A Comparison of CrossFit Training to Traditional Anaerobic Resistance Training in Terms of Selected Fitness Domains Representative of Overall Athletic Performance


Gerhart, D. H., Pasternostro Bayles, M., Indiana University of Pennsylvania, PA

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of two different types of exercise programs on selected fitness domains. The two groups were CrossFit exercisers (CF) and traditional anaerobic resistance exercisers (TAR). Methods: The study was cross-sectional in nature, with various observations being required for data collection. The seven domains of fitness tested in the study include body composition, flexibility, aerobic capacity, maximum strength, agility, maximum power, and muscular endurance. The all-male sample size includes 19 participants in each group. Self-reported exercise was evaluated and participants were required to be within the range of 5-6 days/week of 45-60min, an equivalent of 240-300 minutes per week of exercise performed at a moderate-vigorous level. Data was analyzed using multiple regression analysis, and among each group through the use of independent T-tests and Chi-Square Analysis. Results: No statistical significance was found between groups in terms of subject demographics of age, height, and weight (p = .35, .51, and .88 respectively). No statistical significance was found between groups in terms of session frequency, duration and volume (p = .48, .76, and .8 respectively). Statistical significance exists between training experience and maximum strength (p = .01) in CrossFit exercisers compared to Traditional Anaerobic Resistance trained exercisers. Statistical significance between groups among all tested domains of fitness was as follows: body composition (p = .31), flexibility (p = .99), aerobic capacity (p = .54), maximum strength (p = .03), agility (p = .45), maximum power (p = .97), and muscular endurance (p = .94). Conclusion: The CrossFit exercisers in this study showed significantly greater performance in terms of one tested domain of fitness; maximum strength. This indicates the two types of training reported in this study, CF and TAR, produce similar results in overall athletic performance, with the exception of maximum strength.

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