The CrossFit Girls
You don't have to be a hardcore CrossFitter to have heard of "The Girls." Granted, you may not know what (or who?) these girls are, but if you've spent any time around the CrossFit community, you've probably heard names like Fran, Isabel, and Helen thrown around. These "girls" are workouts that are designed to put you through the ringer as you assess your personal strengths and weaknesses related to your overall fitness capacity.
In a single word, The CrossFit Girl workouts are benchmarks. They're designed to take a snapshot of your current fitness level as related to the areas of fitness each workout is designed to test. To be clear, each Girl is designed to test your fitness in slightly different ways. For instance, one Girl workout might focus on cardiovascular capacity, while another tests power, speed, strength, or flexibility.
The Girl workouts are the epitome of what CrossFit is all about...short, intense, challenging, and a lot of fun. Each one has a unique twist that will reveal any weaknesses you might have. An endurance athlete will love the 20-minute long workout, Cindy, but will struggle with a short, heavy workout like Grace or Isabel. The opposite would be true for a strength athlete."
As benchmarks, The Girls and other benchmark workouts are used as periodic tests to gauge your improvements over time. "They should be done regularly to retest and track progress. Although once or twice a year is definitely often enough.
The Original Girls these benchmark workouts were limited to six straightforward routines—Angie, Barbara, Chelsea, Diane, Elizabeth, and Fran. Over the years, more Girls have been added, now totalling 26 different benchmark workouts. Some workouts use only your body weight, while others require equipment, such as kettlebells, barbells, rings, or rowing machines. The equipment involved and the format of the workout (how much load is used, how much rest is allowed, how many reps or sets prescribed), allow each workout to test different areas of personal fitness.
If you haven’t participated in a CrossFit girl WOD yet don’t worry it’ll be coming soon and it’s great chance to test your fitness.