If squatting with a long sandbag over your shoulders weighing more than 100kg doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, spare a thought for the women of the Australian Army CrossFit Association who competed at the Down Under Championship last month.
The most gruelling event is the ninja worm – a 120kg sandbag the teams have to lift together. The Army team squatted the ninja worm 35 times before time was up in the workout, which included pull-ups and hand stand push-ups.
Corporal Elona Stewart, a Physical Training Instructor with 4th Health Brigade, Captain Tiffany Chapman, 2IC with 3 Brigade’s Operational Support Company, and Lieutenant Fiona Black, a platoon commander with 1st Recruit Training Battalion, competed in the elite-team division and placed 16th from 22 at the three-day Wollongong event.
Corporal Stewart said the ninja worm event was the toughest, but they were able to make up ground the next day.
“The last workout catered to our strengths,” Corporal Stewart said.
“It was a combination of thrusters and rope climbs. I think we were really smart with how we shared the work among the three of us.”
The women placed in the elite league based on their online qualification performance before the premier Australian CrossFit tournament.
Although there were more Defence personnel participating, the women were the only team from the newly formed Australian Army CrossFit Association.
Corporal Stewart said her team attracted interest from a number of current and ex-Defence spectators.
“Over the weekend we had so many people asking us how we got the association off the ground,” she said.
“The Army people were like, ‘We can’t wait to be a part of this’.”
CrossFit was recently made an Army-endorsed sport and soldiers can now join accredited coach-led sessions at selected bases.
The association also held online competitions for athletes this year.