What I’ve Learned from doing CrossFit

If you follow me on social media, you know I attend CrossFit 4-5 times a week. In June, I celebrated my first year of doing CrossFit at the best box in my area CrossFit Fireborne.

Here are 10 things I’ve learned so far:

  • CrossFit is for everyone! – I would look at the WODs and I would get anxious about not being able to do pull ups. The goods news? Every workout can be scaled to your fitness level. I have not conquered my first pull up yet but I’m pretty close.
  • You are stronger than you think – I was always scared of doing the RX weight of a workout but after I got out of my head and tried it, I was surprised to see that I could do it.
  • There are no “easy workouts” – Every day I come to the box, I know we are going to do a super challenging workout but what keeps me coming for more is knowing that I’ll leave stronger.
  • Pain is temporary – During Workouts of the Day (WODs), you are gonna feel like your dying sometimes. But when you’re done you will feel accomplished.
  •  Failure is okay, as long as you get back to it – My biggest weakness was double-unders, I would always do singles. When I got my first double under I was so happy! I still can’t do 10 consecutively but I see progress every time I do them.
  • You will make all the friends! – When you commit to CrossFit, you’ll see the same people at the same time everyday. You are never alone and we all die in the workouts together. We even hang out outside of the gym. Community is everything!
  • You leave the gym stronger every day – I never imagined I’d be able to do Toes to Bar but after practicing, I’m able to do them every time I get to the box.
  • Your coaches and classmates are your biggest cheerleaders – When I’m doing a timed WOD and I have one set of push presses left, just hearing people say I can do it pushes me even harder.
  • If you want to be good at something you need to do it – When I first started CrossFit, I would check the WOD ahead of time. When I saw running was part of the workout, I would skip the class. After realizing that running was my weakness, I pushed myself to just show up. The more I ran, the less I dreaded it.
  • You’ll surprise yourself – When I look at the board, I think there is no way I can do 10 rounds of this workout. Then you realize you’re done and you got through it!

How to Stay​ Fit!

I have received several questions on Instagram about how I stay consistent with workouts and how I stay active. I figured I’d break it down in 10 easy ways to be active this summer! So let’s jump right in.

 

  1. Plan your workouts/exercises in advanced – I like to plan my workouts at least a week in advance. I love spin classes so I try to fit them in my schedule 2-3 times per week. I also enjoy lifting so I rotate days with spin class. Sometimes you have no time for an actual class or going to the gym which is perfectly fine, but make an effort to take a walk in the middle of the workday even if it’s only 5-10 minutes.
  2. Find a group of people with similar goals as you – I started lifting about 6 months ago and I fell in love with it. My aunt and mom started lifting with me about 3 months ago. We all enjoy lifting together at the gym. It’s so fun to celebrate new personal records (PRs) with a group and compete against each other.
  3. Find a gym – When I was looking for a gym I considered many factors for choosing the right gym. I wanted a place that was close to my house, had a variety of classes and a lot of free weights. I love it because there is always a lot to do whether it’s taking a class of stretching or working on TRX. It’s always different.
  4. Get a dog – or a pet that will motivate you to take walks. In one of my previous posts, I introduced everyone to Finn. He is a puppy with a lot of energy, so we have to walk him and run in the backyard with him every day.
  5. Change it up – I like having options for working out. Sometimes that means going to the pool, working out at the gym, trying out new classes, or going on runs with my dog. Whatever you choose, make sure you make it a priority to be active.
  6.  Try different workouts – The Washington DC Metro area has several boutique gyms like Solidcore, SoulCycle, Rumble and tons of new gyms opening. Check one out!
  7.  Take a hike! – There are many parks around the DMV area that have walking trails and hiking trails. My favorites in the area include Great Falls, Lake Needwood, and Sugarloaf Mountain. Find a trail near you!
  8.  Take the stairs – Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs. You will burn calories and tone up at the same time.
  9. Take time for yourself – Being fit and active doesn’t necessarily mean just taking care of your body but also your mind.  Take some time to do some breathing exercises and clear your mind. This will help to reduce your stress levels. I have an app called Breathe Sleep & Meditation. You can also go on YouTube and search for meditation and breathing videos.
  10. Have fun! – Do something you enjoy. It took me a while to find something I actually enjoy. I love CrossFit and SoulCycle but I tried several other workouts that I did not enjoy. When you find something that you enjoy it won’t seem like a huge undertaking.

 

 

My Soul Cycle Experience

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve seen that I have been attending Soul Cycle for about 3 months now.

