You’ve all heard about CrossFit. You may have even watched theCrossFit Games! I don’t know about you but CrossFit intimidates me. It’s kind of extreme. One of my best friends is a CrossFit fan and I asked her about it. Please welcome my friend “A.” If you’re considering CrossFit, read on and learn more about her journey!
Here we go.
Getting Started with CrossFit – A’s Journey
What were you doing before CrossFit?
I was doing free weights and running at 24 hour Fitness prior to Crossfit [sic].I’ve been a chain gym member since 1997 so I’ve spent a lot of time at the gym, taking various classes like body lifting and kickboxing classes. I first started to lift weights when I had a personal trainer and he helped empower me to step into the weight room.
It’s definitely intimidating when you are the only female in the free weight section but after a while, I didn’t care what men thought and if they were staring at me. I was just there to work out.
After having a personal trainer for more than year, I realize that my weight was held prisoner by diet rather than exercise. Exercise is very important but when I changed my diet, the weight started to fall off and my body composition started to change dramatically. Prior to my personal trainer, I was up and down the scale quite a bit but never reaching below a certain number. I was never able to thin out as much as I have until I changed my diet.
Plateaus happen frequently with me. Ilost 40 lbs after the diet change but find myself at very long plateau now. After I started Crossfit, I’m at the same weight but my body has changed and leaned out. Right now, the only way for me to lose weight and get leaner is to eat less.
What made you look at crossfit as a potential new fitness routine over the gym or fitness classes?
I discovered Crossfit in 2009 on Youtube. It looked too intense for me and I was still pretty heavy back then. Crossfit wasn’t even a consideration until 2013. A primary reason why I got into Crossfit was seeing results from members — sculpted bodies I inspire to have. The other reason was a sense of community. I was incredibly bored at 24 Hour Fitness. No one was friendly and I was the only one there to push myself. At the Crossfit gym, everyone is incredibly friendly and encouraging when you’re working out. It definitely ups the ante in terms of even showing up and being present at the box.
I do appreciate that people at the gym will welcome you even if you’re overweight. We all understand people’s limitations and we do nothing but encourage those people to perform better and hit those PR’s.
What are your fitness goals?
To do unassisted strict pull ups with completely flat abs….and be shirtless, doing it.
How did you find your CrossFit gym?
There are several Crossfit gyms, otherwise known as boxes, in my area. I did a Yelp search and the reviews tipped me towards the one I’m at. The Facebook pages of the gyms were also a deciding factor of which gym looked like the best fit.
I ultimately went with the biggest box in town because the members were very active on the box’s FB page. I could tell these people were truly good friends who razzed one another online. That was the biggest draw for me to join the box I’m at.
Getting started – how does a CrossFit instructor help get newbies comfortable with new exercises, membership?
The first step was the free beginner’s class. No joke — it was pretty intense to someone who has never crossfitted. I started to see stars during the beginner work out of the day (WOD).
After that class, you have to go through a series of one on one Foundations classes with a coach. In these classes, the coach will carefully watch your movements and see what you’re capable of. He/she will also go through Olympic style lifting moves so you can lift properly without injury.
You learn and then forget. You learn again when you’re in class and your coach watches your technique. It has taken me months to properly lift. Regardless, everyone will critique your technique so you can not injury yourself and lift heavier.
What kind of routines do you do? (WOD)
- 20 back push ups
- 200m run
- 20 GHD sit-ups
- 21 Deadlifts (suggested weights for men/women: 225/185)
- 800m run with ball (suggested weights for men/women: 20/14)
- 15 Deadlifts
- 400m run with ball
- 9 Deadlifts
- 200m run with ball
What has changed in terms of your body?
My weight has not changed but my body composition changed within 1 month of Crossfit. I became stronger and leaner in the arms and my abs leaned out a bit. This is after being on a 6-month plateau after I left my trainer. I wasn’t seeing any results after my initial weight loss and before Crossfit.
Gear! What’s your favorite workout outfit?
I really like Champion C9 Premium shorts (at Target!) — great quality material which some have compared it to Lululemon. Lululemon is very popular with the ladies. I see some Under Armor for men. There are also a ton of WOD-related type of sayings on shirts.
What’s happened since you’ve been going to CrossFit for the last several months? Any hiccups or speedbumps along the way?
Injuries are very common. I was out of commission for a few weeks twice during the last 8 months of Crossfit due to lifting too heavy and improper form. My back and shoulder paid for it.
Would you recommend CrossFit to anyone?
YES. It’s a great way to exercise and meet people who motivate you to keep coming back. Yes, there are people who have drank the kool-aid and are very much into the Crossfit culture. HOWEVER, there are uninformed haters who claim to read a lot about Crossfit enough to judge it. Those are the most annoying critics — people who haven’t even tried it yet warn people against it.
I believe as long as you are careful and know your limits, you should see great results w/o (too much) injury.
Thank you to A for sharing her story! I have seen her changes firsthand and you can’t doubt that CrossFit has made her stronger, leaner, and quite frankly, more confident in her body. If you have any questions for A, send an email to me and I’ll forward it on to her!
Now that you know what CrossFit has done for one person, will you give it a try?
Tell me in the comments!