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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Christopher the chalk burglar.
Mike on deadlifts and Paul on inquisitive look. Nice job both of you guys.

100 Burpee Pullups for time

Ideally Pullup bar is 1 foot above standing reach

Usually I will confine myself to technical recommendations or common motivation. However for this post I will leave my comfortable bailiwick for ruminations for which I am singularly ill equipped but one I have attempted to write again and again. If I err or offend it is neither my intent or desire.

The three most common complaints we get from women in the gym are as follows (in no particularly order):

1. "I can't lift this weight, do a pull up..."
2. "I don't want to get all big and muscle-y..."
3. "I think I still have a few more pounds to lose."

The last one is by far the most common, although we hear the others a fair bit as well. Rather than approach each of these as symptom of a distinct neurosis I believe these to be a systemic reaction to societal pressure. What I mean by these is that these three reactions can all be traced to negative body images and ideas. These concepts are further re-enforced in popular culture through literature, film and other media. This filters down to fitness and beyond.

What we do in Crossfit is so out of touch with the normal working out "recommended" to women as to be almost unrecognizable to the common globo-gym goer, especially if she was not an athlete. No routine for abs that can be done in 5 minutes ? No useless 50 minute spin on the ellipitcal? No counting calories down to each grape? Treasonous!

Yet here you are.

Crossfit women have callused hands from pull-ups, holding bare metal and working on the floor, scraped shins from deadlifts and bruised collar bones from cleans, and who fight through every workout like it's a battle rather than a jazzercise class! Crossfit women love being strong, Crossfit women appreciate the challenge of a new movement or new workout, Crossfit women recognize that they are beautiful and confident. And we wouldn't have it any other way.
If any of y'all have anything to add please post to comments.

-Paul Siegel


  1. Good post, Paul

    I am quite guilty of #1,
    Staying positive on heavy days especially, is something I need to work on, I've gotten somewhat better, but still not there yet.

  2. Great stuff Paul. My wife is joining BTB (location reasons, Nate) and has the #2 concern. I gave her a copy of the article "Form Follows Function" from the CF Journal and it had an impact. I'd encourage all of you to read it if you have access to the journal. If not - I'll print some out and bring them in.

    I keep telling Stephanie that she doesn't need to concerned about "bulking up". She needs to rather worry about how she's going to negotiate the pain of simple, bipedal movements after that first few days of CrossFit!

  3. Awesome blog Paul, especially the last part. Crossfit women do ROCK!!!!

  4. Couldn't agree more! I find myself guilty of #3 a bit, but bottom line is that, Crossfit is both physically and mentally empowering. It's amazing to look back on the last 10 months since starting Crossfit and see how far I have come...not only in developing physical ability but emotional fortitude. If I can survive Filty Fifty or FGB, ain't nothin' gonna stop me! :)

    HQ (I borrowed the link from CFNA) posted this PDF a few months back entitled "Beauty in Strength." It's a collection of photos from the 2009 Games that illustrate what it is to be a Crossfit Woman. Enjoy!



  5. Thanks for the encouragement!!

  6. Right on Paul. One of the most fantastically convincing aspects of CrossFit is that one pursues excellence in athleticism and changing the aesthetics of the body just comes with the territory like icing on the cake. To take it a little further, that belief is the primary reason I fell in love with CrossFit at first sight in that it's such an organic approach to exercising and movement of the body. It was such a relief coming from 20+ years of a bodybuilding/narsasistic/superficial world. AND yes, CrossFit chicks T-otally rock!

  7. Hey Paul, Over the past few blogs you have sent us many helpful links regarding Paleo and GCC. What would really help is if you added these to the websites/links on the right side of the page so that we don't have to research old posts.

  8. Today

    C&J - 170x1,140x1x3
    Snatch - 120x1,100x1x3

    Nice post Pauly. The best proof of this is the beautiful women who fill our gym. I think we need to put together our own Beauty in Strength pictorial.

    In regards to post about keeping a food log, and I will discuss this more in the lecture, even if you go Paleo, I would still track quantities as well, not fret over it though. The tracking of quantities can be helpful for us to analyze and refine your diet, and can be extremely eye opening. Again, I will discuss this more in the nutrition lecture. I also have been using FitDay as a food log, and will post a link to my log next week to give you guys an idea of how it works and how to use it.

  9. Vilas,
    Jonathan is going to compile all these into a centralized location when he gives his lecture, and they'll always be here. Your best bet though is to come to the lecture on the 27th. Where have you been, BTW? I haven't seen you in the gym lately.

    Ladies and Chris,
    Glad y'all appreciated it. I write from the heart on these posts and your responses really mean a lot.


    FGB-Rx-201 (PR)

    YEAH BUDDY! Finally broke the 200 pt. barrier in Fight Gone Bizzle. And it wrecked me. Chuck came in on my last round and I got probably 10 reps there, just trying not to embarrass myself. Thanks to Jonathan for telling I had to do it (even though I really didn't) Nate for taking the time to count for me and Chuck for being Chuck. Now I'm going lie down.

  10. Paul, I came in on Monday and insulted you in front of your Dad. Pity you were not around. My classes started and I have to reset my schedule.
    Nice job on FGB! And great post.
    I'll see you monkeys tomorrow.