A workout plan, a worldwide competition, a franchise of gyms — the sport of CrossFit is more than just a fitness modality; it's a brand. What started as a small competition at a California ranch in 2000 by founder and former CEO Greg Glassman has grown to be one of the biggest fitness movements in the world.
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Maybe you do CrossFit regularly or maybe you've only heard about it being dangerous or mired in controversy. No matter your familiarity, chances are you've been curious about how this fitness movement started, how many CrossFit gyms there are, how much the average CrossFit athlete makes and who takes the title as the strongest CrossFitter.
These CrossFit statistics will answer all of those questions and more.
Global CrossFit Statistics
Although CrossFit started in the U.S., the workout has become popular abroad. In fact, CrossFit is practiced worldwide, with athletes from more than 120 countries participating in the CrossFit Games each year, according to the CrossFit Games.
- There are more than 15,000 CrossFit affiliate gyms around the world, according to CrossFit.
- About 1,400 new affiliates opened between 2021 and 2022, according to the Morning Chalk Up, a leading CrossFit publication
- 72% of affiliate gyms are based in the U.S., according to Rally Fitness, a fitness equipment provider.
- 23.1% of CrossFit affiliates are located in Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, according to Rally Fitness.
- More than 10 million CrossFitters practice globally, according to a small November 2013 American Council on Exercise (ACE) study.
- More than 35,000 CrossFit-certified trainers teach globally.
- There were about 1,000 new international CrossFit affiliates in 2018, according to the Morning Chalk Up.
- These countries outside of the U.S. have the most affiliates:
- Brazil: 1,149
- Italy: 662
- Australia: 588
- Canada: 588
- United Kingdom: 572
- France: 481
- Europe offers roughly 71 different CrossFit courses, including Level 1 and Level 2 certifications and coach evaluations, in a year, according to CrossFit.
U.S. CrossFit Statistics
CrossFit is one of the most popular workouts in the U.S., with thousands of athletes practicing daily.
But in 2020, more than 500 gyms disaffiliated themselves from the official brand in response to Glassman's racist tweets during the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement and his history of controversial behavior regarding race and gender in the sport, according to a Google document petition of disaffiliated gyms.
Since Glassman's resignation in early June 2020, Eric Roza has taken over as the company's new CEO and owner, according to CrossFit. Roza announced he was buying 100 percent of CrossFit from Greg Glassman for an undisclosed amount of money in late June 2020, according to Business Insider, and put 1 percent of the CrossFit stock in a trust for Maggie Glassman (Glassman's wife) and their children.
In July 2021, CrossFit announced a new president, Jason Dunlop, previously of Nike and Starbucks, who will work on expanding the sport globally, according to the Morning Chalk Up.
- There are more than 5,000 CrossFit-affiliated gyms in the U.S., according to CrossFit.
- Becoming a CrossFit-affiliated gym costs about $3,000 each year, according to CrossFit.
- The average monthly unlimited membership at a CrossFit gym in the U.S. ranges from $135 to $168, according to CrossFit.
- CrossFit is most popular in these states, according to Rally Fitness:
- Texas and Utah (tie)
- CrossFit is least popular in North and South Dakota, per Rally Fitness.
- CrossFit is the most popular class in Nashville, Tennessee, according to the 2020 Fitness Trends in America MindBody survey.
- 86.6% of 179 U.S. CrossFit coaches were certified CrossFit instructors in a November 2016 study in Orthopedic Reviews.
- 26.7% of instructors surveyed had a bachelor's degree in the exercise field.
- In the U.S., the average annual income for people who do CrossFit is about $150,000, according to Rally Fitness.
- 40% of CrossFitters have a post-graduate degree.
CrossFit Statistics by Sex
The sport strives to establish gender equity among athletes, providing equal prizes at the Games for people assigned male and female at birth, according to CrossFit. Most CrossFit statistics categorize athletes into female or male groups, which is why we use the terms "women" and "men" below.
- 60% of CrossFit athletes worldwide are women, according to the ACE.
- 40 men and 40 women compete at the CrossFit Games each year, according to the CrossFit Games.
- Each year at the Games, one man and one woman win the title of the "Fittest on Earth."
- Iceland is home to the three best female CrossFit athletes in the world, according to the Morning Chalk Up. They are:
CrossFit Groups That Promote Diversity
CrossFit Statistics by Age
CrossFit is a sport that transcends age, with many athletes under the age of 18 and above the age of 65.
Here's an age breakdown for the sport, according to Rally Fitness:
- Under 18: 18%
- 18 to 24: 6%
- 25 to 34: 40%
- 35 to 44: 20%
- 45 to 54: 8%
- 55 to 64: 2%
- 65 and older: 5%
CrossFit Workout Statistics
Most CrossFit workouts (called workouts of the day or WODs) take fewer than 15 minutes to complete, according to BoxLife Magazine, a popular CrossFit publication. CrossFit class sizes vary depending on the space of a specific gym, but one class can typically host 13 to 18 people, according to CrossFit.
