February marked my one year anniversary of doing CrossFit. Although I wish I had talked more about my experience throughout this past year, my goal for this post is to reflect on the highlights from my CrossFit experience so far.
Before diving in to my story it’s worth sharing some of the CrossFit background since it is truly unique compared to any other gym and workout.
What is CrossFit (in 100 words or less)? Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise, but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts; deadlift, clean, squat, presses, clean & jerk, snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics; pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc. hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.
– Greg Glassman, CrossFit Founder
And yep, that basically captures CrossFit in a nutshell. The cool part is every box is an affiliate to the CrossFit brand that the box owner can structure any way they want. Basically this means each box is it’s own business with its own culture (trained by CrossFit headquarters) and it’s own workout programming so every box is slightly different. (In case you don’t know, a CrossFit gym its called a box 🙂 ) Here’s a great article that dives deeper into CrossFit’s roots.
The box I’ve been going to for the past year was a great one to get started with and the top three things I liked most about CrossFit are:
- Coaching with weights. Before CrossFit I was not scared of using weights AT ALL since I was somewhat familiar from high school sports and light-weight lifting on my own occasionally. That said, I’m a little paranoid about getting injured (cause who has time for that?!) so I especially love with CrossFit you need to build a foundation with good form. I found two coaches who were very attentive to watching form while the class did the WOD.
- High-Intensity that no one would do on their own. I don’t care what ANYONE says… CrossFit high intensity interval training isn’t the same thing basic bitches call HIIT. There are WODs where for 15 minutes straight you’re gasping for breath and the next day your lungs feel sore just like the muscle group you worked. No joke. And the only reason why you finished it is because coach was there pushing you past every limit. I don’t know about you but I can’t kick my own ass like that. 😉
- Teamwork culture. Even though I just said every box is different and will have their own culture – something that is in the blood of every box is teamwork. Most workouts are solo (some with partners) so everyone is focused on themselves but in the background you’ll always hear people cheering you on!
Wow!… it was kind of hard to pick just 3 because there’s a lot I really like and have learned from CrossFit! Maybe I’ll write about those more in the future, but from an overview standpoint, these 3 are my top.
Every list of likes comes with a list of dislikes but I actually don’t have any complaints other than after a whole year, I wish I “looked” more like a Crossfitter. Let me take a second to say it is NOT a fault of CrossFit but my OWN failure to have only stayed on track about 70% of the time instead of the 100% needed to reach my “vision”. That said, I can see some visible definition – especially in my quads and triceps. Overall I am also stronger with most exercises and movements. As for the look, I can’t get back lost time BUT I can take this as an opportunity to share what I would have done differently from the beginning AND what I’ll be focusing on moving forward to hit my goals:
- Commit to at least 4-5 days per week.
- Follow a meal plan from day 1.
- Practice mobility daily (yoga, stretching, accessory work).