There are ten physical skills or favorable adaptations that CrossFit has deemed to be the keys to our fitness and they are: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. These same physical skills are also fundamental to many sports such as basketball, soccer, lacrosse, wrestling,football arts and baseball.
You are only as fit as your weakest link in any one of these components. While I believe each component is as important as the other it seems that strength and power are the biggest missing elements from most programs geared towards women.
This is where I believe traditional fitness programs marketed to women leave something to be desired. I don't care how much time you spend doing other forms of exercise like Yoga, Bodypump, Bootcamps or Zumba. None of these will ever give you any appreciable amount of true strength.
Compound barbell movements like the deadlift, squat,press and explosive movements like the clean & jerk and snatch must be trained regularly. And Aggresively.
I have lost count of the number of women who have come to CrossFit from various other programs that they've been paying for for years and have trouble doing a decent squat, push up or pull up.
It starts with the belief that women should posses real strength and then a certain level of higher expectation.While other programs may indeed make you lose a few pounds and give you an average level of fitness they never seem to properly address the issue of strength.
Women who have spent 6 months to a year in our gym typically deadlift in excess of 200lbs and do worksouts with 50 to 100 pull ups in them. This doesn't happen overnight and could take longer depending on your current level of fitness but the eventual outcome is the same. This is true for for young and old alike. We have 60 plus year old women that deadlift well over 200 lbs in our gym and can do 10 unassisted pull ups. My own 7 year old daughter Gracie wieghs about 65 lbs and can easily deadlift 100 lbs and do 3 unassisted pull ups.
No, lifting heavy weights will not make you big and bulky. That is a fitness fallacy. Typically, the women lifting the heaviest weights in our gym also wear the smallest dress sizes.
Benefits of strength training ( 5 lb neoprene dumbells and 15 lb kettlebells is not strength training) include reduced injuries, higher metablism, greater fat loss, increased bone density, a greater sense of confidence, a more active/robust lifestyle and if that isn't enough it helps you look better naked!
If this sounds interesting to you and it's missing from your current program contact your local CrossFit gym for more information.