It’s funny how you forget what it’s like to have an invigorating workout. I recently joined a gym that specializes in CrossFit, which is a functional based training method. It focuses on full body movements and a more competitive routine. Lots of challenges for times and reps. I’ve been going to a normal gym ever since I graduated from college, where I played soccer. After growing up playing a sport at a fairly high level and training or playing six days a week, you get used to the daily challenge and routine. It’s been 12 years since my playing days and this has been a struggle when it comes to finding a training method that works, is challenging and, best of all, rewarding.
It’s totally random how I found this gym. I was at one of those bouncy places over the weekend for a friend of my 2-year old’s birthday party. My wife and I were talking to the mom of the birthday girl about a contest I’m in at work (12 weeks to see who can lose the most Body Fat % and Weight) and she introduced me to a dad of another child that was there. Turns out, this guy owns this gym about 2 miles from my house and he proceeded to tell me about the CrossFit method. I was hooked even before he finished.
They make you go through four sessions with a trainer to make sure you have the form down for various exercises (squats, pull ups, etc). I’m learning that the other purpose of this is to take you through their WOD’s (Workout of the Day) and see if you can hack it. No joke, these have been the hardest workouts of my life. One was 10 minutes (as many sets as you can get – 10 air squats, 8 situps, 6 kettle bells, 4 pushups, 2 burpees). I thought I was going to pass out after about 3 minutes. Not sure how I finished. Little did I know the next day I’d have to be pushing a tire over and over (yep, kind of like the strongest man contests you see on ESPN!). I can’t stress how hard this was (especially after doing other exercises). The concept is essentially pushing yourself to your limit and then teaching your body to push through, all the while giving you a full body workout.
So, what’s my point. We all know that physical activity is important, both for physical and mental reasons (I tend to think the psychological is a greater benefit). The challenge is that it’s very hard to stay disciplined and to push yourself to workout consistently. I believe working out is the most important ritual you can do each day that will permeate throughout all of your other dealings. From work, to energy, to family engagement, to providing an incentive to eat well. I like to call it “The Edge.” It doesn’t matter what kind of method you use, just break a sweat and do it consistently. I guarantee you will see the benefits in all facets of life.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. What works for you? How has working out consistently helped you achieve your goals? Anyone out there tried CrossFit?