1000 fat steps

I have been a bit fixated lately on knowing how well I would be doing by now without my excess weight. I’ve been at this for 6 months now, and I feel strong, but anything cardio always kills me. I wanted to know if that is because of the extra kilos, or if my lungs are just shit.

So I proposed the challenge to Royce of a workout with 40kg on him. Now Royce weighs a couple of kilos more than me, but I have 50kg+ to lose and he has 13kg so it evens out if he wears 2 20kg vests. Of course I was just thinking something like Helen, but Royce took the idea one step further, or 1000 steps!…………….Sorry, I had to!1471219_10152090332710803_932069562_n

During the Paleo challenge we did the 1000 steps in Melbourne, and it nearly killed me! It took me easily twice as long as everyone else, and my legs were shaking by the end of it. I had to constantly stop for breathers, but thankfully I never sat down. Royce stayed with me the whole time, but he looked like he was going for a leisurely stroll through the shops, whereas I looked like I was being chased by a pack of rabid dogs!

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So Royce decided to do the 1000 steps again, wearing the 2 20kg weight vests, and because it sounded stupid and crazy, Chase decided he had to do it as well!

I can’t believe they did it! It means so much to me that they would put themselves through that just to better understand what I deal with every day. They even tried a few push ups at the top!

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If you have someone who you are trying to help motivate to lose weight, I would definitely recommend something like this. I think its important to understand that if you can run faster or jump higher its not always because you’re stronger or fitter, sometimes its because they are carrying more than you realize.

That’s why I love when we do partner carries at the box! I weigh as much as a lot of the female pairs on my own, and its great to see that no matter how fit you are, you’re going to slow down with that much load on you

It was an amazing show of solidarity, It really inspired me to push harder. If I can keep up as well as I do now, Imagine what I will be capable of when I’m not carrying an extra person worth of weight!

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They survived it, but it definitely wasn’t pleasant for them. I will always be grateful to them for helping me to put things into perspective.

I can’t wait until I’ve lost my weight and I can go back with 50kg on me and do the steps again!

Quote of the Day

I think this sums up every CrossFit Athlete

Coach John

“We must learn our limits. We are all something, but none of us are everything.”

– Blaise Pascal

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CrossFit Racism

I wanna talk about this article, and this article, and this article.

Let me give you a minute to read them…..

Done? OK good.

One thing that really irritates me about the fitness community is the constant bitching between the ‘gangs’. All gangs do it; Weight lifters think Globo’s are idiots, Boxers think MMA’s are wankers, Ballerina’s think tap dancers are fat….and everyone hates CrossFit.

CrossFit is the ugly step sister of a lot of other fitness regimes; Gymnastics, Boxing, Weightlifting, whatever else may be in there. And the other styles hate them for it.

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So why with all the hate? There’s a really good article here that talks a bit about what people think of CrossFit, I really enjoyed the read and think it brought up some valid points. But I’m going to share my observations about the sport, community and public outcry.

“CrossFit is a cult”
In some ways that is true; they have their own language, behaviors and inside jokes, but that’s true of any activity. You will always find within a culture that similarly minded people will flock to each other. Base ball players talk in ‘on base percentages’ and and ‘runs’, marathon runners talk in ‘km’ and ‘energy supplements’. These are all things that I have no idea about, but that’s OK because I’m not part of that world.

“CrossFitters are always pressuring you to join”
Now that’s unfair. It’s true of any community that the people within it enjoy the company, and want to share it with others. Have you never been told you should try yoga or pole dancing? No one bats an eye when they’re told they should try organic food or skydiving, but as soon as someone suggests CrossFit everyone loses their shit!

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“You have to be fit to do CrossFit”
Moot point, your reading this blog so you know better than that. Next.

