CrossFit. My goodness, doesn’t that sound daunting? I had heard the word ‘CrossFit’ thrown around for many months, mostly from reading blogs, or from random status updates on Facebook, and my old personal trainer in Toronto was always going on about it, but I didn’t really know what it was. Sure, it was something to do with sweating. Yup, it looked hard. Yarrrr, it sounded pricey. And damn straight you better believe I assumed there was no-way-jose I’d ever be able to do it, because, well, I was too fat for it…
Actually, being overweight is what stopped me from signing up for CrossFit for many, many years. The thought of me and my stomach moving weights, running around, and being seen was very unappealing to me, but still, I had heard CrossFit’s high intensity workouts were the way to go if one wanted to lose weight, so I always had it in the back of my mind.
Then one fateful day, as I was doing what I do best; creeping dee Internet, I stumbled across CrossFitCBD’s (a CrossFit near my house in Melbourne) Facebook page and randomly sent them a message. True, a really lame message, but it was a question I really wanted to know.
Am I too fat to do CrossFit?
But soon enough a response graced my Inbox; “no.” and then “come on in for a trial.” And so I did, shaking in my boots I might add.
I really had no idea what to expect going into my first CrossFit session. Everything was so foreign to me, and to put it frankly, the place looked like a torture chamber. But the people were friendly, and the coaches explained everything as I went, and despite having Bambi legs when I left, I was hooked!
So, What exactly is CrossFit?
By definition, Crossfit is a strength and conditioning brand that mixes weightlifting, sprinting, and gymnastics all into a system that is executed at high intensity. The workouts developed by Crossfit are all influenced by our human nature which is full of movement such as standing, sitting, throwing, lifting, pushing, pulling, climbing, running, etc.
Umm, what? Regular-person lingo please…
Simply put: think of a bootcamp, a bootcamp where you show up a few times a week and written on a board is a different, random workout. Everyone who shows up that day will be doing that exact workout. And every time you show up, the workout is a different length and type (they vary a lot!).
Here’s an awesome video (which I’m in!) which will show you a bit more about CrossFit.
How does it work?
So there you are. At your “CrossFit bootcamp” reading the WOD (Workout of the Day) on the board. And suppose it’s something like this:
Looks daunting, doesn’t it? Firstly, “Barbara” is just the name of this workout (WOD). As I’ve mentioned before, CrossFit Headquarters names their benchmark workouts, which means the workout of “Barbara” is this exact CrossFit workout anywhere in the world.
So back to you standing there and staring at the board. You know it’s Barbara, and you read “5 Rounds For Time,” which means exactly what it says; you’ll finish this workout once you’ve done 5 rounds of an: 20 pull ups, 30 push ups, 40 sit ups, 50 squats, 3 min break.
Now if you don’t know what the actual movements are (don’t fret - most people don’t), you’ll be TOLD and SHOWN. That’s the beauty of CrossFit; at the beginning of each and every single workout the Coach will DEMONSTRATE the movements for you. So never worry about not knowing what to do, or feeling stupid. (Everyone started somewhere!)
Am I too fat, unfit, weak to do CrossFit?
No, no and no again. It is actually impossible for anyone to be too big, too unfit, too weak or to uncoordinated to do CrossFit. That’s actually the beauty of CrossFit - everything (and I really mean every single movement) can be modified. And by that I mean all the movements have many different variations ranging from the newbie level, to elite level.
Ex) There is no way I can do a pull up. But they have coloured bands with different elasticity to help you, OR, if you’re like me and still couldn’t do a pull up even with bands, you can do ring dips (which everyone can do).
Will CrossFit make me lose weight?
In my very scientific tubby-girl opinion, you can run marathons until you’re blue in the face, or do CrossFit until you pass out on the ground, but neither nor will make you lose weight until you get your eating under control. Trust me. I know this oh-so-too-well. I gained 4 pounds my first marathon training season, and what do you know? After 3 months of CrossFit I did not lose a pound. WHY? Because I was/am eating too much. S.I.M.P.LE.
Actually, did you know the average person GAINS weight when they join the gym? Because they do. Suddenly you believe you can eat the world because you sir, are exercising. False. Also, scientifically you are just a hungrier hippo when you work out.
So be aware; CrossFit definitely has *huge potential* to help you lose weight, but it’s not your one hour of working out that will make you lose weight, it’s the other 23 in your day that will decide. Remember that. That’s important.
