Why I Stopped Doing CrossFit

why I stopped doing crossfit

I love CrossFit. Like, love it.

I think it’s one of the coolest, most challenging workouts around today. I love its focus on functional fitness. I love the variety. I love the community aspect of it.

In fact, I did CrossFit for nearly a year before I decided to give it up. When I was living in Brooklyn, I went to the most amazing CrossFit gym, CrossFit Virtuosity, and had the time of my life.

The people were cool. There were both men and women, and no one expected me to work less hard because I was a chick. And the coach (as they’re called in CrossFit) was inspiring and just, well, awesome.

But when I moved to San Francisco, I decided to give it up. Here’s why:


If you’re not familiar with the workouts, CrossFit combines movements such as sprinting, jumping, rowing, bodyweight exercises, and climbing rope to make some short, intense, ass-kicking workouts, not altogether that different than the ones we do here on 12 Minute Athlete.

The main difference between my workouts and the Crossfit workouts is the Olympic style weightlifting they do in their workouts—including lots of heavy squats, shoulder presses, jerks, snatches, deadlifts and cleans.

I loved the high intensity work. I didn’t love the heavy weightlifting.

You could certainly say it’s because I’m a girl that I didn’t like it, but I’ve talked to others who have had the same reaction: I just got too damn sore from it. So sore I didnt have the energy or desire to do all the other active things I wanted to do. So sore that sometimes I could barely move for days afterwards.

Obviously, I could have pushed a little less hard and given myself a break more often… but that’s not how I do things.

And yes, I could have taken some extreme recovery measures… ice baths, weekly massages, etc. but in the end, it just wasn’t worth it to me. I don’t mind being sore, but I didn’t want to be so sore that I couldn’t do any other workouts or activities the rest of the week.


CrossFit gyms follow the Paleo diet, which if you’ve never heard of it includes mainly meat, nuts and veggies—any form of grains are frowned upon, and more extreme Paleo followers won’t even touch dairy, some fruit, and alcohol.

As a vegetarian (I’ve been one since I was six years old), this leaves me with pretty much nothing to eat. I can’t survive on nuts and veggies only!

(It has been done however—see Susan Lacke’s vegetarian paleo experiment on No Meat Athlete to learn more.)

Some CrossFit gyms are more lax about diet than others, but the ones I’ve been to have all been pretty extreme Paleo. And for good reason: all that meat no doubt helps with recovery and performance, but I just wasn’t willing to change my diet completely for the sport.

I felt it put me at a disadvantage—and also like I had to hide my diet from my fellow CrossFitters.


Although most CrossFit workouts are fairly short—ranging from 5 to 20 minutes on average—an entire CrossFit class lasts for more like an hour. That combined with getting to class early to stretch and warm up and staying after to foam roll meant the time commitment was more like an hour and a half a day, four to six times a week (or however many times I could handle it).

That’s a lot of time to devote to just exercise. Doing CrossFit on a regular basis meant I rarely had time to do the other active things I love – hiking, various sports, and exploring the Bay area outdoors with my dog.

Also, as a side note, I noticed doing CrossFit would cut into my work time since I’d get so spent during the workouts (I couldn’t help but push myself as hard as possible every single time) I’d have trouble re-focusing for an hour or two after a morning or afternoon class.

Body composition

All right, guys, this is where I’m going to lose you, so feel free to skip this section. Because while CrossFit builds (in my opinion) a pretty awesome male physique, as a female CrossFitter, I began to quickly hate the way my body started to look.

I have nothing against muscular physiques—I love a strong body more than anything and I feel best when I’m as lean and strong as possible. But I naturally have fairly broad shoulders, and not surprisingly, CrossFit made them even broader.

They got so broad I had trouble fitting into normal shirts… And I definitely lost some of myfeminine appearance.

In fact, when you look at the CrossFit women such as the ones in the CrossFit games, you’ll notice that this is a pretty standard consequence of the sport.

Obviously, appearance isn’t the only thing that matters—but after realizing I was constantly sore, always nursing an injury, and didn’t like how I looked because of it, I decided my days of regular CrossFit were over.

(This was also around the same time I began creating 12 Minute Athlete workouts, which I now do six days a week, and feel better and stronger than ever.)

