A note about seeing your progress.
If you are anything like me, the number on the scale or how I perceive myself in the mirror is often how I measure fitness/health progress. When using crossfit as your main means of exercise this can be a bit tricky. Can I see changes in my body, for sure! The scale however might tell you a different story. FACT 1: muscle weighs more than fat. FACT 2: lifting heavy weights will help you gain muscle and there for weight. What I have started learning is that there are so many more ways to measure progress and I don’t think they always need to involve the way you look or your weight.
One of my goals is to be strong and fit. So what better way to measure progress then my ability in a gym setting. I will use pull-ups as an example. Before starting crossfit I was at a park having a nostalgic childhood moment and thought hey, I am totally going on those monkey bars…too bad all I could do was struggle to hang there. There was no way in hell I was holding my body up with one arm at a time. Now fast forward a few months and I was faced with multiple pull-ups during a crossfit class. To help build up to a true strict or kipping pull-up we use resistance bands of different levels (green – helps pretty much anyone do a pull up, purple makes you work at it a bit more and red lends minimal assistance, but still takes the edge off of your body weight).
For the first….6 months I used a green band. This September I finally moved up to purple, I was so proud! I felt like I was officially not a beginner any more, even if the 3 people beside me could do a pull up unassisted. 4 short months later I thought what the heck, I will try the red band… and guess what! I did a workout that involved not 1, not 5, but 36 pull ups with the red band.
Am I my ‘ideal’ weight? Do I have that ‘perfect’ bikini body? No.
Am I strong? Have I made progress? Do I feel great? Hell yes!
Watch below to see me doing a few (slow-mo!) assisted kipping pull-ups with a red band. Not perfect, but I am pretty impressed with myself! If you asked me last year at this time I would have laughed at the thought of me doing any form of a pull up!