Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you will probably have heard the word ‘CrossFit’ being thrown around because somewhere, someone on your Facebook is for sure talking about it.
I first set foot in a gym at some point during my late teens and although I loved the idea of being able to run for more than 10 minutes on a treadmill, it just wasn’t really working for me and I found myself going through periods of either being at the gym everyday or not going at all.
I think this is probably the norm for a lot of young girls when they first join a gym as you’re kinda left to your own devices with no real understanding of what the hell you’re doing, or maybe that’s just a really bad assumption! Sorry girls!
Fast forward a few years to when I joined Next Generation Gym in Swindon where I ended up teaching Zumba and meeting Rich, who was working there as a PT. As I got to know him better, Rich gave me a few workouts to do, which would be more beneficial to me instead of using the cardio machines. I started doing a lot more weight training, a bit of olympic lifting and some high intensity workouts. Little did I know that a lot of these workouts were actually CrossFit workouts or WODs as they are called in CrossFit.
After Rich and I got together, he mentioned about us joining a CrossFit gym but somewhere along the way I’d heard bad things about it and I just wasn’t interested.
For those of you who don’t have a clue what I’m talking about when I say ‘CrossFit’, I have taken the definition from the official site:
CrossFit is constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity. All CrossFit workouts are based on functional movements, and these movements reflect the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more.
So anyway, back to hearing all the bad things about it. I’d heard that no one at CrossFit cares about form or technique; that they would potentially push me to lift heavy weights without worrying if I was doing it properly and quite frankly, I just wasn’t prepared to put myself through that.
Rich started going and kept telling me how much I would really enjoy it seeing as I was basically already doing similar workouts in the gym by myself. I caved (mainly because him constantly banging on about it drove me insane) and went along to Crossfit Cirencester for my first free taster session.
I’ve been going for the last 3 months now and my initial assumptions couldn’t have been more wrong. And ok, maybe it’s not for everyone; I know there are a million articles out there written by people who say they have had a really bad CrossFit experience, they swear blind they were made to lift heavier and do movements they had no idea how to do, risking injury. But I’ve seen many many people in the gym lifting with bad form or piling on weights which I don’t think they should be lifting till they perfect their technique, but you know, who am I to judge? I for sure wasn’t thrown in at the deep end and all of the coaches I’ve had so far have checked my technique before I’ve been allowed anywhere near a ‘heavy weight’. Just sayin.
All I know is I’m having a pretty good time so here are 5 things I love about CrossFit.
1. The atmosphere
You know that feeling of walking into the gym and wishing you were anywhere but there? Me too. Everyone is in the zone; focused on their own thing with their headphones shoved firmly in their ears so they don’t have to communicate with anyone else. I for one do not always feel motivated to workout when I enter the gym and I can count at least a handful of times where I’ve only made it as far as the carpark before turning my car back around and leaving. True story.
This isn’t the case with CrossFit. When you arrive you know everyone else in the room is going to be doing the same workout as you are and there’s a buzz in the air which makes me feel excited for the hour ahead.
2. Being out of my comfort zone
When I workout alone, it’s all too easy for me to not push myself because hello, who the hell wants to feel uncomfortable if they don’t have to? LOL. I’d much rather stay within the safety of my comfort zone where nothing hurts and I have every faith I will be able to perform whatever it is I’m doing with ease. This is actually one of the main reasons I joined CrossFit as I needed to surround myself with people who were clearly happy to push themselves, to make me see that I too have the potential to go the extra mile and do things I never thought I was capable of doing. Nothing like a healthy bit of competition to kick you into gear! 😉
3. The WODs (workout of the day)
One of the great things about CrossFit is you don’t have to think too much about what you’re doing for your workout. YAY! At CrossFit Cirencester we have a Wodify app where the workouts get released the night before and you can sign into whichever class you can make that day. The workouts are different each time and concentrate on various skills, from gymnastics and olympic lifting through to endurance training and HIIT sessions. Basically, I turn up, get it done and leave knowing I’ve had a good workout. If you’re like me and really can’t be arsed to plan a workout or think too much about what you’re doing, CrossFit is for you!
The first rule of CrossFit is: You always talk about CrossFit. 😉
Even though this is a running joke, I have to admit, it is a little bit true. Rich’s brother Stewart used to drive me mental talking about CrossFit every time I saw him and now I fear I may be doing the same thing! Oops. I’m even wearing bright coloured leggings, which I swore I’d never do and drinking protein shakes without milk… GO ME!
Seriously though, I’ve met some really lovely people over the last few months and it doesn’t matter which class I go to, everyone is really welcoming and supportive and this makes a massive difference from being at most gyms– just my opinion of course.
Of course I’ve saved this one till last because let’s face it, seeing results is one of the main reasons we feel motivated to workout in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, most of us know diet plays a massive part in how we look and the 80% diet, 20% workout rule still very much applies– it sucks, I know– however, going 3 times a week for the last few months has really improved my overall fitness and I’m definitely stronger. Last week I managed 2 personal bests– a 30kg strict press and a 75kg back squat! I was well impressed with myself and I know for a fact had I not had the encouragement from Andrew, one of the coaches, and David, the owner, I wouldn’t have pushed myself to make that lift.
I really enjoy my workouts now, and that to me is worth everything.
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