PRing my back squat
Time for one of those non-recipe related posts. One where I can deluge information on you like the proverbial projectile vomit of an overworked weightlifter. Oh sorry…..bad analogy there.
So most of you know, by now, that I switched over to CrossFit last summer, roughly seven months ago. Before CrossFit I was doing a lot of running and Beachbody workout programs such as Insanity and P90X. Having done various workout routines (of mostly my own creation) for the previous 8 years, I was totally stoked to be doing these DVDs. They gave me great results (I lost over 20lbs doing Insanity and P90X gave me a good muscle base to start CrossFit with) and I talked about them non-stop to anyone who would listen.
But I kept hearing about CrossFit….
Also, my neighbours (whom I could see working out outside my living room window almost every day…sometimes at night with big halogen lights….making really loud rumbling, house shaking noises…what WERE they doing out there?) were total CrossFit junkies, they had a complete CrossFit box in their garage complete with numerous barbells, an erg, dip stations, rings, wall ball targets, plyo boxes, jerk boxes, kettlebells, you name it!. I wanted to talk to them about it for the longest time, but I was just too shy to do it.
Practicing Double Unders
But being a FitFluential Ambassador, I just kept seeing CrossFit everywhere. Then The CrossFit Games happened and I knew I wanted in on that shit. Here were all these beautiful, strong, fast people who could do amazing things with their bodies. I had to talk Adrian into it. We NEEDED this.
We had the neighbours over for dinner. We talked about nothing but CrossFit. We borrowed DVDs of the 2009 Games in Aromas on the Ranch and we were hooked. The stories of these seemingly completely normal people becoming super human in strength attracted me on so many levels. I could do those things! I could look like that! We started plowing through every online video from CrossFit.com to the Journal to people’s own personal experiences to boxes all across the world. We started doing body weight WODs in our living room. Then our new best friends (the neighbours) started loaning us gear. A training barbell, a plyo box, an old medicine ball. We were set. We started following online programming from Invictus, a well known box in San Diego.
Practicing KettleBell swings
Things snowballed from there…
We started eating a Paleo diet as most CrossFitters eventually experiment with. We both felt better than we had ever felt, we were both making progress with our workouts and muscles were being added slowly but surely.
In short, we drank the Kool-Aid.
We heard the long and the short of it. We saw the bad and the good. We saw where the criticisms for the sport came from but we also saw the amazing talent it attracted as well. Don’t get me wrong, as anyone who joins CrossFit and sees the ins and outs of Greg Glassman, CrossFit HQ, Dave Castro, partnering with Reebok and everything else CF entails knows, you start to form your own opinion of the machine. There will always be people who give a bad name to something with their interpretation of it.
Can CrossFit cause injury? Yes. More so than, say, road running? Probably. But I don’t look at road running as so much a sport as CrossFit. I think CrossFit needs to be held up against other team sports such as hockey or football. Yes, CrossFit is a sport. The level of injury can be high, but do the movements correctly, practice correct form at every movement, use mobility movements to loosen tight muscles and generally take care of your body and you will see results like nothing you have ever achieved.
A study has just recently come out, conducted by Ohio State University Health & Exercise Science that proves that CrossFit (combined with a Paleo diet) does wonders for your body. It lowered body fat in individuals by an average of 3.7% in males and 3.4% in females they also increased their lean muscle mass by an average of 1kg. They also improved their VO2-max by 13.6% in males and 11.8% in females. That’s an amazing accomplishment and is a genuine aerobic fitness gain that cannot be argued.
Our awesome neighbours and friends.
The negatives of the study were that 16% dropped out due to overuse injuries. This is the fact that the shows that CrossFit can cause injury if you don’t pay special attention to your loads, your form and your body. You MUST take rest days (most CFers recommend three days on and one off), you must mobilize, stretch, compress sore muscles and do everything in your power to not get injured.
I will take this above average risk any day. Why? Because the gains are ginormous! Would you rather spend two hours at a regular gym doing barbell curls, lat pulldowns and the always embarrassing adductor machine six days a week or do an hour of fun, functional movements in a group setting where people cheer you on if you’re last? Hmmm, tough choice there.
So with all this CrossFit love and being surrounded by completely addicted CrossFitters (we call them CrossFit nerds, level 1000) there came a point where the CrossFit Games Open was just unavoidable.
BAM! Results speak for themselves
So what is the CrossFit Games Open?
From games.crossfit.com: “The 2013 Reebok CrossFit Games season is a three-stage test of fitness, comprised of the Open, Regionals, and the world championships, the CrossFit Games. The season kicks off with the Open, the most inclusive competition in the world. The top athletes and teams in each region from the Open will move onto Regionals. The best athletes and teams at Regionals will compete at the CrossFit Games, the world’s premier test to find the Fittest on Earth™.”
That pretty much sums it up. I am going to pit my results against every CrossFitter on the planet. I don’t expect to win. Heck, I can’t even perform some of the tougher gymnastic movements. But you know what, I don’t care. It’s MY community. These are my people. People that see a world of healthy individuals who have a great sense of GPP (General Physical Preparedness), who see the freedom in being able to do anything you want. Being able to run, do jump, to pull and push myself, to pick up my kids (who keep getting bigger) to pack all my groceries up the stairs, anything I want.
CrossFit is something I do think everyone should try. Even if you can only perform movements with no weight or super slowly, if you keep it up, eventually you will be better than you were. It’s that simple.
CrossFit is MY SPORT. It continues to evolve as more fitness professionals see the light and I can hardly contain my excitement as it grows.
Are you joining the Open this year? Have you tried CrossFit? Do you plan on trying CrossFit?