In Athletes, Competition, Sports Applications

October 15, 2008

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“I am a competitive bodybuilder. Marathon workouts of each body part, attacking every muscle with 30-40 sets. Three hours of aerobic activity each day. Manipulate water and sodium until I was ripped out. Then I would get onstage - and lose.”

Josh Bunch was frustrated. He loved CrossFit for his clients, and had even affiliated his gym. “I loved watching my clients do their workouts and was jealous I couldn’t get in on the fun. Inevitably, I began to theorize. Why not modify CrossFit to fit a bodybuilder?”

It’s common practice for competitive athletes to use CrossFit for GPP (General Physical Preparation), and add specialized drills for their sport. Josh writes about his successful application of hypertrophy-inducing and muscle-shaping isolation exercises on top of core CrossFit programming. All the while, acknowledging, and in spite of, CrossFitters’ public disdain for “show” muscles.

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16 Comments on “Competitive Bodybuilder becomes CrossFitter...and Wins”


wrote …

A set of before and after pictures would be nice for this article. His before CrossFit picture, and his after CrossFit picture. I assume the main photo of the article is an after CrossFit.


wrote …

Would be interesting to see his program, sort of what kind of excersises he put in and where in the program.


wrote …

What I don't understand is why? He says that body builders don't claim to be functional, they only claim to look why? To me that just doesn't make ANY sense. That to me is like saying you are a Navy SEAL without going through BUD/S or having a Corvette with a Ford Focus engine in it. Why would you fool yourself?


replied to comment from Jay Stellwagen

simply for the fact that thats the name of the sport...looking good, not "working" good


wrote …

Love the tan


wrote …

Looking good Josh. Thanks for sharing.


wrote …

I appreciate all the responses I have been recieving...if u have any questions just give me a again...jb


wrote …

I met Josh counting his reps for FGB at the cert (at least I realized this when I saw my picture in the article). Just wanted to say that Josh was a super nice guy. He was great pushing me through my workout and pushing himself during his.

I also wanted to add that a lot of the criticism on the message boards toward bodybuilding is probably intended for the typical "globo zombies" doing some hacked up version of a body builder routine thinking they are fit, not body builders in the true sense. I hope most bodybuilders have a good enough perspective to understand their weaknesses in terms of overall health and fitness. I view and respect body builders the same as powerlifters, sprinters and other specialized athletes. Its not their fault that the routines went to the mainstream globo gym and are being misused everywhere by people actually looking for overall health and GPP.


replied to comment from David Laemers

David was a super cool dude, and smoked the hell outta me n the fight that day...He did a great job stayn on me throughout my wko makn sure I didn't slow at all......Ur comments are well spoken bro, and I wish ya all the best...jb


wrote …

Thanks Josh! I just listened to your interview on CrossFit Radio, a lot of good stuff there. I hope you change the way bodybuilders train in much the same way Brian Mackenzie is changing the way endurance athletes train. Although Crossfit is designed for a broad general fitness, its core is still constantly varied, functional movements executed at high intensity. It is nice to know that people are still discovering new ways of using this to meet the needs of so many different athletes.


wrote …

Great article Josh. Thank you for your insight on how you have integrated Crossfit into your bodybuilding routine. I feel aesthetics can be functional as well. Great points! Good luck with your up and coming shows!

-Phil :)


replied to comment from David Laemers

If we as Xfitters start to bash on other people for having other goals, how sad are we.
David, perfect comment!
It is simply that most people have been ill informed about what a good, athletic physique is, looks like, and functions like.

I personally salute Josh Bunch for taking another pathway (Crossfit) and adapting it to his need!!



wrote …

nice article, josh, and congratulations on the victories.

just to poke a bit, though: bodybuilding is NOT a sport, it's a discipline. in bodybuilding, there is no objective standard for "performance." there is no direct competition. the physical difficulty is irrelevant.

that's not to say it isn't really XXX hard or that it doesn't have a lot of merits; hell, it's what got a lot of us into the gym in the first place. and for everyone who claims that crossfitters care nothing about aesthetics, just look at all the before and after pictures out there. just look at all the crossfit firebreathers with, um, strangely hairless torsos. (that's TOTALLY about showing off the muscles!)

anyway, i know my definition of a sport is not accepted by everyone. but i apply it evenly and fairly -- to golf, where there is no direct competition (it's the same as darts in that respect), and is a game rather than a sport in my book, to gymnastics and diving and dancing and figure skating, which are judged subjectively as art forms.

josh, you practice an art form. you do it very well, apparently, but it's still an art instead of a sport.



wrote …

Josh you are the man, I'm going to do a novice show (bodybuilding)in about 10 weeks from now and I've just started crossfit about 8weeks ago. For alot of reasons, I'll just say im chancing with sticking to crossfit routines right up to the show just to really see how things turn out.

I've been doing conventional training for a few years now and was bored, so I'm telling you now, this is the most fun I've had with training since being introduced with crossfit and after reading your article I feel alot more confident in doing my BB show. I'll give you guys a heads up after the show, around June 5th 2010


wrote …

I think it takes a lot of balls to post this on CFJ, as there's bound to be plenty of haters, but I have maximum respect. It's nice to see that the crossfit community can be inclusive toward everybody!


wrote …

I checked out this article after hearing about it on the CF Radio. My hat's off to you Sir! You're truly an inspiration for all people I think in the globo gym > crossfit transition. Thank you.

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