CrossFit is about intense, short bursts of activity, says Steven Shrago, co-founder of CrossFit London, typically no longer than 20 minutes, all structured within a one-hour workout, five or six days per week.
‘Demystifying’ strength training
But isn’t this workout a little male-centric, with its heavy focus on upper body training? “Actually about 60 percent of our students are women,” says Shrago, who adds that they do exactly what the men do, but with weights scaled down to about 60 percent less.
“In their lives, women typically receive no encouragement to do serious strength training,” he says, noting his dislike of pink dumbbells marketed to women. “To me, that is hugely insulting, and the opposite of empowering.” CrossFit, he says, helps “demystify” strength training and weight rooms, which can feel exclusive to men, while teaching women vital skills, such as how to pull themselves up a rope or over a ledge. “These are basic, life-saving skills that just about anyone who is in good physical shape should be able to accomplish.”