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Crossfit - A Reflection after 15 months

I've been Crossfitting for around 15 months now and thought it's time to reflect on my original post "Crossfit - A reflection after 2 months". For convenience I have copied the post below since the original was made on my personal blog.

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Crossfit - A Reflection after 2 months

A few friends have been asking how my partner and I are going with our crossfit. Some just think we are crazy by putting ourselves through all the pain. Here’s a summary after 2 months.

What do I love about Crossfit?

  1. You notice yourself getting stronger.  I started using 13kg for most of the Olympic lifts (eg. Thrusters, push press etc) Now I am using 20kg. Same with the kettle bells, from 8kg to 12kgs.
  2. Your routine constantly varies. This means your muscles never gets use to the routine and you can never get bored as you are constantly challenged. End result? You will surely always be sore and will notice changes to your body.
  3. Your strengths and weaknesses will balance out. I used to have a really strong core  relative to other body parts. Now my core is not as strong BUT other body parts like my back and shoulders are the strongest they have ever been. This holds true to their philosophy, “you won’t be great, but will be good in all things”. Think about it. Can an Olympic lifter run and jump fast with agility, flexibility? No, but a person who does crossfit should, even though they will not hold a world record for their Olympic lift. If you asked me, this is much healthier.
  4. The routines are short but effective. Before crossfit my other half and I may spend 60-90mins at the gym. We maintained our fitness but did not get stronger. A crossfit routine greater than 30min is rare. Most are 10-20mins. Yes it’s short, but very intense. Most of the time you end up on the floor huffing. It’s great for those short on time.
  5. You can do your WOD anywhere. BTW a WOD stands for the “Work out of the day”. At home? On holidays? Well, it doesn’t really matter. You can always make up some sort of WOD as it does not rely heavily on gym equipment. At most, basic weights, kettle bells and a bar or box.
  6. I am always doing something that challenges me.  The fact that some people think we’re crazy is kinda cool as sometimes we look at the routine and think that’s crazy too. That’s when you aspire to the saying “one day”. When that day comes it’s so satisfying. Today, not only did I find out what a “pistol” is….. ie. A one legged squat. My partner and I were the only 2 in the class that can do it. 2 months ago I recall attempting one after seeing a youtube video on “what is crossfit?”. I attempted it but nup, no go. So today when the trainer told us to try were really surprised that we could. BTW here is an example of a pistol onyoutube. What next? Aspire to do deeper pistols and maybe even with a kettle bell one day.
  7. Comradeship. There is a feeling of togetherness. You cheer each other on. You get to know your mates weaknesses and when one day you see them hit the next level, you are happy for them too. It’s a bit like the 5 finger community when barefoot running started. You even speak a different language. AMRAP – As much rep as possible. FRAN – 21-15-9 Thrusters, pull ups. Yes, they name some of their WODs.
  8. Competition is the motivator. Unlike having a personal trainer who pushes you, the main motivator in crossfit is the fact that you are being measured either for time or number of reps you can complete. Crossfit games is one of the largest competitions in the world. Think they said 70,000 world wide competed this year.

Does it bulk you? This is a question constantly asked by my girlfriends. Answer: No. You are doing too many reps for it to bulk you. Plus as I mentioned above, the routine constantly changes. Sure you will build muscles however in a good way. My other half on the contrary has lost weight. His shoulders use to be huge, as that was his focus at the gym. Now he is more balance with stronger legs. Shoulders are still strong just more balanced. A more balanced being = being more healthy :)

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Reflection after 15 months

Surprisingly all in all the comments above still apply. It's still constantly varied, so you don't get bored. You are constantly challenged and our Box is like our extended family. There are lots of non-crossfit related social events. And yes, competition or seeing others around you improve overtime is a motivator and inspiration. Accomplishments in the last 15 months (even though I was sideline for 3-4 months due to a non-crossfit related injury but more on that later) includes:

  • Handstand Push Ups (HSPU) - Ticked
  • Double Unders - Ticked
  • Kipping Pull ups - Just Ticked
  • Muscle Ups - errrrrr........I wish.......

Yes, the impossible does happen. I used to think HSPU was just crazy!

Additional thoughts and learning (now that I am wiser)

  • Crossfit is just one form of movement. It's made me more interested in movement in general. How can we run more efficiently? What is fascia? How and why mobility maintenance is so important? Things I personally think Physical Education (PE) classes in school should teach.
  • Crossfit was the instigator for us becoming Paleo. Eat to Perform and be fuelled by nature. Because you can immediately feel the difference, you're more inclined to stick to it.
  • Your body will change. And yes, if you were skinny you will no longer be skinny. Isn't this functionally better? The courier came the other day and was thoroughly surprised that I could lift a 15kg box with ease. Having said this, I'm going to spend more time doing Hip Thrusters. Something rarely covered in Crossfit. It supposedly will give you the best looking butt ever. More about that in a separate post.
  • Crossfit highlighted my weaknesses. I say this in a good way. If you are conscious of your weaknesses you can do something about them. As Chris Spealler would say: "Find your weaknesses, make friends with them, then beat them to death".
  • Crossfit made me conscious of my incorrect movements. By making conscious I mean the dreaded word "injury". When I broke my nose (not doing Crossfit!) and then went on to overdo pistols as it was one of the few things I could do since it was low impact. Little did I know that the tendency for my knee to roll inwards was the root cause for future injury. I've moved this way my entire life, so why now? Injury is a pain however now I see injury as a positive thing. It's always the result of wrong movement or inadequate strength. Better to fix issues now rather than wait till you are old. The longer you leave it, the harder it is to rectify.
  • Crossfit is not everything. At the end of the day, back to my original point. Go out and explore other things. Gymnastics, yoga, team sports..... Crossfit just gives you a good foundation for life outside the box.
  • Response to "uncle rhabdo". People are not perfect and since Crossfit is made of people, Crossfit will also not be perfect. Learn to listen to your body. Be sensible. When you need to rest, rest. Like with all media, a small percentage of the population is highlighted as it makes for good headlines.
  • Response to Injury. All types of sport are prone to injury. In actual fact sitting at your desk is also prone to injury (aka back and neck problems). You can sit at your desk all day and fret over the risks or just get out there and feel good accomplishing something. The choice is yours.

Bottom line?

We're still passionate Crossfitters. Like many, Crossfit has not only changed our perspective on what it means to be fit, but our attitude to life in terms of mind, body and spirit. In mind, you are constantly inspired and more confident as you conquer movements you thought were impossible. In body, you're the fittest and strongest you've ever been. And in spirit, the camaraderie and inspiration you get from the community lifts you. With any sport there are always negatives however the positives definitely outweigh the negative. For those considering, don't listen what to others have to say. Try it for yourself and then make your judgement.

Wodnut

Passionate about eating healthy, training dirty and looking and feeling great. Read more on About Us.

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