- Icelandic CrossFit athlete Sara Sigmundsdottir initially took up the sport to “lose weight and get a boyfriend.”
- She hated having muscles at first, but has since learned to love her strong physique.
- “I want to normalize the strong female body,” Sigmundsdottir told Insider.
CrossFit star Sara Sigmundsdottir initially started the sport to
and get a boyfriend, and she was terrified of growing muscles, she told Insider.
11 years on, however, she’s one of the fittest women in the world and has just launched an activewear line with WIT Fitness designed for women with muscular physiques.
“I want to normalize the strong female body,” the Icelandic athlete said.
Sigmundsdottir hated having muscles at first
Sigmundsdottir, who’s about to turn 29, started CrossFit at age 17 and finished third in 2015 and 2016 and fourth in 2017 at the CrossFit Games.
Much like CrossFit champion Tia-Clair Toomey, Sigmundsdottir initially struggled with how the sport changed her body.
“I can’t believe that when I started training, my only goal was not to get muscles and I would never want to lift in front of a guy because I was so embarrassed by how strong I was,” she said.
Gradually, Sigmundsdottir learned to love her body by focusing on what it could do and finding inspiration in other female CrossFit athletes.
She initially didn’t want neck muscles, but then realized they allowed her to do muscle-ups, which are notoriously challenging.
“Over the last few years, all of a sudden, my eyes opened up and I realized, ‘Wow, I’m unique. Why do I hate how I look when my body can do all of these things,?'” she said.
Sigmundsdottir said most activewear for women isn’t designed for muscular physiques, and she’s often found clothing squeezes her muscles in the wrong places.
“I’ve experienced it so many times where the pants cut into my obliques,” she said. “You’re not able to show your hard work and feel good about your body.”
Sigmundsdottir believes having activewear that fits muscular physiques will help strong women embrace their bodies, and she wants to change the idea that muscles aren’t feminine.
“Although we have muscles, it just shows what your body is capable of and that you’re challenging your body, your body is reacting to the hard work you’re putting in. And why would you not show it?” she said.
Sigmundsdottir used to under-fuel her body to try to be ‘shredded’
In the first few years of her CrossFit career, Sigmundsdottir wanted to be “shredded” and was under-fueling herself in a bid to get there, she said.
“I wanted to be skinny, and that was the only thing that mattered,” she said. “I was training for aesthetics vs performance.”
Now she works with Dr. Mike Molloy of M2 Performance Nutrition, who has taught her how to fuel herself adequately. Both her training and recovery have improved as a result of eating more, she said.
Sigmundsdottir currently eats 3,000 calories a day and tracks her macros. About once every two weeks, she enjoys a cheat meal — her favorite foods are pizza and Ben & Jerry’s peanut butter cookie ice cream — but is more or less strict depending on the time of year.
“It’s off-season now and my friends were going out for drinks last Saturday, so I went with them,” she said.
Sigmundsdottir wants to be a role model for women and show a healthy relationship with food.
“I want girls to look up to me and think, ‘Sara did not starve herself, feel bad, and try to go on as little fuel as possible. She was happy, she had fun, and she looked good,'” Sigmundsdottir said. “My main goal is to find that balance.”