Where Are All The Girls?

Alyssa takes first place with her teammates at the CrossFit Games Teen Challenge!

I came across a CrossFit Journal article that addressed an issue that is prevalent in our CrossFit Teens program.  With the majority of Teen clients in many CrossFit Kids boxes tending to be athletically motivated boys, there is a serious shortage of girls coming to class who are fired up about participating in fitness for fun.  Alyssa Ross, a 17 yr. old from CrossFit Brand X, wrote an article pleading with her female peers to step up to the plate and get excited about working out.

“Calling All Sisters”
Alyssa Ross is looking for a few good females to join the CrossFit revolution!

By Alyssa Ross, CrossFit Brand X, September 2011

Have you ever gotten a 20-lb. PR and been disappointed? I have!

My name is Alyssa Ross. I’m 17 years old, I’ve been CrossFitting at CrossFit Brand X for five years, and that 20-lb. PR was the gym record for the female clean and jerk. However, I couldn’t help but be disappointed because everyone else on the platform was lifting a hundred pounds more than me.

I love everything about the CrossFit Kids Teen/Advanced class; however, it’s hard to gauge my abilities because my peers are all teen boys. This is one example of the challenges that come with being one of the only females in the class.

Regardless of performance and PRs, coming in last place on a regular basis is discouraging. I do not always realize the weight, reps or form of my fellow teens; I just see myself as last. It would be so beneficial and motivating for me to have another female the same age and stature to work out with and compare myself to. My coaches and male peers are encouraging, and when I actually listen, I realize how strong I am and how much I have achieved. I know female teens would excel in this environment, just as I have. But the question remains how to attract them into the CrossFit arena?

I face a similar challenge when I compete in various CrossFit events. Although I compete with other females, I am competing against women much older because of the lack of a strong female teen presence. There are amazing female athletes all across this country who could gain so much from CrossFit. In order to make that happen, the CrossFit community should reach out to young female teens and encourage their involvement. The CrossFit main page is a good place to start. For example, every WOD posted is RX’d for men. It would be a small but effective step to include the RX’d requirements for women, making it clear that CrossFit is for them too.

One major hurdle the female teen population faces is the fear of “getting big.” Many teen girls have an idea that muscularity is unfeminine. They are influenced by powerful mass-media imagery that overemphasizes thinness as a health ideal—with definitely unhealthy consequences for some. CrossFit can tackle this problem head on. I think it’s important to showcase more of the strong, fast and gorgeous CrossFit women, not only on the main page and CrossFit affiliate websites but also elsewhere to get young girls to see the beauty of being strong. Some in the CrossFit community use social media like Facebook or blogs—Strong Is the New Skinny—to do just that.

CrossFitting teen girls are empowered to take pride in what they can accomplish. We as the CrossFit community need to do more to get young women in the box and loving the WOD.

If only more Teens were as motivated as that!  Thanks for sharing your passion with other young women, Alyssa.  You go, Girl!

Today’s Workout

Buy-in:  Back Squat 6 x 3

  • Build to a heavy (but not max) 3 reps
  • Groups of 3 – 2 spotters on either side of the bar, ready to take the weight
  • Keep the chest UP weight on the Heels

WOD:  Sandbaggers

This is another partner workout, so grab a willing buddy and get at it… Team Name theme is “****ALIENS****”!

4 rounds of 15 reps (each person) for time of:

  • Burpee box jumps (20/24)
  • partner 1 does their first 15 then tags partner 2 who does their 15 and so on

Zone 2 – scale box height as needed

Zone 1 – scale wod as needed

Games Prep – bump it up if you want to 6 rounds each

Cash-Out:  Handstand Practice – use the wall for support and a spotter to keep you safe

  • Try to accumulate 1-3minutes upside down in small controlled chunks



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