Dear CrossFit: It’s not you, it’s me

You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been posting about CrossFit lately, and there’s a reason for that. I’m done with CrossFit. Not like forever, but just for now. Since I started my new job, I was unable to make WODs with my new work and spin schedule.

A lot of people have been asking what I think about CrossFit lately so the point of this post is to provide an honest, non-biased opinion (there are so many CrossFit fanatics out there that will just tell you “CROSSFIT IS AWESOME!!!!!” but not really give any insight.. soo I’m hoping to rectify that).

I was nervous to start CrossFit. I had heard about the workouts- I knew they were going to be intense. I knew I was going to be doing things I had never done before, and that I was going to be sore constantly. But I was excited about the challenge and genuinely loved every single one of my workouts. I felt like I was pushing myself out of my comfort zone, and others around me were pushing themselves just as hard. It’s an incredibly inspiring environment. And- you do something different every day. Your body is constantly being challenged, challenged, challenged. I really don’t think you could ever hit a plateau doing CrossFit because it is so varied. Overall, I surprised myself with how much I loved CrossFit.

But despite my love for CrossFit, I’m not doing it anymore. I’m so thankful to have experienced this new workout phenomenon and will take many aspects of the WODs into my own personal workouts and training sessions with clients, but physically can’t keep going to the box. Here’s why:

MjAxMi05NTczNGE2YTFmM2NhN2E4

via Someecards

As much as I enjoyed the workouts and how hard I was pushing myself, at this point in my life, it’s not sustainable. If I wasn’t spinning 5-7x a week, I would probably try to continue doing it, but it was just too much on my body. I wasn’t giving myself proper rest and really can’t risk not being able to teach since it’s now a big part of my income. My goal for the upcoming months is to focus on yoga and becoming more flexible, rather than building muscle. Speaking of which- in my 5 months at CrossFit, I gained muscle. A fair amount of it. Now, I know there are so many people out there who say “CrossFit girls don’t get bulky” and I agree with that. But guess what? CrossFit doesn’t make you bulky, your BODY makes you bulky! I know plenty of girls who CrossFit who are petite and not bulky (Erica being example #1). But I have the type of body that puts on muscle fast and furious, which is a blessing and a curse sometimes. I remember when I did cross country for a semester and was totally psyched about losing all this weight by running all the time and I ended up gaining 15 lbs of muscle, straight to my thunder thighs. Yes, I know this is a totally vain reason for not wanting to continue a specific workout but I’m really not trying to add any more muscle than I already have. One of my good friends told me “well, just don’t lift as much when you go” which is easier said than done. Of COURSE you want to be pushing yourself and lifting heavier each time you go in there. I’m not going to go to CrossFit and pick up 10lb dumbbells to deadlift, let’s be serious.

That’s the other thing about CrossFit- you can’t just casually go sometimes. You need to GO and commit to it. You’re not going to get any stronger, faster or better by just going once a week or every other week. It’s sort of an all or nothing approach. And I’m sort of falling into the “nothing” category. Womp womp.

And finally, one of the biggest reasons why people stay away from CrossFit- the cost. I simply can’t afford to go. I was lucky enough to have a free trial through my awesome Fitfluential family, but on my own, I wouldn’t be able to sustain it. That being said- I TOTALLY understand why Crossfit is so expensive, and don’t think it should be any other way. You are essentially getting personal training, gaining incredible skills and have a huge support system that holds you accountable and motivates you. You push yourself way harder than you would on your own, and that right there is priceless.

So there you have it.  If it wasn’t for my new job, my spin schedule, my stupid traps and thunder thighs and a bigger wallet, I would still be CrossFitting. Please don’t be sad, CrossFit. It’s really not your fault. It’s me. Maybe at another time and place we can be together, but for now, I regretfully have to break up with you, and truly hope our paths will meet again one day.

Has anyone else experienced this painful breakup?

-Emily

 

Advertisements

How to stay (relatively) healthy on vacation..

I was debating titling this post “How to stay healthy on vacation” but then I realized that having mudslides and ice cream doesn’t exactly qualify as a golden standard of health. BUT, I do have some tips that I think are worth sharing for people that travel a lot (like me). I’m lucky that I always travel for pleasure, but I think that also makes it harder to commit yourself to staying healthy (relatively).

1.) Bring workout gear… and WEAR IT!

photo

 

I’m really not sure why I’m sharing this picture with you all because I look like a psycho. I most definitely scared people away in that gym. Seriously. I did a CrossFit-style workout and was grunting, sweating profusely and just being a little too intense for the soccer moms dabbling on the treadmils.