Although there's an element of surprise to CrossFit — you don't always know the workout of the day before you get to the gym — there are a few common and popular WODs experienced CrossFitters recognize. Glassman gave many of these workouts women's names, while other WODs are named after members of the military. The goal is usually to do the WOD as quickly as you can or for as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) in a set time.
According to Gym Lion's analysis of Google search queries, the most popular CrossFit workouts are:
- 21 thrusters
- 21 pull-ups
- 15 thrusters
- 15 pull-ups
- 9 thrusters
- 9 pull-ups
- 5 pull-ups
- 10 push-ups
- 15 squats
- 1-mile run
- 100 pull-ups
- 200 push-ups
- 300 squats
- 1-mile run
- 30 clean and jerks
- 400-meter run
- 21 kettlebell swings
- 12 pull-ups
- 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 double unders
- 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 sit-ups
- 100 pull-ups
- 100 push-ups
- 100 sit-ups
- 100 squats
- 1,000-meter row
- 50 thrusters
- 30 pull-ups
- 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 deadlifts
- 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 bench presses
- 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 cleans
- 21 deadlifts
- 21 handstand push-ups
- 15 deadlifts
- 15 handstand push-ups
- 9 deadlifts
- 9 handstand push-ups
In order to be considered a competitive CrossFitter, athletes must meet certain benchmarks for how much weight they can lift or how many reps of a given exercise they can complete, according to BoxRox Competitive Fitness Magazine, an online publication for CrossFit fans. Here are a few of those common standards:
- Men: 25
- Women: 18
- Men: 3
- Women: 3
- Handstand Push-Up
- Men: 10
- Women: 7
- Men: 90% of body weight (BW)
- Women: 80% BW
- Men: 3 x 1.5 BW
- Women: 3 x 1.5 BW
- Back Squat
- Men: 3 x 1.25 BW
- Women: 3 x 1.25 BW
- Men: 3 x .7 BW
- Women: 3 x .7 BW
- 1-Mile Run
- Men: 7 minutes
- Women: 7 minutes, 30 seconds
Professional CrossFit Statistics
After completing the CrossFit Open, a worldwide competition where scores are submitted to CrossFit online, athletes with the top results can advance to the CrossFit Games. The Games are where the best CrossFit athletes from around the world compete to be crowned the Fittest on Earth.
CrossFit Open Statistics
- During the worldwide CrossFit Open, hundreds of thousands of athletes compete to qualify for the Games, according to the CrossFit Games.
- The Open is three weeks long with a new event released each week. Each athlete records their own results.
- The top 10% of Open athletes on each continent continue to the quarterfinals, a weekend-long online competition.
- In 2022, the top 120 individual American athletes and top 80 American teams will advance to the third stage of the competition, the semifinals, according to Barbend, a fitness and CrossFit publication.
- Athletes who move onto the semifinals are invited to one of 10 events across six regions (Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania, North America and South America), which means at least one athlete from each region qualifies for the CrossFit Games.
- The top 10 athletes from America, top 10 athletes from Europe, top 6 athletes from Oceania, top 4 athletes from Asia, top 4 athletes from South America and top 2 athletes from Africa (half male and half female) advance to the games, according to the CrossFit website.
- Although each CrossFit Open is several events long, there are standard lifts and weights competitors must meet, according to the CrossFit Games. Below are some of the lifts and weights featured in the 2022 Open for the 18-to-34 age group.
Dumbbell Snatch (12 reps)
Box Jump-Over (15 reps)
CrossFit Games Statistics
The sport has legions of followers, but only a handful of standout athletes compete in the CrossFit Games each year.
- The CrossFit Games began in 2007 in Aromas, California, according to BoxRox.
- CrossFit athletes come from more than 120 countries to compete in the games.
- In 2019, the U.S. sent the most athletes to the CrossFit Games with 34, according to an April 2019 Morning Chalk Up analysis.
- Those 34 U.S. athletes only represented 11% of all Games participants.
- Tia-Clair Toomey won the 2021 CrossFit Games in the women's division with a total of 1,435 points (each event is worth 100 points), according to the CrossFit Games.
- Justin Medeiros won the men's division of the 2021 CrossFit Games with a total of 1,234 points.
- The top five athletes at the CrossFit Games earn the following prize money, according to BoxRox:
- Cash prizes are also awarded to the top three athletes in individual events at the Games, according to BoxRox:
- In the 2021 Games, Toomey earned $340,000, according to BoxRox.
- Horvath earned $131,000.
- Thorisdottir earned $88,000.
- In the 2021 Games, Medeiros earned $320,000.
- Vellner earned $133,000.
- Fikowsi earned $86,000.
- You have to be at least 14 years old to compete, according to the CrossFit Games.
- The average age of male athletes in the 2018 Games was 27, according to the CrossFit Games.
- The largest age gap between male athletes competing was 13 years.
- The average age of female athletes in the 2018 Games was 28, according to the CrossFit Games.
