Friday, September 21, 2012

Just a Little Spiel {for the ladies}

I bet you wouldn't have guessed that this is a post about CrossFit. Don't turn away just yet! Hear me out. I get a lot of questions about what CrossFit is and why I do it. I've had a few guys ask about locations, but usually its the girls who want to know intricate details. As soon as I mention that CrossFit uses weights I get the immediate response of "I don't want to get bulky, so that's not for me." What girl wants to get bulky, I know I sure don't.

Most girls think more cardio is the way to go, without incorporating any strength training into their workout routines. I say this because I was one of those girls a few years ago. Every day I would go to the gym and get on the elliptical, treadmill, or step climber for 45 minutes to an hour and watch tv or read a magazine. The machine always told me that I burned 500+ calories so I thought it was a job well done. Wrong. My body never really changed, so I thought that limiting my food intake + an hour doing cardio was the better way to go. Even more wrong.

I began strength training my Junior year in high school and loved it. I would go for a 30 minute tough session at a great gym - they incorporated weights with plyometrics (fast and powerful movements). I loved it, but it quickly became a love hate relationship. I got results immediately and then plateaued for quite a few months following, which in turn made me lose motivation to go. Enter the cardio cycle once again.

Once starting college my fitness routine was very up and down. My Junior year in college is when I really started my fitness routine on my own without a trainer. Let me just tell you, it's pretty hard to get yourself motivated after a long day of class when you know you're working out alone! I did pretty well, I'd do 15-20 minutes of quick cardio then 20-30 minutes of weights. I stayed in shape but I still hadn't busted out any goals or changed the way I looked.

Braden started CrossFit last year and would always come back and tell me how intense the workout was. He'd mention med ball cleans, rope climbing, hand stand push ups, and other ridiculous things that I thougtht sounded outrageous - I thought to myself "there's no way I could every do any of that!" Plus, I thought I'd never be able to afford it on a college budget (Is CrossFit Too Expensive). Well.. I decided to give it a try this summer and it literally took that first work out and I was sold. I understood why everyone loves it so much.

It's hard to explain to others, it really is. But if you mix a wonderful community who encourages you to push harder, go faster, and lift more weight - how could that not be a winning combo? I think we all love each other because we overcome fitness feats together. Now I don't consider my weight as a deterrent of my fitness successes. I used to go to the gym and use 15lb dumbbells because I didn't want to get bulky.. whereas now my weights are usually no less than 55-65lbs. I can deadlift more than my body weight 5 times for 3 rounds, and I can back squat even more than that! My goal is to get stronger, faster, and to do things I never thought I could!

If I haven't proven my point just yet...

If you're more logical, then here are a few of the health benefits of CrossFit:

  • Increased and restored bone mineral density to combat osteoporosis
  • Increased lean body mass - yes, this means curves ladies!
  • Increased balance and coordination
  • Increased metabolic rate - burn more calories when you're not working out
  • Increased performance in everything you do - climbing stairs, picking up groceries,etc
  • Feel better and look better - reduces overall body fat, gives you more energy, and boosts confidence!
Ladies, don't be afraid of lifting weights. The only way to become crazy bulky is to take supplements. Healthy, clean eating (paleo if you will) paired with high intensity workouts is bound to lead you down the path you want to go - one that's faster, more fit, and stronger than you've ever been! Have I mentioned that there's no age limit?

She's 74.. no big deal

I have decided to post my own results after 6 months of CrossFit, so that will come sometime in December. Posting results, weight, or anything of that sort has always been a touchy subject for me. But since starting CrossFit, I've gained so much confidence because I know that I'm working hard to achieve goals! The post title was a little misleading.. I guess this was more than just a "little" spiel.

This post may mean nothing to you, you may not change anything about your workout routine, and you may think this is all a big bit of bologna - and that's totally fine! I just wanted to share my own story and successes that have come from CrossFit. If you want to check it out for yourself, I'd love to take you to your first class! There's no better way to form your own opinion than to just try it for yourself. After all, we're all creatures of curiosity right.

Just some food for thought. This post is definitely geared towards the ladies, but the fellas are definitely welcome too!

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