Caveman Training Vs CrossFit: Everything You Need To Know

While CrossFit has been a hot topic in the world of fitness for well over a decade now, there is a new name on the block that is quickly beginning to rival it as one of the top alternative styles of training. The method of training we are talking about is one known as Caveman Training.

Caveman Training has a number of the same selling points that CrossFit does. It has a hip name, uses a great deal of interaction to keep people engaged, has a unique selling point, incorporates cool and unusual training gear and styles, and even claims to be able to produce results extremely quickly.

There are, however, a great number of differences between the two as well. So, how do CrossFit and Caveman Training stack up against each other? That is just what we aim to find out in today’s article.

From their differences and similarities to the results they offer and who might want to use them, it is time to study Caveman Training vs CrossFit in detail and uncover everything you need to know.

What Is Caveman Training?

Caveman Training is an online company that is considered one of the premier providers of online kettlebell courses, certifications, eBooks, and workouts. Founded in 2009, the company’s popularity has soared, and they have thousands of members following its programs around the world.

The concept behind Caveman Training is to take exercise back to basics. Using equipment and methods similar to what our ancestors would have had access to, the idea is that it allows us to train our bodies in the way that they are naturally meant to work.

Who Are Caveman Training?

The company is created, owned, and run by Anna Junghans and Taco Fleur, who began working together in 2004.

Anna has level 3 and 4 fitness certifications, level 1, 2, and Advanced THUMP® Boxing Instructor certifications, a kettlebells level 2 certification, and is a TRX Certified Trainer. She has even passed her company’s own course to become Caveman Training certified as well. 

She has extensive experience of over 20 years in personal training and other health and fitness fields and has worked with both male and female clients of all abilities through the years.

She specialises in areas such as weight loss guidance, functional training, high-intensity training, kettlebell training, suspension training, aerobics, body combat, boxing, and Muay Thai. 

Taco holds CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, Kettlebells Level 2 Trainer, MMA Fitness Level 2, and MMA Conditioning Level 1 qualifications, as well as several others, while also being extensively experienced in the health and fitness industry.

Caveman Training Resources

The primary resource for Caveman Training is their website. This is where you can buy kettlebell workout books, videos, and online kettlebell courses and certifications, and access the full breadth of their content to learn all there is to know about kettlebell training. 

The Caveman Training YouTube page is a great resource for those not ready to commit to doing a full course. It is home to some of the very best kettlebell workouts on the internet, and the channel has many free kettlebell workout videos, kettlebell tutorials, kettlebell combos, and so much more. 

They already have more than 60,000 subscribers and that number continues to grow by the day.

Similarly, the Caveman Training Facebook page has the largest online kettlebell community on the platform with over 34,000 members. This provides links back to all of their videos, while offering additional articles and posts to give you information and help fuel your kettlebell training.

How Is Caveman Training Different From CrossFit?

Caveman Training uses much simpler programs that are more carefully tailored and focus on small groups of muscles, rather than large areas of the body. They also rely heavily on a small amount of simple, non-technical equipment and movements, which will often simply be kettlebell exercises.

Caveman Training exercises will need to be completed properly using the correct form and an instructor always has to be present during routines.

CrossFit, on the other hand, uses a wider range of exercises and equipment, such as boxes, battle ropes, sledgehammers, etc. CrossFit also aims to train large sections of the body all at once, while explosive movements do not require quite the same amount of focus on using the perfect form.

Combining Caveman Training & CrossFit

Caveman Training and CrossFit are two extremely popular styles of training that, while there are a large number of differences, also feature a number of similarities. As a result, there are ways for those looking to really push themselves to combine the two training styles into a single workout.

So viable is this in fact, that Caveman Training themselves have even created a number of workouts that combine Caveman Training with elements of CrossFit. Below we have selected the very best examples of this collaborative approach to training from their website for you to give a try yourself.

EINAR — A Workout With A Kettlebell, Dumbbell, & Pull Up Bar

This EINAR workout is designed to primarily work your entire upper body, although some elements of lower body training will also be included. From start to finish it should take exactly 15 minutes to complete.

Circuit 1:

  • Recommended weight for males: 20kg/44lbs kettlebell 
  • Recommended weight for females: 16kg/35.2lbs kettlebell
  • 5 x Single-Arm Hip Hinge Swing (each side)
  • 4 x CrossFit Burpee
  • 2 x Strict Pull-Up
  • 1 x Positive Handstand Push-Up

6 rounds must be completed in no more than 7 minutes. You can spread out rest periods however you see fit, provided all of the 6 rounds are completed within the time cap. You will now complete 2 minutes of active recovery before moving on.

Circuit 2:

  • Recommended weight for males: 2 x 10kg/22lbs dumbbells
  • Recommended weight for females: 2 x 8kg/17.6lbs dumbbells

Using both arms and dumbbells at once:

  • Strict Hammer Curl
  • Hang Clean
  • Push Press

This circuit uses the AMRAP philosophy. On each exercise, you will complete as many reps as you can before moving on to the next. You will then aim to complete the circuit as many times as possible within the 6 minute time cap.

