What is CrossFit and why do I love it? This is a question I have been asked so many times. The definition is “constantly varied functional movements performed at a relatively high intensity.” Still confused?
Basically, it’s a combination of three types of movement:
· Cardio (running, rowing),
· Weightlifting (dead lift, clean and jerk)
· Gymnastics movements (hand stand push ups, pull ups)
Take those three categories of movement, mix them all up together, push yourself to your limits, and you’ve got CrossFit. Why do I love it? Because I am never bored. I can push myself and I feel so strong and accomplished when I am finished. The workouts vary every day and I always feel challenged. I love knowing that I am getting stronger, faster, and more fit every day.
Another benefit of CrossFit is the community it provides. You are never alone in your pursuit of fitness. During a workout, you will always hear someone encouraging others, cheering each other on. It’s not a lonely way to work out. So many times people head to the gym, do a few lifts, get on a few machines, maybe spend some time on a treadmill, all alone. Not in CrossFit. You all warm up together, lift together, and push yourselves through a workout together. There is something to be said for having that family around you, to push you. I find that I work harder knowing that everyone else is pushing themselves too. It’s always great to have someone rooting for you.
A big reason that CrossFit was important to me this year was that I needed to get stronger so I could do gymnastics. I needed to lose weight, but I also very much needed to keep the muscle that was buried under my fat. The one advantage to being heavy is that your body actually has a decent amount of muscle. It takes a lot of muscle to move 315 pounds around. And I needed to keep as much of it as I could. If I only did cardio, and left out weight bearing exercises, I would not have become nearly as strong, and could have lost muscle. CrossFit was the perfect combination of fat burn through cardio mixed with weight bearing exercises to strengthen my body.
This whole approach can seem intimidating because at first glance it seems to be a group of really fit people, running fast, cranking out pull ups, jumping on boxes, climbing ropes, lifting heavy weight. Not things that most people can do. But, one great aspect of it is the ability to modify any movement to your level. Can’t do a pull up? Do a ring row. Can’t do a 20 inch box jump? Step up on the box. Can’t run 400 meters? Run part, walk part. Can’t lift heavy weight? Lift the bar. It really can be brought to any fitness level for anyone.
CrossFit may not be for everyone, but I LOVE it. And maybe it's right for you too?
I am so glad to have found something I love. It keeps me motivated, keeps me coming back for more. I know what it’s like to be scared and intimidated to get started, but it is so worth it.
Let today be the day you stop wishing you were working towards your wellness goals, and let it be the day you do something!
If you would like to find a local CrossFit affiliate, follow this link: http://map.CrossFit.com.