It seems like every corner of the internet has pictures and information about CrossFit. Look deeper and you’ll learn about the individuals who are devoting themselves to this all-encompassing fitness regimen and lifestyle. But if you are someone who is interested in becoming part of the CrossFit family, you might not know where to begin. You’re not going to wake up one morning and be magically transformed into a CrossFit poster child.
It is important to understand both the physical and mental changes that you will go through as you immerse yourself into the CrossFit culture. Here are seven ways you will be radically changed.
1. You’ll become mentally tough
One major truth about CrossFit? It is not for the faint of heart. The heavy workload and demanding level of intensity can break you down mentally; to the point that you might consider giving up altogether. But learning to push yourself to do “just one more rep” even if you’re sore from the previous day, will toughen up your mental facilities.
Bodybuilding.com suggests tips for improving your mental toughness, like learning quickly from your failures and turning a difficult workout into a point of strength. Not surprisingly, these helpful tips can also be applied to day-to-day life.
2. You’ll gain weight
If your goal is to lose weight, the scale will probably shock you when you start a CrossFit regimen. Yes, you will be burning a ton of calories from the high-intensity interval training, but since CrossFit is also about strength training, you will also be gaining a lot of muscle. You will probably even gain muscle in places that you previously had very little.
The weight gain here is a good thing. It is the start of your physical transformation. (Side note: That can also mean that your clothes won’t fit the same and that you will have to go shopping for apparel that fits your more muscular physique.) Of course, how much you gain or lose can also be dependent on your eating habits.
3. You will give up your junk food habit
As we previously mentioned, CrossFit can morph your physique. But exercise alone won’t get you maximum results. A change in your diet, however, can have a huge impact. As Livestrong.com points out, CrossFit hubs give diet tips and suggest keeping record of your food intake while you are training.
Eat This Not That! also has a good list of foods, including what protein and grains are the best for CrossFitters. Changing a couple meals and seeing better results could convince you to change your eating habits completely. This is just another step in engrossing yourself in this fitness and lifestyle plan.
4. You will become obsessed
As you surely realize by now, CrossFit is a lifestyle as opposed to any old exercise plan. This is why every CrossFitter you have ever met is completely immersed in it. And if you are serious about CrossFit, the same will happen to you — maybe even without you realizing it. From adjusting your eating habits, to religiously checking the internet to see what the latest WOD (workout of the day) consists of.
You will probably also notice at some point that everything you see on your social media feed has to do with CrossFit.
5. You’ll get really good at counting
This workout regimen is about counting reps, from box jumps to medicine ball cleans. Counting forward, backward, and adding more reps to push yourself — that’s a lot of mental math. Especially in the middle of a rigorous WOD. As HuffPost points out, counting all those reps while in the middle of a difficult workout can help push you to do just a couple more — remember that mentally tough aspect?
Not to mention, you will probably start counting everything else in your life the same way you count air squats, or whatever exercise you enjoy most.
6. You’ll have a boost of endurance
With all the high-intensity exercise and healthy eating, you will notice that your endurance has shot through the roof. That’s because CrossFit bumps up your VO2 max, also known as maximum oxygen uptake. This measurement for overall aerobic fitness increases more with CrossFit than it does with running or riding your bike for a lengthy period of time, Men’s Fitness explains. (They even include a couple WODs that are perfect for increasing endurance.)
7. Your energy will surprise you
One of the most noticeable changes that comes with pushing through a ton of CrossFit workouts is that you will have a newfound level of energy. According to HuffPost, you’ll even have this burst of energy when you are sore from a previous day’s workout! This surge comes from the improvements in your cardiovascular health from working out regularly.
So, if you feel ready to head to “the box” (what CrossFitters call the CrossFit gym) even though you can barely walk, it’s perfectly normal.