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Stronglifts and CrossFit [Article]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Oct 17, 2018 9:30:00 AM

Stronglifts and Crossfits

Stronglifts and CrossFit 


You will learn whether Stronglifts can be combined with Crossfit and what the results will be. In addition, you will be pointed to further workouts and material on Stronglifts and Crossfit to dig deeper.

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What is your goal


The most important question for you is what you want to achieve with your fitness regimen. The clearer your goals are the more likely it is that you will achieve them. I often see that beginners are not clear enough about their goals. Goals come usually in three categories 


  • Looks 
  • Health
  • Performance


What is your main priority among the three? Weight loss, for example, is only a tool to either achieve better looks or health. It is not really a result in itself in most cases. Even when it becomes performance related to making a weight class it is still a tool for you to do something else. 


If you want to combine Stronglifts and Crossfit you are most likely in the performance bracket. Faster, better, further to beat the competition. What do you get out of it? Which workouts of the day do you specifically want to improve on?


Reflect on the goal set and write things down. It will get you better results.




Stronglifts is a lifting program for beginners. It utilizes progressive overload in a linear way to make you stronger. This means that the weight increases workout to workout. You will train three days a week. Following exercises are included:



You will do 5 sets for 5 repetitions of each except the deadlift. The deadlift is programmed with 1x5 per week. You can read my ten-month review of the program for more detail. 


The main criticism of Stronglifts is that it lacks individual specificity. Especially when you could scale quicker based on your current strength levels. There is a program from powerliftingtowin which addresses this. I am personally opposed to speeding up progress for beginners based on my experience. It is very likely that bad form and „lifter greed“ get unnecessarily amplified. 




Crossfit has been a very successful fitness trend in the last years. Crossfit combines barbell work of various forms with circuit training methods. 


It is very efficient in making you more resilient and burns fat. The group aspect is often mentioned as reinforcing positive behavior. It is very competitive and demanding in nature as you are coming constantly animated to push to the limit.


Workouts which are often performed are 


  • Angie
  • Barbara
  • Chelsea
  • Cindy
  • Diane
  • Elizabeth
  • Fran
  • Grace
  • Helen
  • Isabel
  • Jackie
  • Karen
  • Linda
  • Mary
  • Nancy 


These are combinations of push ups, pull ups, sit-ups and barbell work for time or repetitions over time.


The biggest pros of Crossfit are the constantly changing programming and intensity. Performing against the clock is exciting and a lot different from usual boring gym routines.


The biggest cons of Crossfit are its intensity and heavy use of Olympic lifts. Beginners scale too quick with too much. This leaves them exposed to potentially harmful situations. Especially when there is a lack of or poor supervision. 


Can you combine Stronglifts and Crossfit


Stronglifts and Crossfit can be combined. It makes especially sense for you if you can not perform the benchmark workouts with the prescribed load. It is also a good tool to introduce women to the barbell. Women have a bigger tendency to avoid barbell work than men.


What you have to be aware of is that Stronglifts puts emphasis on developing maximum strength for lifts you perform rarely. There is also no time component in Stronglifts. So it is good for beginners for half a year but then you should move on. Use programs that develop the Olympic lifts or high repetition work. German Volume training for time and Wendler 531 are better fits for crossfitters with a reasonable strength level. 

Further reading 




Topics: Lift stronger, Can marathoners be good crossfitters?, Stronglifts 5x5, Fitness, Powerlifting, Crossfit, Bodybuilding, Strongman