As similar as they are different

On a daily basis I’m pretty much guaranteed to be asked one particular question;

What is the difference between Ludus and Crossfit?

When I’m in the box (what Crossfitters call their gym) the conversation usually goes along these lines ..

“You go to Ludus too?”
“What’s the difference?”

and then once I’ve answered I usually get “Which one do you like more?” and “Which one is harder?”

If I’m at Ludus the conversation goes like this ..

“You going to crossfit now?”
“So what cool things can you do now that you couldn’t before?”

Ludians get straight to the point 😉

It’s easy to answer the Ludians – I can pistol, do handstands, handstand walk and lift much more weight than I could before.

With the crossfitters I can usually get away with saying “Ludus is just one really long wod” although a few will ask further questions like “Do they do olympic lifts or barbell work”?

It’s harder to answer people who haven’t been to either one.  “Outsiders” think they are basically the same thing with different names and although they would both fall under the “Functional Fitness” umbrella there are probably more differences than there are similarities, so I will outline each and then you guys can make up your own minds.

These are my PERSONAL opinions based on experiences from the sessions I attend.

CrossfitHPU – Specialise in nothing, Excel in everything

  1. 40/60 Male vs Female
  2. You have to do an induction course before being allowed to enter the main classes.
  3. All sessions are designed by the Head Coach and include periodisation principals.
  4. Each session has distinct sections – General Warm Up, Mobility,  Specific Programming, (2 strength, 1 gymnastics, and 1 structural balance per week) followed by the WOD *work out of the day*
  5. All sessions contain technique coaching during the Specific Programming section.
  6. WODs are between 7 minutes and 30 minutes.
  7. WOD weights/movements are standardised (all RX males lift the same weight and do the same level of a specific exercise, eg Pistols with a 24kg kb, while intermediate/beginners are scaled down)
  8. Specialists classes on the timetable –  2 gymnastics, 2 barbell, 2 “Mums” and 1 competition class.

Ludus – Train Hard, Have Fun, Belong

  1. 80/20 Male vs Female
  2. High number of professional (and ex professional) athletes from all disciplines train here.
  3. Each sessions is designed by the Lanista in charge
  4. The content of the sessions changes depending in the Lanista in charge (Once you get to know the Lanistas you understand what kind of session you are most likely to get.)
  5. WOD’s are 45-60 minutes.
  6. Specialists classes on the timetable –  2 kettlebell, 2 mma and 1 intro session.
  7. Also have a running club which has a monthly session.

Which is harder? ..

It’s hard to say – I guess crossfit is technically harder because olympic lifting and things such as muscle ups, pistols and double unders are included on a regular basis.  Ludus on the other hand is one long endurance session so it’s probably more challenging fitness wise.

One thing I have found is that since I’ve been training at crossfitHPU where it’s drummed into you to go hard and not stop (because the wods tend to be short) is that I really have to think about slowing down to a speed I can maintain for a long period without stopping when I go to Ludus.  It’s become my norm to go out hard and fast and that’s not the best plan when you do a Ludus session.

Which do I prefer? ..

To be honest it depends on what the WOD involves and who is taking the session because I’m only human and I don’t LOVE all aspects of training and I obviously have a soft spot for certain trainers (especially the beautiful ones who wear short shorts and have long legs AND who fill in for me when I’m injured). 😉

What you will find when you walk in ..

At HPU everyone seems to congregate in one big circle doing their mobility work.  At Ludus you will get clusters of people chatting (and the old dudes (including me) can be found in the corner stretching).  Oh and the girls are beautiful at both!

What you will find during the session ..

At Ludus lots of hot men (as in looks not temperature) with no shirts on.  It also tends to get quite chaotic so watch out for people who are wandering across the floor to get their water bottle and haven’t noticed you are about to burpee into the exact space they are walking into. Meanwhile don’t even bother with a water bottle at HPU because you don’t have time to stop.

What you will find after the session ..

HPU peeps will usually stay and do skill work – handstand walking, kipping, muscle ups, rope climbing, pistols or skipping (or a combination of the above).  You will also find everyone is keen to teach those of us who have yet to master a certain element and pass on any tips and tricks they think may help.

Ludus peeps will either be taking photos of the board, taking photos of themselves with famous people, completing the wod or doing the next session (or waiting for the showers).

In summary to me they are equals. The easiest way to explain it would be to use my kidlets as an example.  I love both my kids equally yet I love different things about them.   Crossfit would be the demanding and challenging child, we’d have a continually volatile relationship full of highs and lows.   Ludus on the other hand would be the cuddly child who welcomes me with open arms whenever I am near.

And just like my kidlets life wouldn’t be the same without either ..

If you guys are curious you should really go along and give it a go yourselves, you never know you might learn something new to add to your fitness arsenal.

Till next time




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