- The largest age gap between female athletes competing was 16 years.
The Top CrossFit Athletes
After their victories in the 2021 CrossFit Games, Tia-Clair Toomey and Justin Medeiros are considered the fittest athletes of all time.
- Toomey has had seven consecutive podium finishes, per the Morning Chalk Up. She is also known for:
- Winning more events in her career than any other female CrossFit athlete
- Not losing a single live event since her win at the Games in 2017
- Mathew Fraser, winner of the men's division in the 2020 CrossFit games who recently retired, had seven consecutive podium wins, according to the Morning Chalk Up. He is also known for:
- Winning five Games championships in a row
- Being the only athlete to win three Opens in a row
- Winning 29 events in his career, more than any other CrossFit athlete
- Winning six consecutive events in competition
- There is no public record of how much top CrossFit athlete Fraser earns through his sponsorships. But he won more than $1,000,000 in competition throughout his CrossFit career, according to South China Morning Post.
CrossFit Health Statistics
The benefits of CrossFit include better cardiovascular and muscular endurance. Plus, the sport's injury rate is lower than you might think.
- After analyzing 16 individuals in the small November 2013 American Council on Exercise (ACE) study mentioned above, researchers found that most people reached 90% of their maximum heart rate during two popular CrossFit workouts.
- Most study participants hit about 80% of their VO2 max (a measurement of the oxygen used during intense exercise) on average during the two workouts.
- After 12 weeks of CrossFit training, athletes saw a 22% improvement in muscular endurance, according to a January 2014 Journal of Sport and Human Performance study.
- Competing CrossFitters experienced fewer than 1 injury per 1,000 training hours, according to a June 2015 survey of more than 3,000 CrossFit athletes in BMJ Open Sport and Exercise Medicine.
- CrossFitters had an injury rate of 19.4% in a November 2013 survey of 386 athletes in the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine.
- People typically burn between 12 and 20 calories per minute doing CrossFit, according to the ACE study.
- CrossFit Games: "About the Games"
- CrossFit: "About Affiliation"
- Rally Fitness: "Latest CrossFit Market Research Data"
- ACE: "CrossFit: New Research Puts Popular Workout to the Test"
- Morning Chalk Up: "2019 Open Performance by Country"
- CrossFit: "Affiliates Map"
- Morning Chalk Up: "CrossFit Affiliate Growth, Part 2: International Analysis"
- Google Doc: "Affiliate Rebranding"
- CrossFit: "Introducing Eric Roza, Incoming Owner and CEO of CrossFit, Inc."
- Business Insider: "Incoming CrossFit CEO Eric Roza has Signed a Contract to buy 100% of the Fitness Company From Controversial Founder Greg Glassman"
- CrossFit: "How to Affiliate"
- CrossFit: : "Why CrossFit Is Free but CrossFit Gyms Are Not"
- 2019 MINDBODY Wellness Index Report: "Fitness in America: Behaviors, Attitudes, and Trends"
- Orthopedic Reviews: "CrossFit® Instructor Demographics and Practice Trends"
- BoxLife Magazine: "The Short WOD vs the Long WOD: Is There a Winner?"
- CrossFit: "Space-Saving Tips for Small Gyms"
- CrossFit: "Why Men and Women Are Always Equal in CrossFit"
- Gym Lion: "10 Most Popular CrossFit Workouts"
- BoxRox: "Are You Fit Enough? The Standards You Need To Become a Competitive Crossfitter
- CrossFit Games: "Leaderboard"
- BoxRox: "How Much Money Did The 2020 CrossFit Games Top 10 Athletes Win?"
- South China Morning Post: "Who is Crossfit Champion Mat Fraser? Prize Money, Diet and not Talking to Rich Froning"
- Morning Chalk Up: "Mat Fraser and Tia-Clair Toomey Dominate 2020 Games in Historic Fashion"
- CrossFit Games: "Introducing the 2021 CrossFit SemiFinals Event Organizers"
- CrossFit Games: "2018 Athlete Guide: Individual Men"
- CrossFit Games: "2018 Athlete Guide: Individual Women"
- Journal of Sport and Human Performance: "Effect of CrossFit on Health Related Physical Fitness: A Pilot Study"
- BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine: "Breaking the Myths of Competition: a Cross-Sectional Analysis of Injuries Among CrossFit Trained Participants"
- Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine: "Injury Rate and Patterns Among CrossFit Athletes"
- BoxRox: "The Rise of the CrossFit Games – a Chronological Account of its History"
- Morning Chalk Up: "Breaking: CrossFit Hires Jason Dunlop, Former Nike Executive, as New President"
- BoxRox: "How Much Money Did Athletes Win at the 2021 CrossFit Games?"
- Morning Chalk Up: "CrossFit Affiliates Increase By Nearly 1,400 in 2021, Home Office Plans to See Upward Curve Continue in 2022
- MindBody: "Fitness Trends in America"
- CrossFit Games: "The 2022 CrossFit Games Season Overview"