Those Who Came Before: Pioneers in Women’s Strength Sports

November 8, 2020 by
Photo credit: Sophy Holland

In the third event of the 2020 CrossFit Games, the CrossFit Total, Tia-Clair Toomey took first by lifting a total of 890 pounds. At five-foot-four and weighing about 128 pounds, she won the event with a 335 pound back squat, a 140 pound strict press, and a 415 deadlift. 

Less than 50 years ago women were not allowed in weight rooms without permission, much less lifting more than the average man. Strength training for women is much more commonplace these days thanks in large part to CrossFit, but before weightlifting for women went mainstream, a few pioneering females defied convention and paved the way for women like Toomey -- and all the rest of us who enjoy a heavy barbell. 

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