“On Saturday morning me and my roommate woke up hungover but forced ourselves to go to the gym to prove that we could lift as much as you girls,” my athletic 26 year old brother told me after attending the video shoot featuring girls from my Crossfit gym.
“We were pretty nervous we couldn’t clean as much.” He wasn’t talking about dishes and dirty laundry.
The weekend before he watched as 115 lb girls easily power cleaned 115 lbs shortly after unfastening their high heels and quickly tossing their curled locks into ponytails.
His eye-opening experience was exactly the message that the video is aimed to convey: Crossfit enables everyday girls, no matter their size, to be able to do extraordinary things.
My friends and I often have girls ask us:
- Will Crossfit make me bulky?
- Will it make me manly?
- Will it make me bigger?
To be completely honest, I had these same concerns – and sometimes I still do. Though I’ve been a devoted Crossfitter for over 3 years, I’m also a blogger who relies on photos of myself to illustrate my writing. Sometimes I can’t help but wonder, “Are my arms distracting? Should I Photoshop out that rope burn? Blogger girls don’t have calluses…”
Similarly, among other Crossfit enthusiasts who have been athletes their whole lives, I sometimes get that Legally Blonde feeling when fashion major, Elle Woods, attends her first Harvard Law School class. My coaches are well aware that the only competition I’m trying to win is “Best Bikini Butt at The Pool Party.”
So even after writing the Girly Girl Meets Crossfit post 2 years ago, I’m still guilty of wondering: If I don’t look like a typical fashion blogger but prefer partying over Paleo, where do I fit in?
Fortunately, when I look around at the girls at my Crossfit gym, I remember why I love this form of exercise and what makes me proud to be working out with them. They have been my greatest source of inspiration and serve as living proof that Crossfit can produce not only lean, toned physiques but also amazing friendships with every WOD and sweaty side hug.
Meet the Girls
I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite ladies from Crossfit Blur who put the ‘fit’ in Crossfit. They rock the prescribed weight daily, out-run most guys and consistenly top the leaderboards.
- Age: 37
- Doing Crossfit for: 2 years
- Favorite Crossfit movements: Handstand push-ups, deadlifts, butterfly pull-ups, double unders and GHD sit-ups
- Favorite PR’s: Diane in 5:33
- What are you slightly jealous of Alexis over?
- Age: 27
- Doing Crossfit for: 3 years
- Favorite Crossfit movements: Squats (back, front, overhead – love them all!), hang cleans, jerks and box jumps
- Favorite PR’s: 5 rep max back squat at 185 lbs and 145 lb max squat clean
- What makes Annie a good Crossfitter?
- Age: 33
- Doing Crossfit for: Almost 4 years
- Favorite Crossfit movements: Double Unders, pull ups, rowing, running. I’m a cardio junkie!
- Favorite PR’s: I love achieving any PR because it reminds me of how far I’ve come and what else is possible. My favorite PR’s are the ones that haven’t come easy. My first pull up, finally getting double-unders, my Jerry time. The hard ones represent the entire journey and that’s the best part of it.
- Why would it rock to be Autumn?
- Age: 34
- Doing Crossfit for: 4 years
- Favorite Crossfit movements: Pull-ups, snatchs, cleans, double unders, box jumps
- Favorite PR’s: During the Crossfit Open this year I PR’ed my split jerk at 145lb. The adrenaline from everyone cheering me on during Friday night lights helped a lot! I also just PR’ed my 5 rep max back squat at 175lbs which is a lot for me. Back squats are so hard for me and it is not a strength of mine, but I feel like my legs have definitely gotten stronger.
- What do you admire about Michelle?
- Age: 25
- Doing Crossfit for: 2.5 years
- Favorite Crossfit movements: I love muscle-ups!! And anything that makes me feel strong- basically any gymnastic movement or heavy lift is my favorite because those things remind me every day of how far I’ve come and how much farther I could go.
- Favorite PR’s: I’m proudest of my heaviest lifts which are a 280 lb deadlift and 145 lb squat clean
- Why does Tiffany kick ass?
What do you love most about Crossfit?
I love that it’s been challenging since day 1, never gets boring and constantly keeps me working on things that need improvement. There are always things that I could be better at. I had never even done a pull-up in my life when I started, and today I did 80 in a workout, for example 🙂
I love that my husband and I share the love for Crossfit, and we have built a healthy and active foundation as a family at home…our 5 year old twin boys want to be Crossfitters already!
I love the camaraderie in our gym and how everyone is so supportive of one another and whether we know this person or not, whether we are friends outside the gym or not….for this hour in the gym… we are all on the same team! I have made some amazing friends, found some great babysitters, and wouldn’t change the family-like atmosphere that a Crossfit gym brings! We’ve had people move from out of state and come to our gym, and they have instantly been taken in. We all take care of each other in a way.
I love that I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in, and I’ve done every type of exercise there is out there. Crossfit is the hardest, yet most rewarding, workout I’ve ever done and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
My favorite things about Crossfit are both the camaraderie and competitiveness. Literally every single morning – even 3 years into it – I freak out as the clock ticks down to start the workout. I have never been an athlete so I’m constantly nervous about performing my best. However, thanks to the encouragement from my trainers and teammates, I know that I will be okay. It’s comforting to know we’re all in it together.
