Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Elizabeth Street


Is Crossfit the New Mom Workout?

Jun 20, 2013

Is Crossfit the New Mom Workout?

Thousands of moms across the country have been giving up their traditional gym workouts in the last few years for CrossFit, a seemingly testosterone-driven craze. If you’ve heard anything at all about CrossFit, I’m pretty sure it involved the word “cult.” And indeed, it’s a hard workout to categorize.

Essentially, CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that uses interval training, some old school style weight lifting, and functional movements. CrossFit workouts are generally done in small groups (freestanding CrossFit gyms are called “boxes”) and encourage healthy competition between members. They also get you in sick shape.

Angel Roberts—a 41-year-old mom of two, lifelong dancer, and dance instructor in Charleston, South Carolina—battled chronic knee pain before discovering Crossfit four years ago. Since, the pain has disappeared (oh, and she can also do 30 pull-ups).

Suzanne Traitz, who lives in upstate New York, is also a 41-year-old mom of two. She battled an eating disorder and yo-yo weight gain in her 20s and 30s, and she credits CrossFit for giving her back both a strong body and a healthy mentality.

“There are no mirrors on the wall in a CrossFit box. Everyone wants to come in and lose weight, and before you know it, it becomes about performance,” Traitz said. “I went from caring about what size my clothes were to wanting to get stronger and faster.”

One of the biggest concerns that women who hear about the workout seem to have is that CrossFit will make you too “big.” Both Roberts and Traitz said that you get out of it what you put in, and that the classes are infinitely flexible. If you want to lift a bigger weight, do it. If not, don’t.

“The image CrossFit has in the media is of these tattooed big guys—a bunch of lugs sitting around all day throwing weight around. That’s not it at all,” Roberts said. “CrossFit is for anyone. You can take any CrossFit workout on any given day and give it to your grandmother or your teenager.”

Both women have also opened CrossFit gyms with their husbands in their respective towns, and they report that a big chunk of their clientele is women—and moms. Because they themselves are both parents, they suspect that this makes other moms feel comfortable there. That’s really an important part of the CrossFit experience, and a compelling one for moms who may be sitting at a desk or hanging out with small people who can’t speak yet. Both women told me that the sense of community and support (and yes, a bit of competition) is what keeps them coming back.

Not to mention the state of their abs.

Ready to get started? Check out our slideshow of crossfit exercises above!

By Cheryl Wischhover (@CherylAnneNY)
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