Friday, February 27, 2009

Which brings me to...


You may or may not have heard of CrossFit.  It's hard to explain what it is, really...  Part gym, part training regimen, part hell.  Though at the same time I wouldn't consider it a or a training regimen.. and to tell the truth, I love it (not really hell).  For those who like to lift weights focusing on bi's tri's, upper back, shoulders, abs, etc. this might not be the program for you.  This is not about who is more ripped or who looks better in bikini.  This is about FUNCTION.  There is no muscle isolation; (when do you EVER use your muscles in isolation - in life or in sport?) there is only work.  

I started CrossFit back in October of 2008, introduced to it by (who else?) lululemon.  However, this past January is when I started to get serious about it.  I started eating right (Zone Diet anyone?) and have basically cut alcohol out of my diet (more on the Zone later).  I have followed a 3 day on/1 day off training schedule and have been taking the right supplements to help my body recover from the brutal workouts.  

It has been a lifestyle change - one that has shown HUGE results, gains, and changes in only 8 weeks.  I am as fit if not fitter than I have ever been in my life, but don't get me wrong, it's not easy...  

Sacrifice and hard work are the only ways to achieve your goals, and right now I have lots of goals to be achieved...

This is it: CrossFit and WORLD CLASS FITNESS in 100 words or less:

Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pullups, dips, rope climb, pushups, situps, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense. Regularly learn and play new sports.

CrossFit is by no means the last word in fitness.  It is not for everyone and is no the be-all, end-all.  It is merely one of the many methods out there.  It is however, the method that has given me back my fitness, my competitive spirit, and my mental edge.  I am a competitor and have been since an early age.  I love to compete and I love to win.  I love to put my work rate against that of others to see who is left standing at the end.  I love pushing myself until the point of exhaustion and muscle failure.

It's what lets me know I'm ALIVE...

But I would be terribly remiss to not mention the other athletic love in my life: yoga.  Like CrossFit, I was thrown into the world of yoga by lululemon (we are, after all, yoga-inspired athletic apparel ;-) and have since reaped all the benefits that a yoga-rich life can provide. 

I have found it to be the perfect balance and most important addition to any training regimen, and something every human being should practice.  It has opened all kinds of pathways in me (physical, mental, and spiritual) and has become one of the most cherished activities that I participate in.  

While I have tried just about every style out there (each has it own intricacies, benefits and purposes) I must confess (as if it were a secret...) that Bikram has quickly become my favorite.  If you are looking for a workout - both physical and mental - there is no other kind of yoga.  

For those of you not familiar with Bikram Yoga, here's the skinny: imagine a room heated to 105 Fahrenheit with 60% humidity.  Now imagine you are there for an hour and a half, moving through 26 postures designed to work not only your muscles, but also your lymphatic and digestive systems as well.  

For any athlete, this is your yoga.  The ideal way to open up and release your tight hips, hamstrings, and back.  Your body will hate you while you are there, but it will thank you in the long run. 

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