I love the community but…

This isn’t to say I’ll never do Crossfit again.

In fact, nearly every time I go home to visit my family in the Portland, Oregon area, I go to a CrossFit class or two with my dad or brother—and I’m happy to say that I still beat most of the guys.

It’s always fun, and challenging and extremely grueling, and the community is always fantastic.

But every time, I’m always happy to return to my 12 Minute Athlete workouts that leave me stronger, more focused, and injury-free—with plenty of time and energy to do other fun things.

Because to me, that’s what exercise is all about.


58 Responses to Why I Stopped Doing CrossFit

  1. suzan November 3, 2014 at 5:48 am #

    I replied below about stopping because of bulkiness, but I want to say that I LOVED crossfit. Loved the people, loved the wods, loved the high, loved the way I felt after a workout. If there were alternate wods that were only running/rowing/jumping/pushing/burpees/pullups/situps/toes2bar/light kb, I’d probably do Crossfit for the rest of my life.

    • Meredith November 15, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

      I am so glad I found this blog. I have been so frustrated about my size and weight 3 years into crossfit. When I approached the coach about it he basically told me that I was delusional and if I wanted to modify my workouts then I should not workout with the other ladies at it would “cause confusion!?!” So much for crossfit not coming across like a cult. It seems like everyone has drank the koolaid and put aware the scales and mirrors. I loved crossfit and I have always been in athletics and have an athletic build ( which is fine) but I could not stand being that big anymore. i am in the process of leaning out again. Running / rowing everyday. I hate to loose muscle but I just dont know how to do this.

      • suzan November 22, 2014 at 11:17 am #

        Hey Meredith- I so feel you. I’ve been doing cardio on the elliptical at the Y every day, 30 minutes, NO INCLINE, but intensely so I’m sweating. Then I do 10 rds of 10 situps, 10 squats, 10 pushups. Then I REALLY stretch. especially the quads. After a week and a half, I’m already feeling smaller. I’m sure running would do the same thing.

        I havent been to my old box in like a year, but when I see pics of the girls on FB they’re all HUGE. Tried on a shirt today that used to be my favorite but a year ago made me look massive: it fits right again because after a year of not lifting heavy, my traps have shrunk down.

        I think there are genetically thin women who this will never happen to, but for those of us with an athletic build, it’s inevitable. And I agree, a shame that you’re “Looked down on” if you chose to scale.

  2. suzan November 2, 2014 at 5:56 pm #

    OMG FINALLY!!!!!! I’ve been googling “too bulky from crossfit” and all I ever find is the same old line “No you WONT get bulky, that’s a myth!” Ugh. I’ve been crossfitting for 4 years. After year 2, I was thrilled with my body. I had lost about 15 pounds and I was trim and toned. 2 years later I HATE how I look. My thighs are huge, I don’t look feminine in shirts anymore… I’m very solid and toned, but overall I look heavy!!! Tried my first Bikram yoga class today- I’m going to try this for a month to try and lean out. Thank you, thank you for posting.

  3. Peter October 18, 2014 at 12:56 am #

    Despite my gender I don’t like getting bulky and all muscled up since I do long distance running and kayaking. I simply don’t want to carry another 5-10 kg of muscle around a marathon or long distance trail run. But I do like the intensity and feel of the crossfit workouts. Sore? Yes, occasionally which comes from changing exercises and hitting your muscles in new ways. Knowing yourself and scaling is key, don’t let everyone else’s ego get to you. You can train on and enjoy your days when they are all injured and busted up! Having passed 40 I do crossfit endurance, which is less heavy lifting, less technical and more cardio – but still gives me the crossfit feel and fantastic physical results. With a demanding job, a family of four and far too many hobbies and other interests ;-) the less go-go-go-way suits me better. I simply want to enjoy all the workouts that I do manage to fit it, instead of “punishing” myself for not hitting a 120 pct. everytime. Less macho? It takes a real man (or woman) to live a healthy and balanced life!

  4. Brant October 16, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    Very modest approach in your writing on this subject. Excellent presentation of your blog too.

