These buff, badass women are competing in the CrossFit Games so they can be called the 'Fittest on Earth'

Elite female athletes pose before the 2018 Reebok CrossFit Games. (Photo: Lauren Fisher via Instagram)

If you think CrossFit is just a way to get in shape, think again. Deemed “one of the fastest growing sports in America” by Forbes, it’s a lifestyle, a physical game, and — for the top performers — a career. Those who dominate CrossFit’s grueling routines are now bona fide celebrities on Instagram, boasting hundreds of thousands of followers who obsess over their weight lifting and über-clean eating.

For these CrossFit superstars, this week is a huge one, with the 11th consecutive Reebok CrossFit Games — an event that brings together the most elite CrossFitters to compete for the title of “Fittest on Earth” — taking place. To participate in the CrossFit Games takes a three-stage journey that begins with “open competition” in the winter. Those five workouts — open to anyone age 14 and up — measure an individual’s ability to “move large loads, long distances, quickly” (think sprinting with a sandbag). 

At the end of that five-week competition, the top-performing athletes qualify for a regional tournament to show off their skills, ultimately leading to just 40 men and 40 women at the games. The events themselves remain a secret ahead of time, forcing athletes to be in optimal physical shape, ready to handle any challenge. Rumor this year is that the events will include trek bicycling.

The final event to determine the winners occurs on Sunday at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wis. While some may consider CrossFit to be a more masculine sport, there are just as many women in the competition — equally ripped athletes who have spent an entire year training. Ahead of their final event this weekend, here’s a look at some female athletes in the games to watch.

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