Let’s get this out of the way: CrossFit is insane. The company behind the high-intensity workout craze claims “anyone can do it” but absolutely nothing about this “What is CrossFit” video full of ladies with bazillion-pack abs lends credence to that assertion. Nor does this sweat-filled photo series, “The Crossfitters” by Philip Haynes, a London-based sports and portrait photographer.
Haynes doesn’t do CrossFit himself, but has plenty of friends over at the CrossFit Norwich gym. He aimed to capture the intensity of the exact moment when someone is at the bottom of a squat “when the brain tells the muscles to fire upwards and the athlete is in a battle with [his or her] inner self to push through the pain and torment,” as he told Co.Design in an email. His portraits manage to bring out every bead of sweat and ounce of pain involved in “forging elite fitness.”
See more of Haynes’s eye-popping work exploring what he calls the “power and elegance of movement” here.