Now that we’ve had some time to get back in the swing of things, please take a few minutes to post a few goals for the coming year. Strength goals, along with one or more for gymnastics/body weight movements (ie get your first MU, or first HSPU, etc), benchmark (get Fran under 4:00, break 300 on FGB, etc), and lifestyle (eat better consistently, spend 10 min per night on mobility issues, etc).
Please also include some of your improvements from the past year that you are proud of, looking back to some of our numbers from early 2014 for reminders if need be.
Don’t be shy, share how far you’ve come, and be ambitious setting goals for what you want to accomplish this year! Remember to be S.M.A.R.T. setting them – Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Realistic. Timely.
“I was reluctant to begin CrossFit, to say the least, though my husband began with gusto when we moved to Athens. He was quickly making huge gains in strength and improving his body weight skills. When I expressed that I wished we could spend more time together and that I felt like he was always at the gym, he gently began encouraging me to try CrossFit with him. It took a while, but I finally caved and took the intro class. The first two weeks were tough. I had to scale every movement and thought I would never get better. I really struggled with uncertainty. It was daily that I asked myself if I could actually do the workouts. With Brent’s scaling of the workouts, my confidence began to grow and everyday I was able to finish. Every workout I completed made me more willing to push a little further. I appreciate that CrossFit provides a place to challenge myself and fight the cloud of doubt that so easily overtook me in those early workouts. I cannot count the number of times I thought, mid-workout “I don’t think I can finish this…” But every time, I found myself finishing the workout and really enjoyed the sense of accomplishment from telling myself “I guess I CAN do it.” Far removed from my initial fear and doubt, I’ve learned to accept the challenges and I now enjoy tackling difficult workouts. I’ve seen this confidence positively impact both my professional and personal life.
Over time and with the continued encouragement of my friends at the gym, I slowly got better. The change was most apparent in the strength categories, and I enjoyed getting stronger (deadlift went from 100 to 250, front squat up to 140, back squat 190). As Brent worked on my form, my lifting numbers kept creeping up. Soon I was scaling things less and less. I spent three years working out at Classic City Crossfit and we were both sad that our move meant leaving the gym we know and love.
I set three goals in the infancy of my Crossfit days that at the time seemed unobtainable. From my days as a softball pitcher, I have always been a big girl and doing any bodyweight/gymnastics movements was a daunting task. I wanted to be able to do pull ups. I wanted to be able to climb the rope, at least a little. I wanted to clean 125 lbs. For hardcore Crossfitters, these might seem like humble goals, but from where I started, these were arduous ambitions. I struggled with thick, green-bands on my pullups for months. I did more of the scaled “rope-pull-to-standing-on-a-box” things than I care to remember. But, with the help of Georgia Strength/Classic City Crossfit, some diet changes and a close relationship with a Concept2 rower in my living room, I’ve managed to reach all of those goals. I’ve lost over 20 lbs, I’ve lost over 8 inches off my waist and thighs, I can do multiple pull-ups in a set with NO band, I’ve exceeded my clean goal (130 lbs!), I can now climb the rope, and I can crank out sets of 30+ double-unders consistently.
I am sad to leave Georgia Strength behind, but I feel prepared to walk into a new gym with the strength, the technique, and most importantly, the confidence to succeed.”
Like everyone else on the planet, I would like to be slim, strong and gorgeous, but that is not what got me to Classic City Crossfit. Now in my 50’s, the sedentary life-style that I was able to “get away with” in my 20’s, 30’s and even 40’s was no longer working for me. I went to C3 because I was alarmed at how rapidly I was losing the ability to do simple daily tasks due to loss of strength, balance and endurance. It exhausted me to carry a load of laundry up one flight of stairs. When I bought the 45 pound bag of dog food at the store, a stock boy had to be called to help me. Not surprisingly, my favorite hobbies of reading and knitting were doing nothing to reverse this decline.
Impressed by the results my sister had achieved while doing Crossfit in the Atlanta area, I wanted to give it a try. In March 2012, I sent Brent an email and a few days later walked into a gym for the first time in my adult life. I was terrified. I had good reasons to be afraid. I could not do a single air squat. Weakness and poor balance made simple lunges dangerous. I was too weak to lift a 33 pound bar over my head. My first time on the bike, I was so out of shape that I burst into tears doing 30-second sprints. I was pathetic. I don’t think I would have lasted three days in any other gym, but Brent worked with me and he worked with me a lot. He scaled the workouts down so much that they bore little resemblance to the original. He stood directly behind me those first few times sitting on the GHD until I got over the sheer terror of it. When I had gotten strong enough to attempt lunges, he held my hand so I knew I wouldn’t fall. That is what it took for me to be successful at the gym and that is what Brent did.
