Calling all Sisters

By Alyssa Ross

In Kids

September 06, 2011

PDF Article

Alyssa Ross is looking for a few good females to join the CrossFit revolution.

Have you ever gotten a 20-lb. PR and been disappointed? I have!

My name is Alyssa Ross. I’m 17 years old, I’ve been CrossFitting at CrossFit Brand X for five years, and that 20-lb. PR was the gym record for the female clean and jerk. However, I couldn’t help but be disappointed because everyone else on the platform was lifting a hundred pounds more than me.

I love everything about the CrossFit Kids Teen/Advanced class; however, it’s hard to gauge my abilities because my peers are all teen boys. This is one example of the challenges that come with being one of the only females in the class. I know female teens would excel in this environment, just as I have. But the question remains how to attract them into the CrossFit arena.



15 Comments on “Calling all Sisters”


Chris Sinagoga wrote …

Hey Alyssa, I'm from Michigan and we train a ton athletes at a local high school. I know of a couple of our girls, 15-17 yrs old, who would probably love to compare workout times and weights with yours. Let me know if you have any interest.


wrote …

I believe many of your comments could be germane to those of us in the 70+ age group that Crossfit, except for the getting big part, we are way past getting big. I have to constantly try to gauge my performance against younger men and women, who constantly out perform me, as they should. So I try to gauge my performance against myself. That's the only person I have to beat. I agree there should be more teens in Crossfit, and there should be more 70+ as well.


wrote …

I am in a similar situation as I work out with all men. I have been told to only gauge my performance against MY previous times and PR's. But I DO want to know, not only that I am improving, but that I am keeping up with others my age (40's). So, I peruse other sites to look at PR's, age, weight, etc. to see where I stand.

As far as getting more women, especially teens, involved in CrossFit, I think a good starting point would be local school's sports teams. These are girls already interested in athletics, so the transition into training for their sport by using the CrossFit methodologies would be an easy one, I would think. And eventually, like with so many of us, CrossFit would become their sport.

I think you have a wonderful opportunity to target the teen female athlete by putting together some kind of online community where teens from everywhere can register, create profiles, enter their PR's, seek advice, etc. Does the Brand X forum have a special message board just for teens? Or maybe you can use your talents to write more articles for publications that target the female teen to get the awareness out there. Back in the day, Abbye Stockton (one of the first women in bodybuilding) wrote a column in a health magazine called Barbelles.

Lastly, it's hard to change the thinking of society as a whole. High fashion magazines, movies and tv will always portray stick-thin women as the beauty standard, which is highly unfortunate. I see so many absolutely stunning women in CrossFit. Those women in magazines do not even hold a candle to my CrossFit sisters. But the CrossFit community as a whole is trying to spread the word that strong is sexy! I hope to see the change-over in the mainstream to this way of thinking during my lifetime.

In any case, good luck to you!


wrote …

Awesome piece Alyssa! And so true!! Good luck and I'm sure you will inspire plenty of affiliates and athletes to dig a little deeper to get and keep girls in their teen programmes!
Keep it up! C.


wrote …

Alyssa, I work with the Chris that commented above and currently we train about 15+ girls in the 14-18 range. They have really embraced the workouts and would love to see how they compare against other members of their age bracket. Actually some of the girls beat the guys (with the same weight) on a pretty consistent basis. Keep up the great work!!!

On a sidenote: We also took a team to an affiliate sponsored event an placed 4th out of 15 teams and we were the only team w/ 4 high school age athletes on the team. This year we are taking 2-3 teams.


wrote …

Brian and any other certified CF Kids trainers,
CrossFit Kids is running a teen competition at CrossFit Brand X in Ramona, CA, on Sunday October 16, 2011. Contact for the scoop.

Alyssa's accomplishments are not just impressive or inspirational, although they are certainly both things. They are significant for CrossFit. Alyssa embodies everything that is important about CrossFit Kids, and we would love to see teens like her come out to the October CrossFit Kids event and strut their stuff.


Chris Sinagoga wrote …

Do you have to be kids certified?


wrote …

Yes, you need to be a qualified Kids trainer. Contact for information.


wrote …

Does one weekend for a 1000 dollars make you a qualified kids trainer or is it also available to say various coaches or teachers that have worked with kids for numerous years or those that have other certifications or degrees? Unfortunately our kids wouldn't be able to travel to california but I would put their technique and form and work capacity (sorry if i sound bragadocious but I'm proud of our group) up against some seasoned crossfitters. Good luck with the competition though, it sounds like a blast.


wrote …

Hey HQ, Why isn't the women's rx weight posted in the WOD??? I, like Alyssa, have often wondered this and I cannot think of a single reason the women's weight would not be posted.

Great piece, Alyssa; well written. I'm in my 20's and workout with mostly guys at a military affiliate. You enunciated thoughts that I've definitely found in my own head. At least when I workout with strong dudes, I never cease to be inspired!


wrote …

Hey Brian,
You make an important point, and I think CF Kids HQ would argue that the only way to become a master carpenter is to spend years in the shop actually working wood. I also think CF Kids would love to hear about your experiences and your athletes (well-documented bragadociousness [bragadocity?] is always welcome). It's important to get the word out. Send your story to


replied to comment from Chris Sinagoga


I have recieved messages from other teen girls that are interested in comparing times, lifts, etc. So we started a Facebook page where we can all get to share our PR's and see how we stack up against one another! If any of your teen female athletes are interested have them email me at, and I will connect them with the group!

Thank you to everyone for the wonderful feedback!



Cool. I passed the message along to them so hopefully you'll hear from them soon.


wrote …

Hey Alyssa!
I completely agree with you that there are not enough teen girls involved in CrossFit. I'm from Michigan, and I'm the only teen girl at my box. I sympathize with you that its discouraging at times to along side men, or even women that are older than you. Its really hard to compare my success with the numbers and times of the women that are 4 or 5 years older than me (I'm 17 too). Whenever I try to recruit my friends, they hear the workouts and say "that sounds way too hard" when they don't realize that they could really benefit from the program. Its nice to hear that someone my age across the country feels the same way! Contact me if you want to compare times or anything!


wrote …

Awesome article! I totally agree with everything everyone is saying. Many teen girls just don't have what it takes and they aren't even willing to try. I'm hoping to see more events,competitions, and support for CrossFit teens!

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