These are two of the most common questions I have encountered from my friends inside and outside the Running Community:
- Have you shifted to Crossfit from Running that’s why I haven’t seen you in Races?
- Why do you still Crossfit, you already look fit?
It’s probably timely for me to post answers to these questions as I celebrate my one year of Crossfit-ing. (This is actually an excerpt from the interview questions I’ve answered about four months ago which covers things about being a crossfitter – a runner – a girl,)
How long have you been doing Crossfit? How often?
I started joining some of the Crossfit workouts at Ultra in December of 2010 when the box hasn’t opened. As soon as the box opened in January, I joined the foundation classes and started attending classes twice or thrice a week. Now, I visit the box three to five times a week.
How hard would you say it is for women than for men?
It is a misconception that women would find it harder to do Crossfit than men. The workout for the day (or WOD) is always the same for both gender. It actually depends on the individual’s ability to cope up with the workouts. Probably for two newbie , a man and a woman, the male sex would definitely have an advantage. But with proper training, the disparity can be addressed. There are girls in the box who lift weights heavier than the other boys and still finish ahead.
Did you go through any difficulties in the beginning? If so, what are they?
I have finished several marathons and ultramarathons before I joined Crossfit. I thought I have already exploited my endurance, only to find out that I have a huge gap in my fitness level. I lacked strength and power especially on the workouts that would require engaging my core like pull-ups, sit-ups and push-ups.
I had difficulties with workouts that requires load. During the first day of the Foundation Class, my arms gave up on the 25lb-bar. One of the Coaches had to stand behind me just to make sure I won’t hurt myself and that I get to finish at least a few repetitions. Push press, deadlifts, overhead Squats, Hang Cleans, Med Ball Walls – these workouts never fails to make my arms sore.
Did you have to make any adjustments?
What I liked about the workouts is that it can be scaled to what you can handle. Initially, I started using the 15-lb bar. For a month, my name is etched on it. I tried to work my way up by pushing myself on strength-day workouts. After a month, I can easily handle the 25-lb bar. (I can do deadlifts at 135-lb now, which is 110lbs more than what I can handle before!) — 165lbs as of this writing
What do you think are its advantages, especially for women?
Crossfit focuses on overall fitness. I can feel myself stronger now.
Being a runner, it strengthened my core that sustained me during the 14-hours pounding on the road at the Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon last March 2011 (a sports that is well-dominated by man).
With regards to looks, it is a wrong notion that you would bulk. My natural body shape is skinny and feminine. I have discovered that I still have body fats to lose and my waist-line can still get thinner by inches. I find myself getting toned and developing muscles I never knew I had.
And your toned muscles aren’t there for nothing, it is a by-product of the strength that you have developed.
I have also developed an endurance level that sustained my daily schedule on peak training periods – juggling between my job as an entrepreneur/consultant, marathon training program and my personal errands/household chores.
What misconceptions on Crossfit do you wish to dispel?
Crossfit exercises are insane, it is too hard and it is fit only for young and athletic people.
This is how we do it (or how they do it at the Crossfit Games).
The workouts can look intimidating especially if you are watching the videos posted online. Those are mostly the gurus or the monsters of crossfit. For mortals like us, it can be scaled down depending on your fitness level. The Coaches would let you alter the weights, rest and intensity.
Although you will never get pampered at Crossfit. You’ll be pushed to be better, to be at your best.
Why would you recommend Crossfit?
Crossfit has many benefits for your body and health. The Coaches are very hands on and they would scale the intensity of the workout to suit your needs while at the same time pushing you to level up. The box has a very friendly and competitive atmosphere that motivates each one every workout day. It makes one stronger. It improves cardiovascular endurance. It helps you lose the inches and gain muscles.
It COMPLEMENTS ones athletic training needs. I CROSSFIT so I can RUN Better.