Hey everyone! I have a special post for you all today. I have been talking a lot about doing CrossFit soon, we are starting at the beginning of June when we move to Martha’s Vineyard for the summer. But I figured if anyone was curious about what it was I would ask the one person I know who is obsessed with it. Laura from Fit-Campus and I are part of the Tone It Up community I always talk about on here. She loves this sport. This girl seriously can’t get enough and her and I are a lot a like. I figured if she loved it as much as she does I knew it was something I had to get into. So without further ado, I give you Laura. My favorite CrossFitter, blogger, and motivator. 🙂
OCD: Obsessive CrossFit Disorder
My life is fitness. It always has been. I was a figure skater for over 10 years, played soccer, softball, and even have my black belt in Thai Kickboxing. When I went to university, I kept up with my love of sweating by going to the gym almost everyday, and taking our on campus fitness center’s aerobics classes. After almost four years of this, I was beginning to fall into a rut. If you ask my family or friends, they will quickly tell you how I get bored of the same routine pretty easily. I needed something new…badly…and fast. That is when I discovered CrossFit: The sport of fitness.
CrossFit, simply put, is a strength and conditioning program. You will run, row, do pullups, pushups, squats, lunges, jump rope, and also perform some Olympic style weightlifting like power cleans and squat snatches. You join a CrossFit Box like you would a normal gym, but you will soon discover you joined a community (or cult if you will) rather than just a place to workout. If you don’t know much about CrossFit and ask around, you will probably get very mixed reviews. This is how I see it: those who know about it but have never done it, probably have something negative to say. Those who do it will probably never look back (myself included). So, why do I love it so much?
The Community: Like I briefly state above, when you join a CrossFit box, you join a community. One could easily argue that your local gym is a community too, but trust me, it’s not the same. There are no mirrors, no fancy machines, no treadmills. Basically, there are no reasons to ignore the people around you and focus only on yourself. When I arrived at CrossFit Nittany for my first ever workout, everyone in the class automatically saw a new face and introduced themselves. The nerves I originally had quickly disappeared. I couldn’t believe how nice everyone was! Endorphins make you happy, right? Even after a few classes I started developing friendships with people. I look forward to going during the week, not just to get an insane workout, but to see my friends. I can tell you right now…after 3 ½ years of the same aerobics classes on campus, I never made one friend.
The Workout: It probably seems a bit obvious, but of course the workout is one of the reasons why I love CrossFit. I’ve never felt stronger in my life. After getting tested in September and then April (3 months after joining CrossFit) at the fitness center on campus, I’ve learned my VO2 max has improved by 7%. VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can utilize during intense or maximal exercise. Before CrossFit I was a runner. Who knew 5 min WODs would improve my fitness level better than an hour-long endurance run?
Now, both personal trainers my mom has had at the gym don’t like CrossFit for one reason: the volume. If you have weight trained at the gym before, you are probably used to doing only 3 sets, 10-12 reps. Then you go to a CrossFit box, and you do 3 rounds for time of 30 wall balls and 30 low hang squat snatches. You might be thinking ‘Hold up…90 wall balls? 180 total squats!?’. Yeah, it seems a little crazy, but the thing to remember is you’re only competing against yourself for time. You can take breaks and break up the wall balls or squat snatches however you like, such as 3 sets of 10 for one round, etc. And if it’s too much, scale the weight down. While CrossFit sometimes involved high volume of workouts, if you’re smart about it, you’ll be fine. Trust me, there is no greater satisfaction than finishing a WOD where you thought you were going to die after the first round. Not to mention anyone that finishes before you will be cheering you on until you finish. If that’s not motivation, then I don’t know what is.
I know everyone’s opinion and experience with a certain sports differs greatly, but I wanted to share mine with the sport of CrossFit because I love it that much. Of course the monthly fee can be a bit pricey, but I will never regret spending my money on something I love.