CrossFitters are impressive athletes, no matter their sex or body type. Here’s why the CrossFit community ain’t no boys’ club.

Some people hear “CrossFit” and envision a gym full of bulky bros, which is pretty inaccurate.

This high intensity interval training (HIIT) program and fitness brand is a super effective way for *all* sexes and genders to pump up their strength and endurance, cut body fat, and be part of a motivating community.

Whether you already participate in the program or are just CrossFit curious, here’s what you need to know about what’s driving female CrossFit — including where to find some famous female CrossFitters for #fitspo.

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Photography by Kike Arnaiz/Stocksy United

Regardless of your sex or gender, CrossFit focuses on what the brand calls “functional movement” — going back to basics with big-muscle moves performed at high intensity.

In a standard WOD (workout of the day), you might find yourself lifting a lot of heavy things. Deadlifts, squats, and shoulder presses are common.

But the goal isn’t *always* to get swole. Instead, it’s to maximize what your body can do in everyday life, from picking stuff up to standing with strength and confidence.

A woman can totally go for bulk and get jacked with CrossFit. But you’re unlikely to hulk out without deliberate, consistent effort toward that goal. Without a specific bulking plan, CrossFit is more likely to improve your general fitness, trim body fat, and increase lean muscle definition.

What body type is best for CrossFit?

Some body types may be naturally better at CrossFit, but *all*bodies are welcome to participate. The good news is that even exercise newbies can join because CrossFit is always done in a gym with a qualified coach.

So, who fares best in the CrossFit community? Probably mesomorphs. This body type has a medium frame and is solidly built. If you’re a mesomorph, you’re prolly a little faster or better than average when it comes to strength training.

Endomorphs (shorter, rounder body types) and ectomorphs (tall, slim body types) can still enjoy and excel at CrossFit. Seriously, anyone can benefit. It’s only at the tippy-top levels of CrossFit competition that folks concern themselves with optimal body shapes.

Exactly how much CrossFit changes the look of your body depends on how fit you were before starting the program.

Losing fat and gaining muscle can alter the fit of your clothes even if you’re still generally you-shaped.

Shedding fat? Your clothes might feel looser. Building muscle in your shoulders and upper arms? Your shirts might fit differently. And then there’s the fact that you’re torching belly fat (more on that below).

That said, CrossFit alone won’t radically change your body shape. Super muscular CrossFitters of any sex do a *lot* of weightlifting and follow strict diets.

It’s worth noting that even if CrossFit doesn’t change your body shape, you might *feel* different about the way you look. We can’t ignore the mental health benefits of how exercise improves mood and self-image. CrossFit groups also deliberately promote a sense of community well-being.

How CrossFit burns belly fat

As a HIIT workout, CrossFit will definitely help you burn stubborn belly fat.

Consistent HIIT workouts help lower blood glucose and raise insulin sensitivity. That’s the perfect chemical combo for your body to start shedding fat faster while gaining it more slowly.

TBH, sometimes CrossFit and weightlifting overlap. But weightlifting is a *specific* component of CrossFit, which is a general exercise program that includes bodyweight moves too.

Because weightlifting focuses on building muscle, you’re more likely to bulk up with this type of exercise — especially if you’re following a muscle-pumping diet.

Like we said before, CrossFit is more likely to help you shed excess fat, build strength, and accentuate muscle tone.

Every year, the very best female CrossFit athletes gather for the CrossFit Games, a massive athletic competition. Here are five of the most iconic names from recent competitions.

Tia-Clair Toomey

All hail the Queen! Australia’s Tia-Clair Toomey is the reigning 2022 CrossFit Games champ. This was her sixth win, making her the most dominant athlete in CrossFit history.

In 2015 and 2016, Tia-Clair had to content herself with second place, which is still insane considering she only picked the sport up in 2013. Besides, in 2016, she was busy representing her country in 58 kg weightlifting at the Olympics.

Mal O’Brien

Iowa’s Mallory O’Brien was the youngest person to stand on a CrossFit Games podium when she finished second in 2022. The 18-year-old took up the sport at age 10, but she’s been a competitive gymnast since she was three!

O’Brien also placed fourth in the 2018 Teen CrossFit Games and won Rookie of the Year in 2021.

Laura Horvath

Hailing from Budapest, Hungary, Laura Horvath got into CrossFit in 2014. Her story is studded with achievements that culminated with a third-place slot in the 2022 Games (second place in 2021).

Laura is a source of massive inspiration. The awards and accolades she’s picked up across Europe and around the world make her a respected competitor whenever she takes the floor.

Annie Thorisdottir

This Icelandic heroine was the first woman to win the CrossFit Games twice (in 2011 and 2012). Annie Thorisdottir also came second in 2010 and 2014 and third in 2017 and 2021. Basically, she’s been a legend for a long time.

Annie’s dedication = training 4 hours per day, 6 days per week. Her time in gymnastics, ballet, and pole vaulting might make her the most well-rounded athlete on this list.

Katrín Davíðsdóttir

Our second Icelander on the list was also the second two-time women’s CrossFit Games champ (2015 and 2016).

Katrín‘s road to those wins was a real saga due to her failure to qualify for the 2014 Games. Since then, she’s proved her triumphs weren’t flukes. Third place in 2018 and second in 2020 show she’s here to stay.

Does CrossFit make females bulky?

CrossFit develops the muscles you’re most likely to use in everyday life. You’re likely to tone up, but you’re unlikely to turn into the Hulk.

Of course, some women combine CrossFit and bodybuilding. It’s really up to your individual fitness goals how you decide to tailor your workout.

Do female CrossFit athletes take testosterone?

Bodybuilders sometimes take testosterone to achieve bigger, faster muscle growth. But that’s not really in line with the ethos of CrossFit, which is to develop the potential of your natural body shape.

Despite this, yes, some female CrossFitters have indeed been busted for steroid use over the years.

How much do female CrossFitters weigh?

That depends on the person and the consistency of her workouts!

CrossFit helps burn fat. It also helps tone muscle. You might drop some lbs of fat but pick up some muscle mass. It’s very individual.

When it comes to fitness, CrossFit can be a fantastic program for folks across the sex and gender spectrum. Its locations — known as Boxes — also have a welcoming, motivational reputation.

If you’re a woman wondering whether CrossFit is right for you, the answer is that it depends. What kind of exercise do you like? What are your fitness goals? Your best bet is to visit your local Box and decide for yourself.