So when you’re packing- pack workout gear! It sounds simple, right? Okay, next step- WEAR THE WORKOUT GEAR! Don’t just have it sit in the bottom of your suitcase. I packed 3 workout outfits- I was away for 6 days, so figured working out 3 times was enough of a break on my body, but still enough to not make me feel like a total slug. My Reebok RealFlex sneaks are perfect for traveling because they’re so light and bendy that they fit anywhere, and I am OBSESSED with my new workout arm band. Seriously, it’s the only one I’ve had so far that fits the best and doesn’t slip. And it came with Bose headphones, so the sound quality is bomb diggity. Oh, and don’t spend 2 hours in the hotel gym. Do a quick, high intensity circuit that will get you out of there and on the beach ASAP. I did…

 

3 rounds of 12
Alternating dead lifts (35# dumbbells) and sit ups
Alternating overhead air squats (8# medicine ball) and V-sits
Alternating side kicks with 8# medicine ball press and bicycles
Alternating bicep curls (10# dumbbells) and planks (30 seconds each)

Boom. I started off with 10 minutes on the treadmil (2 rounds of 3 minutes walk, 1 minute incline sprint) and was done with the workout in about half an hour. And was so sore the next day and felt really accomplished.

2.) Pack snacks

photo-1

 

The theme of the day is to post embarrassing pictures of myself. Don’t you worry, there are more coming. Whenever I travel, I load up on snacks beforehand. Biggest things- protein, protein shaker, trail mix, dried mangos, and perhaps some plantain chips. Vega has individual protein packs that I brought which were AMAZING. After my workouts in the morning, or for breakfast, I would just shake it up with some water. And it would hold me over until my Mudslide during lunch #counterproductive #notsorry. But for real, having snacks on hand will help you get through the day and let you indulge in things you actually want to indulge in (mudslides, ice cream, etc. This girl doesn’t need to waste calories on a breakfast pastry buffet, thank you).

Oh, and don’t eat all of your snacks on the plane ride down. That may or may not have happened before. To me.

3.) HYDRATE


photo-3

 

Would you believe me if I told you that there’s coconut water in that coconut? Because that’s all it is. I was very intrigued about the idea of drinking out of a coconut, but thought you had to only order a fru fru drink to get one, then the waiter told me I could get it with straight coconut water. Since I’m so cool and prefer water over alcohol, I went for that, and it was delish. Just ignore my lazy eye, and imagine how awesome it is to drink out of a coconut. Why do I live in Boston again?

It’s hard to constantly be drinking water when you’re out of your normal routine and easy commute to a water bubbler, but always try to have a bottle on hand. It will help you stay full throughout the day and keeps everything in your system moving along. It sounds like a dumb thing to say, but sometimes something as easy as drinking as water gets forgotten when on vacation.

4.) Relax! 

photo-5 photo-4

Don’t beat yourself up too much if you want to indulge and splurge a little bit. You work hard all year round, so kick back a little. Just don’t get tooo far off track because then it will suck when you come back and will be even harder to get into your normal routine. Some people say I’m crazy to workout on vacation, but when you’re used to working out 6x a week, your body sort of needs it. So do a little working out, a little splurging on food, and a lot of enjoying yourself 🙂

Puerto Rico was amazing, I had such a good time. If you follow me on Instagram you were probably cursing me for posting tropical pics during the middle of a snowstorm up here, so I apologize for that. But now it’s back to reality, back on track, wompity womp womp.

Does anyone have any holiday travel tips? How do you stay on track on the road?

-Emily

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cyber Monday Giveaway!!

 

Cyber Monday doesn’t really have anything to do with this post, but it is Cyber Monday, and I’m doing a Giveaway, so there you go. First Giveaway EVER! Hey yoo!

One of the best things about my new job is that I get to wear workout clothes all day, every day (even though I basically did that when I worked at Arnold.. whoops). It’s also been cold as balls in Boston lately, so I have to layer up. One of my favorite things right now is my Reebok Play Dry zip up. I seriously have been wearing it every day to work. It’s really light weight, but warm, so it’s great for layering or just wearing on its own.

Please excuse my face.. It was very early…

The awesome people at Reebok sent me an extra one to give to one KICK ASS reader out there! It’s the same exact one as mine, so we can be cyber twinsies. That sounds really creepy. But moving on. It’s a size small in heather grey, and it runs true to size. SO here are the rules… One of the things I’ve been most inspired by at my new job is how many women are coming in there and starting over and really taking getting into shape seriously. It’s not easy, and a lot of them have been through many hurdles to get to this point. It’s really inspiring and motivating.

