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Posted on 01-04-2017
by Dr. Lisa Goodman, DC, CCSP, CACCP
A little over a year ago I embarked on a challenge to do Crossfit for two months. Today, I am the fittest and strongest I have been in my entire life. And I’m not even close to done.
My initial goals when starting at Crossfit Wash Park included
1. Investigate the workout I had heard so much about (good and bad)
2. Stay fit and get stronger.
I wrote a series of blogs to document my experience over the first 8 weeks. I had no idea how my life would change because of a simple challenge. I got a good feel for what Crossfit was about in those two months, but over the course of a year, my fitness as well as my perspective has evolved.
Most Exciting Moment: Pullups
After months of hard work and a specific pull-up training plan done in addition to regular Crossfit workouts, I achieved one of the things I NEVER thought would happen. I did my first Strict (dead hang) pull-up in July. Since then I have worked up to doing 12 pull-ups in 5 minutes. Basically one every 20-30 seconds. The idea that I can lift my entire body weight over a bar, when I was never able to do this even as a child or college athlete astounds me. Goals for 2017: String together 5 strict pullups by the end of the year.
Second Most Exciting Moment: Overhead squat of 100lbs
During my first week of Crossfit, I was learning overhead squat mechanics using an unweighted PVC bar. I’ll never forget that day, my right leg and glute cramped up and I thought “I’ll never be able to do this with the actual bar, let alone any other weight”. My colleagues in the sports chiropractic profession know that performing an overhead squat is one of the best ways to determine biomechanical imbalances. Your shoulders, back, hips and knees have to have tremendous mobility and operate in sync in order to perform an overhead squat. That’s why is was particularly frustrating to realize that my mechanics were a bit flawed. But, that is where goals come from. I continued to work hard on my overhead squat mechanics and in October on a particularly great day, I pushed 100 pounds over my head and squatted with it. It was spectacular. But it is...
Not about the weight
For me at least, Crossfit is not about how much weight I can lift or hitting PRs (personal records). It IS about progress. It IS about getting stronger. A convenient side effect of getting stronger is lifting more weight in an organic, consistent, safe manner. The more I train, the more I perfect techniques and form, the more I am able to lift. All of that said, lifting heavy weight consistently is VERY important to so many aspects of my life. Everything from moving furniture to carrying a case of water is easier because I know how to move my body carrying a heavy load. Piggybacking a tired kid at the end of a long outing or shoveling snow are easy because my body knows what that feels like. My likelihood and instance of injury have lowered because I lift heavy weight and I lift it smartly. Every time coach has us running with a 25lb plate or a medicine ball I think about how this will make my life easier. The functional side of Crossfit has been so good for me. There is another side to it as well. If you know me, you know that I love a challenge and I am very competitive. And since I am, here are a few...
Very cool accomplishments
Lifting weight equivalent to my body weight was something I never thought I could do. In addition the incredible feat of doing strict pull-ups, I can also string together kipping pull-ups, even doing as many as 40+ in a workout. I can back squat and front squat my bodyweight and deadlift much more. I’ve climbed a rope to the top of the gym. In August I competed in my first Crossfit event, Girls Gone Rx with a team of two other ladies. My goal for the event was to be able to finish each workout in the prescribed time at the prescribed weight. We accomplished this as a team and it was glorious. This world of strength, conditioning and gymnastics has changed my body, changed my fitness and challenged my boundaries. Because even at 41 years old, I don't see any limit to what I can accomplish with a great coach, a solid program and a tight support system. “Observable, measurable & repeatable” is what makes Crossfit special, and what makes my accomplishments limitless.
What about body fat, muscle, shape, size?
I did not take a pre-photo, and I’m not planning to pose for a post-photo. My goals were strictly about strength. Given that my profession requires me to be fit in a functional way for many years to come, that is my number one priority. HOWEVER, for the first time in my life (and I was a college athlete) I look forward to wearing shorts to the gym, or a bathing suit on vacation. I can actually see muscles in my arms, legs and abs. I have shoulder definition, quads, hamstrings and calves. I didn’t think that was genetically possible. And yet, there it is. I love it, I’m proud of it. And I hope more and more women embrace their fit bodies. It means that I am strong. That I can use my fitness. So I’ll keep up the pull-ups, handstands and squats and my fitness and my body will continue to evolve.
Staying consistent and evolving my gymnastics work. I’m planning to get in a freestanding or walking handstand, stringing together toes to bar, doing 5 strict pullups in a row, and maybe, if I work really hard, getting my first bar muscle up. The cool thing about Crossfit gymnastics is that it really means body weight and core strengthening movements. The more I progress with gymnastics, the stronger I’ll feel all around. As far as lifting goes, the weights will come, I’ll keep squatting, cleaning, snatching, pressing and deadlifting to support my body outside of Crossfit. Yes, there is life outside of Crossfit!
Just a quick Shoutout
I love the folks at Crossfit Wash Park. That is no secret! The coaches and athletes are the reason I have been successful. The people are the reason I show up and the reason I push hard every day. I also want to acknowledge our patients who have shared with me that they were inspired by my challenge. I’m so happy seeing people accomplish fitness milestones they never thought they could. Make goals, make them attainable, share them and then go for it. Maybe I’ll see you at Crossfit...
Washington Park Chiropractic is the only practice in Denver, Colorado specializing in Sports Chiropractic, Prenatal Chiropractic and Pediatric Chiropractic. Our Wash Park Doctors are expert certified and trained in Sports, Pediatrics and Prenatal Care including massage, acupuncture, Webster Technique, Graston Technique, Laser, K-Laser, Kinesiology Tape, RockTape and Normatec
Jo Fukaye said:
Wow! So impressed with your progress in 1 short year. Thanks for sharing this great info and for inspiring me to not fear the WOD!
Madeline Souder said:
Great post! Thank you for providing a balanced perspective on the amazing benefits that come when Crossfit is approached with clear goals and strong commitment!