You might have seen this on timetables, or maybe you’ve clocked them on some Reebok shoes. So what is CrossFit Lite?
There are 2 answers to this. The first – it’s a less technical CrossFit class, that largely has the removal of barbell work, (namely Snatch and Clean & Jerk) and other technical movements, making it easier. This class is sometimes called ‘CrossFit Light’. The second answer is that CrossFit Lite (TRs) are discontinued hit-top style shoes that were made by sporting giant Reebok.
If you’re seeking the answer regarding the CrossFit Lite TR’s, go ahead and skip down to the second part of the article.
CrossFit Lite – What does it involve?
This is a less technical, movement-limited version of normal CrossFit classes.
The aim of the class is conditioning via the usual CrossFit methodology, still high in intensity, constantly varied and functional movements, however.
Read this Best Gym Hacks article to understand better what normal CrossFit classes look like.
A CrossFit Lite class is stripped back, with less complex movements being utilised.
The movements predominantly removed to make it CrossFit Lite include, (but not limited to):
- Snatch (plus any variations or accessory versions of this)
- Clean and Jerk (plus any variations or accessory versions of this)
- Muscle Ups
- Bar Muscle Ups
- High volume Pull Ups
- Toes to Bar
- Handstand Push Ups
- Double Under Skips
As you can see, it’s the movements which require a greater depth of skill and practice. Lots of these skills take some members many months or years to learn.
Why do CrossFit Gyms offer CrossFit Lite?
By removing the above movements from everyday programming, stripping back and simplifying creates an easier degree of accessibility for that specific hour.
This suits some members such as the less advanced. A feeling of alienation can sometimes occur when being surrounded by members who are really good, so CrossFit Lite helps with onboarding and learning at a different pace.
For some, they simply do not particularly enjoy the Olympic lifts when they appear in programming, so CrossFit Lite classes are even more enjoyable for them.
That said, you can only get better with practice. So CrossFit Gyms that do offer Lite only have it as a sub-class, to be used in conjunction with normal classes. It just provides members another option for their training.
Whilst carrying out a feedback survey at our affiliates, it was requested we add more Lite/Cardio/Interval-based classes.
The gyms already had these in the timetable, but the feedback from our members was that they wanted more. So we added some.
We have members with a near 50/50 male-female split. Average member age is approximately 39 years old.
The attendees of the CrossFit Lite Cardio classes are both male and female, normally with members aged 32 and up.
Who does CrossFit Lite?
Usually, anyone that holds a membership at a CrossFit gym can utilise their membership to access the classes.
The class is for anyone and everyone, with no exclusions or preclusions. If it’s in the timetable and you can’t do any other classes that day, it is still worth going along.
Not every CrossFit gym has CrossFit Lite classes. Make sure to check your timetable or ask the coach. (It might be called Cardio, 45 Burn, or something else).
A fairly normal demographic for these classes would see a bias of females aged 45+ and males aged 55+.
Often those who are (physiologically) less flexible would attend.
Movements such as the Snatch they’d find more difficult than their neighbours, and therefore less enjoyable.
Oftentimes, those using CrossFit to supplement long-distance running, triathlons or other endurance training may attend CrossFit Lite.
They have less of an inclination to bother learning how to Muscle Up or Snatch, attending CrossFit for the conditioning.
So a Lite class makes sense for them.
As noted in demographics, there is a more typified age of attendance. Seniors classes are designed for those of higher age.
The classes are less intense, with movements stripped back and less technical. They’re programmed with age in mind.
So seniors or members aged 60+ male and female are also a good fit for Lite classes.
If someone is carrying an injury or is rehabbing, CrossFit Lite classes can be useful. That said, there may still be movements which require working around or subbing out, to prevent aggravation or worsening an injury.
For those new to the classes, it can be somewhat daunting to walk into a CrossFit gym and see a bunch of people slinging weights around all over the place. Some don’t feel comfortable for a while, in fact.
For them, attending some of the Lite classes along with the general population (!) can offer a slower onboarding, which is just what some need.
On the contrary, many love being thrown in the deep end and want to learn everything yesterday.
So not all beginners would be suited to Lite.
To find out what CrossFit Level you are, check this Best Gym Hacks article here.
Do all CrossFit gyms have CrossFit Lite?
Not all gyms offer CrossFit Lite. It depends on the size of your gym, the general timetable, coaching rostrum, experience and age of the gym, plus other factors.
You may also find similar classes – but with a different name – on the timetable, that tick many of the same boxes.
- Cardio class
- Bootcamp class
- CrossFit HIIT Class
- Gymnastics WOD (although this often contains more technical gymnastics movements)
- 45 min Burn Class
Email your prospective CrossFit gym or ask your coach, asking specifically what is their closest offering to CrossFit Lite is.
Should I do only CrossFit Lite?
It is important to remember, CrossFit Lite is a supplementary class.
