Many serious bodybuilding-focused lifters tend to raise their eyebrows or roll their eyes at CrossFit and its brand of fitness training, especially as it pertains to the weight room. But perhaps they should take another look.

“The goals of CrossFit are increases in strength, power, stamina, endurance, agility, and coordination,” says Kurt Roderick, C.S.C.S., co-owner and head coach of Crow Hill CrossFit and coach of Murder of Crows Barbell Club, a weightlifting and powerlifting club in Brooklyn. “While most hardcore lifters are usually looking for increased strength, power, or size, it’s essential that they don’t overlook the other attributes of fitness. Those who do are destined for a shorter lifting career and may risk health problems.”

So: How can even a veteran lifter avoid that fate? Roderick (who is also a USA Weightlifting-certified coach) recommends mixing some CrossFit-type workouts to work on general fitness gains between cycles of heavy weight training. When you do a de-load cycle or try four weeks of lighter lifting, throw in two or three of the following “beginner” CrossFit workouts each week. “Cycle this throughout the year, and you’ll find that you will be better prepared mentally and physically to push through anything,” Roderick says.


In classic CrossFit style, all listed weights are considered the “Rx” of each motion, meaning they represent the highest “standard” weight an athlete would complete. You’ll need a considerable amount of strength, skill, and stamina to complete a workout at Rx weights. Our suggestion: Try these workouts with a light weight—lighter than you might think you’d need to go—and work up from there.