Friday, August 26, 2011

Have you hit a running slump? Try CrossFit

I'm a bit of a dingbat.  I admit it.  A few years ago I hit a running plateau and decided it was time for a change.  I looked into classes at gyms and the Y, but decided none of them were for me.  Then I found a class at a local studio called Mixed Martial Arts.  I had no idea what that was, but I thought it sounded like a good blend of aerobics and kickboxing or something.  Right?  Well that's what I thought and I got the schedule.  The class was only offered at 5:30am.  That seemed pretty early but I was determined to get out of my slump so I went.  I wore my little Yoga pants and my pink Nike shirt.  I walked in and everyone STARED at me.  It was a room full of heavily tattooed men dressed in jean shorts and cut off shirts.  Welllll....turns out Mixed Martial Arts means Cage Fighting.  Like you might see on TV where they are literally in cages and kick and punch each other.  Oops!  I did not stay for the class.  I think of a few of them were actually slightly disappointed to see me go.

Since then, I have actually found something that is a great solution for that plateau.  Cross Fit.  Have you heard of it?  It's a bit of a secret but when you do find someone who does Cross Fit, they are incredibly passionate about it.  There are a few gyms in major cities that offer classes, but mostly it is something you do on your own, either at home or in the gym.  The reason I think it's a great option for Moms is that the idea is that you work out really really hard, doing specific things, but then you don't have to work out for such a long period of time to get results.  Seriously.  My husband, the orthopedic surgeon, does it every day.  In fact, it is the only program he follows and he has done one Ironman already and is doing another this fall.  When he first started doing it, it seemed a little intense to me.  But soon I became a huge fan because it shortened his workout time dramatically.  At the time, he was working at the hospital from 6am to 8pm every night.  Munchkin Girl was a little over a year and I was pregnant with Little Buddy, so the more time he was around, the better! 

The website is However, I have a better way.  If you have an iPad or iPhone, download the free app called XF Diary.  It's actually geared toward pregnant women doing Cross Fit, so it's a great way to ease into this intense program.  The app will give you a different workout every day.  At first, the workouts will seem like they are written in another language.  Words like Burpee, Good Mornings, etc.  However, the awesome thing about Cross Fit is that they have all kinds of videos on YouTube to show you how to do everything.  So, to get started, enter the daily exercises into YouTube.  Type "Cross Fit Burpee" and you will get tons of videos to show you how to do it.   Soon you will know everything by heart and won't have to look them up. 

I know this sounds like a lot of work, but really can be worth it.  The workout you get it is something more intense than you've probably ever experienced if you do it right and it doesn't take as long as a normal workout.  My husband decided one weekend that he wanted to run a marathon even though he hadn't exactly been training.  He'd been following Cross Fit religiously though so he decided to try.  And he got a personal record!  Of course, he doesn't do the app geared toward preggos.  At that point, he had graduated to CrossFitEndurance ( , which is another animal.  Same principles, but longer and even more intense. 

Now I don't exactly follow it 100%.  I still like to run so I have some running days and some Cross Fit days and it works out pretty well.  Check with me in a few months though! :-)
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