It worked. After 5 months at C3, I can load my own bag of dog food, thank you very much! I can Press 50 pounds, Deadlift125 pounds and do plenty of air squats and lunges. I am still, by far, the weakest and slowest person at the gym, but I don’t care. That’s because I am attaining MY goals. I am becoming strong enough to do the things I need to do. My aches and pains are greatly diminished and my energy level has increased tremendously. As I age, I want to be able to carry my own bags of groceries, put my luggage in the overhead bin on the airplane, or sprint to safety when I uncover a nest of Yellow Jackets in the garden. I want to be equal to the tasks that arise from everyday living. Crossfit helps me do that.
I had an experience in July that exemplifies the value of Crossfit for me. I have always been content to opt out of the adventures my husband would plan. Over the years, it was increasingly more our children, rather than me, that would accompany him caving, or hiking or kayaking. This year, on our annual beach vacation, I told him that I wanted to try kayaking as I had never done that before. He took one look at me and said, “Who are you and what have you done with my wife?” The next day, there we were, out on Mosquito Lagoon in a rented two-man kayak. A year ago even climbing into my seat on the bobbing kayak would have been too much for me. This year we explored the lagoon, saw all kinds of wildlife, and had a wonderful time together. Since this was a completely new activity for me and I had paddled for three hours, I prepared myself to be quite sore the next day. I had such a feeling of accomplishment, though, that it seemed a small price to pay. To my surprise, I had absolutely no soreness. That experience spoke volumes to me about the functionality of Crossfit and that is why I do it. I don’t care if it will add years to my life, but I do care that it ADDS LIFE TO MY YEARS!
Crossfit’s claim is that its movements are functional and, therefore, for everyone. Crossfit’s detractors say that it is too strenuous and question the safety of it for all but the fittest athletes. My experience says that with the right gym and the right coach, Crossfit is for anyone willing to put in the effort. If I can do it, anyone can!
“Starting Crossfit a little over a year ago was one of the best life changing decisions I have ever made. In a short year I have drastically changed my fitness level, self confidence, mental health, and general well being. Before starting Crossfit I was the typical guy in the gym that wanted to judge everything by how much I could bench or curl or maybe leg press. I played 3 sports in high school and stayed pretty active through college, so I continued doing the same lifts and routines that I learned there and thought I was in pretty good shape. I did the typical “back and bis” or “chest and tris” workouts and hit legs occasionally but always did leg presses and calf raises instead of any kind of squats. I ran a few miles once or twice a week or took on an occasional Saturday morning 5k and figured that would be enough for endurance.
Week 1 of Crossfit at C3 made me realize how far I was from being in great shape. I could get a few pullups and a couple ring dips but I had to do them on pretty thick bands to get through a WOD. Handstand pushups, chest to bars, and muscle-ups (still not quite there) were all out of the question. Olympic lifting was all brand new and I was almost embarrassed to even try. Quickly getting in better shape and seeing what I could do turned Crossfit into an obsession. The deliberate recording of improvement made tracking progress crystal clear and a source of constant encouragement. Starting at a pretty basic level meant that things got better really early on but also continued to build on itself, so even after a year of training I am still seeing constant gains. After a month or so of coaching and working on form I started seeing great gains on all of my strength and Olympic lifts. Being a 200+ lb guy, the bodyweight moves came a little slower, but before long I was off all bands and learning how to kip and make them even easier. Now after about 13 months, I am finally doing all the WODs with prescribed weights and unassisted (excluding MUs). In just over a year I have added 100lbs to my squat (350#), 70lbs on cleans (245#), snatches are up almost 60lbs (180#), and I can now do over 25 unbroken pullups. Meanwhile, I am a few pounds heavier than I was when I started, yet 3 notches tighter on the belt. We set ourselves goals for 2012 at the beginning of the year as a sort of New Years resolution and with months to spare I have already hit many of them. Recently I started a two a day program and am looking forward to seeing how much the extra dedication will pay off toward reaching the more challenging ones.
Most importantly to me though, has been the mental improvements. The obvious endorphin and chemical changes made my general mood much better on a daily basis. At the same time, learning new things in the gym and seeing such improvements in my ability to do them gave me confidence to try new things in my life outside the gym without the fear of failure. I had always been pretty happy in my own comfort zone but very hesitant to venture out of it and try new things. I have made many new friends in the gym and also become closer to the group that I started with as we continue to challenge and push each other toward new goals. I could go on and on but in the end, I feel that I am a better, stronger, healthier, and happier person than I was when I started. I have C3, my coaches, and gym family of new friends to thank for that. I look forward to the next year and the challenges it holds for me!”
