Friday, April 19, 2013

What is Crossfit? & a few Workouts to Try @ Home :)

Happy Friday! TGIF folks :) I told y'all earlier in the week I would be sharing something random on Friday's, whatever's on my mind, and today that is Crossfit. What is Crossfit? I get this question all the time and it's kind of convoluted answer. (I know my mom just read that and fist pumped for the word "convoluted" btw, great word;)) In very basic terms Crossfit is a strength and conditioning program. Usually in a Crossfit- style workout there is a warm-up, a strength portion (some kind of weightlifting) and then an interval style cardio workout (Like a high intensity interval training kinda thing). I've been doing Crossfit since September of last year and I'm into it. I wanted to share with you my little story of how it came about and what I love about it now! {Warning this post gets kinda long, sorry I have a story to tell y'all!}

Now here's the thing about me. I'm lazy. I like to watch shows on Bravo and bake things and working out has never ever been my thing. I know that staying active is important, I've just always loathed it. I've done the standard gym thing before, I was a member of a YMCA. I would go in and do the elliptical for a while and then try some of the machines, I really had no clue what I was doing and didn't really feel like it was doing anything for me honestly. I tried the Zumba classes and they were fun but I never got hooked enough to do it regularly. I've tried to go jogging and be a "runner" but that's just really not in the cards for me, and when you're doing solo running it's really hard to hold yourself accountable to stick with it! I just resigned myself to the fact that I'm not an "active person" and I was okay with it. I made little jokes about myself "um I don't work out" "I don't like sweating, ew" and I just decided that was the way it was. My husband on the other hand is super active and started Crossfit about 3 years ago. He is in incredible shape and people are constantly asking for his advice on working out. It was always awkward for me, "Hey here's my super fit husband, he works out like crazy. Me? No, I don't work out. I'm cool" Whomp whomp. He would try to get me to go to the gym with him but I just felt like he was way far ahead of me and I was so out of shape that I could never keep up and I would just be a burden. Fast forward to last summer when he was deployed overseas and I was staying with my mom in Jacksonville for the summer. Our anniversary rolled around in September and I was stuck on what to give a man who is in the desert. Sending him a nice watch would obviously be pointless, new clothes were no good, any material items would be totally out of place in his situation. I thought about it and decided I needed to make a grand gesture. I'm actually pretty good at those, I'm a dramatic person by nature. :) Lo and behold there was a Groupon type deal for a local crossfit gym I came across online. Obviously it was written in the stars, I would do Crossfit, take pictures, and send them to him for his anniversary present. I told my mom my idea and she was super excited, she even offered to go with me and try it out as well! She's really the best :) We signed up for class and I didn't say anything to Nick about it, I wanted it to be a surprise!

The first day we showed to the gym we were TERRIFIED. I seriously could have walked away right there. You have to understand I hadn't worked out in probably 3 years and when we walked in people were lifting heavy weights, flipping around on rings, doing pull-ups, running, tossing medicine balls onto a wall, using a crazy rowing machine, jumping on boxes, it all looked so intimidating to me! I'm actually getting anxiety right now thinking about the way I felt walking into the gym that day! One of the coaches came up to us and introduced herself, she was so nice and immediately made me feel a little better. A little. I was still horrified. She took us through all the different equipment and gave us a little introduction to the gym and then showed us the workout we would try that day. It was a base-line workout just to use as a point of reference so the coaches could know where we were physically. This was the workout:

500 M row (on the rowing machine)
40 Air Squats
30 Sit- Ups
20 Push- Ups
10 Pull- Ups
For Time (Meaning do it as fast as possible)

Sounds easy enough right? OMG I thought I was going to DIE. Literally have a heart attack right there. I got through everything and was more exhausted than I had ever been in my life. It was actually pretty embarrassing, my mom beat me in the workout and I was a 24 year old in terrible shape, dying on the ground post workout. We took a picture of me with the sign to send to my husband that night:
Do I look exhausted?! I was dead. I sent the picture to my hubby that night and said "Happy Anniversary! Here's your present!" It was on Facebook chat and it took him a moment to respond. He was in SHOCK. This was probably the exact opposite thing he imagined I would be doing. He told me he cried a couple happy tears and it was the best gift he had ever received. Grand gesture, check. 

Now I had one session down and I was scared as heck to go back. In my mind I would NEVER be able to do the things I saw other people doing in the gym that day. I was weak, out of shape, and SCARED. Luckily I had already paid for 10 sessions and the cheapness in me outweighs the laziness so 2 days later my mother and I took our butts back to the Crossfit gym for our first real workout. I learned that day a lesson that I would continue learning over the weeks I spent in that gym, I could do MUCH MORE than I thought I could. I was out-of-shape, weak, and slow but I could do the same things that everybody else was doing- maybe less reps or less weight or at a slower pace but I could DO IT. Some days were exhilarating as I lifted much more weight than I thought my weak arms could handle, and some days were extremely frustrating as I realized how poorly I had treated myself in the past years. I laughed during some workouts because they were fun and I cried out of frustration in one too. But I never quit, I continued to push myself and felt good about something I was doing for the first time in awhile. The coaches were AMAZING they never let me quit on myself or undermine my worth. They taught me the correct way to do things and encouraged me during every workout. If I didn't show up one day, everyone in the gym would give me hell the next time I came- "um where were you?!". It's a community, a little family! It motivates you to keep going back and it becomes a routine. My mom was KICKING BUTT also, which was a huge motivator to me- I couldn't let my mom be better than me! But she usually was. And I'm okay with that. I've learned that Crossfit is competitive, but not with everyone else- I'm much more competitive with myself. I want to lift more than I did last time, I want to run faster, jump higher, be more efficient. 

