Well, I finished the New Year's Fitness Challenge. I’m a little sad about it because it was SO much fun. Who knew that sweat and physical torture would be so exhilarating?! Now my house is basically a giant gym because I’m essentially an addict at this point. We have the pull up bar, a treadmill (she and I are having a love affair at the moment), cool yellow dip bars that I can do a variety of fun exercises with, the step bench my husband made, a nice little collection of kettle bells and dumb bells, resistance bands, and leg weights! We’re currently in the market for a bench press bench (?), a barbell bar (my lingo is still lacking), weight plates, and a reasonably weighted medicine ball that the husband can throw at me, lol. Our refrigerator even has a new look. She’s absolutely lovely on the inside. Well, the freezer is a bit bare because we don’t buy much frozen food anymore other than berries for our shakes. The cupboards are lovely, too. Honestly, I hardly recognize us anymore. This challenge truly changed both of our lives for the better. My skin is less oily, my hair is even different (I could be making that up but it sure seems like it), my energy level is out of this world, and I sleep better. Sure I only clock about 6 hours a night but they are quality hours. No more insomnia! Whoop whoop!! Even if I have to get up to let a rotten dog out to use the bushes I can get in bed and fall right back to sleep, which before was unheard of! Speaking of which, all 3 rotten dogs have some awesome looking legs now that we run them right along with us. They’re loving the new lifestyle, too. Did I tell you that I reached my target weight of 130-132lbs depending on the day? I was hoping to get up to 135lbs, but I’m not too worried about it. My clothes fit better/looser – imagine that. Ha! That’s with the 5lbs increase! My arms and waist are the most impressive to me. The husband appreciates the derriere lift J I could go on and on about all the positives but I will spare you… this time. Consider yourself lucky that you aren’t near me because, yes, I would make you feel my guns! I have no shame – none. I made the downtown parking attendant feel them! It was hilarious. The husband and I still have about 6 more weeks of the Frank Medrano workouts, then I’m on to the WOD’s you have posted on the Aequitas page. I want my back to get wings! That’s my new goal. Thank you a million times over for this life transformation/addiction. I’m certain to be an addict for life now.
Site looks awesome. Very legit. Good stuff man.
-Old-Muppet-Guy-From-the-Balcony that usually makes fun of CrossFit AEQUITAS e-mail threads.
LOOKING FORWARD TO THE DOCTOR VISIT THIS TIME!
I have been wanting to share the following with you:
With some brief healthy parenthesis, where I routinely engaged in an exercise routine, I have been fat and lead a sedentary lifestyle my whole existence. Coupled with the stresses of life and work, my poor lifestyle choices lead me to balloon to over 325 pounds by 2009 [that was the limit on my scale]….not easy to carry around on a 5.7 ft frame. I also suffer from a herniated disk, which contributed to my list of excuses for not exercising. As would be expected, I developed health problems that included cholesterol and triglyceride levels that were so high, my physician told me: “No one in America has your numbers and is alive…” My case was actually submitted for an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association as a rarity, since there was no medical reason why I should be alive; because essentially, I had gravy running through my veins.
Now that sobered me up quite a bit. It took realizing that I may not be around to walk my daughter down the aisle on her wedding day that made me realize that a lifestyle change needed to take place. I was able to lose 100 pounds in about two years and was able to stop taking blood pressure and cholesterol meds. That was good, but not good enough. I was developing Type II Diabetes and was feeling the numbness in my feet and tip of my fingers, that neuropathy brings.
For the last two months, being able to participate in CrossFit has allowed me to challenge myself and I have been amazed at the progress I have experienced in such a short amount of time. This lifestyle change has helped me lose ten pounds, and also notice muscle tone in me that I had never seen before. However, the most radical change I have experienced has been in my health. The numbness in my feet and fingers is gone and for the first time ever, I actually look forward to a doctor’s visit.
I am very grateful to be part of the CrossFit team and specifically to you for your patience, guidance and support. I look forward to continuing advancing in the mastery of the exercises, improving my health and to surprising you with a couple of pull-ups in the near future!
MY LIFE AFTER SIX MONTHS OF CROSSFIT!
