The Love/Hate Relationship CrossFit Women Have with their Bodies

I recently came across an article about how CrossFit women should be proud of their bodies, have less body issues than other women, and are strong. It was written very definitively about how women who CrossFit love their strong bodies.

I’m here with the counter-argument: CrossFit women have just as many body issues as other women (maybe more so since our bodies do change significantly when you continue with CrossFit). We struggle just as much with nutrition and food choices. We do care what we look like in terms of makeup. Clothes shopping is much harder with a CrossFit body.

There is one difference NOT noted in the article:

CrossFit women have a love/hate relationship with their bodies that other women do not.

WHY CROSSFIT WOMEN LOVE/HATE THEIR BODIES

  • We are stared at. Usually in a leering way, not in a healthy way. Women either are
    CrossFit hotties at CrossFit Competition doing box jumps
    CrossFit Box Jumps

    jealous or think we look gross. Men look at us like men look at other women — they just stare longer since we DON’T look like other women they see too often.

  • Clothes don’t fit. I have given up trying to find jeans that will go over my calves and my thighs. I live in yoga pants. I have given up trying to find nice-fitting T-shirts that are small but fit my shoulders. Dresses have to be the right cut or my muscles look horrible in them.
  • Food is a real struggle. Adhering to a strict diet is a test of mental strength, which after doing a CrossFit WOD which puts us on the floor, is a battle many of us don’t have the strength for. How your body looks is all about food. Period. If you don’t eat right, you won’t look right no matter the hours you throw down at the gym.
  • We are strong but still want to be delicate flowers. I am strong. I can lift heavy items. But I don’t outside the box. Why? Because I’m a woman who wants a man to lift heavy things for me when the need arises. I don’t want to have to lift MORE heavy items after the gym.
  • Our changing bodies yield body insecurities. When people first started telling me, “Hey, Jen. You’re ripped!” I didn’t realize how muscular I had become. It was definitely an acceptance process. Now, as I lift heavier, my lats are thicker, my shoulders wider, my legs bigger. It’s an on-going battle women CrossFitters face.

It’s a fact if you lift heavy weights, you’ll gain muscle. Muscle is bulk. You will look different than your average woman. Some women I know quit CrossFit because they don’t like what CrossFit does to their bodies. Anyone who tells you you won’t bulk up is lying to you. This is part of accepting your body as it does gain muscle. And this is part of CrossFit.

CrossFit will Change Your Body

Go into CrossFit with your eyes open. Learn about it. Read and study about lifting weights. Read about the metabolic pathways. Then decide if CrossFit is for you.

You all know I love CrossFit. I love what CrossFit does for me. I love how my body looks. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a struggle to accept how I look, to not be critical, to think I’m fat, etc.

We all have baggage we carry from childhood into adulthood and from society. It’s a mindset we all have to overcome.

Updates to CrossFit PRs and Maxes for 2018

 

hot crossfit moms during running event
CrossFit and Running

Last year, I posted on my weightlifting personal records in an effort to assess how much stronger I’ve gotten, so I thought I’d do the same this year.

Back squat:  Previous:  210.  Current PR:  235  Percentage increase:  8.93%

Front squat:  Previous:  175.  Current PR:  175  Percentage increase:  0%

Overhead squat:  Previous:  115 Current PR:  120  Percentage increase:  9.58%

Squat Clean:  Previous:  140  Current PR:  150 Percentage increase:  9.3%

Power Clean:  Previous:  110  Current PR:  135 Percentage increase:  12.27%

Bench Press:  Previous:  102  Current PR:  116  Percentage increase:  8.79%

Split Jerk:  Previous:  140  Current PR:  140  Percentage increase:  0%

Snatch:  Previous:  105  Current PR:  110  Percentage increase:  9.5%

Deadlift:  Previous:  230  Current PR:  235  Percentage increase:  9.7%

My percentages are low, which does not surprise me. Strength has not been a focus for me this last year. I thought I wanted to lift more and more, but I decided the risk of injury wasn’t worth the push. This was because I sprained my wrist trying to PR my squat clean during the Open and realized then being healthy is more important.

 

“I’m Afraid of CrossFit”

This was the response I got from a young lady who works at a popular fitness center near me. I should have asked her why, but it’s the New Year, and all fitness centers are popular.

Still, I couldn’t help but wonder why? Why would you be afraid of CrossFit?

