The fittest CrossFit women aren't the waify wisps you see in the pages of fashion magazines. These fit, powerful women proclaim "strong is the new sexy," but you may fear getting too strong and muscular is going to make you lose their feminine edge. Won't lots of heavy weights will drive a body to look ropey, extra lean and broad-shouldered?
You desire the cut abs, rounded glutes and soft ripples of muscle in your arms and back that CrossFit can deliver, but still want to look curvy. And when used strategically CrossFit can help you achieve your desired physique, but remember that every body is different. Healthy should be your No. 1 goal. If you feel good, you look good. Period.
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What is CrossFit Feminine?
Many women with different body shapes do CrossFit. Each one of them puts muscle on at different rates. Others lose fat more easily. Some elite CrossFit women you admire may have been blessed with naturally long legs and lithe frames.
You can do CrossFit and become strong, but you mightt never look curvy, no matter how dedicated you are to your diet and exercise routine. Accept that CrossFit intends to make you fitter, faster and stronger. As a result, your body shape will change, but only as much as your genetics allow.
Fear of Extreme Muscle Gain
Many women shy away from weights because they're afraid of getting too bulky and looking unfeminine. However, women who do CrossFit lift weight — and lots of it. Olympic lifts, kettlebell swings and intense body-weight calisthenics are the core of CrossFit workouts. If you head to a box — the slang term for CrossFit gym — don't expect the coach to let you back off the amount of weight you lift because you're afraid of a little muscle mass. That's just not the culture.
The good news is that a couple of CrossFit WODs (workouts of the day) in your weekly routine is unlikely to be enough to make you look manly. Bulking up comes from a combination of lifting heavy weights, eating a precise diet and, usually, producing (or taking) extra testosterone. Expect to become a fitter, better looking version of yourself — a woman. CrossFit alone won't (and can't) turn you into something you're not.
How to Get that Feminine Physique
You love the challenge and intensity of CrossFit, and you get that you have genetic limitations and won't gain tons of muscle. Now, though, you wonder how it can help you to get the sexy physique you desire.
Use the following strategies to get you closer to that bod you want:
- Stick to two to three CrossFit WODs per week. On other days, aim for 45 minutes of light to moderate cardio, such as an easy jog, that helps you burn calories, but doesn't contribute to excessive muscle gain. Too much CrossFit can burn you out. But, when you do hit these workouts, give them your all. Lift heavy and sprint fast.
- Eat right. Diet is a significant part of CrossFit — you may be encouraged to go Paleo, or eat as your paleolithic ancestors did before the agricultural revolution. While you can choose to eat this way, your primary dietary goal should be to support your workouts and good health. This means moderate portions and whole foods. If you want to lose a few pounds, trim your calorie intake by 250 to 500 calories daily; if you want to add muscle, ensure you're getting plenty of protein from lean meats, fish and beans — about 12 to 15 percent of your daily calories.
- Ditch the scale and the measuring tape. You might want to lose fat; you might want to gain muscle. Ultimately, these goals are after the same thing: helping you to look a certain way. A scale isn't going to give you the feedback your mirror, clothes and energy levels will.
- Embrace who you are. It sounds quite touchy feel-y, and it is. CrossFit helps you break down that preconceived notion that your looks are tied to your worth. Allow CrossFit to make you feel strong, confident and fit. Your body will adapt.
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