I see it and hear it everyday; late night TV infomercials, commercials, magazine ads, and radio spots plugging the latest weight loss pill, DVD home fitness program, or fad diet craze all claiming they have the magic fix to whip you into shape, and shed your unwanted pounds. There is so much information out there and so many opinions and methods used by “professionals” in the health and wellness/fitness industry that one could easily get lost, or led down the wrong path in the pursuit of leading a healthy and fit lifestyle. How does one sift through and sort out the good diet information from the bad, the good exercise programs from the bad, and which magic pills/supplements work, and which ones do not. I have been in pursuit of the answers to many of these questions most of my adult life; only recently within the past three and a half years have I been able to answer all of these questions. I found my answers when I found CrossFit.
The answers to these questions are relatively simple. First, there is no magic pill or supplement to effective weight loss. Also, fad diets don’t work! That should save some of you at least a hundred dollars a month right off the bat from throwing your money down the toilet at your local GNC. CrossFit gives you a very scientific no-nonsense approach to a proper sustainable healthy diet. It consists of eating lean meats, vegetables, some fruit, nuts and seeds, little starch, and no sugar. Properly portioned, these foods will sustain health and wellness and optimize performance. A well-balanced and sustained diet of these types of whole foods will unequivocally increase lean muscle mass, drop unwanted body fat, and increase athletic performance. If your not sure how to weigh and measure your whole foods, refer to The CrossFit Journal and retrieve Issue 21 out of the archive, and try it for a month, it works! It’s actually easy; you need a food scale (Wal-mart sales them, they don’t cost much) and a little patience. If you follow the prescription of weighing and measuring these types of foods for two weeks, you’ll start to develop and eye for what proper portion sizes actually look like for you, and how much/ or less you really need to thrive on. This is literally 50% of the equation when it comes to developing, sustaining, and enhancing your health/fitness. To some of you this may sound like a pain in the ass, well… to this I say, how’s your present diet working for you? Are you where you want to be? If your answer is no… what have you got to lose except the weight? It’s your choice.
The other part of the equation is putting in the work. When I say work I’m talking about, Constantly Varied, High Intensity, Functional Movements. CrossFit is different every day, much like life. You never know what life is going to throw at you; you have to be prepared for anything. Constantly Varied is the cornerstone of the definition of CrossFit. By varying your workouts everyday, your body never gets a chance to adapt to one specific type of routine. Routine is the enemy with CrossFit. In fact by varying your routine everyday, the end result is your body eventually becomes adaptable to anything that is thrown at you! The types of movements you will learn and implement through CrossFit are what we call functional movements. These are movements that we do everyday, often times without even realizing it. We pick things up, we lift things over our heads, we may have to jump, and we may have to pull ourselves up on top something. These are all human functional movements, things we as human beings should be able to do. Through CrossFit we train all of these things. We pick heavy things up properly (deadlift) we Press barbells over our heads properly, and we squat with a barbell on our back, in the front rack, and over our heads properly in order to strengthen our legs and our core. We do pull-ups and push-ups, and jump rope, we jump on top of boxes, swing kettle bells, and we throw medicine balls all to increase our human functionality. We perform Olympic Lifts so we can be explosive and Powerful when life calls for it. All these types of movements combined into a single program develops and supports what CrossFit defines as the components of true fitness which are accuracy, agility, balance, coordination, cardio and respiratory endurance, flexibility, power, strength, speed, and stamina. The last piece of the definition of CrossFit is High Intensity. Why must we do these movements at speed? Isn’t it unsafe? First of all, high intensity is a relative term, what I call high intensity and a lung burner of a workout; Tanya Wagner may call a warm-up. It’s dependent on the individual; everyone’s fitness level is different. Only through time, hard work, and the increased proficiency in the proper execution of these movements will intensity increase. As you gain mobility, increase strength, and develop your lung capacity, your intensity will increase as well. It’s linear. CrossFit defines its methodology as “increased work capacity over broad time and modal domains.” In other words over time your ability to perform work will increase as you become more fit. As those 10 components stated earlier are developed, your fitness develops as well.
In conclusion, there is no quick fix to weight loss; it’s proper education of nutrition I.E. a clean diet of lean meats, vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar properly portioned, and a steady regime of Constantly Varied, Functional Movements, executed at High Intensity. This recipe for fitness is not a quick easy fix; it’s not going to happen in 90 days or less. It’s a journey of self-examination, commitment, dedication, and a willingness to put in hard work and make a change in yourself and those around you. It’s a community shard through group suffering, and accountability for a healthy lifestyle. It’s the key to avoiding decrepitude when your 80 years old, and it is a sport. Our sport. You will meet your self everyday through CrossFit, good luck in your journey. Stay on it!