From FAT to FAB, Kyra gives you 5 Fitness Tips to Help You Reach Your Goals!
In May 2016 I am going to the Atlantic Crossfit Regionals with Crossfit Westchase.
It’s so insane for me to say considering where I began.
I’m 34 years old and eleven years ago I began my fitness journey as a post college 20-something with a diet filled with cheap beer, late night pizza and Chinese food. All I wanted was to not be fat anymore and fit into my size 8 jeans when I first started exercising.
I had no idea what I was doing so I just did cardio all the time and restricted my calories to as little as 1000 a day.Of course I lost weight! I went from nothing to something and I was 23 – anything will work when you are 23!
This cardio party went on for years. I ran 5k’s, half marathons, did yoga, lifted some here and there, but in 2009 I began really lifting weights and eating clean, then in 2012 I began Crossfit.
I came in somewhat athletically inclined. I mean, I did not play any sports at all growing up, but I had been running, I could deadlift and squat, do dumbbell snatches.. things like that.
But over the first year of doing Crossfit I was just blown away by all of the skills I was acquiring, like double unders, handstand push ups, kipping pull ups.. and the olympic lifts I was learning like push jerks and squat snatches.. and my lifts were going up as well too.
After about six months I did my first competition in the scaled division and placed in the top ten. At that point I knew I wanted to compete in Crossfit and would never go back to the scaled division again.
My gym had a competitor’s program and I asked (begged) to be admitted to it and off I went. I had to spend a lot of time outside classes to get the hang of things like toes to bar, chest to bar pull ups and snatches.
We were urged to compete in local competitions a few times a year because that would really help us assess our weaknesses and ultimately make us better athletes. Those certainly did and still do help and I am always eager to learn of other weaknesses of mine and strive to not shy away from them.
A few years ago in the open our team made Regionals and I was the alternate. Knowing I was so close but so far away because I didn’t have muscle ups crushed me. I made it my life’s goal to get muscle ups and hired a gymnastics coach to train with twice a week for an hour at a time, for about four months, but still didn’t get them. I moved away but kept training them on my own. I would cry and bleed but I still would not give up. And finally while getting my L1 something clicked and I got it!
From then on out I kept working them because I’m so afraid I’ll lose them! And the same thing with handstand walks, bar muscle ups and heavy snatches.. those will always and forever be things I find difficult but will never shy away from because I want to be well rounded.
And that’s how I ended up at Regionals with my team. I did really well in the 2016 open.. in the top 2% of women in my region in fact. Because I put in the time and I work on things that aren’t fun.
So here are five things I would strongly recommend to you if you are someone who wants to make Regionals, place well in the open or in local competitions:
- Attack your weaknesses. Holes in your training will be exposed at some point and your performance, and outlook, will tank because of them. It will suck at first because no one likes to do things they aren’t good at, but eventually you will master them and be so proud of yourself because of it.
So spend 10 minutes before or after class working on whatever will get you better. If it’s improving your kip through knees to elbows to improve toes to bar or working mobility to improve your overhead squat – just do it.
- Fall in love with the process. You aren’t going to do Fran today and have it take you 7 minutes with banded pull ups and then tomorrow get a sub 3 time RX. You have to work on your conditioning through sprint intervals, you have to gain the strength to be able to kip without a band and you have to work on the skill as well. Find a way to enjoy the process because that’s where you are going to be spending all f your time. The results will come but you can’t skip the journey.
- Move well. Mobility is a huge trend right now in the Crossfit community and I love it. We are more in tune with our bodies than any group of fitness people I’ve ever known. We know if our shoulder is bothering us there’s probably a reason and we know to check it out and not just take the advice of resting, and call it a day.
We know if we want to get full depth in our squat our ankles, calves and hips need to be mobile and we know that we need to be able to fire our glutes ( LINK https://tryabouttime.com/warming-up-for-squat-days/) to get out of the hole. So take 5 minutes or so before class to get in a good warm up for your body be it foam rolling or flossing, and a few minutes after for a good stretch.
And don’t just move through terrible form in your reps just to be able to say you did it. Do the movements correctly to train proper movement patterns in your body.
- Compete in local competitions. The best way to expose your weaknesses and see how you stack up amongst others is to compete. You know how you do at your home gym, but what about when you get outside your element or against other people? You may realize you are just a small fish in a big pond.
You may learn you have a lot of work to do on things like handstand walks because other gyms program them but yours doesn’t. Plus when you compete often you can shake off the nerves much easier.
- Fuel your body. Don’t focus on what is going to make you skinny, but focus on how to fuel your body as an athlete. What will give you energy? What will help you PR your bench press? What will help you feel good so you can go crush Diane tomorrow morning?
Making sure you get fuel before you train like one of the About Time meal replacement bars and fast digesting post workout protein like About Time whey along with some starchy carbs like rice cakes, and then getting enough calories throughout your day is key.
So let me know what other tips you have as an athlete – is there one that has really helped you?
Leave a comment below!