Lindsey Valenzuela: CrossFit Games Athlete and NPGL Athlete – EPISODE 127

Audio Only: iTunes, Stitcher

This week on Barbell Shrugged we have the pleasure of welcoming Lindsey Valenzuela to the show, professional fitness athlete and current member of the Los Angeles Reign.

Lindsey is in an incredible position. First, she’s one of the very first women ever to sign onto a professional fitness team. Better yet, the Reign, and all other founding members of the National Professional Grid League, are actually coed.

That’s right. For the first time there is a mainstream professional sports league featuring women and men competing together on the very same field, or in this case, the very same “Grid.”

In competitive fitness, right from the start, men and women have both received equal spotlight and attention. The same can’t said for any other professional sports league, or quite frankly, our culture as a whole. Despite our progress, most playing fields are anything but level.

The truth is that women and men are equally capable when it comes to moving heavy barbells, crushing races, and entertaining an arena full of cheering fitness fans. Also, as Lindsey herself pointed out, those incredibly fit, powerful and beautiful ladies – the coed angle – might just be the NPGL’s secret weapon when it comes to breaking into brand new markets.

That’s really the most exciting part of this entire movement. Consider the classic sports fan with their weekend fantasy leagues and pick-up games, or maybe the aspiring young athlete who might not fit in or dig traditional sports like Football, Baseball or Basketball. Think of the influence an athlete like Lindsey could have on the average young girl who’s seeing a strong, successful woman slam barbells in front of a packed arena for the very first time.

That’s a damn incredible thing, indeed.

In all fairness it’s too early to know. There are no guarantees that the Grid thing will catch on. But it just might, and that could mean an incredible future where Eleiko barbells start arriving under Christmas trees during the holidays, right alongside shiny new bicycles and video game consoles (one can hope!). It could also mean waves of brand new, inspired clients pouring into local gyms and boxes, which is great for absolutely everyone.

That’s really the main point now. There’s no room in this movement for a scarcity point of view. It’s time that we stop trying to compare Crossfit and the NPGL, because really, they  are fundamentally different things.

As Lindsey points out, “Crossfit is about finding the fittest men and women in the world, period. The NPGL is all about putting on a show. It’s spectator friendly. It’s fast moving. It’s entertainment, like the NBA or NHL.”

She nails the point, concluding, “The Crossfit Games are basically like the Olympics. There are players who play in both – The NBA and the Olympics, for example – But nothing can replace the Olympics.”

We agree. In our point of view the emergence of professional fitness can only create more great opportunities for athletes, coaches and business owners. That’s really all that matters.

To learn more about the NPGL make sure to check out our interview with league founder and CEO, Tony Budding. We also had a great chat with NPGL President Jim Kean, where we talk all about the technology and future of this brand new sport.

For more Lyndsey, make sure to check out her website at You can also follow her on Instagram,Twitter, and Facebook at @LiftLikeLindsey.

Lindsey, please keep inspiring folks and kicking ass! We look forward to seeing it all unfold.

Chris Moore

P.S. I know all of this professional fitness talk is exciting and sexy. You might have hopes of one day signing onto an NPGL team. Good for you, but first thing’s first, you’ve got some squatting to do.

Let Doug teach you all there is to know about the high and low-bar back squat on this week’s episode ofTechniqueWOD.