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CrossFit Makes Me Happy

CrossFit makes me happy. Do I need any more reason than that to continue? Probably not. Last night I couldn’t sleep until midnight, and my toddler woke me up at 4:30 am and didn’t sleep restfully after that. I was tired and feeling a bit depressed on my 6 am drive to a CrossFit WOD. The WOD was the ultimate pick-me-up even though it threw me down multiple times . . . I was just a shaky mess during the Tabata after the WOD (where we balanced on low-to-the-floor-bars called parallettes, trying to raise one leg at a time). But during the WOD, I completed 215 reps, consisting of 5 + rounds of:

  • 20 Deadlifts
  • 20 Pushups

During my previous WOD on Saturday, I completed more reps than anyone else – 309! We had 5 rounds of the following, which were each one minute each:

  • Box Jumps
  • Thrusters
  • Child’s Pose style Sit-Ups
  • Kettlebell Swings (American style)
  • Pullups
  • 1 Minute Rest then Repeat

Of course my “box” for the box jumps was just an aerobic step on a platform rather than the 20 inch high boxes the other lady used, and my thrusters were with 40 pounds rather than however much weight everyone else used. And my pullups were just planks or raised pushups. So I had some modifications that made it easier, but still – I tried my hardest and was proud of my accomplishments (and of my form, which I have received a lot of positive feedback on lately). In both of my last two WODs, I completed more reps than anyone else! I wasn’t thinking about that during the workout – I was just pressing myself as hard as I could, and then found that my rep score was higher than everyone else’s each time. I feel tired in a different way than I ever remember feeling before.

I need extra sleep, but beyond that – my body just screams for rest, even during my waking hours. I think my brain does too in a weird way. I feel like I am transforming my entire body, including my mind. Is that possible? I’m finding myself increasingly wanting to work sitting in bed leaning against one of those comfy arm rest chairs you can set on your bed. I would love to get to the point where I can workout every day without it hurting me or slowing down my overall progress in strength building. Olympic athletes can do it, so why can’t I? I know, I know . . . it might take a while for me to get there. I don’t recover as fast as an athlete and may never at my age (near 40). My current goal is to do a CrossFit WOD three days a week, with at least a day of no WOD in between, and then to do another kind of workout at least two other days a week: Yoga, Pilates, Strength Building, Biking, Rowing, Walking, etc..

The end of my first month of CrossFit membership is approaching next week. As I was driving reluctantly to my last WOD, there was a little voice inside me that said, “You don’t need to go today, or at least not after today. You can do this on your own. You’ve proven to yourself what you are capable of and can do all of this and more at a gym.” My initial goal was just to finish one month of CrossFit and then to reassess whether I wanted to continue with CrossFit, or join my old gym. I don’t believe that little voice, though. I mean, yes, hypothetically, I am capable of having equally intense workouts at my local gym . . . if someone was holding a gun to my head, or maybe if I had my own, personal, highly motivating personal trainer. I know what I’ve done in the past, though. I had a gym membership and could barely motivate to go a few times a month. When I did go, I would do a 20 minute warmup on the spin bike and rowing machine, lift some weights at a leisurely pace, stretch for five minutes, and be done by around the 45 minute mark.

Things are different now, it’s true – I feel more motivated to work out than I have in years. I’m seeing what I am really capable of doing at my CrossFit WODS. My husband is also more willing to work with me to find a way for me to fit in my workouts as well, since it means juggling things around in our child care and work schedules. He’s started to understand how important working out is to me on so many levels, and that has made a world of difference. Realistically, though, I just don’t see myself pressing myself nearly as hard as I can go in a CrossFit WODs – where I regularly find my lungs hurting from trying to take in enough oxygen to continue at my pace. There is something to a group approach to fitness, and perhaps to having a coach who has a sense of just how far someone can go and just how much they might be capable of. Maybe personal trainers do know this, but are afraid to press the limits with their clients. With CrossFit, it is all about pressing the limits.

I’ve been reading a book on my Kindle at night before bed about the history of CrossFit – I think it’s called Firebreathers. I learned that Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is naturally produced at higher levels when you do the kinds of workouts that exhaust you and push your toward 100% of what you are capable of doing – pretty much what CrossFit WODs were designed to do! HGH, in turn helps build muscle and speed up the metabolism, along with a number of other positive things . . . like helping you sleep better (hope that kicks in soon!), helping with recovery after workouts, and helping to build stronger bones.

I’m hopeful that the higher levels of HGH I produce from my three CrossFit WODs each week will help me burn fat. At this point, even though I have yet to see sustained loss of weight on the scale since I started all this about a month ago, I am convinced at this time that I am losing fat and will continue to, and within a few weeks, it just has to show up on the scale. My diet is good and improving, and my WOD workouts are super intense – and I’m adding cardio workouts on top of them, so it is simply not possible that the result will not be weight loss in the long run at my weight (210).

Home Gyms

Okay – the last topic I want to tackle today is home gyms. I like to browse photos online of home gyms and swoon. If only equipment = fitness . . . I realized I have a pretty good set up at home now – I just wasn’t using it much. I am adding to my home gym now that I have started doing CrossFit. I asked my husband if he’d help me build this Power Rack and he said yes!: http://www.endofthreefitness.com/crossfit-equipment-build-your-own-power-rack-2/   Did you know you can use a wood pallet to stack your weights? I can’t wait to visit the hardware store! With some of the equipment I bought today, here is what I have in my home gym so far:

  • 33 pound barbell with a set of 10 and a set of 15 pound weights (plus clamps)
  • A padded 30 pound barbell for more repetitive exercises and to practice form
  • A few kettlebells of various weights
  • Barbells going up to 45 pounds
  • Ankle weights
  • Exercise balls: a bosu ball, a big exercise ball (needs to be re-inflated), and a weighted 5 pound medicine ball
  • These foamy things you hold in your hands you can use to do slightly elevated pushups with – knee pushups for me!
  • a ab mat/pad to support my lower back while doing situps and back exercises
  • some workout matting and a yoga mat
  • a recumbent style exercise bike
  • a rowing machine!!!
  • a foam roller to roll out all those aches and pains
  • Way too many home workout videos (including some VHS tapes I’ve had since I was a teenager!). I have used them like once every three or four months lately – but there are some good ones in there I plan to use in-between my CrossFit WODs now that I’m feeling more motivated to get in shape.

Here are some things I would like to make or buy to add to my home gym:

  • Power Rack
  • Gym Rings
  • Weight holder
  • A box to practice box jumps on
  • A reverse sit-up bench
  • Maybe some extra padding so I don’t break the floor with my new barbell and weights
  • A good jump rope
  • Maybe a 18 pound medicine ball someday? I’m not sure we have the wall space to make that work . . .
  • Maybe those parallettes I was struggling on today? Ugh. Would I really do that at home? That was not fun . . .
  • Perhaps some pull-up weight bearing bands if I get into trying to do pullups at home . . .
  • Perhaps we can find a used trampoline to put out back . . . you can actually get a great work out on trampolines!
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Filed under: CrossFit, Equipment, Motivation, Weight Loss

About the Author

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I'm an obese working mom with an hour commute to work who is trying to workout six days a week to lose weight. I need to lose around 60 pounds to get back to a normal weight. My blog is about my workouts, my diet, and my challenges and successes with diet and weight loss.

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