The Lifting Game: Weightlifters Versus CrossFit Athletes

Douglas Perry

Technology, Cycling, Swimming


Watching Seb Ostrowics over at Weightlifting House on YouTube is one of my guilty pleasures. A bowl of Frosted Flakes, ice cold milk, and the droopy, sonorous musings of a weightlifting nerd are all it takes to reduce my cholesterol and keep me away from Real Housewives of Atlanta.


Ostrowics' Just How Much Better Are Weightlifters Than CrossFitters is a little erudite, a little respectful, and a lot of geeky lifting love.



Let's start with the basics, according to Ostrowics in the video below, Naim Suleymanoglu, known as the Pocket Hercules, and probably the best lifter, pound-for-pound, of all time, had a 142.5 kg snatch but Matt Fraser, one of CrossFit's greatest competitors, and probably its best weightlifter, had a best snatch of 143 kg.


It's just that Sulemanoglu weighed about 45% less than Fraser and was a teenager when he did his lift.



Ostrowics goes on to compare lifts by various CrossFit competitors, including the 200 lb snatches by Tia-Clare Toomey and Annie Thorosdottir at this year's CrossFit Games, with those of weightlifting competitors.


So, the gist of it goes something like this, CrossFitters lift big but the comparable lifts, often bigger, by weightlifters, are by men and women who are half the size of the CrossFitters.


But, the CrossFitters, while not in the same class as compettive, elite lifters, make every other wannabe lifter look lame. CrossFit weightlifting isn't ever going to be Olympic level weightlifting but the numbers ain't bad.


As for form, well, Guilherme Malheiros looked pretty awesome at the CrossFit Games 2021. Toomey, too, but there are plenty of examples of straining and groaning and bending at weird angles for other competitors.


I guess weightlifters would run afoul of the same form issues if they ever kipped. Just watch Ostrowics, it's not a trite treatise.


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