Happy Friday! I hope everyone’s had a wonderful week, filled with some inspiring walks through God’s word and fun, challenging workouts! Speaking of workouts, this week marked my official friendship with Crossfit…
As some of you may know (and you may click the link in the preceding paragraph to learn more), I was first introduced to Crossfit back in the spring, but I never made the leap – or 24-inch box jump, rather – to fully commit to “Crossfitter” status.
What constitutes a “Crossfitter?” you may ask. I just asked the same thing and took it upon myself to Google “Crossfitter definition” five seconds ago. Here’s what I found on a Crossfit.com discussion board:
Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.
Well, doesn’t that sound just lovely.
Now for a definition found on the same board that doesn’t cause my eyelid to twitch:
“The one who drank the Kool-Aid.”
Short and sweet, but those five words paired with a deliciously flavored drink mix (despite the phrase’s tragic origins…) accurately describe the utter, unadulterated zeal of Crossfit devotees. They are passionate about fitness, excited by new challenges, driven to conquer new skills and improve stamina, strength, flexibility, and speed, and connected to the Crossfit community, which is constantly providing an enlivening, encouraging environment that pushes people to be their fittest, their best.
A forthcoming post will have to provide the nitty-gritty details surrounding my delayed Kool-Aid consumption, but I will say, I’m having a blast! I must admit, however, that learning exercises formerly foreign to oneself, such as overhead squats, is made significantly more enjoyable when taught by your significant other! I’m thankful my boyfriend is just as patient with this stubborn student as he is passionate about Crossfit. (P.S. You can check out his Crossfit blog here: http://shatteringlimits.blogspot.com/)
I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the first WOD (“Workout of the Day”) I did this week. For some silly reason, I found it necessary to work out earlier that day even though the p.m. WOD was already planned, waiting to be conquered. This was my brilliant rationale:
The WOD will only last twenty minutes. I can’t just work out for twenty minutes, right!? I need to work out chest and arms. It’ll be strength-only; I won’t wear myself out. I’ll have plenty of energy for tonight.
I’m quickly realizing that I will absolutely “wear myself out” if I continue to train twice a day, once in the gym doing a traditional weight routine, and again in the Crossfit box.
Crossfit WODs generally only last between ten and twenty minutes, but those minutes are jam-packed with intensity – no rest, 110% effort. More and more research is showing that shorter duration/higher intensity workouts yield higher benefits and better results. In actuality, the longer the effort, the lower the intensity. For example, if I run a half-marathon, my intensity will be lower than if I ran multiple 400-meter sprints. Very time-efficient, to say the least!
Yesterday’s WOD took me eighteen minutes, eight seconds. It consisted of burpees and kettlebell swings, starting with twenty repetitions each, then working down to two reps in increments of two (20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2). I believe that’s a total of 110 reps! (NOTE: I only used half of the weight prescribed for the kettlebell swings: 18lb’s instead of 35. I imagine my time would have been nearer to 30 minutes had I been a bit more adventurous! Next time… ).
I probably burned more calories and put forth more effort in those eighteen minutes than I would have lifting weights for an hour and a half. The WOD was daunting, to say the least –everyone agrees burpees are Satan’s exercise – but isn’t it true that defeating your fears and surprising yourself with your own strength and determination is one of the best feelings around? I sure think so. And that is precisely why no matter what the WOD holds for me this afternoon, I’ll accept the challenge.
Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di