Thursday, April 12

Why I LOVE CrossFit

I'm addicted. If you know me, you probably already knew that! I've had many people ask me about CrossFit in the last month so I decided to publish my thoughts. I have tried EVERYTHING as far as exercise goes and either get bored or lose motivation after the first month (sometimes the first week) or I don't feel like whatever it is I'm doing is working. This is the best thing that I've done that's made me SEE noticeable results and FEEL a noticeable difference! 

What CrossFit is:
It's a little bit P90x and a little bit Insanity with a dash of Olympic weightlifting and gymnastics. CrossFit is an hour-long group workout led by a certified trainer. The workout consists of a warm-up, strength training, what's called a Workout Of the Day (or WOD), and then mobility/stretching. The WOD is typically a high intensity/interval training type workout. The workouts that build endurance, help build/retain muscle, and typically burn the most calories during and post-workout are high intensity (and usually shorter) workouts and interval training, which is exactly what CrossFit is. Sometimes the workout is 5 minutes long and sometimes it's 40 minutes (the 5 minute ones usually KILL ME much more than the 40-minute ones!!). But you can scale it all down to your level so ANYONE can do it!

Here are the reasons CrossFit has worked for me:
  1. The results. I see muscles on me in places I've never seen them and less jiggle in places I've always struggled with. My volleyball hits are harder and deeper, my softball hits are farther, I'm running in races I never wanted to, and I can actually play more than a couple minutes of soccer at one time. Plus, I'm REALLY good at Indian Leg Wrestling now ;)
  2. The record-keeping. We keep track of our workouts (time completed, weights, reps, etc.) on a whiteboard. Having the whiteboard track results motivates me to push myself. I know it sounds silly but I'm a pretty competitive person and competing with myself and others pushes me to go hard. Seriously, Saturdays are the only days we don't record workouts and I always find myself slacking a little more on those days. Shh, don't tell my trainers. Recording results keeps me accountable whereas at a normal gym, I'm not accountable to anyone (and it's harder to be accountable to myself) for a workout--it's a solo effort.
  3. The community. The people at the gym have become my family. I go cause people expect to see me there. Some days when I have no desire to workout, I go just because I want to see my "family" (then the desire to workout with them usually comes once I get there). The energy of those people who are working, sweating, grunting, groaning and getting it done beside me is what pushes me to do one more pull up, one more box jump, or one more kettlebell swing. It is in those moments when I am the last person doing the WOD, and those who are done stay to cheer me on to the finish, that I realize strength is in numbers. No one is left alone to finish a workout and so you dig deep to get those last 5 squats in. Other people know that I can do it even when I think I can't and they will make damn sure I don't give up. Many who finish the workout will even support you by doing whatever's left of your workout with you! It's really inspiring and motivating!
  4. The trainers. Not only are they super cool people but they know their stuff and they'll coach you on proper form and technique to get you to be the fittest and strongest person you can be! And also, they don't yell at you like a bootcamp trainer does. Or I guess they do, but somehow you feel motivated to push harder rather than feeling humiliated.
  5. The money saved. Okay so some go into sticker shock when they find out how much it is but I justify the price. I don't have a car payment. I don't get my nails done. I don't get my hair done. I quit my other gym. And if I were to pay a personal trainer for as much time as these trainers spend with me, I'd be forking out A LOT more!! Besides, I'm saving a lot of money on medical bills by staying physically fit and not getting injured so easily doing other sports or daily activities.
  6. The endorsements. Fit people with hot bodies do this as their workout. Seriously, my first time going I rolled into a parking lot full of Hummers and Jeeps and other big muscley trucks and SUVs. What I found when I walked inside is that NO ONE was compensating for anything small! These were a bunch of nicely ripped guys (and girls, but let's be honest; eyes were on the guys) that seemed to match the cars they drive. You're definitely not looking at them saying, "If THEY can do it, so can I!" Instead I thought to myself, "One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong!" But I got over it and I made myself belong. It was certainly tough and to this day, it still is, but so worth it (and motivating) to be among these "expert" bodies. Plus, they're nice. They're not douchebag muscleheads that you might typically find at other gyms. Sorry for the stereotypical generalization, just reporting my experience.
  7. The adrenaline rush. Every time I walk through the door and look at the WOD I think, "Holy freaking (expletive--don't worry, I only say it in my head), how am I going to do that?" And yet, I finish alive (sometimes barely) EVERY time. How I can surprise myself like that on a consistent basis is pretty addicting... Like not studying for chemistry tests I somehow keep passing :)
  8. The rewards. I get all the rewards of working out--feeling great, looking good, fitting into clothes, being able to keep up with people 10 years younger than me, losing weight, toning up, doing things I've NEVER been able to do and never THOUGHT I could do, feeling the desire to eat healthier and stick with it, being able to splurge every once in a while and not feel guilty, having more energy, being able to think quicker, improving ability and endurance in any sport or physical activity, and I could go on...
  9. The FUN. I find myself laughing and enjoying myself MUCH MORE at CrossFit than I did doing any other workout and at any other gym. Going to the gym now is a very social experience. I don't think I've said more than "Are you done with this machine?" to anyone at my old gym. Yes, it's painful; but when you get to suffer and grow and achieve new personal records with 10 of your closest friends, it's a thrill of a lifetime.
  10. The paradigm shift. As a 30-something, I've often had the depressing thought that bad habits, weaknesses, and character flaws are pretty much gonna stick with me the rest of my life. The majority of my growth and understanding of who I am I believed happened in my teens and 20's. After having completed a year at CrossFit, I now believe that I can dramatically change anything I'm unhappy with. It's changed how I think, how I motivate myself, how I look at diet and exercise, how I view myself, and how I view the people around me. I approach new opportunities as well as old routine with so much more enthusiasm to be a little better than I was the day before. 

And after it's all said and done, the greatest part is, YOU FEEL LIKE SUCH A BADA**!

So for those of you who's interest I've piqued, come try out a class with me!!