A. Push Press

3-3-3-3-3-3

B. 7 Minutes:

20 Shoulder to OH (95/65)

30 Box Jumps (24/20)

Women in CrossFit

In the early 1900’s some doctors encouraged woman to stay away from sports because they might damage their “reproductive apparatus”. And of course, it was thought that women playing sports was too “mannish” and would affect their femininity. I would love to be in the room if those claims were told to some of our female CF Redondo members.

Australia's women's swim team 1919

The fact is, women’s prominence in sport has made huge gains in the last 100 years. At first, women only participated in individual sports like golf, tennis and croquet. Now nearly every team sport is represented at some level by females. In a lot of ways you could argue that women’s sports has made greater progress than men’s in the last century.

In my opinion, no sport is more egalitarian among the sexes than CrossFit. In fact, no workout program in existence is more equally represented by the sexes. Our membership is almost a perfect 50/50 split of males and females. You just don’t see that in Zumba, Yoga, Pilates, Bar classes, and Gold’s gym. Those examples are typically dominated by a single sex with the opposite sex arguing the program is either a “too masculine” or  a “too feminine” workout program. With CrossFit, the playing field is level and both guy and girl can do the same workout side-by-side and become better for it. Most women have different reasons for starting CrossFit, but in my experience, there is at least a small part in them that wants to do what the men do. And they do.

In what other sport can you get thousands of people on their feet to cheer on Azadeh Bouramand snatching #170 or Lindsey Valenzuela cleaning #245? I’ve been to a lot of sporting events and those two feats rival some of the best sports moments I have witnessed. When CrossFit competitions first developed, it was a man-driven movement. As CrossFit evolved quickly, the sport evolved just as fast and now I can honestly say the women’s competition interests me just as much as the men’s, and I know many who would agree. How many sports out there can claim that both the men’s and women’s side share equal interest? Iceland Annie  is just as much a CrossFit community household name as Rich Froning Jr, yet how many NBA fans can name past years WNBA champions?

Azadeh Bouramand snatches #170 at Regionals

One thing I did not expect from this career was my new and improved respect for women in the gym. Before CrossFit I always observed women in traditional gyms sticking to the elliptical machine and light free weights.  It’s almost like they weren’t allowed or supposed to do anything else. Now, on a daily basis I witness women moving heavy weights, competing with the men, and showing that they are not the weaker sex, but the equal sex.

So in conclusion, I think it’s cool that CrossFit’s popularity and participation is equal among the sexes. I also think it’s cool that it’s now cool to be strong if you are female. I’m convinced that there is an army of strong, bad-ass women forming out there in CrossFit gyms around the world. Unfortunately there are still men with an early 1900’s perspective of women exercising. Perhaps they just feel threatened.  But to be frank, the beer-bellied, gluten-eating “macho man” on the couch better watch out as all these women pass him up!