07 November 2014

Let's Talk about Weightloss: 5 Weightloss Lessons from CrossFit

I would like to start by introducing to you my wonderful brother Boris (the running CrossFit freak). Boris was mentioned a few times in my blog and is my biggest weightloss support. He is a Graphic Designer by day and a fitness enthusiast by night. He is one of the founders of Sydney Harbour Runners and was also coaching CrossFit at Crossfit EC. I hope you enjoy this post and it helps you understand how Crossfit can be beneficial to your health, fitness and weightloss. 

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard of CrossFit. Maybe an overly enthusiastic co-worker can't stop telling you about how great he or she feels after 200 burpees and nearly throwing up. Perhaps your facebook newsfeed is flooded by a guy from school who's now bragging about hitting his first muscle up. However you heard about it, it's obvious that CrossFit is hard to ignore. In case you haven't, it's basically a style of interval training that makes use of functional movements like squats, push ups, pull ups, deadlifts and various gymnastics and weightlifting movements to give you one hell of a workout.

In the case of my sister Nikky, who runs this great blog, it came in the form of all of the above, from me. I tried CrossFit, fell in love and subsequently didn't stop talking about it. I apologise in hindsight for being annoying and telling people who wanted to know very little, way too much. But what was it about CrossFit that made me fall so in love with it that I had to tell everyone, as though I was a 15 year old school girl who just got asked out to a day time movie by her crush?

CrossFit was, very simply, unlike anything I'd ever done before. I was a passionate runner and went to the gym regularly to lift weights. I ran for cardio and performance, I lifted for aesthetics. Bench on Monday, back and biceps on Tuesday and so on, repeat indefinitely until you see what you want in the mirror. I could lift some reasonable weight, run for a long time at a decent pace and considered myself pretty fit.

Then a friend sent me a coupon for a CrossFit box (a name given to CrossFit gyms because they're usually housed inside a warehouse that resembles a box) that had opened in my area. I'd seen CrossFit on YouTube and heard about it on internet forums. I was interested and so I called up and booked my first class. 

I was training for a marathon at the time, so you could imagine that I thought quite highly of my cardio when I walked in at 6am on a Wednesday. I walked out humbled and demolished, but with a smile on my face. They say you never forget your first WOD (workout of the day) and mine was called Linda. It was one of CrossFit's benchmark workouts, most of which have female names, because, according to CrossFit creator Greg Glassman, anything that leaves you on your back gasping for breath wondering what the hell happened, deserves a woman's name.

Needless to say I was hooked. I even became a qualified CrossFit coach and did some coaching at the same box where I first started, CrossFit EC in Sydney's South West. CrossFit really changed the way I thought about fitness, eating and healthy living in general. Even if you don't want to train at a CrossFit box, can't find one nearby or can't afford it, you can learn a lot from the way CrossFit works. 

Below are 5 lesson to learn and incorporate into your own routine to lose weight and get fit:

1. Go hard.. Really hard... Harder than that

With CrossFit, the name of the game is intensity. Essentially, it means how hard you push yourself in any given workout. Keeping good form, you're encouraged to complete a WOD as fast as you can. No drink breaks, taking a breather or checking instagram. You're training now, focus on that and get the next rep out as fast as you can.

2. You don't need much time

We live in a busy, modern world. We work a lot, we have families, commitments and social events to attend. Plus, the Bachelor finale starts in 20 minutes. CrossFit is a blessing for time poor mums, overworked dads and those who struggle to find time work out. A standard CrossFit workout is anywhere between 3 minutes and 30 minutes in length. Think you can't get a decent workout done in 10 minutes? Think again. Try the workout at the bottom of this post as fast as you can and tell me if you felt like you didn't get a good workout.

3. Mix it up

One of the other things that's great about CrossFit is variety. You rarely complete the same workout twice and there's science behind the madness. When you exercise, your body seeks to adapt to that workout.

Think about going for a 2km run every morning. At first you might lose some weight and get fitter. Then progress stalls. You haven't lost any more weight and the run is getting easier every day. What gives? Your body adapted. It simply realised that a 2km run was part of what is required of it now and adjusted itself accordingly. For progress to continue you have to either increase the speed or increase the distance, or both. CrossFit works on a similar principle. Give your body variety, push it in different ways and it'll continue burning fat and building muscle to adapt.

4. Eat for performance

The way I ate before CrossFit compared with the way I eat now is very different. Because I was following bodybuilding style diets, I was either bulking up with loads of carbs, meat, dairy and anything else that was calorie rich, or 'shredding', which involved eating lots of meat and some green veggies. I was never very successful and needless to say, my diet played a huge part. The way I ate was far from perfect, for either bodybuilding or CrossFit. It was only recently that I started learning about which foods would best fuel my workouts.
I found that meat weighs me down, especially red meat, with its long digestion time. Veggies, berry smoothies and avocados give me a long lasting energy supply. I'm not saying that what worked for me will work for you, but be open minded and figure out what best fuels your performance. Drinking more water and less soft drink, cutting down your intake of chocolates and lollies, reducing the amount of on meat you eat and adding lots of veggies is always a great start though.
5.  Consistency is key... And it doesn't take much time

I know I said it earlier, but it bears repeating: you can get a great workout done in 10-15 minutes. You can do it in your back yard, living room, at the park, anywhere! That's not to say that when you have the time you shouldn't work out for longer, I'm just saying that being short on time isn't a barrier to exercise. 

Here is a guideline I like to recommend to people who are getting into exercise:

Sweat every single day.

If you went for a brisk 20 minute walk 3 days a week, and did four 10 minute CrossFit workouts the remaining days, you would have spent 1 hour and 40 minutes exercising in a week. It's not a huge time commitment but you'll be lighter, fitter and more energised because of it. Try the workout below for a start and ask any questions you have in the comments. Enjoy :)

Lipstick & Motherhood CrossFit workout!

Do a light warmup of 10 jumping jacks and 10 toe touches x 2. 

Then do this, as fast as good form will allow:

5 rounds
10 squats
5 burpees
10 sit ups

Let me know how you feel!

I hope you all enjoyed this post as much as I did. Hands up if you've done the work out! Leave me a comment below with your time of the workout and if you are keen on trying CrossFit or have already tried it. 

In the meantime here are a few pictures of my brother from some of his amazing achievements. 

Demonstrating stretches during CrossFit ECs Open Day, 2013

During my first ultra marathon, The North Face 50 2014, in the Blue Mountains

Front squats during a workout in my first CrossFit competition in Mildura, Victoria

With Australian ultra-running legend and Red Cross Ambassador Pat Farmer. Pat is known for running from the North Pole to the South Pole without a day of rest, averaging 2 marathons a day.

The last one of Boris and I after completing my very first Bridge Run in September 2013

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1 comment:

  1. if you don't have time for workouts and still want to lose weight, you can try Garcinia Cambogia Extract! I lose weight and so happy about it!


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