Will I get big doing Crossfit?
Generally, getting big requires that you:
1) Lift VERY heavy objects
2) Invoke a hormonal response (testosterone, HGH, etc.)
3) Eat…a LOT.
In general, this is the prescription for gaining muscle mass, but there are few other ways to tweak ones training to encourage mass gain, such as doing large amounts of isolation exercises. In CrossFit, we definitely satisfy requirement #1, and most men will get a strong hormonal response (requirement #2) when doing compound movements such as squats and shoulder presses. This, too, is something we do a lot of. This natural hormonal response however, only takes the body so far.
To get muscles like Arnold, one would need…unnatural levels of growth hormones, and steroid use if definitely not something we condone. For this reason, even dedicated members won’t get as big as some of the bodybuilders seen in magazines and on TV. As for #3, well, that’s dependent on you. Do you want to get big? If so we recommend eating a lot of healthy fats and getting as many calories as possible. Don’t want to get big? That’s cool too, just eat enough real, healthy food to sustain energy levels and you’ll be fine.
We know that “getting big” can be a concern for women considering starting CrossFit, and we respect that. We aren’t here to dictate your values, but we do believe physical and mental health should never take a back seat to aesthetics. We encourage everyone to understand why “getting big” is a concern and what it really means. There’s a big difference between a bodybuilder’s physique and that of an athlete’s. Regardless, we encourage you to define your own image of beauty, devoid of external pressures and media stereotypes.
Through CrossFit, you will get more muscular, but most women simply don’t produce enough testosterone to support a large amount of muscle gain. Regardless, everyone, including and especially women, can benefit from being strong. Strength training should be a part of every woman’s regime.
Many of the benefits of CrossFit for women extend far beyond developing a toned physique. CrossFit helps all of us celebrate what our bodies can do, what they were made to do, and not what they look like. You won’t be the only girl in the weight room, and you won’t be spinning your wheels with no results. Instead, you’ll be among a group of passionate, confident, like-minded ladies, all with the goal of being the best, strongest versions of themselves.