Wednesday, August 7, 2013

CrossFit for Weight Loss

Given my background I'm sure your thinking I've already written this post, but today's actually the first day. Immediately out of school, my career began in Fitness as a specialist for Hilton Head Health, voted by Fox News as America's number one weight-loss spa. An incredible experience. Great people. Couldn't of asked to be anywhere better. 

What I find interesting is that before working at H3 I had never heard of CrossFit. It had to be 3months starting my new full time job that my former boss first introduced me to it. I was skeptical. Simply loved to run. I ran all the time. Also, included in my routine was classic strength and conditioning 3 x 15 Back, Biceps, Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Legs, ABS. You know, Old school. I've got a different perspective now of what's fitness. 

When it comes to weight-loss and picking the right fitness program there is so much out there. Too much. The most common psychology as fitness relates to weight loss is calories in verses calories out. If I burn more than I take in I will lose weight. I will see the number on the scale go down. I'll lose inches.  I'll achieve my goal. Right? If it were only that simple. The whole mentality of I'll "work it off" can only take us so far. Let's back up. Think about that 1 intense hour you had in the gym last week. Got it? Now think of last Saturday night. Remember? This post may or may not be for you, but do you get it? The 160 hours outside of maybe the 8 hours your working out each week is more important. Check out this blog written by Kevin Geary. "Are CrossFit Workouts, a Good Choice for Reaching your Weight-Loss Goals." He brings up some valid points, but I'd like to take it one step further... 

I believe the 5 - 8 hours your working out per week can effect weight-loss. Drastically. Here's why... 

Everyday athletes achieve at CrossFit. Instant gratification. This is the one element that everyone typically desires in . I've been around it. Guests at H3 stepping on the scale EVERY single morning. Folks emotionally attached to the number. I get it. It's a benchmark. Its part of the outcome you're looking for.  CrossFit provides instant gratification for the right people. Executing better technique. Reducing a 400m time. Going from kneeling pushups to the toes. Getting that first double under. These are big milestones. It takes emphasis away from the scale. Its a sport. Seeing improvements is fun. The first 3months are full of them. 


CrossFitters are called athletes. I'm big. I'm tall. You're fat. You're boney. Everyone is CrossFit (at least at CFHH is known as an athlete). There's only one classification where I work. Classifications drag people down. Hilton Head Health is great. It's an environment where folks who are less confident can comfortably start there weight loss journey. Everyone is the same. I'd like to think the same about CFHH or any box with good trainers. Everyone's an athlete. Everyone has goals. How can we help you meet those goals?? 

Sustainability. I've switched careers to be a full time Endurance Coach. Run my own business and work out of a CrossFit gym. I've trained for marathons, triathlons and CrossFit competitions using CrossFit. I haven't taken more than a week off. Haven't gotten bored yet. The biggest issue with most weight-loss programs is they offer a quick fix. I'm going to pick fewer words than Kevin Geary, if you're going to lose weight fix your head. Maintaining a consistent weight is difficult. Life only adds responsibilities as we get older. Priorities change. The amount of time you have changes. I see good CrossFit boxes as sustainable. You meet people. They get to know you. There's accountability there. Sustaining a healthy weight is hard to do without that component. Social affiliation is a physiological need. Its also motivating. Its fun to see others progressing. 

If you pick it, you stick with it - Coach Craig. No one bails from a CrossFit WOD. Yes some of us have puked in a workout. Some have ripped their hands on a pull-up bar, but did you stop? Did you give up when it got tough or physically hurt? Any goal whether it's weight-loss or training for the games is over before it starts if you cave. At CFHH, you go all in every day. It teaches you something. A something that's tough to recreate outside our walls. Mental strength improves drastically when your faces with suck and you keep going. CrossFit develops strong minds. A strong mind is needed to shed pounds. Think of all the special occasions? How about the aisles with chips? Ice cream? 

At the end of the day, you all know I'm a fan of CrossFit. I'm also a fan of CrossFit for weight-loss. My last video post on "My Gym" is why. CFHH is different. I've also had a ton of first hand experience recommended CrossFit to Hilton Head Health guests and encouraging them to give it a go. The large percentage of those people not only tried CrossFit, but are still participating to this day and have successfully sustained their weight-loss. A few of which most likely lift more than me now! It's inspiring to see anyone's confidence improve. It motivates me to be better. 

CrossFit is a sport. There are goals within itself. It's an option just like any other out there to get healthy and move more. Calories in verses calories out as the sole predictor of weight-loss is bull shit. It's not an individualized approach. Too many factors. Eating clean IS critical. Above all, if weight-loss is your goal the non-scale victories should take precedence. If you continue to have a goal outside of the weight your focus will shift. Allow yourself to gain confidence in other areas of your life while the number on the scale does its thing. 

Screw the strongest back squat or the fastest 5K time. I want the strongest brain. The strongest heart. The confidence in life to continue to pick goals and stick with them. 

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