Have you ever found yourself saying, “I want to try CrossFit, but I’m afraid of getting too bulky”? Well, you’re not alone! This sticky misconception holds true for many women afraid to lift heavy and adopt this workout style. For those sceptics out there, our friend Samantha Lusk, LA-area CrossFit expert, is here to clear the air!
It’s not that easy.
Getting a muscled-up bodybuilder physique is no easy feat. In order to achieve this, you have to spend hours-upon-hours dosing up on protein, eating pretty much constantly, and moving around very, very heavy weight, all while simultaneously cutting off all cardio activities. My point is that gaining muscle mass takes a lot of effort and is often a huge challenge to an athlete that is purposefully trying to move in that direction.
Let’s be real.
What can I tell you ladies? If you are interested in getting fit, and exercising – then I would have to imagine that you are comfortable gaining a certain amount of muscle tone. I understand that your preference may be to gain lean muscle mass, but lets all agree first and foremost that exercise does cause you to put on muscle. In fact, that should be the goal because more muscle = less fat. And having more muscle burns more calories, so double bonus!
What most people don’t know…
CrossFit is “ultimately scalable.” When you walk into a CrossFit gym, what you’ll likely see is a room full of toned, muscular men and women, sweat angels and bodies littering the floor. What you’ll likely hear are the sounds of heavy weights and barbells hitting the ground with reverberating thuds, moans and groans, and many panting after the finish of an intense workout. What you may not realize at first glance is that every person in the room could be doing a completely different version of the same workout. One could be using a 15 pound training bar, with 10 pound plates on each side (totaling 35 pounds) for her 3 rounds of 10 reps of clean and jerk, while the 240 pound, 6 foot 2, former stunt-double could be doing the same 3 rounds of 10 reps of clean-and-jerk using a barbell totaling 225 pounds. They both are getting a great workout, and they both are using the weight that is suited for their current strength and their personal goals. Any CrossFit trainer worth his/her grain of salt will detail this with their athletes before starting any workout.
In my opinion, no other workout or fitness craze will yield such dramatic results as quickly as you do in CrossFit. Your body will transform, you will become stronger, faster, and healthier across a multitude of fitness domains. Along with a proper diet, your muscles will become defined; you will push yourself harder and do things with your body that you never thought possible (i.e. handstand push-ups). CrossFit is not dedicated solely to weightlifting, it also includes cardio exercises (rowing, running, swimming) and gymnastics (pull-ups, muscle-ups, handstand walks) so it is not in the best interest for a CrossFit athlete to gain bulk. Simply put, we have to be able to move our body weight around to be efficient and successful in a workout.
My final point!
I got into CrossFit for the challenge, not for weight loss. However, I would be lying if I said I didn’t care about my appearance, and of course I want to look my best. I’m fortunate to be able to put on lean muscle easily, and have always had an athletic build. Since doing CrossFit for a year and a half, I can certainly say that I have gained muscle mass and lost fat. My body weight has stayed about the same, but I have never in my life received more compliments about my physical appearance. I am often stopped in the street and asked if I am a professional athlete. People want to know how to get a body like mine, and all I say is one word: “CrossFit.”
Are you a CrossFit fan? What do you love about its benefits?