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can fat people do crossfit

Many people underestimate the power that fat people have! They see our size and assume that we live a sedentary lifestyle, but they don’t realize that just because you’re fat doesn’t mean you can’t be strong or powerful. In fact, many fat people are surprisingly strong!

But what about something like CrossFit that isn’t just about strength but overall fitness too? Can fat people do CrossFit?

Fat people can do well with CrossFit, especially once their cardiovascular system has adapted to the workouts. CrossFit requires strength and endurance, and while many fat people can quickly develop strength, endurance can take a little longer. Sturdy bodies are a great source of power when it comes time for kettlebell swings or lifting heavyweights. 

Let’s examine all there we need to know about starting CrossFit as a fat person and why this could be a good choice for bigger folks. 

But first, let’s make sure we’re on the same page with exactly what CrossFit is.

What Is CrossFit?

Crossfit isn’t just a style of working out at this point, for the hardcore folks it’s considered a lifestyle. With more than 15,000 gyms spanning across 120 countries, CrossFit has become a household name. 

There are CrossFit gyms that offer workouts that can be great for beginners, or experienced gym-goers. Every day the workouts change to add variety and keep the body conditioned. Each workout can be modified depending on your body and its capabilities.

CrossFit isn’t only working out at your local CrossFit gym!

Those who do CrossFit often follow a specific nutrition plan (after all, it’s a lifestyle, remember). The plan reduces your intake of carbs and sugar. It focuses more on eating protein, fat, and veggies. 

The CrossFit community is one of the best parts of the lifestyle!

With a network of thousands of people across the world, you always have someone to encourage you and help motivate you! And if you think that’s not true for people of size, just check out this great video with a big man who still stays active talking about CrossFit:

Can I Start CrossFit At Any Fitness Level?

Yes! All fat people have varying fitness levels. Some are sedentary, some are average, and others are elite athletes. You can see this time and time again across multiple areas of life from police work to athletics there are fat people that can still be considered fat by many metrics. 

To join CrossFit, you can be at any fitness level and there are multiple stories of folks weighing 500+ pounds and starting CrossFit

The best part about CrossFit is that no matter which level of fitness you fall into, the workouts can be modified for you. If you struggle with one thing, their team of coaches will help adapt the workout to help you achieve your fitness goals.

Over time you will improve your fitness, and like with anything that we practice, we get better, and it gets easier. CrossFit is no different. The longer you stick to it, the more experienced you will become and your fitness level will improve. 

Remember, all people have to start somewhere on their fitness journey, not just fat people. Those who aren’t fat can be at the same fitness level as you in other ways! Don’t be shy to start a new workout or to join CrossFit because you assume that you are not ready. The sooner you try, the sooner you will see that you can do it!

What’s Easier Or Harder About CrossFit For Fat People? 

CrossFit includes many different types of workouts so advantages or disadvantages will really depend on the specific movements that are part of the day’s workouts. For example, fat folks with bigger bodies will probably have a harder time with distance running.

But when it comes to something like deadlifting a specific weight, many fat folks are naturally quite strong and could excel when it comes to the strength portions of the workouts.

On the other hand, fat folks will probably have a harder time with some of the bodyweight movements and I can tell you that pullups are not my strong suit. That doesn’t mean you can’t do them though and with the use of bands and difficulty modifiers, fat people can still follow the workouts almost exactly as they’re written.

Flexibility is an often overlooked aspect of CrossFit and while it’s not a major component it does factor into the movements. With a little practice, fat people won’t have any issues achieving the required flexibility.

Overall, fat folks aren’t at a major advantage when it comes to CrossFit but outside of the running activities, they aren’t at a massive disadvantage either.

What Are The Best Things To Buy Before Joining CrossFit?

Sometimes it helps to show up prepared! When joining CrossFit you will want to have items that allow you to feel your best! The better you feel when starting, the higher the likelihood of you continuing! 

As fat people, we sometimes feel shame or embarrassment when we start a new workout program, especially when there are others involved who will see us. While overcoming body shame is a big subject that warrants its own article, hopefully, you’ve already seen that the CrossFit community can be welcoming to people of all sizes and fitness levels. 

Of course, it also helps to show up prepared so let’s break down some of the basic gear you’ll need when getting started.

Supportive Shoes

You want a pair of quality supportive shoes that will be able to withstand the impact on your body but the exact shoe will depend on what kind of movements that specific day calls for. In most cases, solid running shoes that are strong enough for heavy people will work but for deadlifts and squats, you may want a shoe with a solid sole that doesn’t compress or shift during these heavy lifts. 

When buying a running shoe for your CrossFit debut you will want to also look at these key factors:

  • Arch Support
  • Solid Sole
  • Durability
  • Comfort

Arch Support

If you have low arches in your feet, which many fat people do, you will need extra arch support for your feet. Look for tennis shoes that provide support for your arches so you will have less pain when working out.

The arch support will help eliminate extra force being placed on your feet. And will help with pain in your heels, ankles, and knees.

Solid Sole

Buying a tennis shoe with a solid sole will help comfort your foot and create a better experience when performing any physical activity, especially those performed during a CrossFit workout.

Tennis shoes have three parts that make up the sole of the shoe. 

The insole provides cushioning for the bottom of your foot. It can help with conditions such as structural misalignment, plantar fasciitis, supination, or overpronation

Insoles come in three volumes, high, medium, and low. The insole of your fitness shoe should be low to medium volume. Low is best for those with low arches.

Insoles can also be bought and added to your shoes if your shoe doesn’t provide adequate comfort.

