My Three Years Doing CrossFit

I can’t believe it’s been three years doing CrossFit. It seems like such a long time when spoken out loud, but in my mind, it doesn’t seem that long at all.

I had no expectations going in. I began CrossFit because, honestly, I was at a level of fitness that wasn’t progressing doing the typical “gym routine” of exercise classes, cardio, and circuit training machines. My personal trainer suggested I try CrossFit — which I did — and I was immediately hooked.

CrossFit has grown into a lifestyle for me. I can’t imagine life without it, honestly. My life beforehand seems dull without it.

After three years of CrossFit, I’m happy with where I’m at except for one thing: I don’t have my ring muscle ups. It’s a bit depressing really.

So what did I get from 3 years doing CrossFit?

crossfit babes
CrossFit Competitions Floater

What 3 Years of CrossFit has done for me:

  • Given me an amazing sense of accomplishment. I’ll never forget the first time I climbed a rope or got my first pull up. Feats of strength most women only dream of — and I did them.
  • Given me a body I never dreamed I’d have, didn’t think I ever wanted, but now that I have it, I can’t imagine not having it.
  • Given me a self-confidence that intimidates others (so I’m told).  I know what I want, and I either go do it or go get it. There’s nothing in-between.
  • Given me a focus that allows me to accomplish an amazing amount of work in a short time period.
  • Opened up possibilities of what is possible. I’ve learned everything is possible if you can overcome your mental barriers.
  • Honed my competitive skills. I love to compete, and I think I’m better at competing since starting CrossFit.
  • Made me different. We’re all unique in our own ways, but there’s something about those who CrossFit that is different than others. I not only look different; I am different.
  • Given me a determination that translates to all areas of my life. When I set my mind to do something, it gets done.

CrossFit is a Lifestyle

CrossFit is definitely a lifestyle. A lifestyle 3 years ago I never would have imagined or thought I needed.

Now, I need it like the moon needs the sun to shine. I’m smarter about it. Don’t go so hard. Try to minimize the tweaks and such. Because I want to still be CrossFitting in 15 years.

CrossFit Workouts: How Different Modalities are Good for You

Yesterday, I did a workout that was 5 minutes of work with 5 minutes of rest for three rounds. It involved a 400 m run, pull ups, and a bike. It was a great workout and I really pushed myself.

Today, I just finished a workout of 30 power snatches, 1 mile run and then 30-20-10 reps of kettlebell swings and thrusters.

Both were great workouts. But the first one I pushed myself, went really fast, but had rest. The last one I concentrated on doing the reps of the snatches, a run, and then directly into the other reps with no break except to change weight on the bar.

Both felt great but I got different benefits from them.

BENEFITS OF MODALITIES IN CROSSFIT

  • Mental conditioning. Knowing a rest was coming allows you to push yourself more because you know you get a break. Knowing you don’t have any rest is more of a marathon/pace workout where you don’t want to run out of steam too quickly.
  • Physical conditioning. You need to work all your metabolic pathways (Short distance training- anaerobic training and Long distance training- aerobic training), which makes you better at both.
  • Constantly-varied, high-intensity workouts. The reason CrossFit is so successful is it is constantly-varied and you get an amazing workout. You constantly keep your body guessing as to what it will be working and you never get bored, so you’ll be more likely to stick to your exercise routine.

Pushing yourself is important if you want to progress. Equally important is finding your pace and sticking it when you need to–so you can push your long-distance (aerobic training). You need both in constantly-varied movements to accomplish your fitness goals. Happy Training!

Crossfit hotties doing ring dips
Ring Dips CrossFit Competitions

CrossFit Competition: Women’s WOD Jam

Yesterday and today was CrossFit Omnia’s annual Women’s WOD Jam.

None of the workouts played to my strengths. It was all heavy weights with moves I’m not good at (pistols (one-legged squats), ring dips, bench press, and GHD sit-ups). Throw in an upset stomach and bloatedness, and I felt not the best. Plus, I was the oldest athlete in the bunch.

If I had known the workouts ahead of time, I probably wouldn’t have signed up.

Lessons You Learn from Finishing Last at a CrossFit Competition

  • You are stronger than you think. I did heavy lunges today I didn’t think I could do and ring dips I didn’t think I could do and pistols.
  • You are forced to do workouts and moves you’d never do otherwise. All of these workouts sucked. But I did them. Not happily, but I did them.
  • The best part about finishing last is you don’t have to stick around for awards. I left early and got home early, so my day wasn’t completely gone. I got home and took a nap. Heavenly
Rope Climbs at Crossfit Competition

Choosing How Long Your CrossFit Workout Is

CrossFit Power Cleans

I’m best at the long game.

Any WOD (workout of the day) under 10 minutes is not my cup of tea. This is why I often don’t place at CrossFit competitions because due to time constraints most of the workouts are under 10 minutes. Any workout over 20 minutes I do good at and if it’s a competition, I usually win.

Today’s Workout was a 20 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of power cleans, burpees, and a run. This WOD was fun! It was light enough weight (95 lbs) and a good number of reps (7) to keep you moving. Naturally, when 20 minutes came, I didn’t want to stop. So I didn’t.

And because I was working out by myself and there’s no class after mine I didn’t have to. I just kept going.

The Best Part about Working Out Alone:

  • I set the time.
  • I start when I want.
  • I finish when I want.
  • It truly is my workout.

CrossFit Competition: Monster Mash

CrossFit Sanitas in Boulder, CO

held it’s 4th annual Monster Mash

CrossFit Fran

individual CrossFit competition. I did this one last year and had a blast, so I signed up for it again.

