Crossfit trend sweeps Saudi Arabia
Alshahrani says sport’s unique physical aspects make it appealing
There is a rush of women to practise it, attracted by its unique mental and physical aspects
Just a few years ago, Amal Alshahrani and her tight knit crew of Crossfit devotees were just a small group of girls doing deadlifts and squats together in a tiny room.
Now, Crossfit, the heavylifting fitness phenomenon, has become something of a trend in Saudi Arabia, and more women are getting in on the action, too.
Crossfit is a fitness concept which combines weightlifting, high intensity interval training and gymnastics.
It can be used to achieve weight loss, muscle gain and improve stamina.
Alshahrani, who was introduced to Crossfit in 2013, says more women in Saudi Arabia are becoming interested in the sport because of its unique physical and mental aspects.
“It helped so much with my stress levels,” said Dalal Saudi Alduhaij, 27, who has been training for over a year with Alshahrani.
“If you have a tough day at work you can just come here and release all the tension,” she said. Alduhaij takes classes up to six times a week at Crossfit Antiope in Khobar.
For Alshahrani, her passion started six years ago at a gym in the UK.
“I had zero experience in strength training and here I saw people slamming weights and dropping barbells. You take your body and push your own limits. It’s not a team sport. It’s a ‘you versus you’ sport.”
In 2016, Alshahrani started teaching Crossfit classes in Khobar for women.
In August, Alshahrani won a spot to represent Saudi Arabia in the international Crossfit Games competition held in the United States.
She was the first female Saudi national to compete in the games.
“Crossfit is growing so fast, lots of gyms or what we call ‘boxes’ are opening up in Jeddah, Riyadh, even two more recently Khobar for females.”
You take your body and push your own limits. Its not team sport. Its a ‘you versus you’ sport. Amal Alshahrani | First Saudi female Crossfit champion
■ Amal Alshahrani says more women in Saudi Arabia are becoming interested in Crossfit.