    As a Personal Trainer I train a variety of Women aged 16-83 and all of them have the same concern of not wanting to “look like a man”. Heavy Weight + High Volume = Big Muscles. Many women here seem to be surprised by this repercussion of crossfit training methods…it startles me. I don’t want to accuse anyone of being dishonest but we have to look at this objectively and try to understand where this misconception comes from as to why women are being told that they wont get bulky, when clearly lifting heavy weights, performing olympic lifts and generally training like Advanced Athletes train will certainly make you look like an Amazon!

    My advice to any women looking to scale down their physique post cross fit.
    1.Lighten the weights and keep your workouts short, to around 30-45 min.
    2. Stretch and warm up at least 5 min.
    3. Try a Body Part Split instead of WODs.
    4. Try Dumbbell Circuits.
    5. Eat enough calories. Never go under 1200 k/cal.
    6. Do try Yoga and Pilates
    7. Limit your Cardio sessions to 1-2x a week if you want to keep your boobs and butts. (keep it short)

    All exercise, when done correctly IS FUNCTIONAL. So don’t let anyone poison the well by telling you only a certain type of exercise program or class is functional training.

  5. Carol September 15, 2014 at 3:01 pm #

    I started CrossFit 30 pounds lighter than I am now. Yes 30. I was a former competitive swimmer and long-distance runner so I was always very lean. I was reassured by the coaches at my box that I would not get “bulky” and that it was all a myth. Well I’ve gone up 2 clothing sizes and can hardly fit into any of my clothes. I eat a very clean diet and carry more muscle than fat but my composition is hardly favorable to me right now. I currently crossfit 5-6x a week and still swim a few times a week but right now I am looking at easing up on the weights as I would definitely appreciate a less bulky look.

    • Michelle October 17, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

      I can relate! I started CF a year ago at a size 6, 145 pounds. I now weigh 160 and am a size 10. I didn’t change my diet either. Nothing fits right!

      I am trying to lean up as well by lighting my weight load. However, it’s very hard when you have coaches calling you out and saying you can lift more. Then when you tell them you are purposely lifting less so you won’t bulk up, you get the same old line, “that’s a myth, you won’t…” Then there are the girls around you who think you are “cheating” a WOD by lifting less when they also know you can go heavier. How do you tell those women, “sorry, but I don’t want to look like, well…you!” Lol

      Sad to say, but I think it’s time to give up CrossFit. I just don’t get the same “high” from it that I once felt. :(

  6. Aine September 12, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    I am at this point right now!I started crossfit eight months ago with ten pounds to lose and have gained at least that and maybe more.I am finding it very difficult to get clothes to fit ,and really only feel comfortable in gym clothes at the minute.Any time I mentioned to the coaches I was struggling to reduce my weight or maybe gaining I got told I wasn’t training hard enough ,eating properly ,I wouldn’t be able to ‘bulk up ‘as a female and that when I got stronger the fat would drop off me !So i persevered .I am so happy to read this post because now I know I’m not imagining it!I think that the workouts also stressed me in a way that made me more prone to weight gain ,because honestly my diet was no worse than ever before!

    I am struggling now and would really like to know how long it took anyone to lane out again ,and what type of diet ,workout routine they followed?

    • MarkkoCat September 17, 2014 at 9:03 am #

      So I’m on month three (or so?) after leaving CF. In the first month after I stopped, I lost a bunch of water weight. My knees still looked swollen, though, and my body still looked flabbier than when I started CF. I was still 1.5-2 sizes larger than when I started. In the second month out of CF, I counted calories (which I HATE doing), and following my TDEE, tracked at around 1300/day. I’d get 200 or so more on exercise days. I was following IIFYM, so I would eat carbs if I had the calories for them. I wasn’t refeeding. I tracked everything. For exercise, I was running at a moderate pace a few days a week and doing some light weight exercises like squats and lunges, some core work. I didn’t lose a single pound in four weeks. In fact, my weight would shoot up 3-4 pounds and then drop back down. But no actual loss. My energy was LOW. I went to the doctor for bloodwork, and everything seemed normal except my blood pressure, which was high. I’ve always had low BP, but the doctor said that the high BP could be because my body was still repairing itself and retaining water. She also noted that I could have high levels of cortisol, but I didn’t do a hormone test.

