I started going to a CrossFit gym in early 2020. I had been working out at a “globo-gym” for a few years and I was tired of it. I would go to the gym 5-6 times per week and not talk to a single person. My workouts were still enjoyable, but I was in the mood for something new.
So I found a CrossFit gym close to my house and I joined. I was already pretty familiar with CrossFit as far as the movements and style of workouts. The first day I went, I was hooked.
Why I Liked CrossFit
- The Competitive Aspect: I noticed that whenever I workout with a partner, I’m able to lift more and go harder. I’m super competitive so when I first logged my scores and looked at everyone else’s I was determined to push myself and do my best for every workout.
- The Community: The first day I went to CrossFit, I was so surprised by how friendly everyone was. People were asking me if I’d done CrossFit before and seemed interested in getting to know me. I felt super welcome and have made quite a few friends at the gym.
- The Scored Workouts: Before I did CrossFit, I’d follow some lifting program I found online and increase my lifts until I couldn’t any more. And then I’d start over at lower weights and start to work myself up again. At my CrossFit gym, every workout is logged in an app called “Wodify”. I find it super helpful to be able to look back and see what weight you used the prior week. This and being able to look at the weights increasing overtime have really kept me making progress.
The Improvements I Made
In 2020, I went to CrossFit 128 times. I went the most of any guy at my gym, and was able to get the most PRs (personal records) of any guy.
- Olympic Lifting (Clean & Jerk, Snatch): One of the reasons I was drawn to CrossFit was seeing Olympic lifts included in workouts. I wanted to improve my Clean and Jerk and my Snatch. I was able to improve my form and my comfort in both of these lifts. As I grew more comfortable I was able to put more and more weight on the bar and actually hit the lifts. I’m still working towards my goal of 225# C+J and 185# Snatch.
- Conditioning: I loved Metcon style workouts from the first time I tried CrossFit. Even though I was really “fit” when I showed up at CrossFit, I rarely did conditioning work or HIIT training. I would do cardio or play basketball, but nothing like what CrossFit prescribes. While I’ve seen my strength numbers increase, my conditioning has improved also. My times for benchmark workouts have improved drastically.
- Strength: I’ve gotten so much stronger this year. I started out not being able to deadlift 300 pounds and now I can deadlift 355. My squats have gotten much deeper and I’ve increased my one rep max from around 250 pounds to 300 pounds. A group of us at the gym completed the Smolov Squat Program which was the main driver behind me improving my strength in all lifts, not just the squat.
CrossFit is very results-focused. If you’re feeling stale in your gym routine, or are looking for a very effective way to get in shape, I recommend trying out CrossFit. It’s not for everyone, but I love it and I’d encourage everyone to try it out. I love pushing myself super hard and seeing where my limits are, and CrossFit is a perfect place to do that.
I hope 2021 brings you loads of health, wealth, and happiness! Thanks for reading.