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A Giveaway and How to: CrossFit

Posted Sep 14 2010 4:00am
I recently tried 18 Rabbits granola bars and love them. 18 Rabbits was started in Dallas, and is now produced in San Francisco. I picked up two flavors at Central Market–the Haute Diggity Date, and Cheeky Cherry Chocolate. They produce two granolas and five varieties of bars. Their bars are wheat free and certified kosher. They all have about 220 calories, 10 g fat, and 4 g protein. Their ingredient lists are short, and the bars are sweetened with maple syrup and honey.

For this giveaway, 18 Rabbits will give the winner a sample pack of their 5 granola bars.

**To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment on this post telling me that 18 Rabbits is something you’d like to try. You must also become a fan of 18 Rabbits on Facebook to enter, and for a bonus entry, follow them on Twitter @18rabbits and leave a separate comment telling me that you did.

You have until Friday to enter, and I’ll announce the winner on Monday morning. Good luck!

How to get started with Crossfit:

I have been doing CrossFit for about one year as a cross-training and strength building addition to my exercise routine. It’s different than working out one on one with a trainer, and it’s different than running for miles and miles. It is hard to explain the intensity of a CrossFit class, and I think many people are intimidated to start. So I’ve put together a little “How to get started” list and hope you’ll read along if you’re interested!

Please note that I am far from an expert and sometimes I am the slowest in my class. But I keep going back to work on it!

About: CrossFit is about “specializing in not specializing.” This means that you do a variety of movements and learn different skills and no class is ever the same. WODs (workout of the day) range from 7 minutes to 40 minutes, usually averaging around 20. Each class lasts about one hour, and the time not spent doing the WOD is warming up, warming down, stretching, and working on a skill (pullups, weight lifting, running, etc.) Every gym is different, this is based on the one I go to. There are also no machines except a rower. All movements are done with body weight, medicine balls, bar bells, kettlebells, dumbbells, and elastic bands. It’s not a boot camp, but you might leave with dirt on your hands and knees.

How should you start: Look into a gym close to you and see how they structure beginners. Usually there is a one-time class to learn the basics and assess your skills, or there is a multi-class “ramp up” series to learn the basics spread over time.

What should you expect: You should definitely give it some time to enjoy. Sometimes I still don’t enjoy it, and sometimes I don’t want to go back! There is an adjustment period at the beginning because you’ve probably never had a workout like this or worked this hard. It can leave you out of breath, beat up, cut up (sometimes!), sore for days, and tired. All in a short amount of time. I’ve been called slow and a light weight, and there’s definitely a mental game involved!

Why is it so great?

CrossFit makes you strong on the inside and the outside: On the outside you gain muscle. Like serious muscle. You’ll lift more than you ever thought you could. That’s why it’s scary in the beginning. You are stronger than you think you are! You have a baseline when you start, and you keep adding to it. On the inside, you get tough. You talk to yourself and tell yourself that you are strong. This class is not for sissies. You must want to be there. And when you finish a terrible (or great) workout, you feel so proud and accomplished.

It makes you competitive: At our gym, scores are published the next day to show where you fall compared to everyone else that did the workout. You don’t want to be the slowest or lift the lowest weight. It pushes you.

It makes you work hard: You want to get better, you want to be faster, lift more.The people you go to class with are friendly and encouraging. Everyone suffers together and helps out. It’s fun to be part of a group like that.

Bottom line–you do CrossFit for strength, for a great workout, and to challenge yourself every time you go. You have to be ON, and you can’t hide. Don’t be scared! Find a good gym and trust the instructor. You must commit, and you can’t just drop in and think it’s going to work.

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