      In this last month, I’ve adjusted my diet (high protein, very limited simple carbs), stopped counting calories, and dropped 11 pounds. At last, my clothes that fit LAST summer, pre-CF are starting to fit again! For exercise, I’m lifting (low rep, high weight) twice a week and cardio (spin mostly) twice a week. That’s it. I’m in the gym maybe 4 hours a week. My friend who is still going to my old CF box is always sore, so sore that she can’t do much of anything else and she ends up sitting on the couch and snacking, so her weight is staying the same. She says that the WODs are so intense that she sees stars.

      I’ve come to learn that, for my body, intensity does NOT equal a productive workout. But it’s taken me about three months to get my body back to a place where it responds to nutrition and training in predictable ways. I have to say, CF really did a number on me. It sounds like other people have the same experience.

      • Krista Stryker September 17, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

        Thanks for sharing your story. Glad you found something that works better for you!

  7. Amy September 7, 2014 at 7:13 am #

    Thank you for sharing this. Everyone told me I wouldn’t, couldn’t, bulk with Cross Fit. I’m here to tell you I was positively huge after six months. Genetics maybe? I don’t know, but I quit and I feel like a quitter, but I just couldn’t handle hating my body. I’m now in recovery mode: losing bulk and trying to slim down while keeping strength. Thanks for your website! It is such an encouragement!

  8. Kathleen August 13, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    Yes! Thank you! Everyone out there says “Women should lift heavy weights, you won’t get bulky. It’s genetically impossible to get bulky.” Guess what: I got bulky! My clothes didn’t fit in the shoulders and legs and I didn’t like the way I looked. I now do yoga, dance, tennis, walking, some running and some strength training but mainly with body weight or light weights. For me, the type of body I want is more dependent on the foods I eat (I eat primal) than exercise.

  9. Kath July 30, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    Oh my goodness, thank you for this post and all the replies. I have been freaking out for months because my weight has been going up with my cross fit classes (not quite a year yet). I can see more muscle and am more defined, but my clothes doesn’t fit well anymore because I am increasing in muscles where, yes, I never had them before, but it’s not helping me feel feminine!

    I kept searching and searching for information on-line and thinking maybe I’m crazy and just doing something wrong, because everyone and everything I found said you will not gain weight or bulk up, just tone up. So, reading what everyone says here makes me feel sane again!!!

    I have always been fit as a long-distance runner, and lean. I just wanted to be more toned. I didn’t think I could get larger, but I have been, and it’s making me crazy. Watching the scale go up when I should feel fitter but can’t fit my clothes makes me wonder what I am doing wrong! I have always been a healthful eater, but like others, I have never had to really think about what I eat – until now with the Paleo approach. Other than this new clean diet and working out with cf, there is no other explanation for why my dresses are tight in the rib cage area!

    I agree – too much cf can cause a female body to start, well, losing those curves. I feel so much better after finding these posts, so, THANK YOU. I am not going crazy – even if I can lift more, if I don’t feel feminine, it’s not what’s right for me. Everyone has a different idea of what makes them feel good, and I like to fit my clothes, not have to buy new clothes in larger sizes.

    • lori August 21, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

      I have been having the same problem. I thought it was me I was bugging out. I love being strong but I can not deal with being larger. I am so glad u am not the only one

  10. Jenna July 29, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    Loved your article! My husband does crossfit and he looks amazing now. In fact, he looks so much better than when we got married and he just turned 40! I tried it after he wouldn’t stop raving about it. I’ve always been in shape and in fact was a competitive gymnast for over 10 years. Within 3 weeks I was so injured it wasn’t even funny. Due to my years in gymnastics I suffer the inevitable consequence of arthritis in many areas of my body and weakened joints from countless sprains and strains as a result of the sport. I slipped a disc in my neck while doing crossfit and was laid up for close to a MONTH! While at the gym however, I did notice that the women looked like men, IMO, and I would get scolded for scaling down my weight because I had no desire to look like a man. Needless to say, my doctor and chiro told me to stop crossfitting immediately and go back to my regular cardio, yoga, and sensible weights that had kept me lean for all the years prior. I’m not putting down crossfit by any means. After all, it has given me some great eye candy in my husbands appearance, but I have always thought it wasn’t the best for women. Maybe if they came out with an option for “lean” muscle workouts instead of a one size fits all routine?

