfit is “stupid, for weak people, dumb” or whatever adjective they come up with. Crossfitters on the other hand love Strongman and even look up to a lot of the athletes. They even seem oblivious to the ridiculously unfounded contempt felt by the other side.


Noticing this really got me interested so I looked into it and formed my own opinion of what is going on. I see it like this; Crossfit is Michael Jackson, while Strongman is Tito Jackson. Here we are doing fine with our mild popularity when little brother Michael lit up the stage and took over. Now we’re pouting with the rest of the Jackson 5 while Mike is traveling the World living like a star. We have been reduced to pouty haters simply because they have a bigger stage.


The most ridiculous thing about it is instead of following Crossfits model of success, we do the same thing we have for years and still complain. Crossfit has shown how to build popularity in strength athletics. It’s simple, put out ridiculous amounts of content, while promoting the athletes and pay the athletes that deserve it enough to dedicate themselves full to the sport. It wasn’t long before Reebok and other companies picked up on this and brought in big dollars. Putting this into action would be so simple it drives me nuts that it’s not happening. We could easily be Janet rather than Tito, just follow Mikes lead. (It’s just now occurring to me that some of the people reading this might be too young to know about the Jackson family……Google it.) Even with all I have said there are still a growing number of people realizing that these two sports can and should mesh well together. I myself train Crossfit at least once a week and implement their methods in other workouts throughout other training days. I feel great, I have lost 28 pounds, picked up a ton of speed and endurance, and my strength hasn’t dropped at all. In fact, I’m getting PR’s regularly. You have to be smart if you’re going to do that but that’s another story.


I guess what I really want you to take away from reading this can be summed up by a conversation I had with a man at my Crossfit gym in Lemoore, California. He was telling me he enjoys reading my articles and that the one I did about parents being the example for their kids really hit home with him. He said that he and his wife got into Crossfit a short while back and just fell in love. One day his daughter, who was more into partying and rave stuff, said she would come in one day and that was it. She loved it too! Now the family sits down to dinner together and talks about health and lifting. Birthday presents went from money and clothes to lifting equipment and they couldn’t be happier. That’s AWESOME!! If anything is doing that for families, getting people to live healthier or bringing them together, how can we as athletes have any other feelings separate from happiness and excitement toward it?




Don’t hate, participate

Robert Oberst