After an amazing trip to Arizona this past weekend (more on that later), I felt lead to give you an update on how CrossFit ÆQUITAS has impacted my life after six months. First of all, let me start by giving you some background about myself; Today, I’m 46 and I’ve been working out for over 30 years. Whether it was running on a cross country team, weight training, or preparing for Baker to Vegas, I was always active and/or training for something since High School. I’ve served 20 years with the Army Reserves and passed every APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test) with ease. In fact, I usually scored 300 points out of 300 possible while performing push-ups, sit-ups, and a 2-mile run. I’ve always taken pride that I could Bench Press my own weight at least 10 times and was always one of top 5 runners on our B2V team. Why do I give you this background information? Because I want you to know that when I began CrossFit six months ago, I was no slouch. I actually chuckled at the thought of doing CrossFit because I was actually looking for “the Sheriff guy” who trained outside. In any case, I met you first and initially started with you just to encourage my co-workers (Alex and Fernando) to begin a regular exercise program. CrossFit or not, I figured any exercise program would positively impact their lives,….I didn’t know yet, how much “this CrossFit thing” would impact mine.
My first WOD: As you may recall, my introduction to CrossFit was an outdoor WOD last summer and it was over 95+ degrees (BTW, it took me a few weeks to figure out what “WOD” actually meant because I was too embarrassed to ask). I got out early and hovered under a small tree with a few other folks from your “box” because it was the only source of refuge from the heat. I got nervous as I listened in on some grumblings about how “this WOD is crazy” and “Garrett cant’ be serious about doing it in this heat”. Eventually, you walked out with a few 35/55 pound kettle bells and few jump ropes and announced, “Today is my Birthday WOD!” I believe that WOD consisted of everything in increments of 32; something like 5 rounds of 32 Burpees, 64 kettle bell swings, and 96 jump rope singles! It was during my second round of this 20 minute workout that I realized I am NOT as conditioned as I thought I was. I vividly recall as I paused between reps, seeing these 2 females (Tracy P. and Kelly) hammering out this ridiculous WOD in the middle of the summer heat. Unlike me, they were both doing this WOD with no “modifications”…I found myself very humbled, yet impressed by these two. Even more impressive was how they (and the rest of the box for that matter) continued to encourage me as they fought through their own pain. When I finally finished, I laid there out of water and watched how you tried to get folks to do the “cool down” skill…piggy backing your partner around the parking lot. Let’s just say I was very relieved to see that I wasn’t the only one that tapped out. We all watch walked away as you and some fellow named Jared disappeared alone around the parking lot riding on each other’s back. As I staggered back to the office I thought, “hmm, perhaps there’s something to this ‘CrossFit thing’....I’ll give Garrett a few more weeks and then look for that Sheriff guy.”
During my first few WODs, I continued to become extremely humbled and realized how much I needed to learn about being “fit”. After discovering what Tabata, AMRAP, and EMOM meant, I had to change my way of thinking. I had to learn the value and benefits of using compound movements and shorter high intensity cardio sessions. The more I did CrossFit, the more I began to see its benefits over my old routine. Even today, CrossFit workouts are always intense and different. Thus, my body is never able to adapt to it.
Before starting CrossFit, I was on a steady decline with regards to my physical performance and I attributed that to “just getting old”. Age 45 when I started, I thought the best I was capable of physically had come and gone. I felt this way because I could no longer bench press my own weight 10 times and I was no longer a top runner in my department. Also, I was continuously fighting many ailments caused by years of distance running and heavy weight lifting. Six months ago before CrossFit, I weighed 167 lbs and could barely do 2 pull-ups. I couldn’t even do a “toes to bar” (and many other movements) to save my life. Today at age 46, I weigh 157 lbs, could do at least 15 straight pull-ups and perform multiple reps of “toes to bar” during our WODs. Although I still can’t do a muscle up or double-unders, I know that those are attainable goals for me…just like doing 10 pull ups and 10 “toes to bar” were my goals six months ago.
So how has CrossFit impacted my performance and affected my life? Here are three things (plus one) that have changed for me since doing CrossFit:
1. Faster recovery: Prior to starting CrossFit, I shared with you that I’ve ran two full marathons, numerous half marathons, and several sprint distance triathlons. Usually after each of those events, it takes weeks for me to recover. A general rule of thumb is to rest one day for every mile you run (so a half marathon would generally require 13 days of recovery). Typically, I’d average at least 2 weeks off to rest my fatigued and sore muscles after a race. In the six months of doing CrossFit, I’ve ran the Mission Bay triathlon, the Silver Strand Half Marathon, and recently the full Carlsbad Marathon. Although I didn’t secure any personal records, there was one BIG difference following these events this time.....within two to three days (usually the first Tuesday following the event), I was right back in the box doing a WOD!!! I have never resumed back to training that fast after any event. I can only conclude that it was due to the CrossFit training.
