Is Crossfit a Strength Sport?

Is Crossfit a Strength Sport?

What better way to get an answer to this question than by comparing the current champion of each discipline?  Make your decision.

Comparing the Champions

Zydrunas Savickas

Nickname: Big Z

Born: July 15, 1975
Birthplace: Birzai, Lithuania
Height: 6’3″ (191 cm)
Weight: 375 lbs (170 kg)

Zydrunas Savickas is one of the strongest man of all time and one of the greatest strongman competitor of all time.  He is the only strongman to have won every major strongman competition.

3 time World’s Strongest Man champion (2009, 2010, 2012)
2 time IFSA Strongman World Championships winner (2005-2006)
6 time Arnold Strongman Classic champion (2003-2008)
1 time Fortissimus champion (2009)
2 time Europe’s Strongest Man champion (2010-2012)
4 time World Log Lift Championships winner (2008, 2009, 2011, 2012)
10 time Lithuania’s Strongest Man champion (1998-2000, 2002-2009)
10 time Lithuanian National Powerlifting Championships winner (1995-1997, 1999-2005)

Personal records:

  • Squat – 425.5 kg (938 lb) (Lithuanian record)
  • Bench press – 285.5 kg (629 lb) raw
  • Deadlift – 407.5 kg (898 lb) (Lithuanian record)
  • Total – 1,090 kg (2,400 lb) (Lithuanian record)


  • Log lift for Max Weight – 220 kg (490 lb) (World record, 2012 World’s Strongest Man, Los Angeles, USA)
  • Strongman Deadlift(with straps) – 442 kg (970 lb) Raw with straps (World Strongman Record, 2011)
  • Apollon’s Axle Press for Max Weight – 215 kg (470 lb) (World Record, 2010 Giants Live, Istanbul, Turkey)
  • Apollon’s Axle Press for Reps – 166 kg (370 lb) × 8 clean and press each rep (World record, 2006 Arnold Strongman Classic, Columbus, Ohio)
  • Giant Wooden Log lift for Max Weight – 210 kg (460 lb) (World Record, 2010 World’s Strongest Man, Sun City, South Africa)
  • Apollon’s Wheels Overhead for Reps – 155 kg (340 lb) × 8 reps
  • Giant Barbell Deadlift for Reps – 320 kg (710 lb) × 10 (World record, 2006 IFSA World Championships, Reykjavík, Iceland)
  • 22 kg (49 lb) Medicine ball for Height – 17 ft (5.18 m) (World record, 2004 Arnold Strongman Classic, Columbus, Ohio)
  • Atlas Stones (heavy set) – 25.65 seconds (World record, 2006 IFSA World Championships, Reykjavík, Iceland)
  • Metal Block press – 150 kg (330 lb) (World record, 2011 World’s Strongest Man, Wingate,North Carolina)
  • Hummer Tire Deadlift for Max Weight – 506.6 kg (1,117 lb) (World record, 2012 Arnold Strongman Classic, Columbus, Ohio)
  • Heavy Super Yoke500 kg (1,100 lb) – 7.50 seconds (World record, 2006 Arnold Strongman Classic, Columbus, Ohio)

Olympic weightlifting
Behdad Salimi

Behdad Salimi  214 kg World Record Snatch

Full Name: Behdad Salimi Kordasiabi
Birthdate: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: Ghaemshahr, Iran
Residence: Ghaemshahr, Iran
Height: 6’6″ (197 cm)
Weight: 360-370 lbs (165-168 kg)
Nationality: Iranian
Education: Physical Education

Personal Bests:
Snatch: 214 kg/470.8 lbs (2011, World Record)
Clean and Jerk: 251 kg/552.2 lbs (2011)
Total: 464 kg/1020.8 lbs (2011)

Medal Record:
2012 Olympic Weightlifting Gold Medalist
2010-2011 World Weightlifting Championships Gold Medalist
2010 Asian Games Gold medalist (205 kg Snatch, 235 kg Clean and Jerk)
2009, 2011, 2012 Asian Championships Gold medalist

Other Comments: He began Olympic lifting at the age of 12.