MAXE2MOM CrossFit Barbell Complex

  • Recommended weight for males: 95lb barbell
  • Recommended weight for females: 65lb barbell

Circuit 1:

Each exercise in this circuit must be completed in succession, without ever putting the weight down. You will attempt to complete the circuit as many times as possible within 2 minutes. This counts as one round.

  • Deadlift
  • Clean
  • Squat
  • Jerk
  • Hang power clean
  • Jerk
  • Alternating racked reverse lunge

After completing your first round, you then have a break of a max of 2 minutes, before performing a second round exactly the same as the first. You then get another break of a maximum of 2 minutes.

Circuit 2:

After your second rest period, you will move on to the second circuit. This time you will complete the entire sequence twice, without putting the weight down, as quickly as possible.

  • Deadlift with a hip hinge
  • Return to dead
  • Clean
  • Rack
  • Full extension
  • Squat
  • Full extension
  • Jerk
  • Rack
  • Power hang clean
  • Jerk
  • Rack
  • Reverse lunge
  • Reverse lunge with the other side
  • Return to dead

Once you have done two run-throughs of Circuit 2, you can take a short rest and then return to Circuit 1. The goal is to complete as many rounds as possible of both circuits within 30 minutes. When you can comfortably complete 30 minutes, you can then increase the weight in the following session.

Kettlebell Workout Nova

The Kettlebell Workout Nova begins with 50 CrossFit burpees as a warmup. You will then proceed to do 10 rounds FOR TIME of 6 double kettlebell half snatches and 3 overhead deadlifts each side.

The whole workout should take about 18 to 25 minutes to complete. The recommended weights are 2 x 16kg/35lbs kettlebells for men and 2 x 12kg/26lbs for women, although this can vary.

Scaling on the overhead deadlifts is racked deadlifts, for which you will raise the reps to 4. Scaling on the double kettlebell half snatches is one bell 3 each side or double bell clean and jerk/push press.


Before we conclude our analysis of Caveman Training vs CrossFit, I quickly want to answer a few of the most frequently asked questions (FAQS) that people have on the subject. This should make sure you are all completely clear on everything we have looked at by the end of this article.

What Is A Caveman Workout?

A Caveman Training workout is a full body strength training routine. Caveman Training promises to help you develop optimal levels of control when you perform activities like running, jumping, sprinting, and leaping.

While it would definitely come in handy if a sabretooth should pop-up from somewhere, it is also really cool to simply help you feel better, more comfortable, and able inside your own skin.

How Much Exercise Did Cavemen Get?

There is no 100% conclusive way to know just how much exercise a caveman would have gotten, but it is safe to say that they didn’t spend a lot of time waiting for buses or playing on their phones.

They would likely have been required to do a ‘constant low-level to moderate activity,’ on a daily basis, according to Dr Tim Ryan, a professor of anthropology at Penn State University in the United States. He thinks that ‘Every individual would walk at least 5km a day and as many as 10 or 11km”.

Can You Combine Caveman Training & CrossFit?

As we have examined in this article, there are many elements of Caveman Training and CrossFit that are similar to one another. If there are elements of both training styles you enjoy or find beneficial, there is not reason why you can’t try and combine the two into a single workout.

Do Caveman Training Routines Have To Be Performed With An Instructor Present?

There is literature on their website to suggest that Caveman Training routines have to be overseen by an instructor for them to be official. This is, however, largely a legal loophole, so that they are covered in the event that someone hurts themselves while doing the very challenging workouts.

As long as you make sure to take great care while training, there is no reason why you can’t follow a Caveman Training workout without an instructor present.

Is Caveman Training Safe & Effective?

Caveman Training is an incredibly challenging workout routine that has been proven to be capable of producing big strength gains. Due to the high level of challenge it poses, this can make the routines somewhat dangerous, which is why they recommend you complete them with instructors present.

However, if you’re experienced with weightlifting, act sensibly, and make sure you take precautions, such as using decent kettlebell shoes while lifting, most people will be able to complete the routines without any issues.

Our Final Thoughts On Caveman Training Vs CrossFit

Caveman Training and CrossFit are both extremely challenging styles of workout that can offer a range of different benefits. Those who prioritise control and raw strength may want to go with Caveman Training, while those who enjoy the freedom and explosive power may prefer CrossFit.

For those who want the best of both worlds though, there is no reason why you can’t merge the two training styles into one incredibly well-rounded and effective workout routine. In fact, the examples we have looked at above should give you a great place to start doing just that.

So, now you know exactly what both are all about and what they have to offer, all you have left to do is decide which style of training you personally want to use. That way, you can get to work and start seeing all of the incredible results it has to offer for yourself.

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Steve is a retired professional wrestler with over 10 years of experience in the personal fitness industry. He is a certified personal trainer working with a wide variety of athletes as well as a fitness writer.

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