Calisthenics vs crossfit vs fitness

Calisthenics VS Crossfit VS Fitness, which suits you best?

Are you looking to embark on strength training but unsure of where to begin? This blog post is tailor-made for you. Here, we delve into Calisthenics VS Crossfit, and traditional fitness, emphasizing the distinctions and discussing the pros and cons of each training method. We’ll guide you on the best way to kickstart your journey into these fitness realms.

Table of Contents

What is Calisthenics?

Calisthenics is a training method where your own body weight serves as the resistance for your exercises. This approach allows you to enhance your strength, flexibility, and endurance. Calisthenics is a form of functional training that includes exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, handstands, and squats. When practicing calisthenics, minimal equipment is required, making it advantageous as it can be done virtually anywhere—whether in the gym, dedicated calisthenics parks, or simply at home. Curious about fitness? Check out our blog on fitness books for more insights.

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What is Fitness?

Fitness is a broad term. In this blog post, we refer to fitness as the performance of exercises with weights/machines in the gym, focusing on building muscle mass and/or reducing body fat percentage. Fitness can be practiced either in the gym or at home, provided you are willing to invest in a home gym setup.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a training method that integrates elements of strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and functional training/skills. The goal in CrossFit is to become a well-rounded athlete, emphasizing a wide range of physical skills, including strength, endurance, flexibility, speed, and coordination. CrossFit workouts consist of a combination of various exercises, ranging from weightlifting to sprinting, and from burpees to handstand push-ups. It’s important to note that CrossFit is a trademarked name, and you can only practice it in an affiliated CrossFit box.

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Comparison of Calisthenics VS CrossFit VS Fitness

Specific goals

The key factor in choosing a training style is the goals you want to achieve. If your focus is solely on building muscle mass or reducing body fat, standard fitness is likely the best choice. This allows you to easily apply progressive overload to your training by adding weight and reps.

If your goals include building strength, mastering skills, achieving overall good mobility, and gaining full control over your body, then calisthenics is the optimal choice for you! Calisthenics, with its emphasis on compound exercises, teaches your body to work as a unified whole.

In CrossFit, it’s more challenging to pursue personal goals. Typically, the WODs (Workouts of the Day) are planned by the trainer, putting your training and progress entirely in their hands. This aspect of CrossFit can be a drawback because if the trainer doesn’t consider your specific level/situation, the risk of injuries may increase.


An important factor to consider when choosing between calisthenics, fitness, and CrossFit is the location where you’ll be training. Calisthenics can be practiced almost anywhere, whether it’s in a park, on a playground, or at home. This requires minimal equipment, making it convenient if you don’t have access to a gym, are on a tight budget, or prefer outdoor workouts.

For fitness training, specific equipment and a gym are necessary. The cost can vary depending on your preferences. Budget gyms start from €20 per month, but if you want amenities like a pool/sauna, the cost can quickly reach €70 or more per month.

CrossFit training is conducted in CrossFit boxes, equipped with specialized gear and training spaces. The downside is that these CrossFit boxes typically charge relatively high membership fees.

Group training

Do you prefer training individually or in a group? This choice significantly impacts your training style. In fitness, you typically work out alone in the gym. In calisthenics, individual training is common, although many communities have formed around calisthenics parks in the Netherlands, where collective training is often practiced. In CrossFit, workouts are structured as the Workout of the Day (WOD) and performed in group settings, providing an additional training stimulus.

The Benefits of Calisthenics VS CrossFit VS Fitness

Below, we’ll discuss the specific benefits of each of these training methods.

Calisthenics offers several advantages:

  1. No equipment needed: You can practice calisthenics anywhere without the need for expensive equipment or weights. This makes it an accessible training method for those who can’t go to a gym or lack access to workout equipment.

  2. Functional strength: Building strength through calisthenics exercises directly translates to movements in daily life. As you get stronger in bodyweight exercises, you’ll find that everyday movements become easier. Calisthenics enhances your functional strength, stability, and body control.

  3. Flexibility and mobility: Calisthenics exercises require good flexibility and mobility. By regularly practicing calisthenics, you ensure improvement in your flexibility and mobility.

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Fitness also offers several benefits, including:

  1. Muscle building and isolation: The significant advantage of standard fitness is that it allows you to easily isolate specific muscle groups. This enables more targeted training for muscle building and strength in specific parts of your body. Using barbells and machines, you can easily adjust the intensity and resistance to your preferences.

  2. Diversity and variation: Fitness offers a wide range of training methods and exercises, allowing you to keep your workouts diverse and interesting. You can experiment with different equipment, training styles, and routines to challenge yourself and stay motivated.


CrossFit also has unique benefits to offer, such as:

  1. Intensity and challenge: CrossFit workouts are often intense and challenging, emphasizing high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and constant variation. This helps burn a significant number of calories and improves overall fitness.

  2. Community and motivation: CrossFit is renowned for its strong sense of community. Training is often done in groups, and participants are encouraged by both fellow practitioners and coaches. This creates an environment where you can push yourself a little further in your workout with the added motivation.


Combining Calisthenics, CrossFit and Fitness

Certainly, you have the flexibility to blend Calisthenics, Fitness, and CrossFit, allowing you to enjoy a diverse range of advantages. This amalgamation of various training approaches is often termed ‘Hybrid training.’

For example, in the realm of calisthenics, you can enhance your workouts by incorporating fitness exercises that specifically target hypertrophy. On the other hand, if you’re dedicated to CrossFit, integrating dedicated calisthenics or fitness routines can effectively address any weak points in your overall fitness regimen. This versatility allows for a well-rounded and personalized approach to achieving your fitness goals. By embracing a hybrid training methodology, you can tailor your workouts to suit your individual preferences and optimize your fitness journey.

Final word

Calisthenics VS CrossFit VS fitness are all effective training methods that can assist you in staying fit and healthy. Whether you opt for a specific method or choose to combine elements, the crucial aspect is discovering a workout routine that suits you, is sustainable, and aids you in achieving your goals.

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