OK….now that the holiday’s are over…and we have a few days of the New Year under our belt…it’s time to get serious about those New Year’s resolutions! Even though I don’t normally make a big deal over resolutions, I do think that a new year can give us a mental kick start to make some changes for the better.
In an effort to help us all make those changes, I’m calling this week “New Year, New You.” For the next five days we’re going to focus on the TOP FIVE New Year’s resolutions that people make, and give you lots of great ideas on how to achieve them!
Survey’s show that the Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions are: weight loss, being more organized, breaking bad habits, budgeting, and living life to the fullest!
Today we’re focusing on weight loss and a new fitness craze that seems to be taking the world by storm….CrossFit. My daughter-in-law & assistant Kaitlyn and my son Erik are HUGE believers in this particular form of exercise, so we thought we would explore it a little further…for MY sake as well as yours.
Please welcome McCall of CrossFit Vapor…who is guest posting today and is going to tell us why she LOVES CrossFit and how to do a simple CrossFit routine at home:
Hi Everyone….I’m McCall!
I have a confession to make. I have big knees. Not like super-sized-circus-freak knees, but I’ve always been a little jealous of the gals with narrow, sculpted knees. But 3 years ago something happened to change how I felt about my big knees…. I found CrossFit.
Now I’m sure if you haven’t tried it for yourself, you’ve probably at least HEARD of CrossFit. I’m also guessing you’ve heard the jokes like, “How do you know if someone does CrossFit? Because it’s ALL they talk about!!” I will admit, as a CrossFit affiliate owner, I can be one of those people, but my mission today is NOT to get you sold on CrossFit, it’s to help you find YOUR “fitness match”, and help you get on track to a healthier life.
I believe everyone has a “fitness match” – a form of exercise that gives you the results you want while keeping you motivated and inspired – so have you found yours? My journey to CrossFit didn’t start with an athletic or gymnastics background. I started CrossFit just after I had my 3rd baby. I was a dancer growing up and as an adult I exercised just enough to not be fat. I had tried running, spinning, gym classes… pretty much everything, and while I tolerated it all, I didn’t LOVE any of it. My husband had started CrossFit about a year before, and I had several friends who did CrossFit, and saw great results. I knew I wanted to try it and told myself that, love it or hate it, I would stick it out for 6 months before I made a decision. It only took one class and I was hooked! I had found my match!!
CrossFit is my fitness match for a few reasons:
- I am competitive – there are lots of different ways people are competitive, and I am all of them. ;-) I love competing with others, with myself, with my goals, and CrossFit feels like a healthy place to be competitive in a positive way.
- I don’t have more than an hour TOTAL to workout. With CrossFit I can be in and out in an hour (sometimes less) and feel totally accomplished.
- I like being told what to do – at least in THIS aspect of my life!! When it was left to me to decide what my workout would be (at a regular gym) I could talk myself out of pretty much anything. At CrossFit if you show up, you kind of don’t have a choice! If it’s on the board, you’re going to do it – in one form or another.
- I feel accountable. To myself, my coach, my friends at the gym. If I’m not there or don’t do my best, I’m going to have to answer for it!
- I have seen results!! Not just “lost the baby weight” results, body transformation results! They are measurable results, like increased weight in my lifting, more efficiency in my workouts (ie: faster times), learning & mastering skills I never imagined, like pull-ups, not to mention losing 30lbs. and decreasing my body fat to 13%.
What IS CrossFit?
CrossFit is an effective way to get fit. Anyone can do it. It is a fitness program that combines a wide variety of functional movements into a timed or scored workout. We do pull-ups, squats, push-ups, weightlifting, gymnastics, running, rowing, and a host of other movements. Always varied, always changing, always producing results. Kids, cops, firefighters, soccer moms, Navy SEALS, and grandmas all do CrossFit. In fact, hundreds of thousands worldwide have followed CrossFit workouts and fallen in love with not only the workouts, but the results. You can find an official CrossFit affiliate near you by visiting www.crossfit.com and searching by area.
If you haven’t found your fitness match, or if your resolution is to try something new, I would encourage you to give CrossFit a try. While you won’t get the same effect doing an “at home” CrossFit workout, it’s absolutely better than nothing. There are dozens of websites that offer “CrossFit at Home” style workouts that can be done in 20 minutes or less – just make sure you warm up & cool down properly.
Here is one you can try at home!
Many CrossFit workouts have names, so we’ll call it “Vapor 10”:
- 10 minute AMRAP (AMRAP means as many reps or rounds as possible, in the allotted time)
- 10 kettlebell or dumbell swings
- 10 push ups
- 10 air squats
- 10 burpees
- 10 sit ups
Part of what makes CrossFit so effective is the intensity. “Vapor 10” doesn’t seem too bad, right? But if you push yourself to work at your FULL capacity, it’s going to be much harder than say 60% effort. Another aspect that gets results is the full range of motion in all of your movements, so lets break them down a little….
dumbbell or kettlebell swings:
Start with your knees slightly bent, chest up & butt out. Think about “popping” your hips as you straighten your knees – this will create momentum and the weight will move upward. As your arms extend, think about pushing your armpits to the ceiling, in CrossFit we call it active shoulders. Use your strength to stop the weight when it has reached all the way above your head. Push the weight back down & repeat.
ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS find full range of motion when you do pushups. Whether they are on your knees or full plank, your chest should touch the floor on the way down and your arms should fully lock out at the top. EVERY TIME!! Start on your knees and work toward plank push ups.
When you squat your weight should be in your heels, meaning no matter what point in your squat you are, you should be able to wiggle your toes. Make sure you squat all the way down so that your hips are below your knees. Stand up all the way to full hip extension at the top. If it’s helpful, find something to squat to so you know you are getting full depth.
Did you know burpees don’t like you either?! Hehe!! That’s my favorite burpee joke!! There is no special way to do burpees, just get town to the floor, make sure you touch your chest & stand back up. There is NO NEED to do a pushup. Flop if you need to. Just down & up.
full range of motion sit ups are SO much more effective than crunches. You can use your arms as tomahawks to get momentum to sit up. Just make sure your shoulders touch the floor on the way down & your hands touch your toes on the way up.
Set a timer & go! Leave your result in the comments!! Each time your complete all of the exercises, that is 1 round – how many full rounds can you get? How many reps? Your score should look something like 4+16. That’s 4 full rounds + 16 more reps. Grab you hubby & kids. Have a competition. It’ll be fun!!
My advice to anyone who wants to make “being fit” one of their New Years Resolutions is to search out and find your fitness match. Don’t run because your friends run, or do Zumba because you were a dancer in high school; find something that allows you to LOVE what you’re doing. It should motivate you to eat well, get lots of rest & feel proud of your body. On my journey to improved health, I have learned to love my big knees because they allow me to accomplish things I never imagined, like squatting over 200 lbs., running without discomfort & pushing myself physically like I never imagined. To me, that’s what health and fitness is, becoming the best version of you!
Thank you McCall! So inspiring! I am definitely going to be giving CrossFit a try. I love that it’s basic body movements and no fancy dance steps to learn! I also love that it focuses on strength and fitness rather than just simply losing weight. After all….STRONG is the new SKINNY! :-)
Be sure to come back tomorrow for Day Two of New Year, New You when we’ll be taking about great ideas FROM YOU for getting organized in the new year! Plus, a giveaway you’ll want to get in on!