“CrossFitters are all crazy intense”
I agree that videos like this are pretty accurate of what people expect a box to be like. But there are crazy fanatics in every sport. Yes it’s true that when you are in the middle of a really hard workout, people may be screaming and swearing around you. You may yourself be screaming, or swearing, or crying (like me). There are studies showing the effectiveness of swearing in relieving pain, and screaming is a natural reaction to great exertion. This does not mean that if you were to do CrossFit you are required to work to this point, it just means that others choose to, it depends entirely on your goals and reasons for being there.

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“CrossFit Athletes don’t just do CrossFit”
Exactly! No good coach will ever tell you that you shouldn’t be doing other activities. They want you to run, bike, swim, do yoga, play sport. Most of the top athletes also do at least weightlifting and yoga. Have you ever heard of a runner that doesn’t lift weights, or a swimmer that doesn’t work on mobility? No one activity is the be all and end all of athleticism. And on that note;

“CrossFit isn’t real gymnastics/weightlifting”
Precisely, it doesn’t try to be! The point of CrossFit is to develop physical ability across a wide range of activities and movements. We lift weights because its helps with overall strength and speed, we do handstand pushups because they work on balance and coordination, we do kipping pull ups because it helps us to work up to muscle ups. But above all else we do these movements because they are fun, and a great workout. So why should it matter if these movements were not developed in CrossFit? No one ever claimed they were! Pump classes never get slammed for using a barbell, and no one ever makes fun of boxers for using a children’s toy to develop cardio?

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“CrossFit causes injuries”
Bullshit. CrossFit does not cause injuries, people cause injuries. There have only been 2 injuries in the box I train at and they both happened because they weren’t doing what they were told. CrossFit does not CAUSE injuries, it exposes weaknesses in your body. If you don’t listen to your body and check your ego, then you are going to hurt yourself. Lets not forget this is a fast paced highly dynamic exercise format that uses more muscles than any other workout. If you don’t understand the movement, drop the weight right back and focus on technique. If you are getting a stitch, walk it out. If something doesn’t feel right, talk to your coach and they will modify the movement for you. That being said, a CrossFit box is only as good as its coaches, and that segways nicely into my next point.

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“CrossFit coaches don’t know what they’re doing”
I take offense to this one because my coach is wonderful, and a stickler for technique. I have heard him tell people to drop a bar or bail out of a lift if they even start to show poor technique. He refuses to let you use weight if you don’t know the movement, we have 1 dedicated technique class and 1 dedicated weightlifting class every week so we are constantly working on proper form. As I said above, a CrossFit box is only as good as it’s coaches, and a shit coach will have a shit box and by extension, shit athletes who will probably injure themselves. Again, this is true of any activity. A bad football coach can cause death by teaching the players dangerous tackles, a bad choir coach can murder a song. Make sure you do your homework, find out how experienced your coach is, read reviews, talk to former athletes and make an informed decision about which box you will go to.

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And finally, the jewel in the crown of the CrossFit hating community…

“CrossFit causes Rhabdo”
This one is so funny to me, but I am going to answer it anyway. People think Rhabdomyolysis is something new that has been drastically on the rise since the main streaming of CrossFit, But and I quote: ‘A search of the National Library of Medicine (PubMed) using the keywords “exercise-induced rhabdomyolysis,” revealed over 146 hits dating back to 1970, long before the days of CrossFit’ – The Scientific Rebuttal to an Anecdotal Claim about CrossFit’s “Dirty Little Secret” .
WebMD has a good explanation of what this condition is, and its causes. And if you’re willing to read a very passionate (albeit biased and unsupported) article like this one, then in an effort to get all the facts you should also read this scientific report compiled by an unbiased doctor on the facts and figures surrounding CrossFit induced Rhabdo. The conclusion? CrossFit does not cause Rhabdo,very few people have developed Rhabdo after doing CrossFit, but there is always more to the story than that. This is not a prevalent issue, its not as though every time you step into a box you’re playing Russian roulette with your life. Statistically its more dangerous to drive a car, or fly a plane, or go for a swim or take a bath. Some people are predisposed to developing Rhabdo, and I would never downplay the seriousness of this condition or the effect it can have on the people who develop it. But it can be brought on by being inadequately hydrated, drinking alcohol, poor kidney function, doing drugs, being overheated, or crush injury. These are not CrossFit exclusive factors. Please talk to a doctor before you join a CrossFit gym, you should be doing that before you start any drastic lifestyle shift, but lets not lose sight of the big picture here. I have a family member who was recently put in hospital and diagnosed with Rhabdo…he’s never even heard of CrossFit.

