A comparison of the motivational factors between CrossFit participants and other resistance exercise modalities: A Pilot Study

James Fisher, Adele Sales, Luke Carlson, James Steele

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Understanding resistance exercise motives and participation is essential in increasing exercise adherence and reducing comorbidities. CrossFit is a fitness movement that has seen an explosive growth in popularity worldwide; however, little research has investigated the motivational factors within this "niche" resistance exercise environment. The aim of this study was to explore the motivational factors of CrossFit participants in comparison to other resistance exercise participants.
Using an independent-group design, quantitative data was collected using exercise motivations inventory-2 (EMI-2) questionnaire, for a total of 314 male and female participants (CrossFit: n = 68, Group Resistance Exercise: n = 55, Alone: n = 125, Personal Trainer: n = 66).
The present study suggest that CrossFit participants were more likely to report higher levels of intrinsic motives, such as enjoyment, challenge and affiliation, whereas personal training clients reported higher values for health related motives such as positive health, ill-health avoidance and weight management.
The findings suggest that the motivations for engaging in CrossFit may be similar to those seen in sport participation, and therefore may have an influence on facilitating long-term adherence in comparison with other resistance exercise modalities. This article also discusses health related motives as being extrinsic in nature but reflecting intrinsic characteristics, potentially also facilitating long term adherence. The present research helps develop further understanding of motivational variables within differing resistance exercise modalities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1227-1234
JournalJournal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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