These fiercely fit females prove nothing's sexier than a strong woman
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Despite nursing a lingering shoulder injury this season, 28-year-old Stacie Tovar managed to secure a second place finish at the 2013 North Central Regional. Her killer routine may have something to do with earning her fifth straight entry into the CrossFit Games (she placed 12th overall last year). “Every day, I get a solid nine hours of sleep, get up and train, hustle the corporate life from 9 to 5, train some more, and repeat,” says the 5-foot-5 competitor from Omaha, NE. “In between, I make sure to eat clean, eat plenty, stay hydrated, mobilize, and, most of all, have fun while trying to balance it all.” [Click to Tweet her secrets!]
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Rebecca Voigt makes scoring her sixth invitation to the Games look easy. The 32-year-old from Southern California even admits the formula's not hard. “Move better, eat better, sleep better,” she said at the 2013 SoCal Regional event, where she placed second. How did this 5-foot-9 blonde who can deadlift 350 pounds celebrate her podium finish in May? “I'm just going to rest, recap, and eat a lot of junk food. Tomorrow is definitely a cheat day!”
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Australia's regional winner Kara Webb is happy to be living her dream and looking good while doing it too. She stays positive with an on-going internal monologue: “I constantly remind myself that my results are not a reflection of one great effort but rather the sum of many small efforts every day,” says the 23-year-old, who qualified for the Games for the second time. Her best fit tip: “Always eat varied real food, have a water bottle in your hand, work hard when it's time to work, and rest well when its time to rest.”
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As a registered nurse, athlete and coach, Christy Phillips loves to inspire others to make health a priority. With a tight and toned body like hers, this four-time Games veteran (her best-ever finish was sixth in 2010) clearly leads by example. The 28-year-old Washington, D.C., resident trains for two hours every evening on weekdays and for two to three hours on weekends, then takes things up a notch as the big event approaches. “I push myself to go harder, faster, and longer in the gym,” says the 5-foot-4 former D1 lacrosse player. “About a week before the Games, I take a break to make sure my body's ready.”
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Talk about femme fatale. At 5-foot-2 and 130 pounds, Canada's petite powerhouse Camille Leblanc-Bazinet can deadlift and back squat more than double her weight (300 and 295 pounds, respectively). The 25-year-old, who picked up the sport with her twin brother only a few years ago, has made the top 10 at the Games for three years in a row and is currently ranked the sixth fittest woman on earth.
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Though she's often compared to fellow Icelandic athlete and two-time champ Annie Thorisdottir, 20-year-old Katrin Davidsdottir is her own force to be reckoned with. Like Thorisdottir, the 5-foot-5 competitor spent her childhood in competitive gymnastics, where she picked up her diligent work ethic. “Every day I want to improve. I go into every practice with the mindset that I will do my very best,” says Davidsdottir, who placed third at this year's European Regionals. “I'll be happy with the results as long as I know that I pushed myself as hard as I could and I gave it my all.”
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At age 41, two-time Games competitor Becky Conzelman has to regularly compete against women half her age or younger. The 5-foot-3 mother of two from Denver, CO, has no problem holding her own—she came in 14th at last year's Games. “I was drawn to CrossFit because I love to compete and I love the community,” says the former elite cyclist. “The relationships built through the sport are what keeps me coming to the gym every day.” She'll be the first to admit, however, that at her age, “training has to be smarter, not harder.” Her savvy nutrition plan consists of a Paleo diet with some mint chocolate chip ice cream and pizza here and there.
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A former competitive gymnast, 27-year-old Gretchen Kittelberger aims to perfect her workouts as she once did with her gymnastic routines. The 5-foot-2 Virginia-based contender has been tearing it up on CrossFit's main stage for the last two years and this upcoming event will surely be no different. Her secret is that her training isn't just limited to her body. “I like to try to visualize in my mind the movements before I do them and recreate the feeling in my mind of what it feels like to do each movement. I relied on this type of visualization a lot in gymnastics, so I think that's partly why I like using that technique,” she told CrossFit.com.
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Family comes first for this fit chick, who took 2011 off to give birth to a baby girl. But rest assured that Valerie Voboril's comeback in 2012 was a fierce one. She made it into the top five, earning fifth place overall and proving she hadn't fallen too far out of the box (she finished third in 2010 after only a year in the sport). What's more inspiring is that the 34-year-old, 5-foot-2 SoCal mom managed to do all this training just one hour a day, five days a week. “My focus is to maintain balance in my life. Family, fitness, career, and fun!” she says.
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Though reigning repeat champion Annie Thorisdottir won't be competing this year due to a sidelining slightly herniated disc, we'd be remiss not to include the current “Fittest Woman on Earth” on this list. After all, it's her spot that all the other nine women are looking to fill. The 23-year-old, 5-foot-6 phenom may not be on the floor throwing around 363-pound weights like they're nothing, but she still plans to attend the Games as a spectator and vows to return ready to reclaim her title in 2014.
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For 28-year-old Jenn Jones, a part-time traveling nurse, returning to the Games for the second time is sweet. The 5-foot-5 former Division I gymnast, who took first place at South Central Regionals, has a pretty good shot of making the top 10 in 2013. “With my gymnastics background, at first I looked at handstand pushups and thought, 'Oh, I've got this.' But then muscle fatigue failure would happen,” Jones told CrossFit.com. “I always tell people who knew me growing up that I'm significantly in better shape now than when I was competing in college.”
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Her drive to make top three at the 2013 Games isn't what's most impressive about Lindsey Valenzuela. The 26-year-old former all-American volleyball player and Olympic weightlifter can deadlift 365 pounds and has a 200-pound snatch (watch her in action here) and a 235-pound clean and jerk. She can also do 35 pull-ups before maxing out. “I live by the word 'believe' because anything is possible as long as you believe you can and will accomplish your dreams!” she wrote on her CrossFit.com profile.
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Alessandra Pichelli proved that she has what it takes to podium at last year’s Games where her Diablo CrossFit Team from Pleasant Hill, CA, placed third in 2012. This year Pichelli doesn’t want to defend their title—the 27-year-old wants one of her own after winning at NorCal Regionals. “I was really on the fence about going from team to individual,” she told CrossFit.com. “I had so much fun last year, but my teammates reassured me that I could do it. They told me that they'll be right there, cheering for me.”
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At 5-foot-7 and 160-pounds, this Chicago mom (she has a 6-year-old son) is built to mean business. Elisabeth Akinwale can deadlift a ridiculous 425 pounds (some elite CrossFit men can't do this!)—and she only picked up CrossFit in 2010 when her sister sent her a link to the main site. “I reached a point where I really wanted a change and to try something new, so I looked up a local affiliate to check it out,” she told TheGraniteGames.com. “I loved it from day one. I love the camaraderie and the opportunity to be tested every day in the gym.”