    • Diana August 30, 2014 at 5:02 am #

      After reading this I have decided to walk away from crossfit. I have been doing it for a year now and I have gained weight and to me my thighs look bigger. I kept telling my trainer I didnt want to be bigger and he kept saying you look fine. I knew I didnt because my clothes where tighter. Thanks for the information.

  11. TND May 21, 2014 at 6:42 am #

    Thanks for this. I’m a month shy of completing my first year and think I may want to quit also. I love the community and find it super fun, but I just don’t like the way it’s developing my body. It’s not a feminine physique in my opinion. My goal when starting was to lose a dress size and 10lbs, but a year later I am 10lbs heavier and roughly the same size. I do feel firmer and stronger, but by no means leaner. I’ve never been a dieter and I feel like if I’m spending close to 9 hours a week on exercise between crossfit, yoga and jogging I should pretty much be able to eat what I want in modest portions… However I feel like I need to diet more than ever before. I feel puffy and bloated, and the only way to alleviate that is to restrict carbs from what I understand. Also just my personal makeup- I’m someone who’s butt & thigh is not exactly in proportion with my waist measurement making it tough to get any of my pants to last a year without ripping. Squatting 150lbs is not helping me in that department.

    • MarkkoCat June 26, 2014 at 11:55 am #

      Thank you so much for posting your experience! We have a lot in common, it seems. I joined CrossFit in November 2013 to drop 10 pounds of body fat. I’m 5’9″ and weighed around 165 when I joined, a solid size 8. After 8 months of CrossFit, I can’t squeeze into 10s. I weigh 176-7. I’ve gained 2 inches on my thighs, 1.5 on my biceps, 1 on my calves. My waist measurement has stayed the same, and by BF% is roughly the same or maybe a little lower (depending on the method: BEI pegs me at 25, bodpod at 24). I noticed about two months ago that every part of my body was bloated, especially my thighs, knees, and hands. The cellulite on the fronts of my legs was OUT OF CONTROL, far worse than it ever was when I worked out at the globo gym. I wasn’t eating crazy amounts of food, either. The sense at our box was that you feed the body when it’s hungry. I didn’t go full paleo, but I did limit carbs to one serving and then usually a sweet potato. This very same diet in the past has led to weight loss, but I just kept getting bigger.

      I think the most irritating thing right now is that my quads are so developed that not a single thing fits. Since I’m already bottom heavy (40 inch hips, 36 chest), this is not a flattering look on me. I quit CF when I mentioned now much I hated that my thighs have gotten bigger and was called out for buying into the mainstream skinny ideal. Um, I’m not skinny. I just want my pants to fit. And I get so very sick of people telling me it’s because I eat too much, because women can’t get bulky. I did.

      • leigh July 16, 2014 at 11:20 pm #

        wow, this is really interesting. I too am very bloated – my hands have been swollen for 12 months now and I can’t get on any rings, some of which used to fly off when my hands were cool. I don’t subscribe to the paleo/low carb diet anymore but I did for a good 10 months – which i thought was the reason for all my water retention and inflammation. I’m wondering now if it is the actual weight training… have you noticed a decrease in the bloat since cutting back?

        • MarkkoCat August 1, 2014 at 11:03 am #

          Yes! Leigh, I’ve been away from CF for just over a month now, and I’ve lost five scale pounds that I know must have been water weight. My fluid retention was so bad that I could *see* it, pockets of fluid on the insides of my thighs and across the top of my stomach, above my belly button. For the record, even when I was 50 pounds heavier, my stomach was the last place I gained any size. The deciding factor for me was when my hands and feet both swelled up and turned hot and itchy, just randomly on a Saturday. (I hadn’t eaten or drunk anything out of the ordinary, so I don’t think it was an allergic reaction.) My body is back to what I would consider normal now, and my blood pressure has dropped back into normal range. (All that fluid must have been making it high.) It took about three weeks of LOTS of water. I only did light recovery-style exercises for the first week after CF. Lots of walking, some BW squatting, planking, stretching.

