As I mentioned in my previous post, now at the beginning of the year I had wanted to share about some of my favorite fitness and nutrition programs. I shared about the nutrition program I have used the most- Ultimate Portion Fix so now I wanted to share about fitness!
I have a few in mind I would like to share about but I feel it’s fitting that I start with CrossFit since this is what I am doing now as far as fitness goes. I imagine most know what CrossFit is but for those who do not- it is a workout that combines strength training with high intensity interval training. You will do a little bit of everything that falls in the intense category such as weightlifting, plyometrics, running, gymnastics etc. In other words, expect a combination of anything that is high impact. Although not always, we will usually start with a strength training portion. We’ll then jump into the metabolic conditioning portion which is where you can expect to start sweating bullets if you aren’t already. Finally, sometimes there is a finisher which will incorporate more focused body building type exercises as opposed to some of the more explosive weight lifting movements associated with CrossFit. If you’re looking for Pilates or Yoga this is not for you.
I have done CrossFit now on and off for about 10 years! The first time I gave CrossFit a try was January of 2012. I was getting married August of that summer and I nervously decided I would give it a try to get in shape for the wedding. At the time I was lucky there was a box minutes from my house.
CrossFit gets a bad rap for causing injury and while this can happen like it can happen doing any type of exercise, I find if done correctly and carefully you can workout safely.
I have to admit that although I had worked out since high school at normal gyms, sometimes with a trainer once a week, the first time I experienced an addiction to fitness was in 2012 when I first tried CrossFit! There is something about the camaraderie in the classes, the music blasting, and that feeling of throwing heavy weights and dripping in sweat that causes an addiction to the workouts. I love that you don’t need to think about programming your workout. They come up with it for you and it’s usually a tough workout leaving you feeling like your hour at the box was time well spent.
Since I have done it on and off for so many years I have noticed that it evolves. Over the years, equipment has been added to the workouts such as dumbbells (maybe it was the boxes I was a member at circa 2012 and 2013 but I do not recall dumbbells), the dreaded Echo Bike and the ski machine. Again, this may also be specific to the box but the warm ups are also about 15 minutes long these days compared to the shorter warm ups in earlier years ensuring you are ready to lift heavy weights or do the high rep counts the workouts may call for. My box has recently incorporated a body building day on Thursdays where we slow down the pace and focus on weight lifting either upper body or lower body. It’s a nice change of pace and you can be sure the muscle group you worked out will be sore.
With CrossFit I find weight loss may not be as easy as I found it with Orange Theory (likely the next fitness platform I will be sharing on!) but you will most definitely get stronger. It is more of an ‘all around’ workout since the focus is not only on cardio but on a combination of strength training and cardio.
I know many may feel that it is not for everyone,however, I do find if you have an injury or limitation, usually the coaches will find an alternative for you so you can still get a workout in.
My Tips for CrossFit:
- GIVE IT A CHANCE- I feel this is an important tip for any fitness regimen… you may not like it the first time, or the second, or the third especially if you have not worked out in some time and are out of shape. Don’t give up after the first class! In a few weeks you’ll be stronger.
- YOU ARE YOUR ONLY COMPETITION- In CrossFit is can be easy to get caught up in the competitive side of it. Some people love that side of it and there is nothing wrong with some friendly competition. However, for me- the only person I am competing with is me from yesterday. Oftentimes I will also feel as if others in the class finished faster than me and many times they do, but sometimes it may be because they used lighter weight than I did or scaled a movement more so than I did. Other times they really were faster and there is nothing wrong with that! You may also not have slept well the night before, hydrated properly or fueled your body in the best way. Give yourself grace.
- LISTEN TO YOUR BODY- the coaches are there to help and you should definitely always pay close attention if they are correcting your form. They are also there to push you to have the best possible workout. That being said, in the earlier years when I did CrossFit, I learned the hard way if a weight is too heavy or if I needed to take a breather, listen to your body even if the coach is telling you to keep going. Don’t short change yourself out of a good workout BUT you don’t want to get to a point where you are throwing up or worse, you get injured. For the record- I only had an issue with this at the first CrossFit box I attended back in 2012.
- EXPECT TO BE SORE OFTEN- You will be sore… ALL THE TIME! But hey… that means it’s working right?
If this is something you are curious about trying, I say go for it! You will be feeling much more fit in a few months! I’ve also found that every CrossFit gym has a great community with really supportive people. If you are in the Miami area, Peter and I have been at IMT CrossFit a few months now and we love it! I was also at Kendall CrossFit pre Covid and have nothing but good things to say about it, however, almost 2 years later with all the changes in our world, the schedule at IMT was more convenient for us. As far as the first gyms I tried about 10 years ago, I do not know if they are even still in business since it’s beens so long!
As I always say with anything fitness and/or nutrition related, I love talking about this stuff so always feel free to reach out with any questions!
Thanks for visiting!