Coming in hot. Crossfit gets a weird rap but I love it and I’ll walk you through why. We all have a cringey friend that posts about their bro’s and their WOD’s on Instagram and don’t you worry, I cringe too.
I started doing Crossfit 5 years ago when I woke up on my 30th birthday and felt out of shape and I wanted to make some changes. I looked around at my friends and it was blatantly obvious that my fittest friends were doing Crossfit. So I went in for it and haven’t looked back. There was an onramp class to get me introduced to the foreign movements and how to scale them to a point where I could get the same intensity of workout at the level I needed.
So I found an exercise routine that was extremely sticky for me. I lack the motivation to really do things on my own and really push myself. So for this type of work out, all you really have to do is show up. You get greeted by an energetic coach, and a motivating group there for a good workout. Everyone is on a different path, different level, but everyone is also there to encourage each other and better themselves.
When you talk about bettering yourself, I don’t think there is a more direct way to see results from making better decisions. Hard work pays off. There are metrics that you can follow, so you know that you are getting better week after week. It’s almost addicting in the beginning because as you learn correct form you, you can really ramp up numbers in the beginning.
I found that I really liked the structure of the classes as well. Show up, greet everyone, get a full body stretch in, maybe some motivational talks, maybe not. Then move onto a warm up, then a focus on power lift, and ultimately some sort of high intensity workout with multiple movements with a time factor. The coaches I’ve had were extremely focused on correct form vs maxing out weights, and were generally badasses that were showing us really cool techniques or some sort of crazy gymnastic movement.
Just around an hour total and you get a full body, intense work out in. You can then track your progress and see where you were at, maybe try increasing weight if it felt too light, maybe scaling a movement less. You basically get a way to better your life every time you step into the gym. It might not be a massive change, one extra rep, finishing a workout 10 seconds earlier, but you can directly see the results and accomplish more than what you thought. I do morning classes usually, and crushing a workout that I didn’t even think I could finish, sets up my day for success. I already get a huge win before I even start work.
Morning class was a fun change for me. I’ve always been a morning person and I went full steam ahead towards the morning classes. It was actually a pretty big change. It would give me motivation to not have an extra glass of wine at night, leave a bar a little earlier, order a little bit healthier meal, all because I would directly see the benefits of those better decisions the next morning. I also started delaying breakfast and having just a cup of coffee or two to get me going in the morning. I would add some MCT Oil Powder (Quest) to my coffee to give me a little extra power and my body really liked it. In addition to feeling better about my mornings, the morning class was filled with a bunch of younger professionals in the area that were all getting a workout in before going into work. It was a great fit for a community of like minded individuals and it felt great to be a part of. Also it’s crazy to see how badass some people really are.
It took me my first year of working out to realize that I had not actually lost any weight. I stayed pretty consistent because I realized that I would reward myself with a huge sandwich after and it just wasn’t conducive to losing weight. I didn’t really need to, but after that first year I went with a lower carb and higher fat diet and within a month dropped like 10 lbs and felt even better.
A last thing I want to touch on is something that I’ve always struggled on; effort. Everyone is trying really hard at the gym and it’s obvious when you’re sandbagging a workout. I’m extremely guilty of growing up being afraid to show that I was trying at anything. It’s weird looking back looking through that lens, and it’s even weird writing it down. I avoided struggle, obstacles, and would try to find the easy way out of a situation. I don’t even know where it came from, I guess maybe it was from being a shy kid? In Crossfit there’s no way around a workout. You are going right into it and you are going to redline. Think about Ryan Holiday’s “The Obstacle is the Way,” and I was living this. The struggle was the obstacle and I was heading right towards it. I found this to probably be the biggest game changer to my life. Work got hard, I stuck with it and ramped up to match it. I didn’t run away or find an excuse, I solved it. I stood up for what I knew to be right and reaped a lot of benefits.
More than I really wanted to go into for just a category header. I’ll likely walk through different workouts and my struggles of getting back into a gym after 3 months of not working out due to the pandemic. I should probably mention that I found a gym that has all outdoor workouts and is extremely safe with distance, wiping down any shared equipment, and is not crowded.
In short; Crossfit is not just for bro’s, and it’s worth sharing the benefits that I’ve seen over the last five years.
I’m open to any questions about this if you got them. I think we should all have some sort of fitness regiment in our lives and the most important factor is that it sticks for you.