Let me FIRST say, a variety of exercises are great and beneficial, the idea is to do what you love. If dancing like a rodeo clown in your living room is what gets you movin’, by all means. I don’t advocate Crossfit as the only way.. it just happens to be what keeps me returning for more. THAT is effective exercise.. whatever you keep doing.
When I first started Crossfit, I was nervous and intimidated. Anytime I try something new, I hate to look dumb but there is only one way to learn. Over the years, I have done every type of exercise, old school and trends alike. I rocked out a STEP class in high school, ZUMBA and TaeBo in college, spin classes post college, yoga in my mid-twenties, p90x in my pre-marital prep days, Jillian Michael’s DVDs as a new mom, personal training, HIIT, Boxing, you name it.. (never running.. no, absolutely not a runner).
You may classify Crossfit as one of these fad movements, a culture of fitness freaks taking over warehouses. But I have to say, the Crossfit culture is more of a balanced conglomeration of all aspects of fitness. Not a runner, I say.. well, Crossfit will force you to train in the areas you are most weak in order to transform you into a more well-rounded athlete.
Crossfit workouts are generally broken down into a few main sections.
Of course, getting your body moving is important, but it’s the idea of your neuromuscular system getting the message that we’re about to do work. Your brain talks to your muscles and your muscles talk back. It just takes a few minutes to get past the small talk and then you’re ready for the deep stuff.
2) Skill Practice
Crossfit is made up everything from gymnastics to olympic weighlifting and interval training. Each skill that is taught is some type of functional training for technique, flexibiliy, strength and endurance.
Mmmm. My personal favorite. This is where the real heavy lifting comes in. In the past (and current), this is what most women are afraid of because they “don’t want to bulk up”. I can understand the concern, but in my recent experience of lifting heavy and eating 3x the amount of carbs that I used to, I’ve only become leaner, dropping 20lbs of body fat in the past 8 months. And I am (genetically) a very muscular girl. SO, if someone that genetically is built to be strong gets SMALLER with heavy lifting, we have been misinformed. The more lean muscle on the body, the less body fat. Win win. Be forewarned, you will be asked to help your friends move since you (and the dudes) are the only ones that can carry furniture. Have fun with that.
4) METCON (short for Metabolic Conditioning)
Metcons are generally high interval training scenarios that burn fat efficiently and improve your cardiovascular endurance. These are workouts like “as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes” or “every minute on the minute”.
Being a part of a Crossfit gym is totally beneficial for great coaching and a team environment. Crazy enough, we just train right in our garage with all the necessary equipment! What I love about training in my garage is that it’s convenient AND I’m not afraid to mess up, drop the bar or fall off the pull-up bar (again). It’s an easy place to try new things and not fear looking dumb or weak. We get our programming from our buddy Adam at Copper State Fit. It’s a virtual gym, so people from all over the country can log in, access the workouts and log them in the end. We compete with each other, cheer each other on and it keeps all of our personal records in one place so we know when we improve and make progress! You can join too.. just click on that link above! Work out with me! 🙂
When I started Crossfit style training, my gym coach, Adam said “just focus on performance and the aesthetics will follow.”
I have fallen in love with Crossfit, the competitiveness, the grit, the sweat, the dread and the reward. Loving what I am doing for exercise is a game changer. I’m no longer working out as a punishment for how I’ve eaten, but as a celebration of what my body is capable of.
A HUGE thanks to Coach Gil at Crossfit Kailua for taking these images of me on my 34th birthday!