Crossfit has changed me. I'm so not the same person. I now would definitely consider myself an "active person" and when I went to my check-up at the doctor last week I gladly checked that box. I feel better about myself than I have in years but it's not just because I'm different physically, I just feel STRONG. Feeling strong is an AMAZING feeling. I highly recommend it. It's better than feeling skinny or pretty, those things can come naturally- I WORK to feel strong. 

Currently I workout 4-5 days a week. I try to be on a "3 on 1 off" schedule- workout 3 days, rest 1. Some days I can't wait to workout (weird!) and other days I dread it. I always feel better afterwards though. I have a great group of guys and gals I work out with regularly and we all keep each other moving. Like I said, it's a community. It's not like a regular gym where everybody is doing their own thing and no one gives a hoot what you're doing, EVERYONE is rooting for you, everyone is there to help you. My mom is a full-time member of the gym we originally started at- Bold City Crossfit in Jacksonville, FL. I HIGHLY recommend you look them up if you're in the area, they are awesome! I don't know if I started somewhere else if I'd still be doing this well. Check them out here {

I did this the other day: 
Handstands and power cleans. Yeah, we do handstands- how fun is that?! And power cleans, who am I Arnold Schwarzenegger? I kinda feel like him when I do them, I feel like a beast! But I can do stuff like that now, things I NEVER thought this self professed "No upper body strength" girl could ever do. If you're interested in Crossfit I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you look into joining a Crossfit Affiliate. A lot of the maneuvers, especially the olympic weightlifting stuff- you need a coach for. They are very technical and can be dangerous if done incorrectly! There's just no better environment than a Crossfit gym. The coaches, the members, it's just SO different from any gym you've ever been to. In a GOOD way. If you want to find a gym near you (they're EVERYWHERE, I guarantee there's one near by:)) go to and check out the "affiliate map" Most gyms do a free introductory class or have a free open gym on Saturdays so you can go get a feel for the environment before you join. DO IT! It's fun. :)

AND If you'd like to try some "Crossfit- style" workouts at home with zero equipment to see what all the fuss is about here's a couple:

 Workout 1:
4 Rounds for Time (Complete as fast as possible!)
Run 400M (a 1/4 Mile)
50 Air Squats

Workout 2: (This one is BRUTAL we did a couple weeks ago)
50-40-30-20-10-20-30-40-50 (9 rounds, 50 reps 1st rd, 40 second round, 30 3rd rd etc..)
Jump Rope (double unders if you have them)
Sit ups

Workout 3:
On the Minute Every Minute for 12 Minutes complete:
3 Broad Jumps (jump forward as far as you can)
Sprint 30 yards
(IE: Minute 1: 3 broad jumps, sprint 30 yds then rest until min 2)

So that's just a sample... if you want to get into the really good stuff you need to go to a Crossfit gym. I could go on and on about it, but you should really just try it :) AND I want to thank my lovely hubby for introducing me to the world of Crossfit and for my fabulously inspiring mom for joining me in the journey :)



  1. This is a great post! Crossfit scares the beejezus out of me. Mainly the box jumps do. I think people think it's too intense for them and think that they can't do it. They focus on muscle ups, pull ups, double unders... They don't realize you can scale it down :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Kristen :) Crossfit is so not scary once you get into it! I was definitely initially terrified but now I can't imagine what else I would possibly do! Box jumps are still scary for me - I just got my first 20" box jump literally 2 days ago! Felt awesome. But up until then I was just stacking bumper plates for about 16-18" box jumps. I love that everything is scale-able. Mostly I just like to lift heavy weights a lot more than I thought I would ;)

  2. Thank goodness for Groupon!! I started CrossFit 6 weeks ago with a $39 Groupon. I simply cannot pass up a bargain! My daughter has been a CrossFit geek for almost two years. She has encouraged me to try, but never demanded. I'm 60 years old, female, 40 pounds overweight and out of shape. As a former athlete and three time marathon runner, I was desperate for a change. CrossFit was what I needed!! Although I scale some of the skills, my goals are to build overall strength and lose the weight. I'm happy now to pay full price for my membership. Crossing my fingers that I ALWAYS stay with it!

    1. Ah, you sound so very cool :) I'm sure your daughter is as proud of you as I am of my momma! That's exactly what I LOVE about Crossfit how every movement is scale-able so literally anyone can do it! Sounds like you are kicking butt :) Let me know if you're ever in the Panama City area so we can do a WOD together ;)!

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