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Functional Fitness and A Ton of Weight

Functional Fitness.  It is becoming more popular in the health and fitness world and is also the basis of all CrossFit programs.  CrossFit can actually be defined as “a regimen of constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity in a communal environment leading to health and fitness.”  

I know there are many skeptics out there who like to debate this and preach that CrossFit is a very dangerous sport.  My brother-in-law actually said to me recently that CrossFit is the “sport of injury.”  Well all of that is just basic ignorance in my opinion and comments like this generally come from those who have never even tried the sport or have an understanding of what is actually being accomplished everyday.  Yes, what we do may look chaotic and “unsafe” but it really is quite the opposite.  All the workouts (WODs) are strategically planned by our head coach and all the classes are highly monitored.  I can’t tell you how many times my form has been corrected during a WOD.  

If we look past what you actually see athletes doing during a CrossFit WOD and get down into WHY we are doing these movements, we will see a different picture begin to emerge.  Not only are we working out to be healthy and feel good, we are doing this to prepare us for life.  It’s done to carry those heavy bags of groceries, to change a flat tire, to take your child out of a carseat, to do laundry…you know, everyday things.  And not just do these things, but do them efficiently and without injury.  Sounds interesting right?

Last week this was dropped off in my driveway:

Pellets-Functional-Fitness

That would be 100 40-pound bags of wood pellets.  It gets COLD here in CT in the winter and if you couldn’t tell from all my bitching this past winter…I HATE the cold!  So to keep the house nice and toasty, we have a pellet stove.  I love this thing…

Pellet Stove

However, pellet stoves need fuel and that’s where these bags come in.  We do not have a garage to store the bags in so they need to be moved down to the basement…one by one.  Our basement does not have an entrance from the outside, so we must walk from the driveway, around the back of the house, through the living room and down a flight of stairs.  It’s only about 50-75 feet, but making that trip 25 times while carrying 80 pounds of weight can get tiring.  And that’s just what B and I did.  We each moved a ton (literally) of pellets.

Pellets-Functional-Fitness2

When we first moved into this house 5 years ago, I didn’t help with this task.  B’s brothers would come up from NY and help him.  About 2 years ago (2 months after starting CrossFit), we got a delivery of 1 ton.  I decided to help B that time and I remember it being difficult.  He would put two bags on my shoulders and I would carry them down.  I remember being sore afterwards.  This year was a different story.

Not only was I able to lift and carry two bags on my own, but I did it quickly and without injury or any soreness the next day.  Knowing how to properly squat and clean weight up to my shoulders saved my back from injury.  Having a stronger core, kept my body more properly aligned while carrying 40 pounds on one shoulder and another in front of me. It’s pretty clear that my training has come a long way.

So while I might not look like the epitome of health and fitness on the outside, like the sport of CrossFit, I tell a different story on the inside.  Practicing functional fitness has prepared me for all the different things life will throw at me.  I wonder what will come next…  

How are you prepared?

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6 Responses to Functional Fitness and A Ton of Weight

  1. Clean and jerk those pellets! It’s amazing how many things have gotten easier since starting CrossFit. Now, if only I could be tall enough to reach the water dispenser that I can now hoist the bottles for with ease…

  2. I used to do bartend and carrying and changing kegs of beer kept me in the best shape!
    A strong core is so important to maintaining strength and health!
    Bonnie recently posted…Coastal Wine Trail – Wine, Cheese and Chocolate Festival in Wesport MAMy Profile

  3. You are lucky to have a knowledgeable coach to correct your form. I know more than a few places don’t. Here’s to building strength!
    Renee recently posted…We need YOUR signature to draw more attention and awareness to the movement disorder DystoniaMy Profile

    • Yes, I do consider myself to be very lucky to be able to go to one of the best CrossFit gyms in the country. I’ve heard horror stories about some other places. It’s really worth the time to do some research and find a place with skilled coaches.

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