“Before I started Crossfit, I was doing boot camp 3 days a week and running 15-25 miles a week and I thought I was in pretty good shape. After my first day at C3 I realized how wrong I was. I was unable to do almost everything Crossfit entails. I couldn’t do a pullup, ring dip, or handstand pushup. For squats, lunges, and presses, I was using a 14 pound bar during boot camp. I hadn’t even considered using a bar bell let alone adding weights to it. After 9 months at Classic City CrossFit I have lost 25 pounds and dropped 3 clothes sizes. I am now able to do 30 pullups in a row, 15 ring dips unbroken, and I just was able to string together my first handstand pushups. Although I have lost weight, I have gotten much stronger: my squat max has increased by over 30 pounds and my deadlift by 35 pounds. My mile time is also almost a minute faster since I began doing Crossfit. Even though I have become stronger, faster, and healthier since starting at C3, I still have a long way to go which continues to motivate me. The minute I accomplish one goal there is something else to improve on or something new to try. That is what I love most about CrossFit!”
To say CrossFit has changed my life would be an understatement. I can’t really ever seem to find enough words to express how much I love it or what it has done for me over the course of the last year. Since stepping foot into Classic City CrossFit, my mentality, self-confidence, nutrition, and strength/endurance have improved drastically.
When I first came to C3 a little over a year and a half ago, there were a lot of things I couldn’t do. Pullups, pushups, Olympic lifting, and rope climbs were just some of the movements I struggled with. Before CrossFit, I had never touched a barbell, much like many CF newbies. Growing up I had done some competitive gymnastics, cheerleading, soccer, and rode horses, so I was always “in shape” for what I was doing, but everything CrossFit entailed I had either A) never done before or B) not done since my gymnastics days (i.e. bodyweight movements and handstand related activities). But it was love at first box jump for me and I was completely hooked from then on out.
At C3, everything about me has changed. Physically, I look completely different than I did than before I started. I have put on lean muscle all around (but definitely not bulky), toned up, and my body image has been morphed into something positive and confident. I used to be so obsessed with being super skinny with no muscle and looking like some airbrushed model on a magazine cover. Gone are those days, and thank goodness. For the first time in a LONG time I actually love my body. I appreciate what my body now allows me to do in CrossFit, and I look forward to new challenges rather than avoid them. I have self-confidence that I haven’t had in years. I call it ‘CrossFit Confidence’—and I own it. I’ve stayed about the same weight but my body composition has completely changed, my flexibility and mobility have gotten closer to that of my young gymnastics days, and my strength has increased exponentially. For example, when I started I couldn’t do a real push up, let alone a dip on the gymnastic rings or a handstand push up, I couldn’t do an unassisted pull up or climb the rope, and Olympic lifting was Greek to me. Now, I can clean and jerk my bodyweight (130#), powerclean more than my body weight (144#), snatch 100 pounds, do muscle ups on the rings, legless rope climbs, full-depth one-legged squats, butterfly pullups (20 reps), weighted strict pullups (20 lbs), and handstand pushups, just to name a few. My strength numbers continuously go up week after week. All of this success hasn’t come without a few setbacks though.
I broke my left leg in two places while sledding over Christmas break of 2010 and was set to rehab after surgery for almost 6 months. Once I got back to Athens, I came into C3 and did “real” rehab by continuing to train my upper body while my leg was healing. Brent challenged me with one-legged sprints, one-legged burpees, pullups, and a variety of movements that kept my training challenging and fun while fighting through a frustrating recovery period. That’s the most amazing thing about CrossFit- there is ALWAYS something you can do no matter your circumstance. They will show you how to work around injuries, fix muscle imbalances, and correct flexibility issues. After my leg healed, my hip was giving me trouble (understandably), so we focused on my mobility and flexibility and re-building the strength that I had lost while injured. He never pushed me past what he knew it could handle, and he brought me back to full capability and then some!
I’m sure I could write an entire novel about what Classic City CrossFit has done for me, but the bottom line is, I am a better person inside and out since I’ve started working out here. CrossFit prepares you for life. Part of my summer job in a barn the past couple months required heavy lifting, pushing, climbing, and throwing all kinds of things, from feed bags to wheelbarrows to heavy boxes of medication for the horses. I guarantee you I would not have been able to do HALF the stuff I was able to do at work this summer had C3 not made me the strong girl I am today. Anyone who talks CrossFit with me for 5 minutes can see how passionate I am about it. The box has become my second family, the people I’ve become closest with, and the people who have come to support and push me to new heights every single day. C3 embodies everything the ideal CrossFit community is, and I am honored to be a part of such an amazing group of people!