Elite athletes, dancers, and performers of all kinds have long been ideal subjects for artists. Crossfitters, those who partake in the relatively new exercise method called “Crossfit,” are no different. For UK-based photographer Philip Haynes, a self-described “Norwich boy who just happens to shoot heroes,” the subjects in The Crossfitters deliver the ferocity and beauty of the phenomenal human body in motion.
By concentrating on faces only, Haynes gives us a focused frame wherein pain, strength, and power all intermingle. We don’t know what or how much each participant is lifting, pulling, or squatting, but it doesn’t matter because what we see is the human capacity to overcome and the sheer strength of will.
In this approach to image-making, each of Haynes’ Crossfitters could easily be engaged in a fistfight or enduring some sort of physical torture, but rest assured these faces are en route to a certain type of ecstasy—that which comes with realizing the body’s full potential. No one said it was easy.