CrossFit vs Bodybuilding vs Powerlifting – Which One Should You Be Doing?

Crossfit vs bodybuilding

Choose Between The Three Heavyweights: Crossfit vs Bodybuilding vs Powerlifting

A person has many options to choose from when they decide they need to work on their health and fitness. Bodybuilding and powerlifting are relatively old sports as compared to CrossFit which has earned a loyal following and is spreading like wildfire.

While you could be the jack of all trades and can do CrossFit, bodybuilding, and powerlifting, you won’t see much progression in any of them. Choosing one sport and sticking with it will get you better results and mastery over it.

If you’re about to start your fitness journey or are thinking of making a switch between the sports, this article will help you learn more about the three sports. All the three sports have fundamentally different purposes and you need to choose the one which matches your goals.


If you’re someone who is into functional movements, CrossFit is the right fit for you. CrossFit is a high-intensity training program which helps people of all sizes and shapes build strength and conditioning.

According to CrossFit’s official website, “CrossFit contends that a person is as fit as they are proficient in each of ten general physical skills: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.”

CrossFit is different from bodybuilding and powerlifting as it is more accepting and encouraging. In CrossFit people usually workout in groups and follow a WOD (workout of the day). CrossFit gyms are radically different from commercial gyms as they don’t have any ellipticals, treadmills or weight training machines.


The main purpose of bodybuilding is to build muscle mass. Bodybuilders undergo high-intensity resistance training to build muscle and conditioning. If you’re a fan of the muscle aesthetics, bodybuilding is for you.

Bodybuilding first came into the limelight when Arnold Schwarzenegger, a 7X Mr. Olympia, made his Hollywood debut. Bodybuilding is the art of sculpting your body. You can work on your body and bring up your lagging muscle groups.

Bodybuilding primarily deals with building muscle mass and strength. As compared to CrossFit and powerlifting, bodybuilding is the most popular sport and you have a gym with weight lifting and cardio equipment on almost every block.


Powerlifting is a test of strength and deals with lifting heavy weights on the three compound movements the bench press, deadlifts, and squats. Many people confuse powerlifting with strongman and Olympic lifting.

While powerlifting consists of the three compound movements, strongman is a wide-ranging sport. Strongman competitions challenge your strength and endurance and include events like log presses, truck pulling, keg lifts, etc.

Olympic lifting or weightlifting, on the other hand, consists of two lifts, snatch and clean and jerks. Snatch and clean and jerk are exercises you might have seen athletes perform during the Olympic games.

The main focus of powerlifting is to get stronger and lift heavier weights. A competitive powerlifter is always training to beat his own PR. If you have a knack for lifting heavy weights and enjoy doing it, powerlifting is the sport for you.

While all the three sports have different purposes, all of them require discipline in the form of training, nutrition and recovery.

Which of these three sports do you follow? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

Vidur is a fitness junky who likes staying up to date with the fitness industry and loves publishing his opinions for everyone to see. Subscribe to his YouTube Channel.