It’s hard to pinpoint what I love most about Crossfit and to say “everything” seems silly…but it’s true! Every aspect had made me a better person, and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of such a great program. If I had to pick, I would say the thing I love most is the constant push to do better. When I work hard in the gym to be better this translates over to my out of gym life too, and it’s an amazing thing.
Being able to workout and spend time with my sister, Kimmy! Her and I started Crossfit together 4 years ago, and it has brought us so much closer. I can’t imagine doing it without her.
Crossfit is where I first met my boyfriend, Justin. Walking into the gym everyday and seeing him is the best part of my day! And I love working out with him and sharing this hobby. He motivates me and pushes me to be better.
Lastly, the friends I have made at Crossfit. We have such a good group of people, and I can’t wait to go to the gym everyday after work and see everyone.
I love the way it empowers and challenges me. As a girl who was never encouraged to so much as walk into a weight room growing up, there’s something so fun and empowering about walking up to a heavy barbell and knowing I can move it. I also love doing the gymnastic movements like muscle-ups and handstand push-ups. They’re out of the ordinary for most gym routines and just fun to do. I think Crossfit’s best quality is that it will never stop challenging its athletes, even on the elite level.
What other ways do you stay healthy?
I eat clean most of the time. Meal prepping is huge – gotta do it! I actually eat more now than I ever have, as well, which is another thing a lot of women are afraid of doing. I had to learn that in order to get stronger and make it through these workouts I had to eat more. I don’t eat meat which goes against what most Crossfitters do. I’m living proof that you can still build muscle without it!
I also try to incorporate yoga into my life and am going to try to make it more of a regular staple. Yoga is all I did before starting Crossfit.
On the weekends I love to run outside, do yoga and attend spin class. I think that incorporating other forms of exercise is critical to staying lean and healthy. In addition, I try to eat low carb – besides chocolate, wine and beer – and meal prep. I’ve noticed that the cleaner I eat, the better I preform, but I also believe in treating yourself. (Sugar has my heart.)
I stay healthy in many ways and try to really take on a whole life approach to my health. Healthy food, good choices, using whole foods to prevent sickness rather than medicine to fix it, moving my body and sweating everyday…just trying to make the best choices that make me FEEL good. And in turn, my family feels good too as we work to be the best we can everyday through the healthy choices we make.
I try and eat clean (for the most part), drink a lot of water, and try to get a good amount of sleep every night. Other forms of exercise I do are hot yoga, hike, and take my dogs on long walks.
The foundation of my diet is mostly whole foods – just simple fruits, veggies, lean meat, and whole grains. That being said, I will eat a big brownie or cookie if I want to! It’s all about balance.
I also do my best to get enough sleep each night, and sometimes during weekend hours when the gym is closed I’ll go to the track to run stairs or something along those lines.
What would you say to any girl considering starting Crossfit?
I’d say that if you want to get in the best shape of your life, feel better, look better, and make some great friends along the way then this is for you! Do not be afraid of the stigma that you will get bulky or big from Crossfit. You will be strong and more confident because your body will do things you never thought it would or could possibly do.
I look at “strong being the new skinny” as representing the fact that being healthy and having muscle looks more attractive today rather being a twig that doesn’t look strong and unhealthy. As a mom I want to be a good role model, and I also need and want to be strong both physically, mentally and emotionally for these boys.
Being strong is empowering. It embodies a lifestyle of being active, eating healthy or clean and staying lean and looking fabulous in the process. At almost 38 years old, I’ve never been this strong. And it feels amazing!
You won’t regret trying Crossfit. I’ve normally done one form of exercise for 1-2 years, from marathon running to boxing, but Crossfit is something I see myself doing for a long time because it’s different every day. My trainers love to tell the story of how I pulled my back doing a 75 lb deadlift the first week and almost quit. Now I can deadlift 175 lbs in a WOD thanks to proper technique and training.
Our Crossfit gym has become my home away from home. My only regret is that I didn’t start sooner.
I would tell her to get ready for an adventure. And not just in the sense of trying something new but also discovering something new about yourself. I would say that they are about to embark on a journey that will make them want to try harder in so many aspects of their life. They will find inspiration in their own accomplishments, and also in those of their teammates.
I would tell someone new that they’re about to join a big wonderful, supportive family…and to get ready for hard work, fun, and most of all, LOVE and PASSION.
Definitely give it a try and stick with it for at least a week before you decide if it’s for you or not. It will take some time to get use to as any form of exercise does. You get to come in and do a great workout in usually under 20 minutes. Instead of walking/running on a treadmill for 30 to 45 minutes you can be done with an awesome and intense workout in 15 minutes. Don’t let the weight lifting scare you. More muscle burns more cals!
Do it!!! It’s such a cool process to push yourself and see what your body is capable of. And don’t feel embarrassed or impatient if you suck at first. I’m pretty sure I was the slowest and weakest new client our gym owners have ever had, and I even tripped and fell over a box my first day and started bleeding all over the place! Luckily the embarrassment of that experience pushed me to keep coming back, and I’m so glad I did!
Like a Crossfit Girl
So, if a Crossfit girl isn’t always the former college athlete, Paleo fanatic or Olympic weightlifting poster girl, who is she?
- The girl who faces her fears
- The role model for her kids
- The cheerleader everyone needs
- The gal who is eager to try new things
This year’s New Year’s resolution was “Surprise yourself.” Fortunately, Crossfit makes that possibly every day.