I remember my first drive to CrossFit. I was more scared stepping into the box than I had been being wheeled into my C-Section. Fortunately, through 18 months of dedicated work and incredible coaching by Aaron Martin at CrossFit Vector, I’ve had the support and information I’ve needed to surpass my expectations and feel not only “normal,” but strong. Capable. Beautiful. Enough. I still haven’t gone to the Games, and muscle ups are a ways away. But I did find my double unders. And my box jumps. And countless other movements that, on day one, seemed like near impossibilities.
I don’t like the term “fat” because, realistically, we ALL have fat. Some of us just have more than others. There are certain aspects, however, of training the average CrossFitter, and training (or being) one of those athletes who has more fat than others. As CrossFit continues to gain popularity and success stories continue to surface, CrossFit is bound to become a bigger piece of the weight loss industry than it intended to be. Initially a workout for the fit to become fitter, there are certain aspects to scaling and accommodating for the true “under-construction athlete” that both trainers and athletes need to be aware of. Things that could be only be known if you’ve been there and done that. Since I have, here’s what I think should be known:
Sometimes Your Body Just Won’t Do Stuff
I can’t explain to someone who’s never had a significant amount of weight to lose that it’s not my will (or lack thereof) that’s preventing me from doing lat activations or holding myself on a pull-up bar for longer than 10 seconds — it’s that I have more mass than I do strength.
Sometimes Weight Loss Is the Focus
Oh boy, do I get frustrated when hard-core CrossFitters talk about how weight loss shouldn’t be the focus — that people just need to show up, follow the programming, and allow it to just happen. False. Weight loss doesn’t always “just happen” for all of us. Some of us have to work REALLY hard at it. All the time. There should be no shame in going to CrossFit to lose weight. It doesn’t mean that strength, speed and all-around badassery can’t be a priority, too. But before (or, while) I’m a badass, I’d like to fit in a smaller size, please. As a coach, the best thing you can do is support individual goals, even if they wouldn’t be your own, and provide tools to help athletes achieve them.