There is a huge misconception when it comes to CrossFit and gaining muscle mass. I’m sure you have seen the big time CrossFit Games athletes on TV with their ripped physiques and bulging muscles, lifting heavy barbells overhead for multiple reps. CrossFit usually gets a bad rap due to what is perceived on television. Many folks think that joining a CrossFit gym will make them big and bulky. I won’t say it can’t make you bulky, because there is always a chance, just like in any other sport; however, there is more that goes into it than just lifting weights.
Most important thing to remember here is that you are in charge of your body and the way in which it looks. If you were to sit on a couch all day while you binge watch Netflix and shovel junk food into your mouth, then you would most likely end up with a not-so-athletic body. Same goes for working out. The more you put into your fitness, the more you’ll get in return. Your physique is all determined on your diet, how often you exercise and what sort of supplements you consume.
Take top winning Games athletes Rich Froning and Tia-Clair Toomey. Many would say they have well defined, “bulky” bodies. Personally, I think they look awesome! What you may not realize is that these types of athletes follow a strict regimen of working out multiple times a day, eating thousands of calories to fuel their bodies properly and not to mention the continued help they receive from their mentors and trainers to keep them on track. If you really put it into perspective, most of these Games athletes do CrossFit for a living. They’ve made fitness their priority and solely focus on this day in and day out.
So back to getting bulky with CrossFit. Like I said, there is a chance that it could happen, but this is all in your control. Say you join a gym, you’re working out, lifting weights, doing burpees and box jumps, sweating like crazy, yet you go home and eat a whole box of Oreos; there’s a good chance you won’t loose the lingering body fat you so desperately want to get rid of. Instead you start to build muscle while holding on to your body’s stored fat, which in turn makes you appear “fluffy fit”. This is where your diet comes into play. Change your eating habits and the fat will surely melt off to reveal all of those strong muscles you’ve earned at the gym.
One key factor that plays a huge role in your muscle mass is whether you are male or female. Most females don’t eat enough food, or enough of the right types of foods to produce the muscle mass that you see on the female competitors at the CrossFit Games. Also, genetically females do not produce nearly enough testosterone to gain mass like men do. For comparison, a man’s testosterone levels are between 240-950 ng/dL, while a woman’s levels are about 8-60 ng/dL.
Now if you think even a little bit of muscles, especially on women, is unattractive, then maybe CrossFit, or any sport for that matter really is right for you. But, maybe we can persuade you otherwise. Think about this…would you rather a woman wearing shorts to have a flat bottom or a fuller posterior? Let me tell you, there’s no better way to get a plumper backside than with squats and in CrossFit we do ALOT of squats!
Once you have been practicing CrossFit for awhile and eating a relatively healthy diet, you should start to slim down and gain lean muscle mass. For women you may notice a more shapely figure; rounder perkier posterior from squats, lunges and deadlifts; and sculpted shoulders and arms from pull-ups, push-ups and kettlebell swings. Be proud of your muscles! Embrace them all with open arms. They are your trophies to show off to the world for all of the hard work you’ve put into your health and fitness! Your self-esteem and confidence will sky rocket when you look and feel good about yourself!