I've been doing Crossfit for the past eight months. The past two months have not been perfect, sometimes for valid reasons, sometimes not. I'd give myself an 85% for those two months and a 99% for the rest. I'sm getting off topic, but I feel like it's necessary to address on my blog the times I screw up too.
I love Crossfit and think it's the best program (of those I've researched) for me as well as most people out there. I believe that I could have probably made bigger gains muscle wise with a strict heavy lifting and high protein diet, but it would have been at the expense of other benefits.
I've gained some weight and a lot of muscle definition. Muscle definition is always more impressive to the person experiencing it, because we're honed in on the nuances of our bodies, but when I look in the mirror and flex, I look like a little Greek god in training. With the standard amount of downlighting in a bathroom I have a clearly defined six pack, and when I flex my arms I have little bicep mountains.
I haven't had easy access to a scale recently, but I am probably up about 20 pounds total, most of which was gained early on when I could gorge myself on food at Casa De Luz.
I can lift a lot more, as a metric and also in a practical sense. When there's something heavy to be lifted I am confident I'll be able to do it, rather than before when I'd be sure of the opposite.
I was used to being the weakling in a group. It didn't make me feel insecure or anything, because I know I'm great at a lot of things, but it did make it clear that I had room to improve.
Now I'm usually middle of the pack, or even upper middle depending on the context. People occasionally gasp at the amount of weights that I lift (not impressive for serious lifters, but good for my size).
In Tokyo we walk a lot, often with our packs, and are always going up and down stairs. No problem. No heavy breathing.
The best benefit of all is that I now actively enjoy physical activities. I realized this just today.
We stood at the bottom of Mount Misen near Hiroshima, Japan. It's a small mountain that apparently was where Buddha became enlightened.
Two options were presented - a strenuous 2.5 kilometer hike up the mountain, or a ride in a cable car to the top.
I chose the hike. That in of itself is no big deal. I would have done that anyway.
The difference is that before I would have thought "I'd rather do the cable car, but I can't let myself be lazy, so I will do the hike."
This time I thought, "Awesome! A hike!"
Riding the car had no appeal to me. I actually tried to figure out if there was a harder route up the mountain.
I've gotten a lot of tangible benefits from Crossfit, but internally valuing physical activity and seeking it out is the best part.
I am a full time crossfit trainer/nutritionist and have been doing crossfit for half a decade now. I love it! I would never choose any other fitness program for the overall success I, or my clients have had, especially in their increased capacity of mental toughness. That's what your article cleary stated that crossfitters generally find pleasure in the physical challenges layed out for us. Take the cable car or hike? Cable car is out of question to the crossfitter! I started training crossfit for my preparation of joining the SOF community as an Airborne Ranger. Once I made it I spent my free time training my fellow rangers as well as SOF recruits in crossfit and now continue to do so on a full time basis. I have thought of opening my own crossfit gym but don't want to tie myself down to a specific geographical location. I'm ready to spread my wings and start traveling and living my life a little more nomadic. Your site and experiences really inspire me and I am glad to see that you appreciate the utilize the crossfit program. Keep living the good life Tynan!
You sound pretty pissed off for having made lots of very good choices.
Also, can you point me to any hard evidence of why eating Vegan is the best diet? I've been reading your blog for a good while now and don't recall a post going into it in detail.
I completely agree with everything in this post. Sure, there are days when I don't want to do my crossfit, but afterwards I'm always glad I did; and if I didn't do it I'd be max pissed at myself.
On top of the narcissistic "Damn. That's me?!" reactions of looking in a mirror, you have to love it when people that haven't seen you in a while stare wide-eyed, do a double-take, or simply say "Wow. You look great!"
A while ago, I used to be a lazy sloth. Now, however, physical activity has become an addiction, and honestly, I physically don't feel as well on days when I don't exercise. It's interesting how once exercise works its way into your routine, it becomes almost as necessary to living as eating and drinking water!
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.