Winnie Okoth

 Photo via Facebook

Photo via Facebook

CrossFit is a high-intensity fitness regimen that incorporates interval training, weightlifting, calisthenics, and gymnastics, among other things. And by CrossFit standards, Winnie Okoth is the fittest woman in Kenya. In her weight class, she ranked 147 out of 6,000 global competitors. And to witness a workout at CrossFit Kwetu, where Okoth coaches, is to know that the bar is set pretty high. Fresh off of break-up doldrums, Okoth started her journey to extreme fitness in search of a way to lift her spirits. ‘‘I got really curious about CrossFit,” she tells BusinessDaily.com. “It is fun because it intimidates men. When they look at you they think you cannot do anything, until they see you and you gain their respect. If a man cannot handle me at the gym, he cannot handle me in life.” So what kind of diet does the fittest woman in Kenya maintain to thrive in these intense five-days-a-week workouts? ‘‘I eat every two hours, six to eight times a day,” she explained to Ngila. “I’ll snack on fruit, coffee and smoothies, and drink two or more litres of water. I have to make sure I eat the basics so that my body gets what it requires, that is protein, fats, vitamins, carbohydrates and minerals.”

Okoth has been training to compete at the Reebok Crossfit Games this year in Wisconsin. To qualify, she needs to move up to top 10 in Africa. As extreme as it sounds, she offers reassurance to women who are interested in Crossfit, that they can still have a feminine physique and not bulk up. If anything, she asserts, that the change you’ll see in your body will increase your confidence. ‘‘I can walk into a mall in my joggers and not be bothered, because of the confidence I’ve gotten from working out. It has raised my self-esteem. I can face anything now. I keep telling myself, if I can squat with 140 kgs weights, what can I not do in this world? If you can do that one pull up, what can you not do in this world?’’