I Broke Up With CrossFit

Okay I haven’t really.

But I am taking a break from CrossFit.

A month, at least. Maybe longer.  Over the last few months I have been less and less enthused about heading to the gym for a metcon.  I’m always happy to go throw some weights around but the workouts themselves just haven’t appealed to me.  And while before I would whine and complain about a workout but would do it anyway (suck it up, right?), this time I would just not go. Which isn’t like me.

Combine that with some uncomfortable interpersonal relationships that I still don’t understand and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Or at least a good reason to take a break. I realize I should just get over myself when it comes to this failed friendship but the awkwardness gets me every time.

I know I’ve said it somewhere before but my love has been and always will be LIFTING.  Whether power lifting (deadlifts, squats, bench press) or my one true lifting love, Olympic lifting (clean & jerks, snatches), I’m happiest with a heavy barbell in my hands.  If I don’t return to CrossFit my focus will be a cycle of Starting Strength, followed by the Boring But Big version of Wendler’s 5/3/1 program.  After I’m thoroughly sick of powerlifting (but hopefully stronger!) I would like to follow Catalyst Athletic’s programming and workouts and focus on my Olympic lifts.

CrossFit has given me the knowledge and confidence to march into the weight room at any gym and not only be able to handle myself, but to do it correctly.  It has introduced me to a world where strong women are encouraged and celebrated.

I’m hoping this break from CF won’t be permanent. I think I’d miss it too much. 

Leigh 1

The One Where I Realize How Much I Suck

Sometimes I forget how far I've come.

I mean, not just about losing weight, although that is still a significant event itself. I mean in terms of my outlook on life, and healthy living, and exercise, and eating. I wouldn't say it's been a complete 180 but definitely close.

18 months ago, I wouldn't have guessed I would be working out as much as I do. I would never have even given a thought to doing a triathlon, let alone 2, let alone getting a coach for next season. If you'd told me that I would fall in love with Olympic lifting I would have stared at you blankly, especially if you'd mentioned the word 'snatch'.

I've been thinking about goals and where I want to go with both CrossFit and triathlons. With tris it's easy – get better. I need to improve all aspects of the sport before I can really truly see what I'm capable of. But regardless I love it just the same, and I know I can get better, and I will.

With CrossFit it's different. I am deeply, unabashedly in love with CrossFit. Without it I know I wouldn't be where I am today, and as cheesy as it sounds it really did change my life. I doubt i would have ever tried running, or triathlons, without the courage and faith in myself that I've developed through CrossFit. Cheesy, sappy, kool-aid driven, whatever – I love it.

So it's hard for me to admit that I suck at it. Now no need to boost my ego by telling me I don't (although telling me I'm awesome will earn you some brownie points) because I know I do. I'm not good at a lot of aspects of CrossFit and I just don't anticipate getting better. I don't improve as quickly as a lot of others at my gym. My times are slower, the weights are lighter, and I really, really am no good at gymnastics movements.

So there's that. It's hard to set goals for things that I'm horrible at. It's not like triathlon, where i know i can improve but have no delusions of ever standing on the podium. I want so badly to be good at CrossFit but I'm just – not. It's hard to sit back and watch others, so easily, do the things that I struggle with on a daily basis.

But then I still have to remember how far I've come.

And I have to remember to stop comparing myself with others.

I need to remember the things I am good at.

But it's hard sometimes, to remember.


That Time I Decided to Become An Olympic Lifter


Yeah, random title right?

So my “secret” not so secret news is that I’ve decided to train for an Olympic lifting competition that is in August.  One of our coaches just completed his first comp this weekend and did very well for only 5 weeks training.  We have a lifting coach that was coming in on Wednesday nights for group training, and he was privately training Kyle as well.  Now he wants to find more “talent” and bring them to the competitions.  We have some extremely strong guys in the gym, and I think they would excel.

So why am I doing this, you might ask yourself? I’m not extremely strong, and apparently according to my training session yesterday, I’ve been doing the lifts wrong for the last year. Not horrifically wrong, mind you, but my body position needs a lot of work. My hip flexors don’t bend as they should, and I’m all tilty, and I always have this feeling that I’m going to fall backwards. Or I do fall backwards. I’m just so graceful.

But I am a perfectionist when it comes to some things (cleaning is not one of them – sorry Mom, I know you tried) and I really want to perfect these lifts. I am not going to compete to win, or place, but I’m using it as a goal to work on my form and hopefully improve my strength gains in each lift.

Now what exactly is Olympic lifting? Olympic lifting consists of 2 lifts – the clean & jerk, and the snatch (yes, laugh, we all do), while powerlifting is the more commonly thought of deadlift, back squat, and bench press.




Clean and Jerk


Truthfully, the Olympic lifts are more technical than the powerlifting ones (at least they seem that way to me).  The term “powerlifting” is also a bit misleading – the Oly lifts are about power, and hip drive, while the powerlifts are more about strength.  Form is extremely important in both, but I have a harder time wrapping my brain around the subtleties of the Oly lifts than the powerlifts. 

Last night we worked on snatch progression (cue snickering), and really all I worked on was set up and first pull (bringing the bar to my knees).  Before yesterday I didn’t really realize just how much leg strength is involved in this lift, probably because I was doing it wrong and using my back before.  But holy, trying to do the WOD afterwards was excruciating.  Our workout (after the hour + of Oly lifting!) was:

50 kettlebell swings (16kg)
40 box jumps (20’)
30 push ups
20 air squats
10 pull ups
400 m run

My legs felt like lead after the KB swings, and I was slow getting started on the box jumps.  But I finished in 12:37, not the slowest on the day, so that’s a good thing!

Time to get off my chair and head over to the gym for tabata tire flips and a 1.5 mile run. Sorry body – the things I do to you!

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Yoga and Soup Makes For A Great Monday

I meant to write this post on Monday.  And then I meant to write it on Tuesday.  But here I am, at 2:09 Wednesday morning.  I worked nights all weekend, which meant Monday was spent sleeping, grocery shopping, yoga-ing, and tortellini soup making. Then Tuesday was spent sleeping (again), CrossFit-ing, and then working (again).  We just finished a long, involved surgery and I’m debating going to the store to buy a salad. For some reason I’m always hungry at this time of the morning.

I have more I want to write about, but given the fact that it’s so late I’ll just give a quick preview of the workouts I have planned for this week.  The gym is closed Friday and Sunday for Easter, so I moved my running workouts to accommodate for that.  I’m really hoping that I can do the 5km on Sunday!

Monday: 1 hr Power Hour Yoga : a great class as always!

Tuesday: CrossFit: AMRAP 12 min of – 10 dumbbell clean and jerks, 40 double unders (I did 120 singles) and 20 sit ups.  I did 2 rounds + 8 clean and jerks

Wednesday: 3 x 1200m, rest 3 min in between sets
CrossFit/Olympic lifting class

Thursday: CrossFit

Friday: 10 x 30sec max effort, rest 2 min in between sets

Saturday: CrossFit

Sunday: 5km (if everything the rest of the week goes well!)

Hope the start of your week went well, and that everyone has some great Easter plans.