Lose Fat, Gain Muscle, Laugh A Lot

Does this sounds familiar?

You: I want to get in shape!
Friend: You should try crossfit
You: Say “Umm Maybe. . . “ but there are likely a few things running through your mind:

#1 – That sounds awesome! Those people are in such crazy, good shape!
#2 – That’s frightening. Those people are really intense. I don’t know if I’m cut out for that.
#3 – No way! Those people are crazy. No chance I could do that type of stuff, I would totally hurt myself.

Don’t worry you are not alone, most have a mixture of those thoughts (ususally in that order too). To be completely, 100% truthful, I was a mixture of all three of those feelings.

I thought crossfit sounded awesome! The athletes are capable of doing amazing things and all seem to be in terrific health. Not to mention they pretty much all look astounding. Let’s be honest, most people look at crossfit workouts wanting to look like the athletes they see in the wide world of media, be it on TV, internet ads, or something else.

I most definitely was scared. Walking around a crossfit gym (or any gym for that matter) can be daunting. A bunch of strong people lifting heavy things, running around for what seems like forever. I didn’t want to jump into a group of people who looked like they’d been training together for years. I might throw off their groove! And for all of you Disney fans out there, yes, I was definitely picturing myself throwing off the groove and being thrown out of the castle window (Emperor’s New Groove reference, FYI).

And yes, let’s take it back to number three, crossfit athletes seem crazy! I could definitely get hurt! I don’t know how to lift heavy bars in those intricate patterns. Snatch, clean, jerk,….It’s a whole new set of vocabulary.

So, what if I told you there was a way to test it out on a smaller scale? “It”, of course, being crossfit. There’s this class called SWEAT and it’s where my journey began. It is a program that is structured very similarly to crossfit programs, however, no barbells are used. Dumbbells, kettlebells, medicine balls, pull-up bars, and all that other jazz, but no barbells.

Each class starts with a strength component where you’ll lift weights or your body, stabilize your oh-so-fabulous core muscles, and really work on technique. The second part of the class is the crossfit style workout; you’re going to be on your feet, moving through different exercises, keeping your body guessing of what’s next to come. Maybe you’ll have to complete four rounds of five movements for time, or maybe you’re given twenty minutes to complete as many rounds as you can of those five movements.

Let’s get back to those three original thoughts.

SWEAT is awesome! The people are amazing! We love having fun and we get into killer shape in the process. Who says you can’t joke about burpees while you’re actually doing them!? You lose weight in the form of body fat, gain weight in the form of muscle, and gain confidence in the form of knowing how much of a bad mama jama you truly are.

It is frightening in the beginning. You may not know all of the people in the class at first, but you can bring your friend(s)! And, like I said in above, the people are amazing! It took me about a week to feel completely at home. I did not mess up anybody’s groove (I was never tossed from a window). We helped each other out on rep counts as well as motivation. They were there for me, ready to push me through. Yes, people get intense sometimes while they’re working out, but we know when it’s time to work and when it’s time to play. And at the end of every workout, we were smiling.

Yep, SWEAT-ers are crazy. There’s no way around that one. There was talk of making “Sweaty” jackets with nicknames embroidered onto the front left breast pocket region.

Most of the people I started working out with in SWEAT are now actually in crossfit classes, including myself. SWEAT was that necessary stepping stone I needed to build up a foundation of strength, both physically as well as mentally. It prepared my body for big movements (yep, you guessed it, with barbells) and it prepared my mind for something even bigger. I can definitely do crossfit. Something that seemed so frightening is now a huge part of my life and it makes me happy. Workouts are tough, but dang does it feel good to push through something, and then look back and think, Wow! I just did that!

So whether you haven’t been working out regularly or maybe you just need to get your toes a little wet before you take the plunge, SWEAT is here for you. Grab a buddy, or come make a new one (or eight), and get your butt in the orange LIV Athletic SWEAT bay for some good, tough, sweaty fun.