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Thoughts on CrossFit From a Woman's Perspective - Part II

The second installment in a continuing series of testimonials from the ladies of CrossFit Dilworth. Once again, this is hopefully a great chance for some of the women I train with each week to provide a glimpse into what CrossFit has added both to their fitness, and their lives overall.



As a female, what does CrossFit mean to you?

"I started CrossFitting for purely superficial reasons – to get “in shape” for my upcoming wedding. I’m almost embarrassed as I type that. While CrossFit did change my body in ways I never imagined any form of exercise could do, at some point it became more than a daily trip to the gym.

The initial intimidation wore off, and I began to welcome what I previously considered fears. The movements whose names I did not understand (what is a Clean and Jerk?? A Manmaker?!), the knowledge that I would finish last in the class, and the nausea that ensued from pushing myself beyond my physical limits were somehow addicting.

What’s more, these fears were empowering because little by little, I overcame them. Except the nausea – that still happens, just ask any Crossfitter."


How has CrossFit changed the way you approach your fitness?

"Empowerment is perhaps my favorite word to describe how I feel as a female crossfitter. Feeling strong inside the gym translates to feeling strong outside of the gym.

Working out alongside like-minded males and females who share in both my triumphs and defeats is exhilarating and motivating. I could not and do not remember what exercise was like before CrossFit, nor do I care to ever go back."




What does CrossFit mean to you?  

"Well, where do I begin…..I got to a place in my life where I had gained weight and was at my heaviest. So I tried: P90x, Group Power, Spin classes, Insanity and Kickboxing, which I did see some results but not enough because I still struggled to keep the weight off, tone up and I got bored. So I decided to try Crossfit (which I was pretty intimated by) and my body started changing, I noticed definition in my arms/abs and legs.

Crossfit also introduced me to a new way of eating and I have never felt better. So what does  Crossfit mean to me? I can’t really sum it up in one word because it’s so much more then that…..Physical, Emotional, Life-changing, Community, Healthy Living, Challenging and Passion but in order to really know what Crossfit means--you have to experience it for yourself!!"


How has CrossFit changed the way you approach your fitness?

"I was never really scared to weight lift: light weight and high reps. I was very scared of lifting heavy weights because I never wanted to look like a bodybuilder, I always wanted to have lean muscle and be tone. So when you so start lifting heavier weights you do get a little bulky but what is happening is your muscles are getting bigger and pushing the fat out.

Over time your muscle/body burns off the fat and then you have a lean/tone body. The important thing to remember is muscle burns more fat than anything! Now, I get excited when I post a PR (personal record) with any of my Olympic lifts! I also learned it doesn’t matter how long you work out, but the intensity you workout at…..Now I can’t imagine working out for two hours (like I use to at a gym)."


What would you say to other women who may be scared of, or intimidated by CrossFit?

"We were all there….walking into your first Crossfit box - everyone is yelling at/cheering for each other, dropping weights, equipment you never seen in a gym before, men with no shirts on and women in sport bras. It’s a lot to take in but after your first couple classes you find yourself craving that atmosphere and then you wonder how you ever workout before.

Working out a regular gym with different machines, treadmills, trendy classes, and everyone with iPods on (with no interaction with each other) is pretty boring and not effective to reaching your fitness goals. Once you start, your friends will begin saying stuff about Crossfit and won’t understand why you love it so much….. some of my friends call me “Crossfit Kristi” and personally I don’t mind it at all because I have never felt stronger and healthier!"




Why is fitness important to you?

"Growing up I never thought much about fitness, ate horrible and thought if I'm in decent shape now I'll be fine later. It wasn't until I was diagnosed with a heart condition and had surgery did I realize how important it was to challenge myself mentally and physically at the same time. My biggest struggle was as simple as walking up the stairs. I couldn't go but a few steps before my heart would pound, I would have a hard time breathing get frustrated and have to stop. I knew I had to do something if I wanted to enjoy everyday activities long term."

Why did you start CrossFitting?

"I decided to start CrossFit after talking to multiple people who had been doing it for only a short time and their bodies were completely transformed. I would get text messages from a friend in Seattle with a daily WOD and thought she was talking a different language. I had to keep asking “what is this?”, “what does that mean?”....”TTB...(toes to bar)...where is the bar??”

It took a while to convince me that what this fitness fanatic was doing was something I might be capable of. I was told I would absolutely love it and become addicted but I still harbored a fear that I would be too weak and not be able to keep up. I finally faced my fear when Jackie (who also trains at CFD) said, "Try it once, if you don't love it you don't have to come back. Just realize that everyone around you is at a different level and you go at your own pace."


What keeps you coming back to CrossFit Dilworth?

"The challenge, sheer exhaustion and the definition I see in places I never knew there were muscles! But most of all, it’s the environment. From the first class I took and still today, I've been encouraged not to give up and take it at my own pace.

The support you receive from people when you're the only one who is still doing the WOD and yet somehow you don't feel judged....it’s a feeling that is hard to describe. It’s the chants from those around you telling you "You got this, Amber" that make you seek out that last ounce of energy you thought was spent. The coaches and members at CFD have provided an environment that makes me want to push myself and make me realize it’s not what you can't do, it’s doing the things you never thought you were capable of."


