With the New Year only two days away many of you may be thinking about getting in better shape. It can be hard to find a regime that works for you. So, I thought I would share my journey and how I found a happier and healthier me.
Three years ago I was working out five days a week at a large corporate gym. I would get off from work, commute an hour and then spend two hours working out. It was exhausting. I had no time to spend with my friends and family—I hardly had time to eat dinner. Even worse I wasn’t getting great results. I had hit a plateau and felt stuck. I was one of those cliché girls who would run on the treadmill for forty minutes, then jump on the elliptical for another thirty minutes, spend forty minutes weight training and finish with ten minutes of stretching. You would think I was training for a fitness competition. But, that’s just what I thought was necessary to stay healthy and slim. It wasn’t until I met my boyfriend that I discovered I could finish a workout in twenty minutes and be in the best shape of my life.
My boyfriend started experimenting with CrossFit shortly after we met. He's an extremely fit athlete and this new regime was seamless and natural for him. I on the other hand was reluctant and nervous. How could I reduce my workout time so drastically and still get results? Would all that weight lifting cause me to bulk up? Is it enough cardio? I had all the common questions when I first started. What I found was that you can get a great work out in twenty minutes (or less) and that you only get bulky if you are trying to get that way.
While I still like to mix up my routine such as going for a long run or rejuvenating at a sweaty yoga session, I’ve realized that CrossFit has improved not only my fitness, but my quality of life. I now have more time to do things that I enjoy and my confidence is the best it’s ever been.
Is CrossFit Right for You?
1. CrossFit caters to your individual fitness level.
If you have no experience going into your first class your workout will be set at a beginner’s level. Whether you’re an elite athlete or a grandmother—everyone does the same work out. What changes are the intensity levels and the volume. These are based on age, weight, strength, endurance and flexibility.
2. Focuses on functional fitness.
Functional fitness is among the latest buzz words in the fitness industry. There's a good reason for it. It tailors your training so your body is better able to handle real life situations. Crossfit focuses on building a body capable of daily activities such as: lifting, jumping and climbing.
3. Works the whole body.
CrossFit gives you a full body workout in 20-60 minutes. Most workouts combine body weight movements like push-ups and squats as well as endurance and cardio movements like running, rowing, kettle bell swings and box hops.
4. Curbs boredom.
Boredom is one of the biggest causes of burnout in fitness training. Doing the same daily routine not only drives you crazy but also diminishes results. CrossFit is constantly varied exercises. This helps eliminate boredom and plateaus.
5. CrossFit is a community.
One of the biggest misconceptions about CrossFit is that you have to be extremely fit and competitive to join. The classes have a friendly competitive atmosphere. No matter the fitness level the cheers and support of your fellow gym members will help take you to the next level. CrossFit builds camaraderie through the sweat and tears of a challenging workout.
6. Go hard or go home.
One reason why CrossFit may not be right for everyone is the mental and physical toughness that is essential to your improvement. Of course, if you’re injured or ill you are not forced to push through it. However, you should try your best in every workout.
Check me out on my gym CrossFit Cadence's blog on Tuesday.