Professional athletes are in many ways defined by their bodies. National Basketball Association superstar LeBron James is 1.98 metres (6’5”), weighs 113 kilograms (250 pounds) and has a wingspan of 2.14 metres. Former National Football League offensive tackle Aaron Gibson clocked in at 2.01m, weighing a staggering 170kg. On the other end of the spectrum, American gymnast Simone Biles is 1.46m and weighs 47kg, while 36-year-old Hong Kong-based Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira tips the scales at 53kg. When it comes to the sport of CrossFit , like basketball, American football, gymnastics or horse racing, a common theme emerges. Being short seems to be an advantage for CrossFitters. In dissecting the ample height and weight for the functional fitness regime’s elite athletes, we have to start with four-time defending men’s champion Mat Fraser. According to CrossFit’s website, the American is listed at 1.73m, and weighs 88kg. The average American male is listed at 1.75m and 89kg, which would mean Fraser is both shorter and lighter than average, but not by much. Four-time champion Rich Froning, who retired from individual competitions in 2014, stands 1.79m and weighs 87kg. On the women’s side, three-time champion Tia-Clair Toomey, who hails from Australia, is 1.63m tall and weighs 58kg. The average Australian female is 1.61m and 71kg. Norwegian Kristin Holte, who came second to Toomey at the 2019 CrossFit Games, is 1.62m and weighs 59kg, which is also below the national average (1.66m and 72kg). UFC’s Jones gets workout tips from CrossFit’s Fraser Of course, there are outliers in any sport, but most of the time they are few and far between the average height and weight for each league. NBA player Muggsy Bogues, who recorded 6,858 points over a 14-year career, was only 1.6m and 62kg, while National Hockey League player Rocco Grimaldi, who suits up for the Nashville Predators, is only 1.7m and weighs just 81kg, even though the average NHL player is over 1.85m tall. When it comes to CrossFit, you would be hard-pressed to find an elite male athlete who is over 1.77m and more than 86kg. CrossFit posted a statistical analysis of its regional athletes (which number in the hundreds) from 2012-15 in which those two figures were the average height and weight for a male competitor. Women were at 1.67m and 63kg. CrossFitter Kara Saunders on ‘impostor syndrome’ and motherhood CrossFit’s most well-known outlier on the men’s side is Canadian Brent Fikowski, who has finished in the top five at the Games three times. He stands 1.88m and weighs 98kg. Fikowski has been quoted numerous times that both his height and weight puts him at a disadvantage, and his body type is much more suited for ice hockey as he is around the average height and weight for an NHL player. There are heavier athletes too. The UK’s “fittest man” Zack George, who stands 1.82m and weighs 97kg, puts him around the same body type as an American football running back. One of the tallest female competitors is 39-year-old American Rebecca Miller, who stands 1.79m, weighs 68kg. She first competed back in 2012, according to CrossFit’s website. Miller’s body type is similar to that of a female rugby player, most likely at second row in 15s or a forward player in sevens. One of the sport’s defining moves is the snatch, and is regularly featured in competitions by itself (usually to see who can lift the most), or as part of a number of skills to be completed in a single event. Five CrossFit workouts to tackle in lockdown The snatch is taken from the sport of weightlifting, where a competitor lifts a barbell from the floor over his or her head in one continuous motion. The average CrossFit athlete can snatch an incredible amount of weight (116kg for men and 73kg for women) and to put it bluntly, travelling less distance is an advantage. What this tends to favour is what could be described as short and stocky frames. CrossFit athletes who are shorter have less area to cover when it comes to lifting anything over their head, but muscle mass means lifting heavy weights numerous times comes in handy as well. CrossFit could arguably be described as an interchanging test of cardiovascular and high-intensity interval strength. A common event sees a competitor get on a rowing machine, which requires lung capacity, then walk a short distance carrying a heavy kettlebell over their head. The diversity and range of movements quite clearly favours athletes like Fraser, Froning and Toomey, who may not be tall, but most definitely can pull their own weight when it comes to both aerobic and anaerobic proficiency. CrossFit has done a good job over the years at expanding its range of events to try to maintain the integrity of its “fittest on earth” declaration given to the top male and female champion each year. Last year’s CrossFit Games featured a sprint competition, where athletes had to run through a course that rewarded blazing speed and agility much like an American football running back. There was also a clean and jerk later that day in which Fraser won by lifting 170kg, essentially the same weight as NFL offensive tackle Gibson. But Fraser, not normally known for his speed, came 15th in the sprint course. View this post on Instagram Put your head down and keep chugging. #HWPO - #gruntwork #gamestraining #fitness A post shared by Mathew Fraser (@mathewfras) on Jul 27, 2020 at 11:13am PDT Like any sport, there is no ideal athlete physically, but common numbers for height and weight do emerge upon statistical analysis. James is arguably one of the greatest NBA players of the modern era, and is actually under the league average when it comes to height (2.04m), but not far off. As CrossFit enters a new era under CEO and owner Eric Roza , the sport has a chance to grow physically, expanding its fan base and welcoming new competitors. Along with that will come increased statistical analysis, on what the best CrossFit athlete looks like, both in terms of height and weight while continuing to produce some interesting outliers.