Publication Date

Summer 2022

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Theodore M. Butryn

Subject Areas



CrossFit is a high-intensity exercise program that has expanded globally over the last several years. Its minimalistic approach targeted at multiple aerobic and muscular strength domains make it accessible and applicable to populations with limited space and equipment, such as overseas military installations. Despite several studies examining the motivational factors of individuals engaging in CrossFit, research is scant on the motivational factors of military professionals participating in CrossFit outside of their formalized operational training. Additionally, there is no specific literature on female military participation in CrossFit. This study qualitatively explored the participatory motivations of 15 female U.S. military service members who choose to engage in CrossFit as an adjunct to required training. Results are discussed within the context of the literature on motivational theories and military masculinities. Results suggest that participants view physical fitness, facilitated by CrossFit, as an important and necessary tool in successfully navigating the traditional male-dominated system of the military as females.

Available for download on Saturday, October 11, 2025