Big news update: I'm training for a crossfit competition this summer. Very excited. It's been a long time in the making. Here is a little interview I did with myself and a few pictures I took of myself (awkward).
How long have you been training?
- Good question, me! I've been doing crossfit and similar style workouts (HIIT, Tabata) for nearly 4 years. At that time I had been working in a new job for several months and was finding it hard to find time to work out. So I joined a lunchtime class at my gym in the hopes of doing a really hard workout in a small amount of time. Crossfit seemed like a great bang for the buck.
Did it work? Is crossfit a great bang for the buck?
- Yes and no. Like any workout, crossfit is all about what you put into it. If you train hard and show up regularly, you will definitely see results. As in, you'll be stronger and you'll get better at it and you might even get addicted (like me). But it won't build you gigantic muscles overnight. And like any workout, it doesn't solve everything. Food is a big factor if you're hoping to lose weight. I lost 5 lbs pretty easily in the first month I tried it, but after that, nothing.
What exactly is crossfit?
- Ok, I kind of needed to look this up. I know what it is at MY gym, and that's the only place I've done crossfit (so far). Crossfit workouts are intense, it's all about lifting as much as you can, as quickly as you can, in the shortest amount of time. The workouts are timed, so there's a fun, competitive component. And we write down our times and weights afterward. I keep my own book to record my 1-rep max for the weight lifting and a few of my scores and workouts. That's all about measuring my own progress and keeping myself motivated. One important thing about crossfit is the people. It's really fun to get together and do hard workouts with a group of motivated people (not muscleheads), just regular folks. I love it.
Why doesn't crossfit make you lose weight?
- Honestly, I don't think crossfit ever promised to help anyone lose weight. So that's one thing. It's a high intensity workout that combines cardio and weights. It does not care about calorie burn so much. I think it's more about making you a powerful, dynamic person.
- In my case, I learned this the hard way. After losing that first 5 lbs I quickly realized that the weight was not melting off. I got discouraged by the scale, so I stopped getting on it. Bad decision? Maybe. I certainly didn't lose the baby weight I was hoping to lose. I did the opposite, in fact. One year after starting my crossfit journey, I weighed the most I've weighed post-pregnancy.
What do you do if you want to lose weight and do crossfit?
- I think you need to separate your crossfit journey from your weight loss journey.
- For me, I needed to tackle my food game, big time. I won't get into the details of it (less caloric intake, basically), but I will say it was helpful thinking about how much you needed to eat for that day. On workout days, I ate more, especially protein, in the mornings. On other days, I stuck to my plan. Finally by the 1.5 year mark, I was slimmed down and feeling really good about myself and my workouts. I was kicking ass. And that's exactly when I got pregnant again.
Can you do crossfit while pregnant?
- Yes! Obviously, check with your doctor first. My care providers (midwife and physical therapist) wanted me to be careful not to raise my heart-rate too high. So sometimes I needed to take longer breaks between sets or modify a movement or walk instead of run, etc. But I stuck with it and tried to basically do the same workouts as the class, just modified.
- My coach, Heidie (pictured here being amazing), also did crossfit while pregnant. She was very inspiring. If you ask her if you can do this while pregnant she will tell you Absolutely! And she will tell you about how she went into labor while doing double-unders. It's a cool story. I won't ruin it. (She had a baby afterward and he's a very sweet two-year-old now.)
What are your goals with this?
- My biggest goal was to go and compete. And I'M DOING IT!! After I had baby Hank, I resolved to get back into shape (and better than before) and enter a real competition. I got back in the gym at 3 months postpartum and all my workout buddies were preparing for the Crossfit Open. I really wanted to join, but I was like a floppy fish at that point. The following year I entered the Open, and I didn't do too bad. Out of the 8 or so competitors at my gym, I usually finished 5th/6th/7th. That was about 6 months ago. For the summer games, I am competing as a team with the lovely, Janelle. I'm hoping we finish in the middle of the pack. The middle-middle. Not bottom-middle. Ha!
- So over the years my goals have gone like this:
- Workout regularly (check)
- Lose weight (check)
- Get back into shape after having baby (check)
So that's my story, and off I go to THE GAMES on August 20th!!!