Drinking the Crossfit Kool-Aid

Hi, my name is Melanie and I have an obsessive personality.

This is not a shock to those of you who know me well. Last fall my obsession was training for my first half marathon. I wanted to shake up my workout routine after finishing the race. As our Corporate Challenge team captain, I represented Baldwin & Lyons at the awards reception where I won a free one-month membership to Crossfit Naptown (CFNT) in a drawing. I finally had a chance to use it and I can safely say that after one month I am obsessed.

Crossfit is a combination of cardio, endurance and strength training. Classes at CFNT typically start with a warm up, followed by a skill set where you learn and practice a specific movement then the workout of the day (WOD). Based on my experience so far, here are a few things you should know if you’re considering crossfit:

It’s intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. I was nervous and had no clue what to expect going into my first session. Fortunately, CFNT has a free intro class every Thursday at 6 p.m. that’s open to the public. They explain what crossfit is and how the classes work, demonstrate a few basic movements and run you through a benchmark workout. There’s no obligation to come back or sign up on the spot.

It’s expensive, but worth it. Staying fit often requires a financial sacrifice and, as with many things, you get what you pay for. Sure, gyms like LA Fitness are cheap. But when I walk in there, I put on my headphones and go. I’m on my own. When I walk into CFNT, co-owners Jared and Peter are there coaching me through each movement and have the training and certifications to do so. Even better, they remember everyone’s name and fitness level. I’m always impressed when they know exactly what weight is going to push me but not kill me.

It’s cult-like, but that’s part of the draw. People jokingly call it “cultfit” and while that’s not entirely inaccurate, it’s definitely a good thing. There’s a sense of community at CFNT that you just can’t have somewhere like LA Fitness. At the start of each class, everyone introduces themselves. During workouts, people are constantly cheering each other on. And the encouragement continues after hours on the blog and Facebook page. Every person I’ve met has been so nice and welcoming to the point where I feel like part of the CFNT family even after just a few weeks.

It’s going to push you, but at your own pace. Crossfit emphasizes technique so the coaches would rather you use a lower weight and do it right than push yourself too hard and get hurt or not be able to finish a workout. There are prescribed weights, reps and movements but there’s always a way to scale the workout to your fitness level. For example, I can’t do pull ups, even with the resistance bands that help. Instead, I do ring rows at a deep angle. I’ve seen progress in some areas though, even after just a few weeks. And I get a huge rush every time I finish a workout knowing I am pushing myself in ways I never have before.

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My free month is up this week so it’s time to pay up or get out. While I don’t think that crossfit is necessarily for everyone, I’ve loved it and will definitely keep going. Every day is something different and I’m already seeing changes in my body and how toned I am. And Jared and Peter have done a great job creating an environment that you can’t help but feed off of when you’re in the box (aka gym).

So here’s to kicking off 2013 with a new obsession and a renewed commitment to staying fit!


5 thoughts on “Drinking the Crossfit Kool-Aid

  1. As always Mel, you are inspiring in your words (excellent blog post) and action (your fitness routine). Thanks for helping me get off the couch and into the YMCA.

  2. Pingback: Here we go again: Monumental training update | Melanie Woods

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