So, if you want this goodie, leave a comment in the comments section telling us how you’ve overcome obstacles to get back on track with your fitness. Tell us how you’re getting out there, getting after it. It doesn’t have to be long. It can be something as simple as “I’ve been really bad with eating treats lately and I’m starting a 21 Day Sugar Detox and am fully committing to it and will probably be miserable and cry all the time” (that’s mine, you can’t use it). But let us know why YOU are deserving of this kick ass zip up. Oh, and then you have to tweet a picture to us using the hashtags #getafterit #reebok #sleepeatgymrepeat.

Cool?! We will choose the winners by Friday and email you if you won!!

Happy Monday, and Godspeed.

-Emily

* I received this gear at no cost from Reebok as part of a campaign with FitFluential LLC. I am not getting paid or reimbursed to give positive feedback, all opinions are my own. 

 

CrossFit Hottie of the Week

We’re continuing to rep the ladies this week (don’t worry- there’s man candy coming soon) with the incredible Lindsey Johnson of Reebok CrossFit One. You may remember me mentioning Lindsey in my post last month– she was the one who pushed me through that workout I kept telling myself I wasn’t going to do. Yeah, she’s pretty badass. I’ve only had a few WODs with her, but she is one motivating machine. And she loves chocolate, and tequila. So that also means she’s wicked smart.

Name: Lindsey Johnson
Stats (height, weight, age): 5’10, 155, 32
Hometown: South Kingstown, RI
Nickname: LJ
Heartbreaker Status (married, single, engaged): Single
Been CrossFitting since: 2008
Favorite WOD: I really don’t have one, I like them all!
Favorite CrossFit Hottie: So many… so little time.
I eat… I try to eat paleo, but have very little self control!
I like… To do anything creative
I love… My job, my friends are everything to me, and my family.
My friends would describe me as… Outgoing, confident, “and pretty much the coolest person ever” -Joe Masley
My guilty pleasure is… Chocolate, chocolate and maybe some tequilla.
I CrossFit and coach because… I get to change lives every day, make someone better in and out of the gym.  Whether it’s physically or emotionally. It’s amazing to see what we can do with a few workouts.
Most embarrassing moment at the gym: Honestly can’t think of one, I know it sounds lame… but I can’t.
Biggest accomplishment at the gym:  Getting my job here at Reebok CrossFit ONE
Personal style outside of spandex,sports bras and high socks: No high socks for me… kind of hippie, anything from Free People and Anthropologie
When I’m not at the gym, I’m…. On the beach/Paddleboarding
Something people would be surprised to know about you: I love to sing, but have terrible stage fright.

 

We’re only week 2 into the CrossFit Hotties and are definitely looking to feature more, so let us know if you’d like to nominate someone! Or yourself. We’re cool with that.

HAPPY FRIDAY
-Emily

Playing Catch Up

It’s Wednesday. Last time we posted was on Friday. NBD. No but seriously, it is a big deal.  WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THIS WEEK/THIS YEAR/THIS MONTH?! Let’s recap on the weekend, shall we?

Jams
I didnt post my playlists on Friday, mostly because I was too busy oogling our CrossFit Hottie of the Week, but also because I was so swamped that I didn’t have time for new music last week and re-used some playlists. I did make a sweet Maroon 5/Rihanna mashup playlist for my Thursday night Reboot Advanced class. Such a fun ride. I usually play longer songs, but having a bunch of quick ones made for a fast paced class and it flew by.

Food
Definitely splurged big time this weekend. It was my boyfriend’s birthday, and we did it up big! I surprised him with a dinner at Mooo… a steakhouse we’ve been dying to try (and how amazing is that name?) Totally splurged on sides (parmesan crusted onion rings? truffled french fries? yup), cocktails, wine, and a big ass filet.

I even put on a big girl outfit and heels! Things got CRAZY. And I hate to disappoint all my Paleo peeps, but the weekend of splurging didn’t stop on Friday. Sunday night, the actual night of his birthday, we had a mexican FEAST at his mother’s house. Enchiladas, cheese for days, and birthday cake.

Vanilla cake, chocolate icing, and Rolo’s and Heath bars stuffed in between. If this isn’t the definition of Paleo food, then I don’t know what is.

