It’s been eight weeks since I started going to QDos Fitness, and I think I can now call myself a CrossFitter. It’s only when you stick at something consistently you can look back on what you’ve done and how far you’ve come, and I already feel I’ve come a long way on my CrossFit journey.
True, I have a long way to go before I walk into the CrossFit Games on my hands. But without reflection we’d never learn, so although I am a mere CrossFit rookie, I’ve already been thinking of the benefits CrossFit has brought to my life. Without further adieu, here’s the ways that CrossFit has benefited me, so far…
1. My body shape has started changing.
This is definitely not the most important benefit but it’s at the top, nevertheless, for the benefit of anyone who TL;DRs this post.
There’s no drastic change. I don’t suddenly have washboard abs or a Selter-esque butt, but considering my diet hasn’t changed in the slightest and I haven’t concentrated on how my body looks I haven’t done too badly over the past 8 weeks. My traps and delts have grown, I’ve lost some fat from around my middle, plus my quads and hamstrings are developing more (also – look how skinny I was just over a year ago! I feel like I look a lot better now)
Admittedly, I’ve done the classic before and after trick of making myself look half decent in the after when I look dog rough in before, though this relates to an upcoming benefit – the first image was straight after my first WOD and I felt about as good as I looked!
Remember, I’m trying to get stronger and put muscle mass on. CrossFit doesn’t necessarily make you very muscular or overly lean – the workout could work for you, too, if you’re trying to lose some weight. Just eat and train according to your goals.
2. I’m less tired.
It sounds crazy that totally exhausting yourself through a gruelling workout can make you less tired, but it’s true. Generally, I have more energy day-to-day – I’m even full of beans in the evening when I get home after a WOD – and I’m sleeping better as when I get in bed my body is super ready to rest. Most of the time I feel really very shiny and well, and I think this reflects in how I look and act, too.
3. My daily routine is more consistent.
Because classes are on at constant times throughout the week, it’s made me be organised enough to have all my food and kit ready before work every day, and then ensure I leave work on time to hit a 7.30pm class. This has had a knock-on effect on the rest of my life, too, and I’ve been pretty organised in work. It’s true that the more you do, the more you want to do, and the more you can do – mainly because you’re so in the habit of being organised!
4. My form has improved.
As I mentioned in my first post about CrossFit, I’ve been under the watchful eye of QDos’s various experienced coaches, and as well as learning to do some entirely new things (double-unders and kipping pull-ups being just two) my form has improved for all my other lifts. Consequently, I can lift heavier – I’m at a deadlift 1RM of 92.5kg now, edging ever-closer to my 100kg goal – and I’m more confident with snatches and jerks.
5. I just GIFD now.
I used to have to psyche myself up before every single Olympic lift I did, and I even got quite nervous, as I found the dynamic moves to be quite scary. Now, a clean is just business-as-usual – there’s no time to faff about before each lift. I just get it f-ing done. My regular cleans I do reps of now are what I used to take five minutes to do a single for, and I even had a couple of cracks at cleaning the weight I was deadlifting for reps! I couldn’t get underneath it in time.. but the fact I even tried is a big change in itself.
6. I can levitate! Just kidding. But I am a lot more mobile now.
I can squat deeper – below parallel, in fact! My hips have been an ongoing issue, holding back progress in the gym, though since I’ve been going to CrossFit more consistently they’ve improved no end. The coaches encourage me to do my hip mobility exercises (which I hate doing) and also throughout the WOD they remind me that they have seen me squat deeper so I can do it! The warmer my hips get and the more I try to squat deeper throughout a workout, the deeper I get and the more flexible I feel. I just used to have a bit of a I can’t do it, so I won’t attitude.
Sure, there’s downsides to CrossFit. I usually have quite a few bruises from cleans or rope climbs, my hands are a bit of a mess – they were never that attractive to begin with, mind, and thankfully I haven’t had a full rip yet – the gyms are quite pricey, and all you ever want to talk about is CrossFit (“dude, you should’ve seen this WOD we did last night!”).
The majority of cons align with other sports, and the price of the gyms reflects the value you get out of the membership. It’s my biggest luxury and I feel it’s worth my money. CrossFit gets a lot of hate because it’s a current fitness trend: there’s always going to be haters for mainstream trends, and there’s always going to be people who latch onto fads and make a spectacular job of doing it badly!
Hopefully the latter isn’t me. I’m finding CrossFit is working well, and I’m excited at the prospect of focusing my training even further and hopefully getting to the point where I can compete.