September 2, 2012

{Fitness Corner} Back on Track (again) and doing Crossfit

I am back... It has been some time since I have actually really posted on this blog. Life has been quite busy. Health and fitness has always been important to me and since having Baby Bear 3 years ago, I have been doing my best to get back to my pre-pregnancy body. Well, I tried to do it on my own, there have been many attempts but I have not been successful. I workout on a regular basis and eat decently, but I have not been seeing any results or changes. I do fit into most of my pre-pregnancy clothing but I am not comfortable wearing the form fitting clothing that I used to wear since I am still trying to get rid of those last 5 lbs of baby weight that won't seem to budge.

I decided that I needed to do something, Baby Bear is now 3 years old and I don't have any really excuses except for trying to find time. Life is busy as a working mother with a toddler. Well, I decided it was time to force myself to find the time and really focus on getting back on track. Doing things on my own was not enough and not making an impact. I worked out on a regular schedule but I wasn't seeing any results. I had done bootcamp to get in shape for my wedding and I know that working out with others and having that regular push really helped me and pushed me to keep going. Plus knowing that I shelled out money for it kept me on it.

So in late June (just after Baby Bear's 3rd birthday), I decided to join a crossfit gym close to home. I though about doing bootcamp again like I had before, but I also heard a bit about crossfit, so I decided to do a little research (can't help it, after all I am a psychologist who does research for a living). As I did my research, I liked what crossfit had to offer me and opted to give it a shot.

What is crossfit?

From Wikipedia: CrossFit describes its strength and conditioning program as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement," with the stated goal of improving fitness (and therefore general physical preparedness), which it defines as "work capacity across broad time and modal domains." Workouts are typically short—20 minutes or less—and intense, demanding all-out physical exertion. They combine movements such as sprinting, rowing, jumping rope, climbing rope, weightlifting, and carrying odd objects; they use barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, kettlebells, medicine balls, and many bodyweight exercises. These elements are mixed in numerous combinations to form prescribed "Workouts of the Day" or "WODs."

Compared to bootcamp, crossfit offered smaller classes and more of a community of people to workout with. Also, tracking and logging your progress is strongly encouraged. Being the data driven person that I am that really appealed to me so that I can see evidence of my progress.

So I am in month 2 of crossfit and loving it. I love that the workouts or WODs can be modified or scale to my personal level, the classes are small and the trainers at my crossfit gym are awesome and really work with you to ensure you have the right form and basics.  I am constantly challenged. I haven't done the same workout twice quite yet. I feel stronger and I love the intensity of the workout and just feel great at the end of WOD. Beat and tired, but great and kind of proud that I made it through the workout.

I have seen progress from just the regular warm-up routine which consists of 3 rounds of 30 seconds of reps of pull ups, push ups, sit ups, and air squats. I've done push ups, sit ups, and squats with no problem. But pull ups, those are tough. So I started with the bands to assist me. I started with really thick green bands and after a few weeks, the trainers moved me to the next level (bands with less resistance). And just last week, the trainers moved me to the next level. I feel stronger with my pull ups. It will be a while before I can do a pull up without the assistance of the bands, but I am working towards it. Crossfit has been great for me in this short time. So far I love it.

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