There are about a billion and one opinions on which workout program is the best. Should you run? Should you lift weights? Should you swing your legs gaily on a Richard Simmons' Gazelle?
There's one answer that will work for pretty much everyone: Crossfit.
Crossfit is designed to be a total workout system. It addresses the 10 areas of fitness (strength, endurance, agility, flexibility, cardiovascular health, balance, and four more that I've forgotten). The end result? You get in such good shape that you can tackle any sport or activity, from basketball to mountain climbing.
Best of all, it's free. Go to Crossfit.com and do their workout of the day. Some are difficult (running 10 kilometers), some are quick fifteen minute workouts. Two or three days out of every week are rest days.
No fancy machines are needed. Just basic weights, a pullup bar, and your bodyweight. They have lists of substitutions if you can't do a certain exercise, and there are videos showing you proper form for everything.
It's also possible to do some of their exercises without any equipment at all, so you can stay in the groove while you travel. I've been personally doing Crossfit for 5 months now and couldn't possibly recommend it more highly.
With the vegan diet in full swing for six months now, something occurred to me. It doesn't make since to be eating a perfect diet (according to my understanding of food) if I'm not physically active.
In fact - if I'm going to be physically active, I should be doing the best exercise, right?
And so the Tynan research machine's gears started turning. Soon I realized that there was really only one option that fit into my idea of how to do things.
Ever since I was a kid, I was an athlete. My Dad is a big sports fan and he had both me any brother playing all types of sports from the very beginning. Growing up, it was all about baseball, soccer, and gymnastics. In high school, I was a receiver on the football team and a hurdler on the track. I thought about it once, and I think I've played about 13 sports competitively in my life. Though I know plenty of people who were much more successful in their athletic careers than me, I was always one of the first kids picked and always in great shape. I took all that for granted.
In college, though, a weird thing happened. I got fat. I was probably about 8% body fat going in to college, the rest of which was muscle. Even before winter break, the love handles made an appearance. For spring break, I went to Hawaii with my family and I was FAT. In about 6 months, I went from being proud of how I looked to being the guy on the beach with a t-shirt on.
Throughout college, I lost weight, gained it back, and lost it again, but I was pretty much chunky the whole time. Not severely obese or anything, but I was not in good shape, not confident, and physically lazy. I'll talk about it more in a later post, but to make a long story short, I did not have a lot of confidence upon graduating from college. My grades were not good, I lost my social confidence, I lived at home with no job, and I was fat. To sum it up, my life consisted of a bunch of bad habits and very little positive momentum. That's not good for a 23 year old.
I found CrossFit in the summer of 2009. I weighed about 220 pounds at the time and had previously tried running to shed some of the weight. It just wasn't working. I don't typically enjoy running and it's not easy when you are overweight. I'd heard my cousin was into CrossFit so I checked out their website. I was already hooked. I'm going to spare you a description of what CF is as many of you probably already know and the rest can easily find out. I'll suffice it to say that CF is an extremely challenging training regimen from both a physical and mental perspective. It doubles as a competitive sport and a social outlet. For those of you fellow CrossFitters out there, you know exactly what I mean. People don't just do CrossFit. They live, breathe, and eat it.