Thursday, October 22

I read this very interesting article in the CrossFit Journal yesterday and you should read it too. It is called Frailty, Thy Name is Woman and covers the topic of women, especially in the CrossFit world, deconstructing the myth that they are the weaker sex.

Typically, men will perform better on strength movements, especially in the upper body. But that advantage comes mainly from men just having more muscle mass on their bodies. But we all know that there are women out there in CrossFit and weightlifting that can lift more than a man the same size.

The article examines the idea that women being “weaker” is simply a social construct that has been around since the 1800s. So what happens if we ignore this premise and let women lift heavy and get strong, rather than trying to look a certain way? I think we are starting to see the answer in CrossFit.

I can’t explain the entire article in a few paragraphs here, but you should read it. There are some very interesting studies and facts that show women are just a strong as men (if not stronger) when muscle mass differences are taken out of the equation.

“The findings strongly suggest that if training status is similar for each sex, muscle mass differences account for nearly all of the gender differences in strength,” Freedson reports (1).

With that in mind, much of the perceived strength difference between men and women is likely sociocultural. Traditionally, women have used less of their upper body than men, and as a result those muscles are underdeveloped. Women and girls are perceived as weaker than men, so they are not asked to use and develop their muscles. It’s a cyclical pattern, reinforcing a status quo that isn’t supported by physiology.

I guess what I would like to see come out of this is that women and men stop assuming one sex is weaker. I would really like women to approach strength work differently and embrace it. Realize that you can be strong and beautiful at the same time. And realize that you are responsible for your body and how it performs. Don’t let society tell you that you can’t do something.

FRAILTY, THY NAME IS WOMAN?

Workout for Thursday, October 22
5 Rounds of:
Run 400m
10 Weighted Pistols (25/10)
1 Rope Climb
22 min Time Cap

Handstand Walk/ Handstand Hold Practice
Accumulate 150 ft walking or 2 min of Holds on Wall
*No more than 30 sec holds*