Did CrossFit Change Your Body?
Yes! There is no question that CrossFit delivers amazing physical results. I’ve seen it firsthand through blogs I love, and people at my CrossFit. I got stronger (look!), faster, and a lot more toned. True, the scale didn’t drop, but my clothes fit better.
So why Should I do CrossFit?
Because CrossFit is truly the ultimate fitness. CrossFit Headquarters has said many, many times that the goal of a CrossFit athlete is to be very, very good in the top 10 fitness domains (cardio, speed, coordination, agility, balance, accuracy, power, flexibility, strength & stamina), as apposed to being an elite level athlete in just one. And that’s really what will happen - you will physically improve in *all* aspects of your body.
I’m Not Sold, Why Else?
CrossFit is also individually based. So you’re only ever competing against yourself. It’s not a competition, but it could be if you wanted it to be. It’s up to you. But one thing that’s for sure, is it’s SO supportive. Everyone wants what’s best for everyone else. You’ll find encouragement there, and be able to set (and smash) goals for yourself.
How often did you go to CrossFit when you first started? Do you go more often now?
When I signed up I hoped to head to CrossFit 3 or 4 times a week. But, umm, well, I fell in love with it and often now find myself going 5 or 6 times a week. Even on vacations! (Perth, Brisbane, Paris & London).
What shoes do you wear to CrossFit?
I wear New Balance Minimusshoes when a CrossFit workout involves certain specific movements such as box jumps, running, pull ups with bands or double unders. For the majority of the weightlifting WODs, or WODs that are simple I go barefoot. I find I get more stability being barefoot (but this is completely personal preference).
Is CrossFit expensive?
Crossfit is expensive. Sadly, that’s a fact. My CrossFit in Melbourne, Australia, CrossFit CBD, cost me $560 for 3 months. That’s $187/month. $46.67/week. And $11.67 a time if I go 4 a week. Or $9.33 a class if I go 5 times/week… In my opinion it’s without doubt worth it. I promise.
Would you recommend CrossFit or Running?
There are *lots* of CrossFit terms, which could come off quite scary. So…
- CrossFit Box: The gym where CrossFit happens. Usually a long, rectangle space (think garage) where one could find everything they need to perform WODs.
- WOD: The “Workout Of the Day” is the workout CrossFitters perform on a given day.
- CrossFit Headquarters: The dudes who started CrossFit. You’ll note how CrossFit is always spelt with a capital C and F… that’s because it’s a brand. Think of CrossFit HQ as head office.
- An affiliate CrossFit (like CrossFitNYC, CrossFitLondon, etc.) is a gym, or “box,” that’s officially affiliated with the CrossFit HQ brand. In order to become an affiliate, gyms must have CrossFit-certified trainers on staff and have got their box/gym name approved by CrossFit HQ.
- AMRAP: "As Many Rounds/Reps as Possible" during a specified time period. Ex) 20 min AMRAP of 5 pullups, 10 push ups, 15 squats. That means you’ll do as many rounds of the 5 pullups then 10 push ups then 15 squats in 20 minutes. (note: this WOD is called Cindy)
- For Time: This is another type of WOD, where you’re given a set list of things to do, and then you grab your time at the end.
- RX: RX refers to performing / completing a WOD as prescribed without any adjustments.
This applies not only to a specific weight that a movement was intended to be used with, but just as importantly, to a complete range of motion of which the movement was intended. For example, to “RX a WOD” you’d have to complete it as written on the board, so for Cindy, you couldn’t do knee push ups, or use a band for pulls. RX is the goal of people who have been CrossFitting for a while.
- CrossFit Vs. Running
- There Was This Fat Girl at CrossFit
- "This is CrossFit" - My Melbourne CrossFit’s video
- Halloween CrossFit WOD
- Coming Last at CrossFit
- Review of my first CrossFit WOD
- Tagged CrossFit posts
- Back Squat: 70kg / 154 pounds (Dec 12)
- Bench Press
- Clean & Jerk:
- Deadlift: 100kg / 220 pounds (October 15, 2012)
- Front Squat:
1-10-1-20-1-30 = 55,40,55,30,55,20 (Dec 19)
- Overhead Squat:
- Press: 35kg / 77 pounds (October 10, 2012)
- Pull Up: 1 red band (during a WOD red & orange)
- Box Jump: 20”
- Max 250m row: 52.1 seconds (Jan 2013)