CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program combining gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting, running, and rowing elements. The program is constantly varied and is scalable to accommodate people of all fitness levels.
CrossFit has been criticized for being a cult-like organization, but it is not a religion. CrossFit’s community aspect attracts many people to the program, but it is not required to participate.
So, if you’re wondering if CrossFit is a cult or religion, we’ll dive deeper into its roots. Below, we’ve taken the time to explain what CrossFit is and why many see CrossFit as a religion more than a workout program.
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program incorporating elements from various sports and types of exercise. The program is constantly varied, meaning no two workouts are the same. This variety helps to keep people engaged and motivated, as they never get bored with their workout routine.
While CrossFit is not a religion, some people may view it as such because of the dedication and commitment required to be successful in the program. CrossFitters often form close-knit communities and support one another through the program’s challenges.
For some people, CrossFit may become a way of life, and the principles of the program may start to shape their worldview. However, CrossFit is not a religion, and people of all faiths are welcome to participate in the program.
What Does CrossFit HQ Say About CrossFit and Religion?
CrossFit HQ does not officially align itself with any religion. However, the company does have a statement of faith that reflects the values of the CrossFit community. The statement of faith does not require participants to adhere to any specific religion but emphasizes the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.
The statement of faith reads, “We believe that a life lived according to the principles of CrossFit is one characterized by physical, mental, and spiritual health.”
While CrossFit is not a religion, the company does encourage people to live their lives in a way that promotes physical, mental, and spiritual health. This philosophy aligns with many religious teachings, promoting healthy and balanced living.
At the end of the day, whether or not you view CrossFit as a religion is up to you. Some people may see it as a way of life that helps them live healthier and more balanced lives, while others may see it as a fitness program. CrossFit is a community of supportive people dedicated to helping each other achieve their fitness goals.
The CrossFit Founder’s Views on Religion
CrossFit was founded by Greg Glassman in 2000. Glassman is a self-described “fitness heretic” known for his rebellious attitude and unorthodox approach to fitness. Glassman has made it clear that he does not believe in following the status quo, which extends to his views on religion.
In an interview with CrossFit Radio, Glassman was asked about his views on religion. He responded, “I don’t have any views on religion. I think it’s all bullshit.” He said, “The problem with religion is that it provides people with a false sense of security. It tells them they don’t have to take responsibility for their own lives.”
Glassman’s views on religion align with his overall philosophy of personal responsibility. He believes people should take control of their own lives and not rely on a higher power to guide them. This philosophy is evident in the way that CrossFit is structured.
What is the CrossFit Philosophy?
The program is based on the principle of personal responsibility, as participants are encouraged to push themselves to their limits and strive for constant improvement. The program is also built on the idea of community support, as CrossFitters often form close-knit bonds with one another.
The CrossFit community is built on the principle of inclusivity, as people of all faiths and backgrounds are welcome to participate in the program. CrossFit does not discriminate against any group; everyone is welcome to join the community.
The program is also founded on the idea of constant progress. CrossFitters are always looking to improve their fitness levels and are never satisfied with just maintaining their current fitness level. This philosophy drives the program forward and helps participants achieve their fitness goals.
CrossFit and Christianity
Some Christians view CrossFit as a religion, while others see it as a way of life that is compatible with their faith. Christians who view CrossFit as a religion often point to the program’s emphasis on personal responsibility and community support. They also see the program as a way to promote physical, mental, and spiritual health, which aligns with many Christian teachings.
Christians who see CrossFit as a compatible way of life often appreciate the program’s emphasis on fitness and health. They also understand the program’s inclusivity, allowing them to workout with people of all faiths and backgrounds, as this is generally very similar to Christian principles.
Christianity and CrossFit Boxes (Affiliates)
While some Christians see CrossFit as a religion, others view it as a compatible way of life. This is evident in the fact that many CrossFit boxes (affiliates) are owned and operated by Christians. These Christian-owned CrossFit affiliates often have a mission to promote physical, mental, and spiritual health in their community.
One example of a Christian-owned CrossFit affiliate is Redemption Fitness, located in Texas. The owner of Redemption Fitness, Jason Brown, is a Christian minister who saw the need for a Christian-based fitness program in his community. Brown’s goal is to use CrossFit to reach people for Christ and help them lead healthier lives.
Another example of a Christian-owned CrossFit affiliate is CrossFit Fusion, located in Florida. The owner of Fusion CrossFit, Jason Pritchard, is a Christian who was looking for a way to combine his faith with his passion for fitness. Pritchard’s goal is to create a community of believers committed to healthy living.
Prominent Christian CrossFit Athletes
There are many Christians who compete in CrossFit competitions, and some of them have become very successful. One example of a successful Christian CrossFit athlete is Rich Froning, a four-time winner of the CrossFit Games. Froning is a devout Christian who often uses his platform to share his faith with others.
Another example of a successful Christian CrossFit athlete is Kristan Clever, a six-time CrossFit Games athlete. Clever is also a devout Christian and has used her platform to share her faith with others.
References to Christianity in the CrossFit Workouts
While CrossFit is not a Christian program, there are some references to Christianity in the workouts. For example, the workout “The Seven” includes seven reps of seven different exercises. This workout is a reference to the seven days of creation, as well as the seven sacraments in the Catholic Church.
Another example of a reference to Christianity in CrossFit workouts is the “Murph” workout, which includes a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, and another one-mile run. This workout references the crucifixion of Christ, as the workout is meant to be a difficult and challenging undertaking.
CrossFit and Other Religions
While CrossFit is not a Christian program, it is compatible with other religions. For example,
- Muslims who participate in CrossFit often find that the program helps them stay fit and healthy, which aligns with Islamic teachings.
- Jews who participate in CrossFit often find that the program helps them stay fit and healthy, which aligns with Jewish teachings.
- Hindus who participate in CrossFit often find that the program allows them to keep fit and healthy, which aligns with Hindu teachings.
- Buddhists who participate in CrossFit often find that the program helps them stay fit and healthy, which aligns with Buddhist teachings.
Is CrossFit a Cult?
Some people have accused CrossFit of being a cult, but this is inaccurate. While CrossFit has some characteristics of a cult, such as a shared belief system and a sense of community, it does not have the harmful elements typically associated with cults.
We’ve taken a deeper look into why people think CrossFit is a cult in this article here.
The Bottom Line – Should CrossFit and Religion Mix?
There is no one answer to this question. It is up to each individual to decide whether or not they want to mix CrossFit with their religion. Some people find that CrossFit helps them live healthier lives, which is compatible with their religious beliefs.
Others find that the references to Christianity in the workouts are off-putting, and they prefer to separate their religion from their fitness routine. Ultimately, the decision is up to you.