Women are increasingly participating in the CrossFit community. Their presence is encouraged and welcome, but unfortunately women have faced opposition and even discrimination, not just in CrossFit but in athletics as a whole (CrossFit Journal). Due to perceived differences, Women often ask, and uninformed coaches regularly prescribe WoDs targeted specifically for women. This “separate but equal” attitude is detrimental to both health gains and fostering a strong sense of community. Women should be prescribed the same workout as men, of course scaled to fitness ability as would normally be done for older, newer, or injury recovering athletes.
A quick Google search for women’s WoD’s easily demonstrates how specificity can be detrimental to fitness gains (Top Google Search for Women’s WoDs). Title’s like “5 CrossFit WoDs for a Great Butt” are exactly contrary to the fundamental philosophies of CrossFit. CrossFit stresses randomization, making specificity the enemy, and total fitness across the health and wellness spectrum. Targeting a particular body part, movement, or skill will prevent an athletes fullest potential for being achieved. In the case of Women this means, follow the same routines as the Gen-Pop classes. Don’t worry about your arms getting too large, or your butt being too flabby. Total body fitness ensures your physique will look it’s best.
Let’s be clear I am not advocating that women lift the same weight as men or do the same reps. All workouts should be scaled appropriately to an athletes specific abilities. This is true regardless of gender, age, race or any other attribute. Likewise athletes should attempt to compete and train with individuals of similar athletic capability. Don’t compare your WoD times to CrossFit games athletes, they are professional athletes.
How absurd would it sound to ask “What is the best CrossFit WoD for Asians?” or “Hispanics?” It is obviously a stupid question. My hope in that after reading this blog the same question for Women should sound equally ridiculous. Perform the same WoDs as men scaled to your individual abilities and everything else will work itself out.
As always please submit your questions for future blog posts.