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Guest Feature- Women Workout Warriors: Executing Society’s Idea of the “Ideal” Woman in a Gym

Let me start off by saying I am not some crazy feminist that is getting ready to start my own country and become the president. I do, however, have quite the opinion based upon society’s “idea” of what women should be in the gym. Hot topic, I know.

Workout warriors are defined by their mission: to be serious and ambitious about workouts to achieve fitness, health, and strength; both mentally and physically. Males traditionally have dominated this persona, while females just tend to be the sweaty eye candy for them. But can women be workout warriors too?

About 3 years ago, I attended my first CrossFit gym and I was immediately hooked -- even after wanting to throw up my dinner from the night before. I still cannot decide whether being introduced to CrossFit was a good idea, or a bad one. What can I say? It became addicting! My “lady hands” are no longer, and I could sand a beaten wood pallet with the calluses (of which I am now a proud owner). Between the sweat angels and competitive aspect of lifting, I found my new balance. In this gym, women are equal to men. Yes, we are lifting different weight, but when it came down to the same movements and working just as hard as the other, there are no differences, but rather, a partnership.

So what makes it so different to work out that hard at any regular gym outside of the CrossFit world? Men will look at women with critical eyes. Hell, women will look at women with even more grave looks that could melt flesh off your face.

I was rudely awakened after I graduated, moved away from home, and started working out again. This time, it wasn’t so inviting. My apartment had a 24 hour gym and I definitely took advantage of the offer. CrossFit taught me proper technique and what workouts would challenge my body, but it did not teach me how to avoid the upcoming comments and stares I would receive in a normal gym when I actually lifted, instead of walking on a treadmill. Come on people! Women can be workout warriors.

I could produce hundreds of articles, statistics, and percentages of how women are taking on this new form of “workout warrior” identification in the gym, but it won’t make anyone a believer of it either way. Watch the CrossFit games, check out a chick with a body she worked hard for, and come to the realization that we want the same as any man does: to be fit, healthy, and strong; both mentally and physically. The next time you see women in the middle of a WOD (workout of the day), keep the precarious looks -- and stupid stereotypes -- to yourself.

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