barbell hang clean
I used to workout more for aesthetic reasons than for anything else. I just wanted to “look good” and possess those six pack abs. I never thought about working out just to feel good. These days though my first reason for training is to enjoy it and to feel good. The aesthetics comes with it by default.
I went into Crossfit because it’s time-effective, it’s high-intensity, it’s full-body workout and it combines all different types of training methods. And the people that do it look pretty good. But I came out of it feeling so good that my main reason to go back was because of how I felt. Strong and confident and proud of myslef.
The very first workout I did, after going through some foundations took only 20 minutes, but it was the toughest workout I think I ever did in my life. I drove home still sweating and my muscles shaking. And that was after a 10 minute cool down and stretch.
The workout consisted of a pre-warm up of dynamic stretches and a 800 meter run, followed by a “grueling workout of 10 pushup, 15 squats, and 5 pull ups every minute on the minute for 20 minutes. If you hadn’t finished your round in a minute you don’t get to rest. But if you do it under a minute then you rest the remainder of the time. And I didn’t get any rest and I don’t remember how many rounds I did.
The other thing I like about Crossfit is that I don’t have to plan or think about what workout I should do, or what body part to workout or not workout and if I’m targeting the same muscle too soon etc …
Back when I used to do the traditional gym workouts and split body parts routines etc.. I spent quite a bit of time just thinking about what exercises I should and how to best split things up. After two hours in the gym several days a week I still felt at times unbalanced in my strength and I never quite targeted every muscle, at least not the way Crossfit targets them.
And it never worked very well for me. I would get bored and lose intrest and try researching another method to training or try pilates or yoga for a while and then try to go back to the gym. And I found myself in this vicious circle of to gym or not to gym for many many years.
With Crossfit it’s different. I haven’t reached bordem yet and I’m not researching any other training methods. My body and mind seem to be saying this is it. This is it for me. I have to admit though that there were (in the beginning) a few times, maybe two times at the most, when I wanted to quit and give up and do something easier like running. I was afraid of the workouts, I still am at times. But that is what made me go back again and again until I was addicted. I went back to overcome the fear.
I don’t have to plan anything and I never know what workout I’ll be doing. Our Coach never tells us what the WOD (workout of the day) is untill just before we do it. We do our warm ups (which at times feel like “the” workout of the day) and consist of things like body weight squats, sprints, dynamic stretches etc then followed by some type of new strength and skill practice like hang cleans, deadlifts, muscle ups, handstand pushups etc.. This all takes just 10 to 15 minutes. Then we do the WOD or workout of the day.
Coach gets on the dry erase board and starts writing the WOD, at which point we all watch in anticipation. This is the moment we all fear. Each day I wonder … will today’s workout be tough, grueling , or near impossible? It’s never easy that’s for sure. I know I’ll get through it though. The fun part is … How fast will I get through it? and how much more will I lift? or how many more reps can I do?
It’s almost always a surprise to me that I even make it through the workouts. And that I did it again. It gives me a confidence I’ve never experienced before. It’s definitely an athletic feeling. With Crossfit I feel like I’m always a winner. Because I did it. And I beat myself each time. I beat my own mind that is.
Crossfit is more a mind training for me than anything else.
I lift more than “my mind” believed ..
or I run faster than I thought I could …
or I finish more reps …
or I do an exercise I didn’t know I could even do (handstand pushups on a wall)
I just do so much more than I believed I could. And I always surprise myself.
And the greatest benefit is that it has made me much more aware of my thoughts and how to change them to be more positive … not just in my training but with everything I do in life.
Everyone I know that does Crossfit, if they’ve tried it more than once that is, has this same positive energy. They seem so confident and so dedicated in every way. And they seem to be pretty sure that this is a far better way to train than what they’ve tried in the past. And I think it’s because of the “mind and body” training aspect. It makes you stronger not only physically but mentally as well.
“There are really no limits or boundaries except those you set for yourself…”