There's always a question of women's strength when it comes to meeting combat position qualifications. The truth is that there are definitely women out there that have the ability, as of now, to meet those requirements.
The CrossFit revolution that has swept the nation over the past couple of years has opened up doors for female athletes. Female CrossFit athletes develop body types we aren't used to seeing on women, mainly because of existing misconceptions of weakness attributed to gender.
CrossFit is not just centered solely on lifting, but also on general strength and endurance. These women, and others like them, could tear apart the physical standards required for combat positions.
1. Sam Briggs
Go ahead and ask her if she lifts.
This English-born athlete came onto the CrossFit scene in 2010 and has been putting her competition to the test ever since. Just taking a look at her barbell stats, it's easy to see that she would be a contender if she were to sign up for a combat position in the military.
Briggs stands at 5'6" tall at age 35. She can squat 280 lbs, deadlift 375 lbs, and press 127 lbs, just to name a few stats. In 2013, she won the CrossFit games and became the fittest woman on Earth.
Since all combat positions are opened and gender-neutral, the qualification standards are not lowered for women, so they have to prove themselves against male counterparts. There's no doubt Briggs could go toe-to-toe with men in any physical component of these standards.
For example, according to the Marine Corps' gender-integration implementation plan, the standards below are for all personnel that seek a combat position:
Olympic lifts are part of the qualifications. Who would've thought?
2. Katrin Davidsdottir
Davidsdottir hails from Iceland and is a two-time winner of the CrossFit Games in 2015 and 2016. She certainly is a force to be reckoned with and is well known for her 255-pound back squat and 310-pound deadlift. Davidsdottir is still competing and one of the most well-known CrossFit athletes.
Maybe this is who should be training females entering combat positions.
CrossFit incorporates running in high-intensity workouts while adding weighted vests to the equation. Davidsdottir had to run a mile and half with a weighted vest, swim another mile, and then run another mile and a half — not to mention the endless reps of deadlifts, pull-ups, and squats that followed. Some combat positions don't even require all of the abilities that these female athletes have conditioned their bodies to perform.
Katrin Davidsdottir with a weighted vest.
3. Tia Claire Toomey
The reigning champ of the 2017 CrossFit games and has been crowned Fittest Woman on Earth. Toomey is from Australia and is young blood on the scene.
Just another day repeatedly lifting some 55lbs dumbbells overhead.
At the young age of 24, Toomey has been able to train her body, in a short amount of time, to accomplish amazing feats. Her barbell stats include a 297-lbs squat, a 244-lbs clean and jerk, a 357-lbs deadlift, and 50 pull-ups in a timed period. She could certainly make an excellent candidate for any combat position in the military.
4. Sara Sigmundsdottir
Sigmudsdottir is also from Iceland and has been rocking the CrossFit competitions — repeatedly ranking third. She's always in the winds and nearly takes the title every year, but misses it just by a few marks.
Even still, her barbell stats are pretty impressive. Sigmudsdottir clean and jerks 243lbs, back squats 298lbs, and deadlifts 341 lbs. Not too shabby for third place. She could definitely contend in combat qualifications.
One thing is for sure: For some female athletes, the standards never need to be lowered.