All this CrossFit racism really irritates me. Why is it OK to talk poorly of any form of exercise that people might try to get healthier or happier? If any of those negative articles stopped even 1 person from trying CrossFit, the authors should be ashamed of themselves. In this day and age where obesity related illnesses are sky rocketing, depression, diabetes and heart disease are on the rise, and our life expectancies are going down, I believe that any step in the right direction is great. The last thing an unsure, unhealthy person needs, is articles like these trying to convince them that if they go to CrossFit they will ‘catch’ a horrible disease that will slowly and painfully kill them. How hard is it to get support from family and friends, when they Google CrossFit and the first thing they read stirs irrational fears about muscles melting on every athlete that does a class?

Now I’m not trying to convince you to join, do whatever makes you happy and healthy. I’m just trying to clear up all this stupid community backlash. I was very wary of doing a CrossFit class, I shared a lot of the same concerns I have detailed above. Personally CrossFit has changed my life, I finally have found an exercise that I look forward to every day. A community of really supportive, down to earth people who are dedicated to improving themselves and each other. But if you’d rather be a body builder, a triathlete, or a yogi, more power to you. I wish you every success in your chosen lifestyle, but please, live and let live.

P.S. My fellow Xfitters, you are not innocent here either, stop bagging on Globo gyms and body builders!

Inspiration = Chad Mackay

So its 1 week into the Paleo Challenge and Ben has organised for Chad Mackay to come to the box for a demo and Q&A. I’m not ashamed to say that I geeked out a bit (a lot) and was overly excited for it!

553183_439988706106904_1356864711_n For my fellow Aussies who don’t know who Chad Mackay is, please promptly slap yourself in the face for not being up to date on CrossFit news! For anyone abroad who doesn’t know; Chad Mackay is the 11th fittest man in the world, highest ranked for male Aussies at the 2013 CrossFit Games, and recently represented Australia on Team World at the 2013 CrossFit Invitational.

He was in Melbourne for the Schwartz’s Challenge, and Ben got him to come in for an evening to run through snatch technique, work up to a heavy lift, and do a Q&A with us.

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It was awesome! When you see the CrossFit Elite its usually with other athletes, but to see him in person was a bizarre experience. He’s SO MUCH bigger up close than you would think! His legs are like tree trunks and he’s got a huge frame. Funny thing is that he was a very down to earth, easy to talk to person. He answered all our questions with real thought, not just like he had answers memorised to parrot out when asked the same things over and over, and he was very interested in our own experiences as well.

He showed us the exercises he uses to speed up his snatch catch and improve his squat, he talked about his nutrition and programming, and how he handles his recovery. He posed for photos and hung around to chat with us after the session.

It was a great, inspirational night for everyone involved, and while I was inspired, it also kind of had the opposite effect on me.

Chad Mackay is an amazing athlete, hands down, but he spends 99% of his time working on his performance. Everything he eats is carefully selected, life scheduled for optimum sleep, recovery and programming…. Wouldn’t it be exhausting?

1425763_440005679438540_1526286382_n I used to love toying with the idea of competing once I’ve lost all my weight. As I’ve said before I have a bit (a lot) of an obsessive personality and tend to go head first, 100% crazy obsessed with anything I enjoy. CrossFit was one of those things for me, I thought I would dedicate my life to becoming a better athlete, eventually start competing and try to go to the Games. (Don’t laugh, you’ve had that thought too!) Maybe I would become a trainer, or open my own box, the CrossFit sky was the limit.

