Queen of CrossFit: Julie Foucher

Julie Foucher is making a name for herself at the CrossFit Games, helping to redefine what it means to be a female athlete.

CrossFit is one of the most controversial sports out there. You either live by it or you think it's a creepy muscular cult. But either way, you can't deny that CrossFit's top athletes are ripped out of their minds.

The traditional definition of a "fit" woman was the thin, slightly toned athlete who spent her exercise time doing cardio, practicing yoga, and attending Zumba classes. There's nothing wrong with that type of athlete, but many female athletes conform to the profile for the wrong reason—to make sure they don't get "too bulky."

Well, that's all changed, thanks to CrossFit. The sport has redefined what an athletic female body should look like, providing an arena for women to get as ripped as men, and feel the same power and pride that comes with big muscle.

Look at Julie Foucher. She's in incredible shape. Her body is shredded, thanks to her rigorous CrossFit routine. From her three-hour sessions in the gym to her strict paleo diet, Foucher lives the sport—and she has the body and the trophies to prove it.

Even more impressive: she's competing at an elite level while simultaneously pursuing her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Foucher entered a CrossFit box for the first time in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 2009, while working on her degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan. By the time the 2010 CrossFit Games rolled around, she had improved so much that she was eligible to compete. She finished fifth.

She returned in 2011 and again finished fifth, but she wasn't satisfied. In 2012, she improved to second place but still wasn't satisfied. For the 2013 Games, she upset the CrossFit community by putting her training on hold and choosing not to compete so she could focus on her medical degree.

Foucher is currently participating in the 2014 CrossFit Games, aiming to earn the title as Fittest Woman in the World. She's running out of time, though, because she had told herself she'd compete until the 2015 CrossFit Games and then call it quits in order to focus on fulfilling her dream of becoming a doctor.

Regardless of whether you like CrossFit, you should acknowledge the women who are making a name for themselves in sports and redefining what it means to be a female athlete. Most men would never think about doing a 230-pound Overhead Squat, but Foucher and many other female CrossFit competitors do it with ease.

The 2014 CrossFit Games run from July 25 to July 27. Check out the video below to see Foucher gearing up with friends and family at her side.

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