          I think CF can be great for lots of people, but it didn’t fit my specific chemical makeup. I’m still working out, lifting heavy 2-3 days/week and doing cardio 2-3 days/week. I don’t have any of the inflammation problems that I had when I was CFing, and my periods are even easier. Good luck!

    • Raquel July 12, 2014 at 2:14 pm #

      Thank you for posting this. I also tried CrossFit. There were a few things I noticed. First, most of the women were bulky and did not have feminine, enviable physiques. Not saying that the whole point of exercise is to look good, but if we are all honest with ourselves, we all want to look fit and sexy! The girls had massive, muscular thighs, big arms… And since we women carry fat no matter what we do, it was almost like they just put muscle under their fat, and they just ended up looking bulky. You will hear instructor after instructor reassuring you that we won’t get bulky as a woman. I have found that to be true. And those who do not get bulky definitely don’t seem to actually lose any fat or become smaller. Another thing I noticed was that there was too much damn rest in the class. The class did take an hour, but we were probably only actually physically active for about 15 to 20 minutes of that time. We would have intervals of one minute of work, then a minute of rest, then a minute of comparing our records with one another, then a minute of instruction for the next exercise. It just seemed like an awful lot of standing around. If I’m going to work out, I want to work out. I don’t want to just sit around and wait while my heart rate gets back down to baseline. Just looking at all the rest and the format of the whole workout, it’s no wonder CrossFit isn’t really a great way to lean out. Although I enjoyed CrossFit, I am starting to think that is a little overrated. If you’re looking for something fun that will make you strong, go for it. But if you are a woman who wants to be thin and lean and have decent cardiovascular fitness, it’s not the best thing in the world.

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  13. Amy Robles March 21, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    You for got to add: TOO EXPENSIVE. I paid about $200/month! I did crossfit for 3.5 years and was getting really good at it. I lost body fat but gained huge shoulders & back. I couldn’t fit into my shirts! Because I would get intense during WODS, I often got sore and had about 4 injuries requiring treatment. There were months I couldn’t even bend over to put my socks on or tie my shoes. In the end I just decided to quit this expensive torture and give me body a chance to look feminine again and feel normal again. Crossfit is not for everyone, and that’s okay. As long as your workout give you the results you want/need, then it’s all good!

  14. Erica March 17, 2014 at 1:41 pm #

    Thanks for this post. I am 2 weeks shy of completing 1 committed year of CrossFit, and I hate my body more than ever! Like you, I have broad shoulders and a broad back. Now? I look like a sumo wrestler or football player. I decided to take a hiatus from CrossFit and get back into running which I’ve always enjoyed and kept me looking and feeling lean (leaner than what CF has).

  15. Valerie @ fitval March 1, 2014 at 10:27 am #

    Great post! I have been interested in trying crossfit because I would like to build some muscle but I have heard a lot of negative things about how the lack of focus on form and extreme workouts can cause serious injury. Thanks for posting your view— it kind of gave me a like at both sides of cross fit.

  16. Junior January 31, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    Lol all credibility was lost once I read “I decided to give it up. Here’s why: Soreness”

    • Vic February 13, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

      No, I see her point.

      If your workouts have you feeling constantly sore or too tired to do anything else with your day then it’s time to try another workout regimen because the whole point of working out is to improve your lifestyle & feeling constantly sore or too tired to do anything else is the opposite of that.

  17. Carrie Martin January 24, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    I’m glad I read your blog. I too tried Crossfit for 3 months. I’m 55 years old, but beat many of the young members when running was involved. I would get so sore after every class, and I have always worked out. I also lost a lot of definition in my back and shoulders. I actually thought it was my age, but now I see that other woman feel the same. ( I am in great shape, especially for my age.) I can spot a Crossfit guy on any given day, but the average crossfit gal never seems to really get a nice shape. I don’t mean thin. I hate that. I just mean a nice healthy and evenly balanced shoulder, hip, and thigh ratio. Thanks again for the blog.

