CrossFit on the Biggest Loser / A Letter to 2013 CrossFit Newbies
We got to see our CrossFit friends on the Biggest Loser last night…
…for only around 4 minutes lol.
It was funny when Bob Harper showed off his CrossFit friends on the Biggest Loser doing random WOD’s in his workout playground. His team of contestants were just floored seeing them do weird, foreign movements like overhead squats and handstand pushups. And when he said this was something his team could “potentially do” at some point…it hit me.
That’s so true. Sure, I was never as out of shape as the contestants, but I know that feeling of being pretty out of shape and thinking something like a muscle up was impossible.
Also, the whole place was DECKED OUTTTT in Rogue Fitness equipment. From the Games to now prime time television, it’s awesome seeing Rogue really flesh out their business.
Anyway…yeah…as you can see in these videos (we’ll see how long they stay up lol…), the CrossFit segment was only around 4 minutes long. Still, it was cool seeing our heroes like Rich Froning, Camille, Matt Chan, Kristan Clever, and Miranda Oldroyd on national TV.
Props to Carols Villafana for posting these on YouTube:
I initially only watched out of curiosity…
…since I really don’t watch TV aside from a few shows and sports. Most shows are a waste of time to me. Channel surfing + junk food were one of the many reasons I got out fat when I was younger.
What got me hooked on watching all 2 hours of last night’s Biggest Loser episode? Getting all those flashbacks to when I started hitting up the gym.
It was the summer going into my senior year of high school.
My weight reached an all-time high due to poor eating and sleeping habits, along with a lack of any physical activity whatsoever. Since I stopped playing sports around 8th grade, the only activities I had outside of school were guitar and video games. Yeah…can’t lose weight with those hobbies…
…that’s when I knew I had to make some changes with my life. I’ve done some workouts at home using some light dumbbells and even Dance Dance Revolution for some cardio (lol), but I knew that signing up for a gym membership had to be done to see the results I wanted.
Seeing the contestants struggle with their workouts and their new lifestyle changes seemed all too familiar to me. I was so self-conscious about how I’d looked when working out. Whether it’s doing a lift for the first time or how weird it would be for a guy to use an elliptical machine.
Honestly, that self-consciousness at the gym didn’t disappear until I got deep into CrossFit. I mean I’ve fallen off the GHD with no shame haha. That’s where I am now.
Watching the show reminded me how tough those mental hurdles were to overcome. But you know what? It’s all about starting somewhere, right?
When I started out at Planet Fitness, I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. I pretty much just came up with my own stuff based off the material on JohnStoneFitness.com and the forums there. Then I thought LOTS of cardio was necessary, so I did 1-2 hour cardio sessions (bike, treadmill, or elliptical) on top of 30 minute lifting sessions.
I’ll never forget my first cardio “session.”
It was pretty much a 30 minute walk on the treadmill because I had NO ENDURANCE at all and my asthma was pretty bad then.
Hey, it was a start and I did see results. Even more so the following summer going into my freshman year of college. So much for that… (beer + Domino’s + Easy Mac + barely any sleep)
I watched the Biggest Loser last night only to see the CrossFit people, which ended up being such a small part of the episode. However, watching the show reminded me so much of where I started.
It reminded me that I don’t want to go back to that. That lifestyle where I constantly felt like shit. That lifestyle I was really unhappy about.
Fortunately, I’m now in that place, that zone where I no longer have worries about getting into shape. It’s all about executing that solid plan made for your body.
For the 2013 CrossFit Newbies
So all these thoughts of my beginnings really got me thinking of people starting fresh in 2013. I was already pretty damn self-conscious at Planet Fitness, a “judgement free zone” (lulz…felt more the opposite). Then things were taken to a whole new level at my school gym, where guys stared at each other working out and girls were afraid of stepping foot in due to the same reason.
What about a newbie signing up for a CrossFit gym?
I don’t know about you, but I feel a lot of people new to CrossFit would find many of our gyms intimidating simply because of the shit they see in the Games on TV and also the intense personalities of some athletes.
It’s hard for a lot of outsiders to see the welcoming culture under the image of intensity.
So for you newcomers, here are some things I just wanted to point out:
Not all boxes are intense
Whether CrossFit or another type of gym, each has its own personality. Some are totally hardcore while others cater to almost everyone. If you’re thinking of signing up, visit the local box and talk with the trainers there to get a feel for it. You’re going to be working out here 3-5+ times a week, so it should be a place you like.
Don’t worry about what people think of you when you work out
We all started somewhere. The majority of people are not going to be lifting heavy-ass weights or getting sub-3 minute Fran times right out of the gate. Just keep doing your thing and listen to what your coaches have to say.
You make a mistake with a movement? No biggie.
You fail a lift at a very light weight? Shake it off.
You trip or something during a run? Get back up.
All that matters is that you’re working towards a healthier lifestyle. The community around you can’t help but respect that.
Focus on your form
Leave your ego at the door.
I noticed this especially with guys who’ve had some previous lifting background. A lot of these lifts and movements will be new to you, so focus on getting your form down. Yeah, your form will go to shit at times during certain workouts, but it’s best if you lay down a solid foundation when you start.
It’ll help reduce any bad habits that’ll be hard to shake off down the road, which’ll drastically reduce your chances of injury. I’ve seen way too many people who can’t accept that their form sucks, yet continue to push through with it. It’s people like that who give CrossFit a bad name. Don’t be that guy or girl. Your body will thank you later as well.
And in the long-run, nailing down your form will help you lift more weight. 1 simple tweak in your form can help you shoot up in weight for a lift. I’ve experienced this countless times and still continue to.
You want it to get to the point where you can visualize what a lift SHOULD look like and then things just happen automatically. Then you’ll have less things to think about while you work out.
Ask yourself why you CrossFit
Yes, we all have many reasons why we do it. And that’s pretty damn awesome.
However, if you really do want to see results consistently and faster, focus on 1 thing at a time. Do you want to drop fat/health? Do you want to improve your performance? Or do you have some other reason for hitting up a CrossFit box?
I’m suggesting focusing on 1 main goal, especially in the beginning, because scattered plans tend to give you scattered results. I’ve been there numerous times. For example, I’ve bounced back and forth between dropping body fat and performance for quite a while. It wasn’t until I asked myself why I CrossFit that I decided to keep my focus on fat loss right now.
So far so good.
Having that proper focus will make things easier for you and for your CrossFit trainers, as they’ll be able to give you better, more personalized suggestions to achieving your goals.
Think about how lucky you are.
You have this awesome opportunity to change things. To live a healthier lifestyle. To make yourself look pretty damn good. To make yourself stronger and faster than ever before.
Enjoy yourself out there. Savor every single rep. Feel that pump you get from a heavy lifting sesh. Soak in the flow of those butterfly kipping pullups.
And it’s sweet how you can share these experiences with other people. You don’t have to go through this journey alone. Between your coaches and other people in your class, you have a lot of like-minded individuals who want to see you succeed.
Joke around. Do a WOD. Have a good time.
The fun factor of CrossFit is what gets me to show up each day with ease.
Happy new year! Kip it real, my friends.