On a totally unrelated note (PSYCH) I got hit with a stomach bug on Monday afternoon and was out of commission until last night. Although there is a bug going around my office, I’m sure my weekend of stuffing my face didn’t help either. I literally was on my couch for all of Monday afternoon and most of the day Tuesday. It was great to get some rest and reset my system, but I ended up teaching last night and this morning. I needed to sweat it out, and I get SO antsy sitting around, and there are only so many episodes of “Teen Mom” a girl can watch (don’t tell me I should have been more productive with my time.. you know you do the same thing when you have a sick day…!) I’m back on track today with eating clean and am feeling almost 100%. And my birthday isn’t until December, so I have no reason to eat cake until then 🙂

I’m trying out a few new workouts this week that I’m very excited about. Will be sure to post some recaps and reviews. Also- I have a huge burn mark on my arm from doing faux muscle ups at CrossFit last week. The straps kept hitting my arm a certain angle every time I’d go up, and I didn’t realize it was just casually ripping away a layer of my skin. Everyone now thinks that it’s some sort of hair straightening accident or cooking accident, but I want to let everyone know that I’m way too badass to spend my time in the kitchen or making myself look pretty. This is a motherf*ckin’ battle wound, bitches! From doing muscle ups! (no one has to know they were the ones from the ground…. shhhh)

Happy Humpday!
-Emily

 

 

 

 

 

CrossFit Hottie of the Week

It’s time to reveal our new weekly feature: CrossFit Hottie of the Week! Oh yes. You know you love drooling and oogling hot CrossFit bods all day long. (we know you do because it’s one of the top searches on our blog…) So, we’re bringing the goods. Every Friday we’ll feature a CrossFit Hottie- someone we know, or someone we admire. And yes, we’re referring them as Hotties for their physical looks, but also because they’re just awesome people and great athletes. We were debating calling it “CrossFit All-Stars” but I really prefer to act like I’m still in 7th grade and use the term “Hottie”.

Without further ado.. our first Hottie of the Week is Ashley from Reebok CrossFit One. I’ve had the pleasure of getting go to Ashley’s Monday morning classes, and she is awesome. Her bubbly personality and energy is contagious, and she’s always there to encourage you and keep pushing you. I mean, that should come naturally to her seeing as she’s a Celtics cheerleader… And don’t let her pint size fool you. This girl is a solid bundle of muscle and she will kick yo ass! Read on:

Name: Ashley Anastasi
Stats (height, weight, age): 4’11, 90lbs, 26 years old
Hometown: Easton, MA
Nickname: “itty bitty” or “peanut”
Heartbreaker Status (married, single, engaged): Boyfriend ❤
Been CrossFitting since: March 2011
Favorite WOD: Any WOD with gymnastics
Favorite CrossFit Hottie: My one and only, Jim Gambee aka JG ❤
I eat…Too much!!
I like…Strawberry non-fat greek yogurt with strawberries & grapes
I love…Coffee oreo ice ceam
My friends would describe me as…Kind, tiny & caring
My guilty pleasure is…A grass fed beef burger with sweet potato fries OR coffee 🙂
I CrossFit and coach because…I enjoy helping people get stronger, faster and healthier each and every day, their progress is my reward 🙂
Most embarrassing moment at the gym: Missing the small box below me coming down from pull ups (yes, I need a box to get out to the pull up bar – HA!) and scraping my shin really bad…5 stitches, but still finished! 
Biggest accomplishment at the gym: Muscle ups and handstand walks for distance
Personal style outside of spandex,sports bras and high socks: I’m either in gym clothes, work clothes or something very comfty 🙂
When I’m not at the gym, I’m….A wedding planner by day and a Celtics cheerleader by night
Something people would be surprised to know about you: My Fran time is 4:38RX (new PR!)

What do you think of the new feature?! Jams and Hotties on Fridays? Yes please. We’re going to be running this for awhile so let us know if you have someone you’d like to nominate and feature 🙂

HAPPY FRIDAY!

-Emily

 

Why Lifting is like Golfing

I know you’re probably looking at the title of this post and thinking “WTF is Emily smoking this morning” but I promise you I have a good point to make.

A couple of years ago, my boyfriend convinced me to go golfing with him. I’ve never had any interest in playing golf because I’m the most impatient person on the planet and think it’s probably the most boring sport in the world but I figured I’d give it a shot (ha!). Looked easy enough, just swing the club, hit the ball, right?