But now…I don’t know.

Maybe the shine is off the apple, maybe I am appreciating CrossFit for what it is, maybe Chad Mackay outlined what that life is really like and now I don’t know if that is for me? I’m still super competitive, and will probably be swept up in it when the games swing around again, but for now I think I enjoy it too much to want to be consumed by it.

Chris Spealer wrote a great article here and it talks about the different mindsets and lifestyles required for each level of CrossFitter. I think its a great read, and probably true of just about any sport, check it out.

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I love CrossFit and never want to stop. Its changed my life, and my views on nutrition and fitness. I am constantly amazed by what my body can do, and every time I complete a WOD I thought I couldn’t do I am inspired to try harder on the next one. Run a little bit faster, lift a little bit heavier, get a little bit better every day. I am depressed when I have to miss a WOD, and am getting to the stage now where I can find a WOD fun, not just a brutal form of torture.

BUT… I don’t know if I ever want to dedicate my life to becoming elite and start hating it for the amount of time and energy it sucks up. I think I could just be happy being obsessed with it as I am, but still having a life outside the CrossFit universe.

Who knows what the future holds for me, I’m trying not to get hung up on it.

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Thank you to Chad Mackay for sharing a bit of his world with us, and a BIG thank you to Ben for putting this great experience together for us!

These great photos came from Grant Hawkins Photo www.GrantHawkinsPhoto.com.au

Crossfit Sisters Unite!

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Image from Thrustr

I’ve been doing CrossFit for a while now and the thing I love most about going is the support you receive from fellow athletes. The men are great, but I’ve always found guys in general are more easy going and willing to support each other. Females however as a group are a pretty nasty, cut throat breed and can quickly make you wish you had easy access to heavy artillery.

Any other place I’ve ever been to try and get healthier there is always the judgmental bitches that make you feel like shit just for turning up, sometimes that’s even the trainer your assigned! You know the ones, they gather in little groups, spend most of their time checking themselves out in the mirror, and look at you like “Why are you even here?”

CrossFit chicks however are a breed apart, we understand that we are all suffering together to get better, stronger, faster. And while there will always be a little healthy competition amongst everyone you train with (Tracey I’m coming for you!) it never turns spiteful. There’s no sideways looks or rolled eyes, no shit talk or backstabbers. Everyone helps each other where they can, pushes them to do better, and supports them to the bitter end.

It’s not uncommon (always bloody happens) for me to be the last person running, and have 3 people running with me after they’ve finished their own workout just to help me through. It is not unheard of for me to stay and help the next session with motivation, clearing plates, or helping them in and out of the pull ups bands. Its even happened that one of us will do the workout again in the next class because its a partner WOD and there’s an uneven number of people.

At the end of the day, we are all going to suffer together and we have the utmost respect for one another for surviving this crazy thing we put ourselves through.

Solidarity Ladies!

Happy Hundred

Happy 100 everyone!

I know in internet terms 100 followers isn’t that many, but I don’t care about that. If I can make someone chuckle in solidarity of a CrossFit experience or help them feel better about their own fitness journey then I’m happy.

In celebration of this momentous occasion, below are photos of my progress so far. Be warned I am only 4 months in, but I am seeing results.

Before:
before

So far:
now

Meet Royce

This is Royce

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He is 25, 120kg my partner and my greatest inspiration.

Regardless of the activity or movement he will fully commit and give it 110%

I often get praise for my efforts at my size, although its pretty short of the average.

Royce pushes as hard as he can and is often above average.

He works harder than anyone I’ve ever met, he will run, jump, squat, pull up, handstand push up and handstand walk carrying far more weight than any of the other guys at our box.

He never complains, he just gets shit done.

Whats your excuse?