I first started taking regular spin classes at my local gym, and I loved it! I would attend spin class around 3 times a week. I started feeling unmotivated and felt like I hit a plateau. Then I stopped going to spin class for a few months and found Crossfit. I am still currently going to CrossFit and love it, but I was missing the spin class or some sort of cardio.

My best friend and I have always been curious about SoulCycle and made it a New Year’s resolution to try it out. On a Monday at 12pm, when classes open up for the following week, we signed up for our first SoulCycle class. We were both really nervous about attending our first class. It seemed kind of intimidating, especially since the clientele is mostly celebs.

When we got into the studio, I was nervcited. We were greeted at the front desk, signed a waiver, proceeded to get our spin shoes, and went to the coed locker room. We put our stuff away and got ready for class. The class before ours came out around the same time we arrived, and they were completely soaked. I was stunned to see all the different kinds of people that attend classes. I always thought everyone at SoulCycle would look super in shape. SoulCycle is for everyone!

As we set up our bikes, the instructor welcomed all the first time riders. The room was dark, candlelit and the music was very loud. We started the workout and OMG! The choreography was fun, the music was terrific, the atmosphere and energy were amazing. We did hills, sprints, and even an arm track where we used dumbbells. When the class was over, my friend and I came out completely drenched in sweat. I was hooked!

I consider myself relatively new since I have only been attending classes for 3 months, but I have noticed that I have seen a change in my mental and physical self. I was always self-conscious about how I looked or (thought) I looked just wearing a sports bra and leggings for workouts. I feel like SoulCycle has really helped me accept that we all have different body types. Instead of comparing yourself or putting yourself down, to just embrace yourself and be thankful for your body.

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If you are anything like me (a busy body), it’s hard to turn our brains off and be present. SoulCycle has provided me with a safe place to be myself and turn my mind off. The instructors are all inspirational and motivating.  Try SoulCycle you won’t be disappointed!

My Workout Essentials

If you follow me on my Instagram you would know I am OBSESSED with working out.  I take spin classes, lift weights, and do a lot of stretching. Nothing is worse than leaving the gym not feeling accomplished, here are my workout essentials:

If you take spin classes regularly  I strongly recommend getting a pair of cycle shoes. When I first started taking spin classes I would use my normal gym shoes and they were heavy and hard to sprint with. I finally gave in and bought my spin shoes and they made a huge difference in my workout. Not only do they provide support for your feet, but they also are super light and let you sprint super fast on the bike. The shoes I recommend are the Shimano RP3 Bike Shoe, They are on the pricey side but they are worth it if you are committed to indoor cycling.

My favorite lifting exercises are Bench Pressing, Dead lifts, and Squats. I usually lift either barefoot or with my Chuck Taylor Converse shoes.  When I power lift barefoot it allows me to use every single inch of my feet which helps a lot with my stability. It also helps keep my form and reminds me to push through my heels. When I power lift I like to use my converses. They allow me to stay close to the ground and exert energy into the ground.

Staying hydrated is very important especially when working out. My favorite way to stay hydrated is by using my Swell Bottle. I take my bottle everywhere with me from work to the gym and even on road trips. It keeps my water cold for 24 hours and warms for 12 hours. They also have 3 different sizes to chose from, I personally like the 25 OZ because I drink a lot of water. They are trendy, and they come in many different colors and patterns and you can also personalize them on their website! The water bottle I have is the White Marble 25OZ.

For my workouts, I like to stay focused and the way I do that is by using my Apple Airpods. They are completely wireless and allow you move around freely without any wires sticking out of your phone.  They don’t fall out of your ear when you are doing burpees which is amazing.

When I finish my power lifting workouts I usually leave with big  callouses on the palms of my hands. Sound familiar? After getting terrible callouses on my hands I decided to get some weightlifting gloves. These were probably the best investment EVER. They also help grip the bar  and help with alleviating pressure from performing dead lifts.

The most difficult item to find for my workout was a gym bag. I wanted something with a lot of pockets and space to put my laptop. After shopping around I went to Lululemon and fell in love with the Urban Sanctuary bag.  I wish they still made this bag but they have a style similar to the bag I have. Lululemon gym bags are on the pricier side, but to give you an example of how long they last and how well made they are , I have had mine since 2014 and it still looks brand new. I recommend the bag that is similar to the Urban Sanctuary bag which is the Go Getter Bag by Lululemon.

For my workout clothes I usually use a mixture of Lululemon and Target gear. Target usually has cute muscle tees that range anywhere from $10-15. They are lightweight and super comfy, and you can also wear them casually.  My absolute favorite pair of pants from lululemon are the Align pants. They are super soft and you wont even realize you are wearing any pants.

*Comment below what your workout essentials are*