WRONG. It took me about 10 tries just to even make contact with the ball. There were so many mechanics that went into that one stupid swing: keep your head down, slight bend in the knees, straight front arm, bend the back arm, shoulders low, feet hip width apart, KEEP THAT HEAD DOWN! Any time I remembered to do one thing, I’d forget to do the other thing, and then I’d remember the opposite, and forget to do the 10 other things. A lot goes into that seemingly effortless swing. And once you get that perfect swing, and make contact with the ball, and it feels so good, you think “Why can’t I do this EVERY time??” And that’s when you pull a Shooter McGavin

When I started CrossFit, I had the same mentality. How hard can it be? I’ve done squats before, I’ve done deadlifts, I’m athletic, this will come naturally. Wrong again. There is SO much to think about when doing a lift. I did cleans for the first time the other day and literally looked like a toddler taking their first steps. I can’t tell you how many times I banged the barbell on my knees. Same thing as golf- once I remembered to do one thing (hips back, chest forward, drive back with the hips, pull up from the hips) I would forget something else (keep the barbell on your legs, pull knees back, jump, squat down). And then you look around the room and see everyone else just busting out cleans and deadlifts like it’s nobody’s business and it’s frustrating as all hell. I can’t wait for the day when I naturally “get” it and the movements become more effortless. Effortless minus the whole adding the heavy weight thing. That’s another battle for another day.

Golf? I’m all set with just riding around in the cart and eating snacks. Cleans, deadlifts, pull-ups, clean and jerks, snatches, power cleans? I am coming for you… just quit making it look so easy! I can see through your facade!

 

First time doing back squats. I liked these. One motion, up and down,
drive that booty out. I can do that. via Reebok CrossFit One FB

Can anyone else relate to this? How long before you had your “a-ha” moment with heavy lifting? How do you get out of your head and nail that form down?

-Emily

Lucky Number Seven

On Monday, I had my toughest WOD to date. I meant to post about it yesterday, but even my wrists were sore and it hurt to type too much (I blame landing on my hands too hard in burpees. Fail)

via CrossFit One blog

Since I’m still a newbie to CrossFit, I didn’t really realize the extent of this workout when I saw it the night before. I also didn’t know what the F a “thruster” was (but I wish I had recorded my boyfriend’s interpretation of it though…). So I sprang out of bed Monday morning, ready to go. On the way out the door, my boyfriend told me “don’t hump any dudes at your WOD today”.

Um….

Turns out that thrusting has little to do with inappropriate dance moves, and everything to do with power and pushing yourself until you feel like you’re going to vomit (oh.. was that just me?)

Once I learned what a thruster actually was, I started to get a little nervous. I wasn’t sure of my weight (they wanted it heavy) and since I was having a hard enough time with just the 15 lb barbell, I only added 20 lbs for a grand total of 35 lbs (yeah, you like those math skills?!) I stuck to my previous max on my deadlift, 95 lbs. I think next time we do deadlifts, I’ll be able to add some more weight, but since I was going to be doing 49 of those bad boys (MORE MATH!) I didn’t want to get too aggressive. It was my first time doing kettlebell swings, I used a 26.5 lb one, and wasn’t doing full extensions (just coming up to eye level).

Okay. So this workout was WAY harder than I imagined! After the first round, I was dying (I am still using a resistance band for pull ups) and one round took me 5 minutes. I was dripping in sweat. It’s funny when people assume that you get no cardio in CrossFit. I’m going to start wearing my HR monitor because I’m pretty sure my heart rate is up just as high as it is in a spin class.

After a few rounds, the coaches realized it was taking everyone a long time and decided to cap the workout at 26 minutes. I was able to finish 5 rounds (that was the norm for most people) in 25:29 seconds. Yeah, I was all set with starting another round of handstand pushups (still doing those on the box). I realize now that I sound pretty pathetic, since my workout was so scaled back compared to most (lighter weight, modified pullups, pushups and KB swings) but I have to be realistic and realize that I am not CrossFit Superwoman (yet). This WOD was another example of the incredible coaches at CrossFit One. Seriously. They recognize that I’m a beginner, and are trying to set me up for success. Caleb and Ashley kept checking in on me constantly throughout the WOD, correcting my form, giving me advice, cheering me on. I can’t explain how much this means to me, and what a difference it makes.

One of the biggest knocks against CrossFit is that people are scared they’re going to hurt themselves. I was in the same boat. My previous, limited experience was not a positive one because I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing and that I was going to injure myself. My advice to everyone starting off- do some research. Since CrossFit is blowing up, I guarantee you that there are several boxes in your neighborhood. Do a trial at each of them before you commit to signing up. Tell the coaches that you’re a beginner. If they take time with you to help you with form, scaling, and talk about setting up an on ramp program, then they rule. If they’re just like “Oh don’t worry about it! You can definitely lift 100 lbs! JUST DO IT!!!) then maaybbeee you might want to consider looking elsewhere 🙂

Anyways. Great WOD. I felt so accomplished at the end of it (even though I didn’t do a full 7 rounds). It’s exciting learning new skills and feeling myself get stronger every day.

And pull ups- I’m comin’ for you.

Whats your favorite WOD? Most challenging? Most fun? Sweatiest?

-Emily