That’s me swinging the kettle bell in CrossFit
It’s true. I drank the Kool-Aid and asked for a second glass.
I’m in love with CrossFit.
I haven’t talked about it much because, frankly, I don’t want it to take over my blog.
I promise I won’t be posting daily about WODs (Workouts of the Day) or throwing around acronyms like WOD or AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible) or C&J (Clean and Jerk.)
That just doesn’t sound like fun to me.
However, CrossFit has taken over my workouts.
At the end of last year I was ecstatic to find a new CrossFit gym in my area. I dropped in for a class and immediately fell in love.
First there’s something you need to know about me and gyms. When I started working out (which I did of my own free will and not something I thought I HAD to do to lose weight) I tried to use all the fancy equipment and hated it.
I hate treadmills, stationary bikes, Nautilus equipment. I also hate working out alone. For me, gym membership = access to classes.
I started with step and Zumba (not a fan, I’ll dance in my living room, thank you very much!) and then got more adventurous with Spinning, kickboxing and bootcamps. When I switched gyms 2 years ago I discovered Les Mills BodyCombat and BodyPump. All great stuff, but after about a year, I was bored.
CrossFit was a welcome change and challenge. After a month of dropping in on classes I decided to quit my traditional gym membership and join the CrossFit gym. I’ve been going consistently 4-5 days a week for the past 2 months — here’s why…
1. The Focus on Overall Fitness Goals Not Body Parts
One of the things I always hated about working out with a trainer, or even listening to some of the instructors at the gym, is the constant talk about exercising to achieve a certain body. I’d cringe when the step instructor would mention how tight our asses would be by the summer if we just pushed a little harder. Every trainer I talked to always seemed more preoccupied with sculpting a body then overall fitness. I know some people are into that and get motivated by it, but it’s not for me. I’ve had more success in achieving a healthy body image by allowing my body to be a byproduct of my lifestyle. I think working out to achieve a body shape is a slippery slope, especially when using celebrities as our goals and inspiration.
Not once have I heard this talk at my CrossFit gym. We focus on strength and performance. Did we run a little faster than last week? Could we lift a little heaver? It’s all about your overall fitness, strength and flexibility — not your abs, ass and arms. I, for one, am way more motivated in this type of environment.
2. Competitively Supportive Environment
Speaking of the environment, I know a lot of people who are turned off by the timed workouts and seemingly competitive nature of CrossFit. It’s true that CrossFit can be and is competitive for those who want to compete, but for day-to-day workouts, the atmosphere could not be more supportive.
Sure, we time ourselves and see how much weight everyone is lifting, but the focus is on doing YOUR best. Maybe it’s just the personality type of crossFitters, but I find the atmosphere competitively supportive.
3. Variety of Workouts
Two months of workouts so far and never have I done the same thing twice. Sure, there’s core exercises we do over and over again (hello, box jumps!) but every day is a surprise. Sometimes it’s a circuit and you are timed, sometimes it’s a set time and you see how many rounds you can do. Sometimes you’re running, sometimes you’re rowing. Sometimes you lift heavy, sometimes you go for reps. Every day is an adventure. As someone who bores easy, this is invaluable.
4. Just Show Up
This isn’t necessarily a benefit of only CrossFIt but I have to mention it as it’s another thing I find necessary in my workouts. As a wife, mom and business owner, I plan a lot. I’m responsible for a lot. I organize A LOT. When it comes to my workouts I want someone else to do the work. I just want to show up. That may sound odd for a borderline Type-A personality, but it’s true. I show up for class, look at the board and just workout. There are no decisions to be made. I’m smiling just thinking about it.
5. Bye Bye Comfort Zone
I think my absolute favorite thing about CrossFit is its ability to literally shove me out of my comfort zone. I haven’t mastered everything, by far, but just attempting things I didn’t think were possible (I’m talking to you, wall climbs and multiple pull-ups) builds confidence. Even when I fail! Why? Because, well, I had the courage to try and one day I will succeed. I can just feel it.