Thoughts on CrossFit from A Woman's Perspective - Part One

From an outsider’s perspective, CrossFit can be intimidating – particularly among females.  I figured it was important to give a few of the ladies I train with at CrossFit Dilworth, a chance to express their thoughts on the sport, as well as the impact it has had on both their fitness, and lives overall. 

This is the first portion of what will hopefully be a series of testimonials to come…





As a female, what does CrossFit mean to you?

"To me, CrossFit is challenging, intense, intimidating, painful, exhausting, nauseating, exciting, empowering, and exhilarating. It's not just a workout...it's a lifestyle, it's a community, it's a support group, it's an extended family.

It's nerve racking and panic when learning the day's WOD, yelling and bitching while doing it, and then wondering what torture tomorrow's WOD will bring because you can't wait to get back and do it all over again."


How has CrossFit changed the way you approach your fitness?

"CrossFit is a commitment and it's a passion. It gives me the desire to push myself to the limit and to do more and do better. I feel guilty if I leave the gym knowing I somehow could've done more, whether if it was an extra few reps or a few seconds faster.

 I was a competitive athlete up until college and have remained physically active since. CrossFit has changed the way I work out for the better and has provided more changes in my body than years of previous exercise programs. I can deadlift 250lbs, press 150lbs over my head (which I never had a desire to do until I started CrossFit), and I am strong... but I am not bulky or manly looking (so ladies do not fear!)"

What would you say to other women who may be scared of, or intimidated by CrossFit?

"For any female on the fence, give it a shot. It's the most fun you'll have while working out and you'll meet some of the best people and make some of the greatest friends...especially if you come to CrossFit Dilworth!"





As a female, what does CrossFit mean to you?


"CrossFit is not only one of the most effective fitness programs, but also a way of life (not to sound too corny or anything...). For me, CrossFit started out as an awesome workout, but has grown to be the hub of my community and friends.


The best part: CrossFit is the vehicle to reach my definition of personal success. CrossFit is like having a second job - but one that you are overly passionate about and give your all to on a daily basis. It’s wonderfully rewarding, but can also be painfully frustrating.

Some days you feel like you are on top of the world, and other days you feel like the world is coming down on you. Like all other walks of life, there are good days and there are bad. But each day is new and you get to continue to work on your personal goals towards achieving things you never would have thought you could have done 6 months ago.


I believe CrossFit touches everybody who tries it, in different ways. For some, it’s simply a workout. For others, it’s a way of life. Many find camaraderie in the tough workouts, and friendship in the after hour parties. A few find CrossFit to inspire a new career as a coach. For me, CrossFit meant something much different when I started to now. Before it was just a tough workout. Now It has become a road to community and friendship. Above all, it is empowering and inspiring especially as a female athlete."

How has CrossFit changed the way you approach your fitness?


"Crossfit has definitely changed the way I approach fitness. Before CrossFit, you could call me the generic old "cardio queen". I ran alot, would do some light dumbbell circuits here and there, but no structured programs and definitely no heavy weights - because, as many girls complain, I didnt want to get "bulky". I could lose weight easily this way, but I had no tone and no definition in my physique. But as I began Crossfit and learned more and more about it, I realized i had been doing it wrong all along.


The key to fitness is not to spend hours upon hours in the globo gym on the treadmill, stairstepper, or elliptical... The key is to lift HEAVY. I had never truly seen the type of transformation that I have seen in females' physiques until I joined Crossfit. Women that say they are scared of getting "bulky" do not understand that they will absolutely NOT get bulky with Crossfit unless they are eating a certain way and taking tons of supplements.


So to say that my approach to fitness has changed after discovering Crossfit would be a huge understatement. I am a strong believer in short, high intensity workouts now over long, slow endurance based workouts (that I did as a former cardio queen). Fitness can be defined in many ways and varies largely for most people, but I truly believe CrossFit is one of the most effective forms of fitness out today."


What would you say to other women who may be scared of, or intimidated by CrossFit?


"YOLO. No just kidding.

 For those ladies that may be intimidated by Crossfit, I would say to just jump in there and give it a try before you judge it. You can never truly understand something until you experience it for yourself, so why not try it out? What is the worst thing that could happen? I know at first it is very scary and intimidating- people throwing around barbells, all chalked up and dirty, yelling profanities, loud music and super ripped guys/girls sweating through their clothes. But when it comes down to it, you are only doing it for yourself.


 Crossfit is an amazing fitness program, and regardless of intentions when you first walk in that door, it will leave you breathless and sore for a few days. I will say that women specifically should ease into it, especially if you aren't currently working out at an advanced level. Crossfit is great for everybody and will not only give you a great workout, but will help you build muscle that will in turn burn fat (if that is your goal). You will NOT become bulky.


Another thing - Crossfit can be modified for everyone, according to your level of comfort and/or any past injuries or sensitive areas. There are always ways to scale a workout, so do not ever feel like you can't do something. So to women who may be scared or intimidated, just give it a try before you completely blow it off! You may just end up falling in love...."