  18. Shari January 9, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

    I am so confused!!! I started Crossfit and Paleo eating about 6 months ago and love the results. The box I am a member of even used my before and after pictures to promote their facility…. But I scale down all of the weights for each WOD, I never Rx, not once… Now I am being told everyday that I need to add more weight to the bar and it is getting old fast!!!! I do not want to look like some of the other women at my box who are getting bigger looking and some have muscles men would envy by lifting heavier weights. I look like a woman and would like to stay that way and enjoy the CF community and workouts but I don’t want to be told every day to go heavier!!! And why scold me now after posting my pictures when I got these results by not Rxing??? Why didn’t you post the other women’s pictures if I am not doing it properly? Then I hear “Don’t you want to get stronger?” Well, a couple of weeks ago we had to hold our handstand for as long as possible and I beat everyone in my group, both men and women. These folks have been doing CF for over a year…. Ok I am beginning to ramble… Sorry. But I am ready to quit and I don’t know if I am over reacting…

    • Julia January 30, 2014 at 5:44 am #

      Thanks for your post! It sounds like you really enjoy crossfit and like the changes in your body, so do what feels good to you. Just because ” they” are encouraging to use heavier weights doesn’t mean you have to do it. It is your body, your decision, your life ;-). I also do crossfit, 1 1/2 years now, but only twice a week. I also do yoga and bootcamps and some aerial stuff. One very nice cf coach once tried to encourage me to clean 100 lbs and , yes, I have the strength,, but didn’t feel comfortable to go from 88 to 100. There is a very competitive culture in cf and many people get injured! It’s very important to listen to your body and intuition! Don’t quit, just do your own pace! Have fun and enjoy!

    • Kamiele April 3, 2014 at 8:45 pm #

      Great comment. I totally get this at my box. “You’re stronger!!!! Add more weight!!!” I suffer from sciatica and radiculopathy, so my lower back is tender ALL THE TIME. Shari, my advice is do not give IN or UP on CF. Know your limits and what your goals are. I, too, want to continue to look and feel feminine in my clothes. People can look at me and tell I “workout” but no one asks me if I’m on Roids!!!! I’m not interested on Rx’ing either. And if it really starts to get to you, remind your coach that you pay them…not the other way around!!!!

    • mit September 15, 2014 at 8:01 am #

      I think it varies by region and alternative sports in between determines outcome

  19. Manuel Minino December 11, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    I just found this blog post when I googled about how CrossFit women look like men. I am concerned about the popularity of CrossFit in my country (Dominican Republic), and some female friends of mine, mostly models, undergoing the risk of turn their model bodies into MEN bodies!!!!… I love how you just cut to the chase on this subject, and show the pros an cons. By the way I LOVE YOUR BLOG!! and your 12 min workouts / dont waste your life in a gym philosohy!!! :D keep up the GREAT work!!

  20. Jennifer December 11, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    As a former track athlete I what it means to train hard but these Crossfit women take training to a whole new level. They are awesome! Every time I see a competition on tv and the strength that these women have, I’m just blown away. I am sure that they too experienced the kind of soreness you mentioned, but they stuck with it. Everyone has to know their limits and what workouts are best for them. Crossfit isn’t for everyone but the important thing is actually working out and being consistent.


  21. Maria September 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

    Krista, I am a girl and had all the same issues with CrossFit as you did. I was always sore after workouts, especially the ones that involved heavy lifting. I never had desire to excel at Oly lifting for time, so I joined a Barbell Club to focus on my form. I got fairly good at snatching and cleaning the bar, but noticed how my body started changing: my quads and my glutes got bigger. I have always been a naturally slim and trim woman, so bulking up was not an option (although the CF myth tells us that women don’t bulk up. We do, but some of us embrace it. It is a personal choice, and I admire women who look CrossFIT.) So I quit Oly lifting and went back to doing CF WODs (avoiding the ones that called for high rep Oly lifts – recipe for injury.)

    What triggered my decision to quit was the pain in my arms after performing a WOD that included 100 pull-ups and 150 push-ups. I was trying to keep up with men who knocked out 20 pull-ups in one set while I was kipping 1/2 the time and using the band 1/2 the time. I could not lift my arms above parallel a week thereafter. Putting on a shirt became tricky.

