28 days of me

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CrossFit - Conclusions

So what does doing a 28 day program of Crossfit feel like? What changes did I see in my body? Did it effect my general wellbeing? Did I lose weight? Would I go back? Below are my main findings from 28 Days of Crossfit.

In general, it had a really positive effect on my life – it helped with stress management, I was loving feeling so fit and I found it pretty easy to fit into my schedule. However, I’m not sure it is for me long term…

Mental Health

— CrossFit was a massive mood enhancer for me.
— I found that if I did a morning session I was calm and focused for the rest of the day.
— I did this experiment at a particularly stressful time for me and I think it had a very positive effect on my general mood and mental health.

General Fitness

— I really did feel fitter in my everyday life – it was easier carrying groceries upstairs, it was easier to lift things, I was less out of breath cycling to and from work.
— I can see how this feel could get addictive – I felt like a better / stronger version of myself. Super Mon.

Body Shape

The main differences I noticed in my body shape were:

— More developed outer quads.
— More developed shoulders.
— More developed rectus abdominis. Which basically means more of a pronounced 6 pack (rather than the flatter, less defined look you can achieve with something like Pilates).
— Smaller boobs – yep, my boobs shrunk slightly over the 28 days. This is not that uncommon when women participate in a fairly extreme training program.

Yep – did before and after pics ;-) Unfortunately you can’t see much difference in my body shape, but there is definitely a small increase in tone. (especially around my abs)

28 Days of Me Before and After - CrossFit

28 Days of Me Before and After - CrossFit

Adjusting To The Training

 — It felt like it took about 1.5 weeks for my body to really get used to the training routine. For the first week or so I was extremely exhausted post training. About 4-5 hours after the session I was getting mild headaches and extreme hunger. By week 2 this was mostly sorted.

Timing / Frequency

— I was aiming to do 4 classes / week.
— I managed 17 training days in total out of 28.
— I started with a very intense programme – 3 days on and 1 day off but soon found that this was too much for me to maintain with my current schedule.
— One day on and one day off worked better.

Weight And Resting Heart Rate

— My weight increased slightly: 54.9 to 55.2. This was to be expected with the extra muscle.
— My resting heart rate went down: from 60bpm to 53bpm. This is quite a dramatic change over a 28 days period. ‘Normal’ resting heart rate is 60-100bpm, an athlete’s could be as low as 40bpm.

28 days of crossFit weight

28 days of CrossFit heart rate

My Favourite Things About Crossfit

— It really is so easy to do it – you pick a class and turn up. You dont need to motivate yourself to stay on a treadmill for 5 minutes more, or come up with a program to complete at the gym – you just turn up with an open mind and the rest is done for you
— Everyone was super nice. Way nicer than expected. People at CrossFit, in my experience, are genuinely passionate about fitness and super supportive and encouraging of their peers.
—Competitiveness – recording your results each session makes you more accountable for you fitness and progress. These are published daily in a private facebook group. The reality is, no one was looking at my results – but it still makes you push that little bit harder knowing that these will be published at the end of the day – even in such a private way.
— The increased fitness gives you a kind of confidence. I read somewhere that CrossFit gives you a cape. And this is a bit how it feels. The things you need to deal with in your everyday life become more manageable when you have to do 200 single unders, 100 wall balls, 100 kettlebell swings and 50 burpees in the next 15 minutes.

Least Favourite Things About Crossfit

— Lack of variety – I enjoyed learning the olympic lifting but as a fairly petite woman I was also interested in learning more of the gymnastic elements – or doing more general fitness activities like swimming (which I was told was part of the program at my trial class)
— Not as much focus on true core strength. Now, here comes my Pilates nerd rant…having a strong core (transversus abdominis and obliques) is key for all movement and physical activity. I felt there could have been more focus and understanding on developing this. But, I guess that isn’t necessarily what CrossFit is – it is about getting out as many reps as possible to increase your strength and fitness, sometimes at the determent of form.
— I felt a bit more dude. Weird thing to say? Maybe. I apparently was walking more manly, I stopped wearing make-up and heels and was eyeing up things thinking – can I lift that? I am certainly not saying CrossFit turns you into a man, but I did feel more masculine during my 28 days.

Will I Go Back?

— Right now I feel like my body is screaming out for some controlled strength and stretching – so I have re-started my yoga membership and will continue with this for the next couple of months. I am not ruling CrossFit out for the future though as it really did have such a positive effect on my life.

Any Advice For Anyone Thinking About Trying Crossfit

— Just go. Find a few Boxes and go the the trial classes. You will soon work out if it is for you or not. It is definitely not for everyone – if you are injured it isnt a good option, but also in general this type of fitness is not everyone’s cup of tea. However, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it so I would definitely encourage anyone who is thinking about trying it to just give it a go.

UPDATE: And, Did I Go Back?

….2 years on and I haven’t been back to one Crossfit class.