Thursday, 22 June 2017
Abs Week: Thick for Purpose
Crossfit is like a foreign country; they do abs differently there.
The vast majority of the women we feature on FMS, as this week, are in the Bodybuilding (small "b" if you prefer) game. An aesthetic sport (or "sport" if you must), its winners and losers are decided according to supposedly objective criteria by judges - who the fans will tell you (subjectively) hardly ever get it absolutely right.
For the women, even those at the quote unquote top, there's almost no money in it.
And the days before a contest is "peak week", a misleading name if ever there was one. Competitors are at their weakest as they stand on stage, but also their most beautiful. At the point where they compete, their muscles really are just for show.
Crossfit, though, is all about the stats. Everything is measured and documented, and there can be no argument about the winner of a heat, an event, or a competition.
There's money to be made. Lots of it. Mega money at the top, and what's more, it's actually the women who are the star attraction, their fame eclipsing that of their male counterparts by some distance. And no, I didn't just make that last bit up.
Crossit is all about performance. If you are not at your best on the day, you don't win. How many times have we seen FBBing champions not be at their best and still win? Never happens in Crossfit. Never. Every year is a year zero, there is absolutely no competitive advantage whatesoever to having done well the previous season.
As a result, Crossfit muscle serves an entirely different purpose to Bodybuilding muscle simply because it's a by-product of the training, not the end result itself. In Bodybuilding the muscle is the show. In Crossfit it's what that muscle can do.
Crossfit abs don't need to be lean and defined, they just need to be strong.
Witness the thickness necessary to be among the world's elite at in the "constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity" game (which is, in fact, what Crossfit defines itself as). Note the "functional"; note the "high intensity".
Witness the thickness and be clear about one thing - that despite all that I've said so far, Bodybuilding and Crossfit do have something in common. Both MUSCLE sports.
And you know despite all their "all about the functionality" attitude, the women of Crossfit are (thankfully) by no means averse to a little muscle exhibitionism either. Take, for instance, rising star Amanda Franden's tanned, bikini-clad selfie below. I don't think it wouldn't look out of place on an IFBB Bikini pro's Instagram feed.
Take, for instance, Greek's Crossit twins Thelma (left) and Stella (right, another rising star) Christoforou. Not a whole lot of functionality going on here, is there?
And here's Jennifer Kokk, also apparently indulging in a little navel gazing...
Was never about the bathroom selfie, says (yet another rising star) Jamie Goodwin about an, er, bathroom selfie with prominent abs (here). But hey, there are perks!
And long may she, and other the other beautiful women of Crossfit enjoy showing off those "perks", everywhere from the bathroom to the Crossfit arena. I mean, I'm no ecpert, but I'm pretty sure they don't have to train/compete in those tiny tops that show off their thickly-muscled midsections if they don't want to, do they?
But they do.
And I'm sure it diesn't hurt the women's popularity.
Our Crossfit correspondent had nothing to do with today's post, it's all my own rubbish, but his keyboard is no doubt bracing itself right now because qualifying for the 2017 Games will be coming soon. Follow the leaderboards on the Games' website.
Names in the file names of the images.