Crossfit vs Bodybuilding vs Cardio – Which Program Is Right For You?

Three of the most popular of workouts for gym goers are Crossfit, Bodybuilding, and cardio training programs. All three training types have different end goals and this results in fairly different pros and cons. That said doing any of the above programs is a better option than sitting on your couch and watching the newest season of dancing with the stars.

That said in this article we will try and break down the benefits and drawbacks of each training methodology so you can hopefully determine the right program for your goals.


Crossfit has gained immense levels of popularity over the last few years. With some of the sports top athletes competing on ESPN and in other nationally televised events, its following has exploded since the mid-2000’s. Crossfit is a blend of intense cardio, weight training, Olympic lifting, and sports all rolled into one. “Crossfitters” like to say they may not win a power-lifting competition, have the muscle mass of a bodybuilder, or place in a marathon, however, they will be competitive in all fitness areas.


  • Well rounded fitness level
  • High levels of comradery
  • Variety in workouts help keep it exciting and not stale


  • Jack of all Trades but master of none
  • Workouts can be gruelling
  • Crossfit gyms tend to cost more than traditional gyms – That said companies such as Dynamic Fitness offer affordable equipment for “crossfitters”


Bodybuilding tends to concentrate less on the user’s fitness level and more on the aesthetic appearance of the athlete. The main goal of bodybuilding is to sculpt the athlete’s body by adding muscle mass and reducing body fat.


  • Tends to have the best results in the appearance category
  • Simple progression systems
  • Little to no cardio needed


  • Little to no results in the cardio-vascular area
  • Relatively one-dimensional goal
  • Long process for competitive results


A cardio training program is what most people think of when working out. The majority of gym goers do cardio workout routines consisting of running on a treadmill, elliptical, or stationary bike.


  • Aerobic results are noticeable within a few weeks
  • Helps increase fat burning and energy levels
  • Simple and easy for anyone to do


  • Doesn’t build much muscle mass
  • Can become relatively stale and boring
  • In the end, the best program for you is likely going to depend on your individual goals and your current level of fitness. Obviously jumping into an intense CrossFit program may be challenging for an absolute beginner while hitting the gym for an hour and running on the treadmill may be an easier way to ease into the workout lifestyle.

If your main goal is to build a beach body and look good when you take your shirt off a bodybuilding focused program may be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you want a well-rounded physique and the physical fitness to match something like Crossfit may be the right formula for you. Last but not least if your main goal is to just lose some extra weight you have put on over the years while also helping your heart stop feeling like it’s going to explode when you have to walk up a few flights of stairs a cardio program will probably work wonders.