You know how you know a person does Crossfit? Don’t worry they’ll tell you. Do you know how you know if someone’s completed a marathon? Don’t worry they’ll tell you. That joke is old and dumb. People who are passionate about their hobbies and sports will of course tell you! I love talking about my ever evolving fitness!
My love for Crossfit started years ago when I saw the Crossfit Games on tv. It was a strange competition with people working out in the weirdest, hardest ways you could imagine, but i was sucked in. These girls and guys are the epitome of FIT. And not in the strange, posed, spray-tanned, starved for weeks to make the veins pop, body builder way. They are active, healthy and moving fast. Simply put, they are athletes.
I had a small taste of Crossfit when I used the Crossfit Endurance training plan to work toward a fast 5k. I noticed the strength portion of the book was simple, effective yet tough. It reminded me of how I train clients: varied functional movements at high intensity levels. Crossfit also introduced the rower to me, which was especially important because of a calf strain that had me away from running a couple years ago.
This past spring I finished the Spartan Beast Obstacle Course Race. It was incredible and showed me what the Reebok Crossfit community is about: having a body that can DO things and helping those around you ACCOMPLISH hard things. I finished that race feeling like I could do anything. It proved I wasn’t just a runner and my body was so much stronger than I gave it credit for.
I’ve had great experiences leading up to actually joining a box (what they call their gyms). It just took a while for me to join because i’m a trainer at Gold’s Gym–it felt a little dirty, like i was cheating on my home gym. But I craved my own, separate place to workout. A gym that no one stops me mid-workout to ask for advice or chat about fitness. In the same way i’ve had a running coach in the past, i needed someone else to program strength workouts. I wanted to take the stress off myself and enjoy being a place where i can concentrate on working out and where I’m treated as an athlete, not a personal trainer.
I couldn’t officially start coming to the box for a WOD (workout of the day) until I completed a mandatory Crossfit Elements course (8 classes) at the CF Silver Spring box. Elements teaches the fundamentals and movement patterns of the sport and puts a daily WOD to the test at the end of each hour lesson. I was more than impressed with the level of professionalism and safety in this box.
So far, I’m in love it. I’m obsessed with it and I can see why people tend to think it’s cult-like. It’s electric and motivating and FUN. As a trainer, i’m learning a lot. As an athlete I’m gaining a lot.
The biggest misconception i hear about Crossfit is that it’s dangerous. Well let’s put it this way, any sport or intense training program has risks for injury. You need good coaches or trainers (like me!) and you need to use common sense. Also let’s talk about how often I’ve been injured running vs. strength training at intense levels.
Running: shin splints, runner’s knee, piriformis and hip flexor issues, IT band syndrome, bone bruises, calf strain…and these are just the ones I’ve had.
Strength/Crossfit: skinned knee, couple of bruises, maybe i’ll pinch my finger with a weight once in a blue moon. Now you tell me what is more dangerous. I’d put my money on running any day of the week as being more dangerous.
The biggest changes I’ve noticed over the last two months are increased shoulder mobility + strength, glute activation and lat activation. The coaches take a lot of time each class to lead warm ups and mobilize our bodies using foam rollers, massage tools and various dynamic exercises to prep the body for the hard work ahead.
I went into Crossfit nervous because I’ve had issues with my right shoulder since I was 13. (My chiro even told me to stop doing overhead pressing exercises.) Six weeks later I have ZERO shoulder pain and i’m lifting weight over my head. My glutes have been sore and worked every class and i’ve PR’d my deadlift by 30lbs easily. Remember runners – strong booty means a strong runner, especially on the hills. And a strong body equals a powerful runner.
I was worried I wouldn’t be able to train for a marathon comfortably with these tough workouts, but hey, it’s not interfering, it’s helping make me a well-rounded athlete. I haven’t had any issues juggling the running and Crossfit schedule. If anything i’ve felt stronger with each run because my strength training is on point.
What it comes down to, is I found a place and people I can put real effort and energy into to see results. When I’m working out I have people supporting me, shouting, “Go CORI!” I have coaches fixing my form and giving me expert tips to make me a better athlete. It feels fantastic being surrounded by people who want you to succeed, to be stronger, faster and better than ever. I hope everyone out there has a place like this, a gym or a trainer or coaches that can help push you safely to the next level to reach your goals or get you out of your comfort zone.
Last Saturday was the first time I felt the complete and utter exhaustion that comes from giving your all in a workout. The workout that makes you lay down on the floor afterward and create a sweat angel. The elusive Crossfit sweat angel. I achieved it and I want it again and again and again. Even if it means running 10 miles before class…
If you have any questions about Crossfit please – ask away. I’m by no means an expert, but i’m all about new experiences to make you a better runner, weightlifter or get-in-shaper. This has quickly become my home away from home, my home away from the marathon course and the home that supports and motivates me all week long.
Monday: 6m easy 8:20/pace
Tuesday: 10.5m intervals (4 x 1.5m @ 7:03/pace)
Wednesday: 6m easy 8:29/pace, 20min shoulders/lats
Friday: 12m MGP tempo (9 @ 7:50/pace)
Saturday: 10m easy 8:50/pace, Crossfit
Sunday: 9.9m easy 9:17/pace
Total Miles: 54.4
What’s your favorite type of workout besides running?
Have you ever had a coach or personal trainer?