    And then someone I knew got a mild case of rhabdo from muscle strain (he is fine now.) And I realized how easy it is to go overboard doing exercises while the whole gym urges you on and demands “just another rep.” Personal responsibility no longer factors in, and pain signals are drowned out by the collective pressure to perform. You ignore your own body because the authority, the coach, is right there, watching the WOD.
    In CF you are supposed to receive personal attention, but it is not to be confused with personal training. When i was WODing alongside 20 other members, 1 coach was “directing” the class and did not pay attention to us individually. CF IMHO is not worth it for $200 a month when the same WODs are given to 170 lbs men and 110 lbs women. The concept of scaling does not apply to body weight exercises, and even scaled Oly lifting movements performed with bad form are dangerous in more ways than injury potential.

  22. Jholei July 20, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    I love the honesty and making it clear these are your perspective regarding Crossfit. I left Crossfit as well. My first box had a coach who believed he was god’s gift to women. When I realized I could easily look up a variety of workouts on line and not having to pay $150. a month to watch a coach while he was sexting, the decision to exercise at home became easy. Searching for more workout led me to your blog. With enough motivation, I too, believe a great workout does not have to be lengthy and ‘heavy.’

  23. Grant June 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

    Your comments are entirely accurate Krista..CrossFit is a mix of good moves and bad moves….

  24. Corrie April 17, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    Reasons why I love this post:
    1. Your honesty.
    2. Your perspective.
    3. Your honesty. :)

    Especially your honest assessment about how boxed out the female physique becomes. Is this shallow? Eh. I don’t think so. Curves are a good thing, and I like mine.

    Keep on keepin’ on!!

    • Krista Stryker April 17, 2013 at 4:34 pm #

      Thanks Corrie, I’m so glad you enjoyed it and could relate :)

  25. Deb Bundy April 14, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    Have just found your blog and i like it very much. I have recently started crossfit and i like it very much. However, the soreness is starting to get to me, we have worked our shoulders every day for 5 days and am starting to move like an old woman. This hiit souns very interesting. Thank you.

    • Krista Stryker April 15, 2013 at 8:15 am #

      Glad to hear it Deb!

  26. Kena April 12, 2013 at 1:38 pm #

    Great, where does that leave me in the family? A bake-off? :)

    • Krista Stryker April 12, 2013 at 6:33 pm #

      Haha. You’d definitely win that one :)

  27. Todd April 11, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    Hmm 12 minute sister. Calling your bro out on the Internet ( smiles ). You are pretty good at that crossfit stuff. When are you going to do a Cyclocross race with me!

    Or maybe a dunk contest?

    • Krista Stryker April 12, 2013 at 8:16 am #

      Haha. Hi bro :)

      Maybe my first Cyclocross race should be with you on a unicycle, I feel like it would be more fair that way :)

      And a dunk contest… I will do that! And I will lose.

  28. Mark Martel April 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    Good perspective.

    Lots of great stuff to be gained from the Crossfit philosophy and principles.

    But I also agree that for many people, it is possible to seek out and get too much of a good thing – work volume at high levels of intensity – with insufficient recovery time (or work capacity).

    The time element and focus on power is such a great thing. But the environment of pride and competitiveness and even well intentioned encouragement from other athletes can easily lead to bad decisions – extra reps with poor form that can cause injury.

    Every affiliate is unique but from my outside in view Crossfit gyms on the whole should increase recovery time, and focus more on athlete safety and longevity.

    • Krista Stryker April 11, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

      Well said, Mark. I completely agree that there’s a lot of great stuff to learn from the Crossfit philosophy, but that more focus could be given to recovery and longevity. And, like you said, all of the CrossFit affiliates are different – some do this better than others.

  29. Susan Dyson April 11, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    Oops! wrong email address on previous post…

  30. Susan Dyson April 11, 2013 at 10:45 am #

    Hi Krista

    We reached the same conclusion over here in the UK so we launched something more appropriate for women – http://www.hiitgirl.com. Response so far has been so good that we’re about to open our first London studio.

    Love your 12 minute athlete concept!

    Kind regards

    Susan Dyson
    Founder | Hiitgirl

    • Krista Stryker April 11, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      Very cool Susan!

  31. Krista Stryker April 11, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    That’s awesome Cristina. Obviously, I feel the same way :)


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