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:

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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

 

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SLEEP

So, I realized we haven’t talked much about sleeping yet on this blog (even though this will probably be the only post about it… there’s only so many things you can say about sleeping right? Should the name of this blog been just Eat, Gym? Since we don’t really talk about “sleep” or “repeat”? Or does Eat Gym sound too caveman like? But we love cavemen! Am I rambling? Is anyone there? Bueller? Bueller?)

ANYWAYS. I found a great little article that sums up why you sleeping is so important to your exercise routine. As someone who gets up at 5:30 to work out, I’m usually in bed by 10. Most of my friends think I’m crazy, but I get a full (almost) 8 hours every night and sleep like a ROCK. (More on why I heart working out first thing in the morning later) Anyhoo, I hope you find this article helpful and hope that it will inspire you to really make an effort to catch some extra zz’s! (sidenote: I’m obsessed with Koala bears. If I ever go to Australia I’m kidnapping one)

1. Hit the hay before a workout. When strength training, you want to have had at least six to eight hours of sleep the night before to make sure that your muscles are well-rested and performing at their best. Same is true when engaging in intense cardio training.

2. Don’t deprive yourself of sleep. Sleep deprivation can slow glucose metabolism, the energy source for the brain, by as much as 30 to 40 percent. Because of this, a lack of sleep can not only affect your exercise performance and level of motivation, but it can also lead to potential accidents and injuries due to slower reaction time and reduced concentration. Not fun!

3. Work out hard. Sleep hard. Intense workouts and lack of sleep do not make good partners because while you’re sleeping, your body works to repair muscle stress that occurred during exercise. The harder you train, the more sleep and rest you need to recover; otherwise, you will might suffer from injury and overtraining.

4. Having problems falling asleep? Try an intense workout like a group cycling class, circuit training or a 30-minute interval training program on the treadmill or elliptical earlier in the day. The high intensity of the workout will cause your muscles to fatigue, sending dopamine, the hormone that helps you sleep, throughout your body.

5. Obesity and sleep are linked. Research has shown that people who sleep less than seven to nine hours a night are up to 75 percent more likely to be obese. This makes sense because studies have found that sleep deprivation increases levels of the hunger hormone (ghrelin) and decreases levels of the hormone that makes you feel full (leptin), ultimately slowing down your metabolism. For those who live in a constant tired state, the effect of lack of sleep often leads to overeating, lack of motivation to work out and weight gain.

via Shine