Recently in Special Populations Category

To quote a famous fitness author, "Women are not a special population. They are half of the population." But they respond to heavy physical stress differently than the other half of the population. Despite this fact, women get the best results when they train for performance, because even though there are differences between men's and women's response to training, there is no difference in the quality of the exercise needed to produce the stress that causes adaptation. In other words, silly bullshit in the gym is silly bullshit, for both sexes. The women's "fitness" industry has been around a long time.

"Figure salons" were common in the 1960s, and my first job in the industry in 1977 was at a club that alternated hours for men and women. We had separate staff, with the women's shift working Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and the men's staff basically working Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, which pretty much precluded any 3-on/1-off training. But the women didn't train anyway. They exercised, toned, firmed, and sculpted. They were required by the club to train in tights (which the club sold), and sweating was strongly discouraged because exercising this hard was 1) apt to build bulky muscles, 2) caused the exerciser to make too much noise and that, combined with the sweat, might 3) intimidate the other ladies.

A CrossFit Grandma

| 1 Comment

About 3 1/2 years ago, at the age of 69, I was fretting because I couldn't pick up my 13-pound granddaughter. I figured that in order to get her into my lap, I would have to wait until she could climb there! My police officer son, who keeps fit, strong, and happy with CrossFit, urged me to contact Coach Greg Glassman because he wanted a life-altering best for his mom. That contact and his unspoken confidence that I wasn't "too old" were some of my son's sweetest gifts to me, especially because the gift goes on and on every day!

A couple of weeks later I walked into a world foreign to me. Actually, I paced up and down in front trying to figure out what I was getting myself into as I surreptitiously glanced in the window of a somewhat daunting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu center where Coach Glassman, in those early days, had a little rectangle of CrossFit floor space where he and Lauren worked their magic. I finally made it through the door after Coach noticed me loitering outside! On that day I developed a bond with the Gravitron (with lots of help) and could squat only with poor form, and only to the highest plyometric box. Sit-ups followed the squats, and by the time I had done five sit-ups, I knew that one of the components of my quads had given up... actually failed! My first workout was over! When I informed Coach that I couldn't do one more sit-up, there followed the only time in my now long acquaintance with him, that I found him speechless, if you can imagine that!

In the September 2003 issue of the CFJ we introduced six benchmark workouts to test performance and improvements through repeated, irregular appearances in the WOD. These workouts were given the names Angie, Barbara, Chelsea, Diane, Elizabeth, and Fran.

We figured these six workouts were as good as any to demonstrate our concept of scalability. Here we offer versions of those workouts that have been "tuned down" in intensity and had exercises substituted to accommodate any audience.

High School Phys Ed.

| 1 Comment

CrossFit is the ideal foundation for a high school physical education program. It is malleable, scaleable, great for large groups, fun, and effective. At Mount Madonna School in Watsonville, CA, we are able to accomplish a tremendous amount with very little space, time, and equipment. Our success, as measured by the kids’ enthusiasm, commitment, and progress, has been tremendous.


I’ve adapted the CrossFit approach and workouts to fit the high school environment, while preserving CrossFit's incredible diversity and self-motivated intensity. The first few weeks are designed to orient the kids to the core CrossFit movements, especially squats, pull-ups, push-ups, jumping, running, push presses, handstands, and kettlebell swings. Gradually, we will work in broomstick cleans and snatches. My hope and expectation is to have the advanced group doing standard CrossFit workouts by the end of the second month and to have elite students competing in the Olympic lifts within four to six months.

I usually spend some warm-up time on squat technique, and I try to introduce one new movement per workout. I spend a lot of time correcting their form while they are working out. My favorite workout so far was Deadfest 04.


Powered by Movable Type 4.2-en

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Special Populations category.

Running is the previous category.

Sports Applications is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.