2. Extra time for myself and my family: Before CrossFit, I was one of those people who spent two to three hours in the gym doing the basic exercises with 3 sets of 10 reps. Occasionally I’d change my routine by changing the weight used, number of reps, and/or number of sets for each exercise and vary the rest periods in between. I’d also hit various muscle groups on different days to give certain body parts time to recover. This was typical for me and I’m sure many pre CrossFit people can relate. Normally, I’d be in the gym by 5am and leave at 7am. If I missed a morning workout, it was typical for me to spend two hours in the gym after work to make up for it. Thus, I lost out on lots of sleep in the morning or time away from my family at night to get my two hour workout in. With CrossFit, I quickly discovered that “less is more” with regards to the amount of time spent working out. In fact, I don’t recall doing too many WODS that go past 30 minutes! Today, I come to work a half hour early or stay a half our late to do a WOD during lunch. This is well worth it to get those two extra of sleep in the morning and being able to spend more time with my family after work.
3. A stronger Core and Functional Strength:
a. Before CrossFit, I believed I was pretty strong. After all, I could bench my own weight 10 times and was an animal on lat pull-downs and curls. Of course those exercises didn’t mean much with regards to functional strength. I suffered from a weak back and couldn’t really lift or move “real” weight….like furniture and stuff. In fact, I couldn’t even hold my wife on my back for more than a few seconds (and she’s actually a fairly small person). Which is why I shied away from the piggy back run following your Birthday WOD. Well, within three months of doing CrossFit, I found myself being able to move large furniture items with ease . Furthermore, one day when I got home from work, my wife was in a happy mood and decided to jump on me, wrapping he legs around my waist. To add to the difficulty of holding her up, she had jumped on me belly to belly and not on my back as usual. I braced myself for the worse and prepared to fall backwards. Surprisingly, I held her with ease and was even able to hold her up as I walk around the kitchen. It was a big bonus to tell her, “Honey, you really lost a lot of weight because you feel very, very light right now”J.
b. Now to my AZ trip. I love mountain biking and about 3 times per year, me and a group of friends take a three trip to Utah or AZ to do it. We often ride all day for several days so I usually train for weeks to prepare for it. Because I was spending time preparing for marathon, I hadn’t spent any time on my mountain bike. This last Friday, I got a last minute invitation to go mountain biking in AZ for 2 days. Although I hadn’t been training specifically as I normally do, I reluctantly accepted the invite and went. The other guys on the trip had been training regularly so I was very nervous on how I would do. To my surprise, I was able to stay with the group and even found myself out in front during much of our rides! On short notice I was able to enjoy a 2 day bike trip and see 33 miles of beautiful AZ trials. I credit CrossFit training for preparing me to enjoy what I love (Mt. Biking) without even training for it specifically… Although reflecting back now, I now know that CrossFit training IS preparing me to do the things I love.
4. Bonus CrossFit affect: About 20 miles into my bike trip noted above, I took a VERY nasty fall riding down a hill. I was traveling fast and was about to dropped down a 10 inch rock in front of me. I usually clear these types of obstacles but my front wheel must’ve hit a something because I suddenly found myself flying over my handlebars. I felt like I was moving in slow motion as I flew into the air upside down. I knew I was about to land very hard on my back and my bike was going to land on top of me. My brother in law was riding behind me. As I braced for impact, the expression on his face told me this fall wasn’t going to be good. In an instant, I slammed onto the ground and found myself flat on my back with my bike crashing on top of me. I heard hikers nearby and bikers rushing over to ask if I was okay and whether or not EMS should be activated. I laid there nervously wondering how much damage that fall must have done to my body. I’ve taken smaller falls in the past and was in pain for several days due to the pain and bruising alone. I looked back at the rock I had just dropped over and realized I had been thrown at least 10 feet from where it was. Miraculously however (and to the surprise of everyone around me), I was able to stand up, brush off and jump back on my bike. Although I suffered from a few cuts and bruises, I was able continue riding 10 more miles as if nothing ever happened…I strongly believe that was able to walk away from that fall because of core strength training I get from doing CrossFit. I also believe that CrossFit not only saved me from serious injury this weekend, it may have save my life...
CrossFit has definitely changed my life in many ways, giving me the time, energy, strength, and ability to enjoy doing what I love. I can’t tell you if I’m in the best shape of my life right now but I can say this, “Thanks to CrossFit, I’m in much better shape now than I was six months ago. If I continue CrossFit, I have no doubt I’ll be in even better shape six months from now”. Thanks for your commitment and for being great leader and example to so many. Keep up the good work and God Bless.