Keen to know more about CrossFit but worried about being a beginner? Carly Rowena (aka CrossFit Queen) shares her top tips for newbies.
First founded in the year 2000, CrossFit has steadily been making it’s way to the forefront of fitness. Known for its hardcore workouts producing incredible physiques and jaw-dropping amount of burpees, it’s created a divide amongst the fitness world and one that I am so proud to be a part of. CrossFit describes itself as “constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity.” These workouts are based on functional movements that reflect the best aspects of all types of exercise including gymnastics, weightlifting, running, callisthenics, strongman, strength and conditioning and so much more. While CrossFit has grown from strength to strength there is still a nervousness around it, especially when it comes to women wanting to join. I’m here to explain why you should make CrossFit a part of your weekly fitness routine.
Support: My favourite part of CrossFit is the support system. You walk in a stranger and leave part of a community. Each person will cheer you on, motivate you to push harder and give you one hell of a high five once you’ve finished. You’ll create a whole new friendship group and one that grows in health together. Whilst the workouts are known for pushing you out of your comfort zone they’re not designed to injure or break you, purely for you to push past your own levels of intensity and progress. Each class is uniquely created around functional aspects of different exercises so you will soon learn that you, just like everyone else around you, has their own strengths and weaknesses.
Education: Unlike training by yourself in the gym, CrossFit Workout Of The Day’s are designed to educate you just as much as they are to push you. Most boxes will require you to complete a foundation course before starting classes. This is to make sure you understand the fundamentals and have correct form and technique before beginning. Not only will this prevent injury, but it will also install confidence within you and enable you to practice and find your own strengths. I have learned more about mobility, core and my body since joining my box than I ever learned during my own time training previously.
Physique: We’ve all seen the pictures, rippling muscles, abs on abs and very little clothes. A CrossFit box is different, no mirrors, no thrills, no emphasis on clothing labels but a big emphasis on letting go of looking gorgeous and showing your pain face. The lack of clothes isn’t down to a bro moment, more to the fact that you’ve sweated through your layers or covered them in chalk. The amazing thing about CrossFit is that you might join with the motivation of losing a couple of pounds or finding your abs but you’ll soon focus on getting your first pull-up or hang clean and when your focus shifts from aesthetics, that’s the very moment that your body decides to change the most. My most noticeable body change happened 6 weeks into my CrossFit journey, I gained shoulders, biceps and a very comfortable butt! The great thing is, I was never focused on any of those aspects, I was purely pushing through the movements of the workouts meaning those muscles were worked in ways they hadn’t been previously, and suddenly my body wanted to show them off.
Goals: So many of us are guilty of only having aesthetic based goals and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it can become demotivating and short lived. Adding a CrossFit workout into your weekly routine will shift your focus to what you can do and what you can’t do and suddenly you’ll want to do it all. I walked in wanting to get stronger and now I want to get better at gymnastics as well as improving my mobility. These goals are not short-term, they’re long-term and leave me excited for the next five to ten years.
Longevity: As women, our bodies are constantly changing. Hormones, pregnancy, menopause, we have lots of battles to face, but one thing CrossFit has taught me is that everything can be adapted and progressed. My box covers all ages, from CrossFit kids to women well into their seventies. We’re all training together with the aim of feeling good and living longer. So many classes out there are purely designed for a certain age group and can leave your worrying about the future. CrossFit shows you how to move whatever your age and is there to pump you full of feel-good endorphins, make friends and show you just how powerful, you truly are.
words by Carly Rowena
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