This CrossFit competition did not disappoint. The day began with Fran (thrusters and pull ups), which normally I’m really good at, but for some reason I was a whole minute slower on Fran. The 8 am-10 am workout times are hard for me.

Then I had the floater which was a bike and snatches. This took place outside, and the weather was gorgeous, sunny and warm.

I won the second event of burpee box jump overs, toes to bar, and dumbbell deadlifts.

The third event had a lot of dumbbells, heavy cleans, and a row. The row slowed me down. It was fine.

I ended up second place overall in this CrossFit competition. CrossFit Sanitas is a great host. Great people. Awesome workouts and great Crossfit programming. Good day for competing!

CrossFit Competitions: Project Uplift 4.0

Yesterday, I competed in a CrossFit competition called Project Uplift 4.0 (the 4th year of this event). I got placed on a team last minute whose other teammate couldn’t compete. It was a team from CrossFit Miramont, which is where I started CrossFit about 2 1/2 years ago.

This year the teams for this CrossFit competition were 4 person–2 guys and 2 girls. I competed last year (my first CrossFit competition) and it was only teams of 2, same sex.

I didn’t know my teammates. They were nice, however. The competition was fierce. We had a strength challenge of 1 snatch, 2 hang snatches and 3 overhead squats. I did okay in this.

CrossFit Snatch
CrossFit Snatch

The next one was an AMRAP of 16 minutes that did not play to my strengths. Toes to bar, pull ups, dumbbell box step overs, and devil’s press. All the moves were brutal. Add in the 90 degree heat, and it was definitely challenging.

During Workout #2, one of my teammates had to quit the synchronized deadlifts with his partner because of his back, so we came in last in that event.

The Floater was a bike and a run–the only one I crushed.

Overall, fun day and a great CrossFit competition. They had a lot of vendors and a ton of stuff for the kids to do. My son played in the bounce house all day long. I hardly saw him. And he came home and passed out (as did I). My daughter was my official photographer (of which you see her work here). Fun.

Such a fun venue. It’s outdoors at Whole Foods Market, so amenities (and by amenities I mean coffee) is close by. Indoor bathrooms. Definitely do this one again next year. I was a bit sore this morning but not too bad.

Thanks, Miramont, for the last minute nod. It was a blast!

Here are Tips for Outdoor CrossFit Competitions:

  • Sunscreen. Use it often and frequently.
  • Drink lots of water. More than you think you’ll need. Dehydration is a real threat.
  • Sunglasses. The CrossFit competition will be brutal without a good pair of sunglasses.
  • Flip flops. At the end of the day after sweating so much, free your feet! Bring flip flops.
  • Cooler. Cool drinks will be the key to staying hydrated, feeling satisfied, and feeling upbeat as the day goes on.
  • Damp clothes throughout the day to stay cool.
  • A generator if you’re going all out with a fridge, microwave, and fans.
  • Tents. This is a must to stay out of the sun.
  • Chairs. This is an ABSOLUTE must. Sitting on the ground sucks.
  • Food. More than you think you’ll need. This goes for drinks as well.
  • Eat. Even if you don’t feel like it. You have to or you won’t make it.
  • Book. You’ll have usually at least an hour between heats. Having something to pass the time makes a huge difference. I finished my car book finally. It was good.
  • Arrive early. I can’t tell you the difference a good parking place means at the end of the day when you can barely walk to your car.
  • Have fun! It’s not about winning. It’s about doing things you normally wouldn’t do and challenging yourself and having fun! Otherwise, you are wasting your time.

I had such a fun day with my teammates and my kids and all the other competitors. We raised money for Kids at Heart, an organization that supports foster and adoption families. When you combine CrossFit and a cause, amazing things happen. Awesome!

The CrossFit Hero Workouts Will Destroy You

I told you all I did Manion on Sunday, a CrossFit Hero WOD consisting of back squats and 400 m runs. I liked it and didn’t think it was all that bad.

Until Monday. When it was hard to walk.

And then Tuesday. When it was even harder to walk.

And Wednesday. When I could walk but standing up was rough.

CrossFit Dumbbell Lunges
CrossFit Dumbbell Lunges

It’s Thursday. And I FINALLY feel back to normal. I can walk. I feel good. When I rolled out, my hamstrings were still a bit sore but nothing major.

I don’t think about these CrossFit Hero Workouts until they are said and done, which is probably a mistake on my part.

Doing the numbers, in one round, I moved 2,755 lbs. In all 7 rounds combined, I squatted 19, 285 lbs. Not the most intelligent thing to do. But CrossFit Hero Wods are meant to be hard, and I’d dare say, meant to destroy you.

Tips for Surviving CrossFit Hero Workouts

Just cause CrossFit Hero Wods are hard doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever do them. They are meant to honor the fallen who have given their lives so we can still workout and do all the things we love doing in this world. Here’s some quick survival tips for CrossFit Hero Wods:

  • Plan ahead. Do these when you have rest days coming up or not a lot planned for the next few days.
  • Crunch the numbers ahead of time. Sometimes this can be detrimental mentally if you look at the sheer volume of reps and pounds moved. However, you’ll want to plan your other workouts around the Heros so you’re not lifting heavy the day before.
  • Increase expectations. I didn’t think much about this CrossFit Hero Workout. I just knew it would be long. That was my mistake. Plan for these workouts to take you out. Just like Bruck, it’s the unexpected that can kill you in the end.
  • Recover properly. Hydrate. Refuel with protein and electrolytes. Plan active recovery workouts in the following days. Keep moving but not too much.

CrossFit Hero Workouts are some of my very favorite. But each are tough in their own way. Some are tougher than others, but if you plan accordingly, these will become some of the best workouts, the funnest, and some of your favorite workouts in CrossFit.