I’ve been doing CrossFit for just over two years without a break. I could tell you why I started and what keeps me going, but I thought you might enjoy some shared learning first. I’ve learnt so much in two years and I know I’m going to learn so much more in the years to come!
Our coaches are so good at passing along knowledge and so willing to help, but I firmly believe we have to take responsibility for our own learning too; and we live in a time where there is an incredible amount of knowledge readily available. I haven’t committed near as much time as I’d like to mining it; and of course you have to sift through some crap to get at the gold sometimes. I’ve found that if I take the great coaching we get at WoF and then build on it in my own time it pays great dividends – I know I’m still at the beginning of the journey though!
Nutrition. Big subject and a lot of good knowledge in the box on this one. What’s worked for me? Eat more… yup, when you cut the crappy stuff out of your diet you’ve got to replace it with something. If you’re working out hard and lead a busy lifestyle chances are you aren’t eating enough good food. On Anastasia’s recommendation I started taking a protein shakes morning and night, which made a big difference, but that was just the beginning. More than anything else I’ve learnt to take what knowledge I have, experiment, listen to my body, and make adjustments.
I continue to do that all the time – 1. Build knowledge, 2. Experiment, 3. Listen to my body, 4. Make adjustments. This applies to training too.
I noticed that in my morning workouts I was really lacking energy a lot of the time, it just seemed there was no fuel in the tank. I tried eating a muesli bar before the workout and that helped. Now I make a shake with a half serving of protein, half serving of creatine, half serving of glucose (dextrose), and a serving of matcha tea. I’ll continue to refine this, but it definitely helps. After my workout I have another shake, this time with a full serving of protein, full serving of MCT oil, and sometimes more glucose. I’m about to experiment with kumara powder, as dextrose is made from corn, which probably isn’t the best thing to be eating large quantities of.
I’ve found MCT oil to be really useful, as I don’t seem to get as hungry and it has significant health benefits. One of the reasons I started experimenting with the morning shake is because pre-workout formulas normally have some weird [insert expletive here] in them that is a little suspect… food for thought.
I’ve changed other things in my diet too. Both bread and milk seemed to be giving me inflammation and bloating, so they’ve been cut to a minimum. I’ve upped the vege intake and try not to eat too much potato (simple carbohydrate, starch). Even though rice is pretty much sugar I eat more of that, as it’s better than filling up on some of the alternatives! We already ate pretty healthy, but the reduction in bread and shift in ratios has really helped me, particularly bigger ratios of protein and healthy fat.
Training. Consistency is my best friend! I have a really busy life, not as busy as some, but fitting stuff in can be quite a challenge. That’s why I mostly go to the box before work. That way I get my healthy dose of CrossFit guaranteed. Unless my body is telling me “you need a rest day or else…” I turn up. Sometimes I have to ease of the gas a little, but that’s okay; and I do take rest days when I need them. There are times I don’t feel like I’m making progress, but I always am, and even if I wasn’t I’m fitter and healthier than I’ve ever been and plan to stay that way.
When I first started at WoF I would just go to my class and not do anything else, but I’ve found that the more I participate in other stuff going on the more I enjoy CrossFit as a whole. What an awesome bunch of people to hang out with too! That was another lesson – participate more!
Persevere. I’m only just getting double-unders now. What the heck! It has been frustrating and I should have practiced a lot more a lot earlier, but they are finally coming together. I augmented some solid coaching from coach Chan with lots of repetitive YouTube watching, but most of all I just kept trying (and whipping myself red). Now my subconscious is finally catching up and they are coming together; and I thought learning a language was hard… Notice that YouTube mention there? I’m the kind of person that needs to watch someone do something and then do it myself if I’m having trouble getting it. YouTube is great for that. It can also be really helpful to video yourself!
Recover. I so wish that my body would let me run around like a headless chook and then smash a great workout every day… sadly not the case. It all takes a toll. I have to eat well, sleep well, stretch, foam roll, move around, and clear my head. That’s what it means to recover. It benefits all parts of my life too. Much easier to love on my kids when they get up in the morning if I’ve gone to bed early the night before! Just on that recovery thing too, if you’re anything like me there will be certain parts of your body that need extra care and that’s okay too. If you see me before a workout I do the same shoulder routine ever day to avoid aggravated bursas; and I do calf stretches every day (achilles). Most days I also loosen my lower back and stretch my hamstrings.
That’s enough natter from me, I hope there was a nugget in there for you. Keep going and growing!