Recently, Matt and I started doing Crossfit, which is, for those who don’t know, a “functional fitness” regimen. Designed to increase strength, flexibility, and overall fitness, Crossfit incorporates my favorite parts of many different types of workouts — there’s lots of weight lifting, lots of cardio, lots of movement, and lots of variation. Lots of sweating and swearing, too. Lots of blistered and calloused hands.
I love it.
I think women often steer clear of lifting weights when they try to get in shape, but to me, that’s a huge mistake. Lifting weights is SO important — especially for women! Lifting weights increases muscle mass. Having more muscle overall burns more calories (even when you’re sitting). More muscle = less fat = stronger = faster = healthier.
Back in the day, when I first met Matt, I was about 20 pounds heavier than I am right now. And I used to run ALL. THE. TIME. I was in the Army and joined the run team on base when I was stationed in California. I was running five days a week and averaging between 15-20 miles a week at a minimum — some long runs, some short, some intervals or stairs. I lost ZERO pounds. Then I started going to the gym with Matt and lifting weights. And I am telling you, weight started just falling off of me. I was losing 2-, 3-, 4-lbs a week having made absolutely no dietary changes. The only thing I was doing differently was lifting weights. Running is fine, and I still do it, but cardio alone doesn’t work for me if I want to lose excess weight.
So far, I’m still in the baby stages of Crossfit, but it’s addicting. Because I can measure my progress — I can do twice as many push-ups as I could in December, for example — it’s really motivating. I want to keep going. I want to see how much faster I can get through a set workout or how many more reps I can get in for a timed workout. I want to see how much more I can squat or press. I really, really, really want to do unassisted pull-ups, which I’ve never in my life been able to do.
What’s your favorite way to work out? Have you ever tried lifting weights? Would you?