Why Some are Afraid of CrossFit

  • Getting hurt. This is the most common reason people are afraid of CrossFit. This
    crossfit girls doing chest to bar pull ups at crossfit competition
    CrossFit Chest to Bar Pull Ups

    one baffles me. Sure, you can get injured, don’t get me wrong. But the injury rate of CrossFit is much less than all other sports, especially repetitive movement sports such as running, baseball, basketball, or hockey. This is where a high-quality CrossFit coach will keep you safe, prevent you from doing moves your shouldn’t, and correct your form when needed.

  • Intimidating. The CrossFit equipment is foreign and the members look foreign as well with fit, muscular bodies.  A CrossFit box is no more intimidating than walking into a gym with all the foreign weight machines or taking a group fitness class with different lingos or even yoga with its own language. Furthermore, most people who do CrossFit do not look like Mat Fraser or Annie Thorisdottir. They are average people who look like most others.
  • Humbling. This is true especially for guys. You won’t be the quickest in the CrossFit box when you do CrossFit for the first time. You won’t be able to do all the moves. And you won’t be able to RX (perform the CrossFit workout with the recommended weight loads) for quite a while. This is why CrossFit is so addicting. You push yourself beyond your comfort zone until you change. In fact, that’s the only way you will change.
  • Misconceptions. CrossFit is not what you see at the CrossFit Games, which, for most people, is all they know of CrossFit. There are so many misconceptions and misconstrued assumptions of CrossFit that are wrong floating around; however, a lot of people believe these untruths. The only way to know for sure is to try CrossFit out.

Fear is the universal reaction we all have when we are ignorant of something. You were afraid to ride your bike for the first time, afraid to go to school, afraid to go to college, and afraid at your first job interview. You were afraid to ask your now spouse out, afraid of rejection, and afraid of travelling abroad. But once you did it, your fear fled like a cat who hears a loud noise.

The fear of CrossFit is the same as the fear of any sport or any gym you want to join. Once you get used to CrossFit, you might enjoy it. But you’ll never know unless you try.

Life is too short to live in fear of anything.

Just do it. You’ll be glad you did.

Updated Costs of CrossFit

Like all hobbies, there’s usually a cost involved to participate. Some hobbies are more expensive than others, and the level of expense can vary, depending on how involved you are or how much you want to spend.

This year, I’ve spent a TON  on CrossFit. I did an update 6 months ago HERE. Here’s the cost since then:

THE COSTS OF CROSSFIT

Hot CrossFit Chicks wearing weight vest and hoisting sand bag
CrossFit Weight Vest and Sand Bag
  • Rower — $1000
  • Rogue Echo Assault Bike — $750
  • CrossFit competitions — about $600
  • CrossFit clothes — $250
  • CrossFit No Bull Shoes — $130
  • Rogue Women’s Operator Barbell — $290
  • Kettlebell — $50
  • Brute Force Sandbags & Sand — $400
  • Massage — $525
  • Muscle Activation Therapy — $300
  • Box Membership — $458.50
  • Chiropractor — $200
  • Sum total: $4953.50

Add this to the total for CrossFit since May, which was $2,067 and the Grand total is:

$7,020.50

I spent a ton this year on my home CrossFit gym, which is CrossFit equipment that will last me a lifetime. Still, hobbies are expensive. Luckily, I really only have CrossFit, and luckily, I got a new job to pay for all of this.

It’s worth it — to have a passion that keeps you in shape, happy about yourself, relieves stress, and is healthy is actually priceless. I thought I spent a lot more than seven thousand dollars on CrossFit.

What’s your passion you spend a lot on?

The After Effects of CrossFit Hero WOD Chad Wilkinson

namesake photoChad Wilkinson died in October by suicide after 22 years serving our country. A new CrossFit Hero WOD has been created, honoring him. The CrossFit workout is 1000 step ups wearing a ruck sack for time. As you may recall, I did this on Friday.

It is now 48 hours later, and I’m still suffering the consequences. Yesterday, I didn’t think it was too bad — just a slight ache in my calves. Today, my calves are both sore, putting a hitch in my step. As I’m on vacation, I can’t put anything on them, so here I am, suffering.

During the CrossFit Hero WOD, I kept telling myself, “I’m never doing this one again.” Afterwards, I told myself, “I could do that again.” Now, I’m unsure. We’ll see how long the pain lasts on this one.