It is advised all members – whether that be old, young, flexible, rigid, sporty or not – attend all ‘normal’ CrossFit classes.
This is the best way to learn the multitude of movements. You can always sub out the Snatch (or other) in that class if need be.
CrossFit Lite (and it’s variations noted above) should be used once or twice per week, in order to get the most out of CrossFit.
Read this Best Gym Hacks article here, on an optimal number of days per week for CrossFit.
What are CrossFit Lite TR shoes?
Onto the second answer of CrossFit Lite and its meaning.
The very hard flat sole, wide, and ‘high top’ style are said to provide great support for Power Lifts (Deadlift, Squat, Bench).
They were said to be the first major shoe brand company to make Power Lifting shoes, by Power Lifters for Power Lifters (and CrossFitters…).
Because much of CrossFit is based around Power Lifting it made them a popular shoe..for some people inside CrossFit circles and outside.
Why are they discontinued?
There was said to be conflicted by Power Lifters and CrossFitters with regard to the shoe itself.
Reebok is said to have marketed it as a CrossFit shoe in order to broaden its market appeal….and sell more pairs.
This was not favoured by Bell and Burdick it seems, not those outside the community.
CrossFitters on CrossFit Lite TR’s
Many CrossFitters claimed they were not conducive to Box Jumps, Olympic Lifting and Double Unders, all of which appear heavily in CrossFit programming.
Furthermore, there are other shoes – more worryingly for Reebok, shoes from competitive brands (Nike MetCon, NoBulls, Inov8s etc), that were outdoing Reebok’s Nanos, and the Lite TRs.
So a strategic re-think of where these shoes should be placed in the CrossFit market was undertaken.
Flagship design of the Lite TRs. Not the most desirable-looking shoe.
Power Lifters on CrossFit Lite TR’s
It’s no secret that outside of the CrossFit community, some have taken a disliking to the sport, brand, and methodology. But that’s a story for another day.
You can read this Best Gym Hacks article here to see the popularity of CrossFit today.
Some of those people are the Power Lifting community. Mark and Jessie referred to the shoe as the ‘Power Shoe‘ and not the CrossFit Lite TRs.
The CrossFit branding (word CrossFit and red 3-section Triangle) is noted all over the shoes and packaging.
This was disliked by forums and communities outside of CrossFit, with many saying “they would wear the shoe if it didn’t say CrossFit on it”.
So without the name endorsement of 2 figures behind the shoe who referred to it as the Power Shoe and not the Light TR, it wasn’t a good underpinning for the shoe’s future.
Colour ways and design
The flagship variation is a black leather clown-like shoe. Not particularly appealing, slightly grungy and a bit geeky. I wouldn’t wear them. Nor do I know many who would.
The other colour options that were available were not widely popular, either. A Converse All Star Chuck Taylor, which has been hugely popular for many years, has solid colour blocks.
Contrast this with the colour-ways in the Reebok Lite TRs which had some wacky patterns and syncopated colours, it made for an unpopular choice by design alone.
The Lite TR 2.0 become more refined and simpler in colour choice. This was a design rethink given the underperformance of the 1.0’s.
So whilst we’d all expect the performance of a shoe to outweigh the appearance, this is not the case. As the appearance helped with the demise of the Lite TR.
It received more than a few complaints and jeers.
The Reebok TRs would RRP for approximately £75/$90. Compared to the Chuck Taylors which would retail around £40/$50 or less.
So the Lite TRs seem expensive.
Conclusion on the discontinuation
The combination of CrossFit branding, lack of recognised name endorsement from the designers, strange colour ways and price point was a recipe for an unsuccessful shoe – despite performing well in Power Lifting in terms of mechanics.
An example of the options.
They look like a varying number of shoes, cobbled together to create a Frankenstein version.
Or they look like a childs shoe.
Can I still buy CrossFit Lite TRs?
You may still be able to find them on Amazon and outlet stores. The range, however, sizing, colours and SKUs are reduced compared to what they once were.
Some people are selling them second-hand on Etsy and e-Bay too. Depending on what country you are in, you may find it easier or harder to obtain a pair.
You may also get lucky in some outlet stores, particularly third-party outlets, where you could pick up a pair at a reduced price from £40/$50 and below.
What’s a good equivalent to CrossFit Lite TR’s?
There many shoes out there now that time has moved on which are equivalent or better than the Lite TRs.
This RunRepeat review offers a useful insight into the shoe with some alternatives,
However, you should first off ask yourself what you want them for?
Is it for:
- Power Lifting
- Olympic Lifting
- Casual wear
An obvious choice if you want Power Lifting shoes would be Chuck Taylors.
Converse All Star – Chuck Taylor Hi-Tops
If it’s an all round CrossFit trainer you need, the Reebok Nano’s are your number.
Or NoBulls if you want something funky, solid and well suited to strength training and WODs.