I’m Pamela Kramer and after Crossfitting for more than two years now I feel more equipped to give some good solid advice. Due to an injury I’m on the outside looking in so I have a great deal of time to think. Some days this is good and some days it’s full throttle frustration! For me Crossfit has been such a great form of stress relief, a way to get a little me time and I sleep so much better. I’m not a youngster with a hard body doing Crossfit like you might have heard about. Nope, in fact I’m a married forty year old mother of four, who works out of her home in the Houston area. These are my lessons learned that I wanted to share with you!
1.) You will have a love/hate relationship with Crossfit. Some days you are going to have to push harder than you ever thought just to finish. Your body doesn’t always want to cooperate. You will get mad, you will get frustrated but you will be back. You will be back because some days everything just flows. Some days your body does cooperate and you are focused, in the zone with good form and you finish with energy to spare. You are on top of the world because today, was your day! You will be back for more. Expect that roller coaster ride, scream when you need to and raise your arms up for the down hill parts.
2.) Visit more than one box. It’s great to have a home base but don’t be afraid to try other CrossFit facilities. There are many so if you travel out of town go visit a CrossFit. They love drop ins! Members and coaches are so welcoming. It’s great to mix it up. No CrossFit is the same! Explore.
3.) Someone is going to take a photo of you. Most likely it will be posted on Facebook or Instagram or some Crossfitter’s blog! Don’t worry about it. It’s the easiest way to come out of your shell. It’s also the best way to track your progress. Some times we can pass a mirror a thousand times and still see the same thing. Some days we just avoid mirrors all together. Next thing you know you see a photo of yourself and you think, “Hey! I’m toning up pretty nicely!” It will happen.
4.) Lifting weights will not bulk you up like a professional body builder. Do NOT be afraid to lift that bar! You are going to look feminine and beautiful and you will continue to see changes as you stick with a training program.
5.) Crossfit has it’s own language. You will hear a lot about snatches, clean and jerks, power cleans, rest assured these are all lifting exercises. Here is a small list of acronyms you might hear.
- WOD = work out of the day
- AMRAP = As Many Rounds as Possible
- EMOTM = Every Minute on The Minute
- RX = As prescribed
- OLY = Olympic Lift
- HERO WOD = Brutal work outs to honor those who have served our country
6.) Your family will think you are one BAD MUTHA! A lot of boxes will have a kid’s area. Mine had a window and my kids would watch. They would think I was such a BOSS and I felt like one too. They just thought it was cool to have such a strong lady in their corner. That’s a great feeling.
7.) Crossfit builds confidence! I repeat Crossfit builds confidence! You will amaze yourself with the things that you accomplish. Just when you think you can’t, you do! You will shatter your own doubts. Crossfit is a very mental form of fitness. Some days you will have to be your own cheerleader, some days you will a need a coach to pull you through and some days you will just pray!
8.) Paleo works. You may not want to do it when you hear about it but I can tell you from two 30 day challenges that it will make some serious changes if you can follow it. The short nuts and bolts version is to stick with lean meats, veggies and fruits! There are a few more guidelines but that’s pretty much it. There are tons of recipes to try. It is more expensive to eat clean but so much better for your body!
9.) You will learn the difference between pain and sore. Arm yourself with Epsom Salt for baths, ibuprofen and fish oil! Eating right and drinking lots of water is essential. If you have a foam roller at home all the better for you!
10.) It’s ok to take a rest day. It’s ok to back off the weights and not go as heavy as you did two days ago. Listen to your body, it will tell you what it can and can’t do. You can push through a work out but don’t push through pain. By pain I mean anything that feels sharp, pinches or burns. If you feel any of those in different parts of your body, back off!
I strongly recommend you try a competition when you can. You may not win and you might do a scaled version like I did but get out there and have some fun. Just see what you can do! Put that on your bucket list and go for it. Try it local and see what you think. I’m not talking about the super human Crossfit Games by Reebok. Just see what’s going on in your area. Good Luck and have fun with Crossfit! It’s the most challenging form of exercise I have ever experienced. It draws me in because of the variety. Every day is different and that keeps you from getting bored with this fitness program!