Why I Crossfit and You Should too

Crossfit Deadlift

It’s effective. After I first started Crossfitting, this chick, who couldn’t even do 5 girl-style pushups started doing regular pushups within 2 weeks…and lots of them too. I saw muscles, I had innate strength for daily life.

It just freaking works, you must have faith in the methodology and the programming.  If you’ve been trying boring treadmills and elliptical and traditional strength, bodybuilding routines and have gotten burnt out and bored and haven’t seen results, give Crossfit a try.  The reasons why and how it works are found at the official Crossfit site.

It doesn’t take very long. The longest Workout of the Day (WOD) I’ve ever done took me about 30 minutes and that was only once. So, it’s effective and it’s quick – WIN!

It’s not boring. Every WOD is different.  Even if I’m doing the same one I did 3 months ago, it’s still different because I’m lifting more, jumping higher, running faster, running longer distances, etc.  So you never truly repeat the same work out twice.

And, it’s so intense that for those 10 or 15 minutes you’re WODing you cannot focus on anything else on your mind. If you’re worried about something, or your mind wanders, or if you can’t turn off all the ideas in your head, you’ll get a reprieve during your WOD.  The result is better focus and increased concentration in other areas of your life.

It changes your thinking as well as your body. The attitude and mentality of Crossfit is to get it done. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.  Only when we’re uncomfortable do we push ourselves to excel and find our limit and then to set the goal of obliterating your limit.

When you actively and purposefully make up your mind and decide to do a WOD and never think “I can’t do this,” your thinking changes.  All of a sudden, you think “hell yes, I’m going to get this done,” and the amazing thing is you start thinking that way in other areas of your life too.  The elevated sense of accomplishment and confidence you give yourself when you do something you  never thought you could is a huge ego boost – you will feel better about yourself.

Its adaptable and ever changing, but never really changes. The basic principle behind every WOD always stays the same.  The cumulative effect of the “constantly varied, functional movements executed at high intensity” keep your muscles guessing – keeps them adapting and changing and growing.  In practicing unpreparedness, you’re actually prepared for those things you didn’t prepare for.

As I said, I may do the same exercises in the same order for the same number of reps as I did in a previous WOD, like Helen, but the next time I do it, I WILL be faster and stronger, this is how it’s adaptable.  Regardless of my level of fitness any WOD can be adapted to my needs.

Another way to put it – I may squat 165 pounds, you may squat 65 – but we’re both squatting the same number of reps for the same number of rounds and we are each being challenged at our individual levels of fitness.  Next time I’ll probably squat more and you definitely will, after doing all the other varied WODs in between.

A WOD can be done almost anywhere, anytime, with little or no special Crossfit equipment. You just need some space to run, a bench to jump on, a ground for situps and pushups, and your own legs for squats.

There is a site with a huge listing of bodyweight workouts. If you’re traveling and have access to a hotel gym, even better – substitute dumbbells for kettlebells, the bench for doing dips, the treadmill for running outdoors, dumbbells for front squats, snatches, kettlebells swings, etceteras.  Burpees require only as much floor as you have in your hotel room or less…so if all else fails, trust in Burpees.

It’s primal. There’s something to be said about getting into a workout and not being bored, and having to put all of your focus and energy into the task in front of you.  I’m a dancer in my heart.  To me dancing is a very primal activity, you have to enjoy and appreciate moving and challenging your body as the music commands – you have to feel the music and movement deep down.

I guess that’s why Crossfit appeals to me.  You have to be in touch with your body and all that it can do.  It’s just me and the WOD, no one else can WOD for me – and I’m the one who gets all the benefits!

This video may be intimidating but understand that most people going into Crossfit can’t do the things on this video.  They built up to it through the programming provided by Crossfit.  The promise is that if you’re faithful in consistently WODding you will improve and acheive elite fitness.

Now, I’m no firebreather (Crossfit slang), and this week was my return to Crossfit, doing my first WODs in months.  The reason I didn’t do it for so long are many and too complicated to go in to, but I’m back now. I realized that I lost muscle, gained weight, and in general feel crappy, and I can return to feeling amazing by going back to Crossfit.

I have a dear friend and neighbor who is an alternate on the Crossfit Games team from Crossfit 760 who recently acquired her level 1 certification, so she is qualified to help me get back in the saddle, as I can’t afford to go to the affiliate at Crossfit 760 at the present, but I have lots of weights, a pullup bar, and even a tire to do workouts with. I’m very grateful to her for her willingness to coach me.

Her and I started Crossfitting together a while back and last year had vowed to be able to compete in this year’s games. She made it, I didn’t it. In the face of her husband being deployed, and other trials, she didn’t quit, whereas I did.  But I know I haven’t failed, because I’m trying again…and you only fail when you stop trying.

There is more to come about my adventures in Crossfit as I get back into it and I’ll even post pics at regular intervals to show you how just a 10 or 20-minute WOD 3-6 times a week can change a body.

Have I convinced you to give Crossfit a try? Here are some ideas on how to get started with Crossfit