Training:  “We have had intense training sessions. Two sessions per day and six days a week, sometimes we had three sessions a day. We began training at 6.30 a.m. about one hour before having breakfast. The next session was from 10 a.m. until 12 and then from 4.30 p.m. till 8 p.m. We had hard and extreme training sessions” (, 28 Sep 2010)

(Try to find out who is the current powerlifting world champion and I give you a gold medal if you find it!)
Donnie Thompson

Nickname: The Donster
Weight: 350-385 lbs
Competitive Powerlifting Debut: 1998
Holder of 8 all-time world records in professional powerlifting
– 3 bench press records
– 2 squat records
– 3 total records (First man to Total 2900 pounds. First man to Total 3000 pounds).
Best Lifts:* Best Squat: 1,265 lbs
* Best Bench: 950 lbs
* Best Deadlift: 832 lbs

Donnie has a massive best total of 3,000 lbs!
800+ Pound Raw Deadlifter, 2,170 Pound Official Raw Total (no shirt, suit or knee wraps)
Other Comments: Played professional football in the NFL and the Arena Football League for six years from 1987 to 1993.

Phil Heath
Nickname: The Gift, The Next Big Thing

Birthdate: December 18, 1979
Birthplace: Seattle, Washington, USA
Height: 5’9″ (175 cm)
Weight (Competition): 240 lbs (110 kg)
Weight (Off-season): 275 lbs (125 kg)
Neck: 18.5″ (47 cm)
Arms: 23″ (58 cm)
Chest: 54″ (140 cm)
Waist: 29″ (74 cm)
Thighs: 30″ (76 cm)
Calves: 20.4″ (52 cm)

Bench Press: 225 lbs x 46 reps
Competition Debut: 2002
Pro Debut: 2006 Colorado Pro Championships

2 time Mr. Olympia (2011-2012)IFBB Mr. Olympia participation:

  • 2008 Mr Olympia, 3rd
  • 2009 Mr Olympia, 5th
  • 2010 Mr Olympia, 2nd
  • 2011 Mr Olympia, 1st
  • 2012 Mr Olympia, 1st
  • Crossfit
    Rich Froning, Jr.

    Rich Froning The Fittest Man on Earth

    “The Fittest Man on Earth”
    Birthdate: July 21, 1987
    Residence: Cookeville, Tennessee, USA
    Height: 5’10”
    Weight: 195 lbs
    Fran: 2:17
    Cindy: 31
    Grace: 1:20
    Max Pull-ups: 75
    5 km Run: 20:00
    Filthy Fifty: 23:00
    Fight Gone Bad: 504

    Power Clean: 265 lbs
    Clean & Jerk: 335 lbs
    Snatch: 270 lbs
    Deadlift: 525 lbs
    Back Squat: 425 lbs
    Squat Clean: 315 lbs
    Bench Press: 335 lbs

    2 time CrossFit Games Champion (2011, 2012)

    Started CrossFit: July 2009

    CrossFit Games participation:
    2010 CrossFit Games 2nd overall
    2011 CrossFit Games 1st
    2012 CrossFit Games 1st

    Training: Rich Froning constantly varies his workouts with no particular rhyme or reason and follows basic CrossFit protocol (constantly varied workouts with intensity).  He trains several times during the day, and works out with a variety of exercises ranging from interval training, efficiency and movement drills, and other Crossfit related workouts.  One of Froning’s favorite workouts is the muscle-up, which is performed on gymnastics rings. In a typical training week, he does Olympic and Power Lift 5 days a week and Metcons 6 days a week.

    After his 2011 CrossFit Games triumph he declared: “I had trained five times a day for a year for this event, but the first workout still surprised me,” says Froning, citing the 210m ocean swim, 1500m beach run, 50 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 200 squats and second 1500m beach run that constituted the first workout challenge.

    Diet: His diet is not as strict as you might think.  He doesn’t really eat that much, and only eats when his body tells him he’s hungry and needs to refuel.  Froning eats the majority of his daily food in the evenings. A typical nighttime meal for Froning would be steak and chicken with a sweet potato or frozen vegetables. He doesn’t follow a specific plan.  During the day, Froning eats simple meals that provide him with the energy he needs to compete. The athlete is a fan of peanut butter, whole milk, and protein shakes

    Rich Froning tattoo on his side: “Galatians 6:14″
    Galatians 6:14 (NIV) May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

    A little fun!  If we can take these 5 strength champions and put them in a blender and create the perfect strength athlete.  We would get a 6’1″, 308 pounds, 29 years old strength athlete.  So it would be Denis Cyplenkov, a 30 years old arm wrestler and genetic freak who is the exact same height and weight as our “perfect strength athlete”.  Don’t know if he can do a record pulls-up reps at that weight?

    For another insight on the 5 Strength Sports. 
    Read the following: Battle of the Strength Sports by Eric Minor

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