Fitness for women – the phrase itself is of ambiguous definition. Fitness arguably entails no fixed criteria or rules to assess how fit a female is exactly. Into the bargain comes a perplexing new era of fitness for the females who face the process of trial and error, grasping what works for their bodies! From circuit training to cardio regimes and a 100 deadlifts in the gym, the-present day woman no longer views the general yardstick to being fit as solely void of an irregularly high percentage of body fat.
Amongst one’s fitness choices today comes CrossFit – presenting itself as a broad program designed to build muscular endurance and all-rounded fitness. CrossFit has been the strength and conditioning program for hundreds of elite and professional athletes worldwide; from military special operations units and even champion martial artists. With varied WODs (Workout of the Day) and high-intensity functional movements, CrossFit trains people regardless of age, shape or size to improve cardiovascular fitness. From variations of gymnastics and handstand push-ups to combative training and throwing medicine balls, a CrossFitter does almost everything comprising part and parcel of specific workouts, all combined into one general workout.
Yet lifting and conditioning to look as powerfully built as Ms Olympia isn’t too commended in societal norms either. "Our culture has traditionally viewed strength as a masculine trait and promoted a small, frail body as feminine," say the authors of a study on women and weight-training in the journal The Physician and Sports Medicine. "Consequently, girls have been discouraged from participating in gross-motor-skill activities and strength development."
Contrary to hearsay, CrossFit does not turn a woman into a lady brick! Undoubtedly, lifting builds muscle. But muscle burns fat, making it the fastest way to get lean! Even majority of experts suggest weight-training at least twice a week to reap a range of benefits. And yes, men and women included! Urban Remedy lends every woman 5 reasons why CrossFit is worth a try – and how not every CrossFitter transforms into a lady Arnold by lifting.
1. Super efficiency; super woman
It is as if CrossFit was invented for the present-day woman. Spared only one hour daily to work out? Then CrossFit would be your best bet. With CrossFit, it’s easy to squeeze in a workout as short as seven minutes long, providing you more efficiency than the 45 minutes one would spend on the elliptical! It’s a time-waster. The majority of WODs combine cardio and weight training. One will be surprised at how fast the heart rate can accelerate within a 10-minute combination of push-ups, burpees, and air squats.
2. Say goodbye to boring routines
You’ll hardly find yourself dreading the gym or having the interval to daydream on the treadmill with CrossFit. Made up of constantly varied, high-intensity movements, the course of one workout of the day requires a CrossFitter to run, row, swing kettlebells and even work on gymnastic moves such as handstands! With coaches who use the timer throughout the class to keep you in constant motion, boring gym routines will never be heard of again.
3. Lift and still look like a girl
If you avoid weight-lifting for fear of looking like a man – here’s a fact. To look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, one needs more of a super-strict diet and dedication than the iron one pumps. Cardio burns calories while you do it; strength training, on the other hand, keeps the calories burning even while you are at rest. The end result is a toned body – and only the lady version of Arnold’s if you choose to build it so. With CrossFit, women can expect to see an increase in lean muscle tissue and a reduction in body fat. CrossFit also comes with a constantly varied nature; ensuring that every part of your body will get worked out, with specific focus on glutes and thighs. Combined with countless squats, your metabolism will get a boost with muscle mass, and still look good. Just look at Annie Thorrisdotir, a professional CrossFit athlete; also the only woman to have won the CrossFit Games twice in 2011 and 2012 – talk about inspiration!
4. Forget the scale; focus on strength
Forget the use of the weighing scale. Unless it’s about how much you are lifting, you will rarely hear talk about pounds in your CrossFit gym. Majority of CrossFitters keep track of their PRs (personal records) for their lifts and workouts through a mobile app or notebook, making it easier to see significant improvements in strength and stamina over time. In other words, CrossFit women focus on performance and not societal standards or aesthetics – strength, agility and effectiveness is more important than having a slim figure.
5. Master every daily chore – without a man’s help!
CrossFit makes you strong, and strength leads to independence. A few months into CrossFit will refine your mastery of daily chores, without a man’s help. Activities like lugging groceries or moving cabinets at home or in the office will be painless. CrossFit focuses on one’s functional movements; sprinting short distances, carrying awkward items or lifting heavy things from the ground. Thus CrossFit training is, in varied ways, training one for everyday life.
By picking up CrossFit, one will learn the benefits of high-intensity functional fitness not only to the shape of the body but the overall health as well. Throw out assumptions of how CrossFit could be intense for the average Jane, or how it could overtly build muscle mass and cause physical harm. With CrossFit; strong is the new sexy.