The midsole is the layer that falls under the insole and lays above the outsole. The midsole is the shock absorber of the shoe. When you are fat, this part of the shoe will help absorb the extra weight from your body and help eliminate foot pain associated with physical activity. It can be made of rubber or leather but can be made from other materials as well. 

When purchasing your athletic shoes for CrossFit you will want to look for a midsole made from a material thick enough to compress when touched. Preferably made from polyurethane-foam so it can help the overall durability of the shoe.

The outsole of your tennis shoe should be able to grip the floor. The extra grip will help prevent accidental falls or slippage when moving around.


When fat people work out we put a lot of extra wear and tear on our shoes from the force that our extra weight puts on the shoes. When we look for a tennis shoe to wear to CrossFit we want to make sure that the shoe is durable and can handle our fatness. 

Look for shoes that are made from quality materials that are disclosed on the box so that you know what the shoe is made from. 

Look for shoes that are stitched together and not glued. Stitching will last longer than something glued together.

If possible, look for shoes made in small batches rather than mass-produced. A mass-produced shoe is more likely to wear doesn’t quicker.

Price is also a factor. When you buy a cheap shoe, you are going to get a cheap shoe. Raising your price range will help you find a better quality shoe.


Buying the right athletic shoe is important for comfort, and they help with stamina. If your feet are comfortable in your shoes, you will be able to push through your workout easier. 

When you are fat, swelling is common after or during a workout. You will want to buy shoes that provide enough space to accommodate the swelling of your feet and ankles. But you also don’t want them too large so that your feet slide around when they are sweaty.

Try the shoes on before you buy them. Walk around in them and move around, be sure that they are a good fit for you.

Workout Clothes

What you wear when you work out can make all the difference in your confidence and ability as a fat person. Find clothing that meets the following criteria for the best results.

Full Coverage

As fat people, we have more rolls, folds, and lumps on our bodies that can slip out of our clothes. Buying fitness apparel that is full coverage can help keep all of our parts tucked away. 

Full coverage clothing will help ease our minds and eliminate any embarrassment when we are completing a CrossFit workout. It doesn’t matter if you’re fat or not, it’s generally a good idea to keep your clothing on when you’re in public!


It also helps to find brands that make their athletic wear durable. CrossFit involves movements such as squatting and jumping. We don’t want to be mid squat and rip a seam in our pants! 

Clothing that is specialized for fat people who want to work out can help eliminate these fears and make us feel more comfortable in a group setting.

High-Performance Wicking Fabric

High-performance wicking fabric is great for moving moisture away from the skin. It helps with eliminating odor and showing sweat stains. Fabrics of this sort are usually bamboo, lycra, polyester, or nylon. 

Not only can you buy your clothes with this type of material, but your socks can be as well. These materials are best when you don’t like wet or damp socks during an intense CrossFit workout.

High-performance wicking fabric also helps keep you cool which is great if you are a fat person who overheats easily.

Compression Sleeve 

If you are new to fitness, your form may not be all the way there yet. And if you are fat, you may need extra support.  While it’s no substitute for solid technique, a compression sleeve could even help your body prevent injury

Compression sleeves help deliver oxygen to the area in which it is placed which is great for fat people who fatigue easily. They also help regulate body temperature and improve recovery! 


Be prepared to sweat a lot! Fat people can sweat a lot when they work out because we often have more fluid in our bodies (this can also make us float easier too). Having a thick towel can help us soak up some of our extra sweat in between workouts!

Water Bottle

Crossfit is going to push you to your limits! With all the fluid loss, you will surely need to rehydrate!

Even though the workouts can be modified to accommodate every fitness level, you will still get a workout that pushes you. 

You will almost certainly need to bring a water bottle to help you stay hydrated. 

Is There A Weight Limit To Join CrossFit?

No! There is no weight limit to join CrossFit! You can be any weight you want to be when you join CrossFit. CrossFit welcomes people of all sizes and abilities.

What Are The Benefits Of CrossFit?

CrossFit has multiple health benefits, especially for those who are fat. Below are benefits that come along with the CrossFit lifestyle but the general fitness improvement that CrossFit brings can you help with everything from hula hooping to skiing and ice skating and everything in between. 

Weight Loss

While some fat people don’t want to lose weight, and that is perfectly fine, being fat positive is a great way to live. Some fat people do want to lose weight, though. CrossFit is an amazing tool to help you lose weight.  The combination of the workouts paired with the nutrition guide they provide will help you burn more calories than you consume, aiding in weight loss. 

Improved Movement 

CrossFit will teach you new ways to move your body and help you increase your flexibility, balance, and agility.

Increased Strength 

CrossFit incorporates weightlifting into their workouts. When you lift weights you increase your strength. When you stay consistent your body’s muscles will grow stronger and your stamina will increase. Allowing you to increase the amount of weight you are able to lift. 

Heart Health

Anytime you workout you help increase the health of your heart. Aerobic workouts are essential for a healthy heart, CrossFit uses high-intensity power training (HIPT) that incorporates short rounds of resistance training and periods of rest in between. This type of training helps improve aerobic fitness.


When you are fat, sometimes joining something labeled as a “new lifestyle” can feel intimidating. If your fitness level isn’t where you want it to be, you may shy away from even trying. But, CrossFit is the type of lifestyle that allows you to go at your own pace while providing support in a no-judgment environment. The support of the CrossFit community makes it a great place for fat people to feel welcomed at any fitness level.

Camila R.

Camila is a body positive blogger and fat activist that's focused on helping people of all sizes live life big! That means accepting yourself at any size and just enjoying life! She lives in New Mexico with her husband and two chihauhuas.

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