What To Look For When Starting CrossFit – Episode 48: PaleOMG Uncensored Podcast

 
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If I could get every single person out there to try CrossFit, I would be very happy. BUT not all CrossFit gyms are created equal. And it’s hard to know what to look for when you start out. So I’m talking about how to find the perfect gym in your area, how to keep your sh*t together and not injure yourself (and end up blaming CrossFit) and how to make CrossFit work for you and your goals!

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Episode 48 Transcription!

Juli Bauer: Hello, hello. Welcome to another episode of PaleOMG Uncensored. I am here on the couch with my little puppy dog, and I’m squeezing his ‘widdle wips.’ He’s so freaking cute. He’s been a pain in my ass lately. I don’t know how people do it with children. But I still love him.

If you live in Colorado; I think this has been on national news because I keep having people sending it to me. Maybe they’re from Denver, I don’t know. I guess some woman; I don’t know if she had dementia, or she was a hoarder. Something. But she had like 25 or more French bulldogs at her house. Terrible. It was so sad. And they were incredibly malnourished. They had to euthanize a few of them. So sad. Obviously they have a ton of behavioral issues. I’m guessing this is an incestual situation, if there are 25 of them in this house. So f*cking sad.

And this happens with all kinds of different dogs. But I keep getting people sending me this message; this email. Whatever I’m trying to say. This link. Because these French bulldog; I don’t know how old they are. But these French bulldogs are going up for adoption this Saturday, when this podcast comes out. And so people are like, “Go get Jackson a brother!”

But here’s the thing. Jackson has become a real asshole. And you know, like mother like son. {grunting} Jeeze, mister. Like mother, like son. I think he can feel that I’m not a huge fan of kids, so he’s not a fan of kids. He can also sense; I don’t know. He’s just weird. He has just become weird in his older age. And he gets kind of mean around dogs; especially puppies who are all skittish and crazy. I’m like, dude you were like that like a year and a half ago. But they get so old so quickly. He’s like an old man.

So a brother or a sister is just not going to happen. Because I don’t want to work for a few months at him not hating another dog. I just don’t want to work at it. Because I’ve been traveling a ton. I have a ton of travel coming up in the next just two months. So that just wouldn’t work. It just wouldn’t work.

I know those dogs will get picked up so fast, it’s not just because I’m not getting on they’ll never be chosen. Before; my sister-in-law and I were thinking about going there and just looking at them. Which you know is always a terrible idea. Especially because she just moved into an apartment. I’m like, wouldn’t it feel nice to come home to a dog? Right? But yeah, we think it’s a bad idea. So I think we’re going to try to stay away from that, and know that they’ll get picked up in a second. It will happen, ok?

But man. It’s so sad. Dogs being malnourished; why don’t those people go to jail. Right? It’s like, if you hurt a human, you go to jail. But hurting animals is way worse. Is that f*cked up to say? I don’t care.

So, I’m very excited you guys. Because tonight I get to go to the live episode of My Favorite Murder. And if you’re not into true crime, then you’ve probably never listened to this podcast. If you don’t like murder, I wouldn’t listen to that podcast. But I’m a huge true crime person. Love it. Love listening to it. And these women are just hilarious. I love listening to them. It’s just like you’re hanging out with your girlfriends. They’re just real gems, and then they tell super f*cked up stories.

So my friend Clare, of Girls Gone WOD, asked if her other friend Joy, who is also the host of Girls Gone WOD, if we wanted to go to the live episode of My Favorite Murder. Which is downtown at some theater, that I haven’t been to in years. So we’re going to dinner before and then we get to go to the live taping. I’m so pumped about it. I would have never booked it myself, because I never buy tickets to anything really. Because I’m just lazy.

So I’m very excited. She booked it, because I just would have never done it. And I think it will be super fun. I mean, going to dinner with friends beforehand is the best. Because it includes maybe a fun cocktail. Hopefully I won’t be disappointed. I don’t know about the restaurant. I don’t know about it. I don’t know anything about it. So is it good? This conversation is stupid.

So I’m going to that tonight, which I’m pretty pumped for. Hopefully they’re a hoot. Because just last week, you guys, I went to; we have an amazing theater in Denver. If you’ve never been. Not theater, but comedy club. It’s called Comedy Works. And I think it’s very well known. Whenever I’ve heard comedians talk on different podcasts, if they ever talk about their favorite place to do their act, they always talk about Comedy Works. It’s such a cool place.

So my husband and I had date night, and we went to see Rob Schneider at Comedy Works. And you guys; I was a bit disappointed. No offense to him. Apologies ahead of time. I’m not trying to be a f*cking asshole. But he started off with just talking about politics. And the thing is, when I go to comedy for comic relief, I’m not looking to get serious about politics. And sure, make a joke about Hilary. Make a joke about Trump. Make a joke about other people. But when you just keep talking about it; I’m like, ok. I follow the news, and I still don’t know what the f*ck you’re talking about. So it’s just not funny anymore. And I just don’t want to talk about that.

And I guess, you know, it’s just me. Because everybody was laughing super hard. So I just felt like the person who didn’t know what the f*ck was going on. I don’t know what that joke is. And he kept saying how he was super famous and rich. To each their own. I was super famous and rich. Well, not really. Rich for sure. That would be a great high point. But then once you’re rich, you can’t say how rich you are. You know what I mean? So that was kind of a disappointment.

I feel like every time I go to a show at Comedy Works, I always like the intro person. The first guy to come on, who is maybe a local or kind of a nobody. Just kind of coming on to the scene. Those guys are always so fun. And this guy; I forget what his name was. It’s Chris something, but I think he’s from Denver. He was like a substitute teacher. But I was laughing so hard at his jokes. And then I never know the name, and I have to figure it out. But I want to see him more. I wish I could have listened to him for an hour. That’s what I wish I could have had. Ok?

But anyways. This was weird, guys. And I’m bringing this up just because I’ve talked about birth control so much on this podcast. So if you’re like, “I don’t care about your birth control.” Apologies. I get it. Understandable. I don’t care about your birth control either. But I’ve talked about it in previous podcasts, because I got off birth control. Long story short, our insurance got f*cked up and I was like, whatever. I’ll come off birth control. And then I was off birth control for a little bit, and I was like, hey. I 100% do not want to be pregnant. Like, if I got pregnant, I would be devastated. Devastated. Not even, ok, we can do this. I would be so devastated. So obviously, it’s not the right time to have a baby.

So I was like, ok. F this. I’m getting back on birth control. Got new insurance, went to the doctor. STD/HPV free over here. No big deal. Just so you know. That was TMI, huh? Whatever. Then she was talking to me about different birth control options. I don’t want to get an IUD. I don’t like people up there in my business. So I don’t really want a tool up there. To each their own. I have plenty of friends who love it. I have plenty of friends who have had miserable experiences on it. So it’s hard to know.

I also don’t want the little thing in your arm. I also don’t want to take birth control every day. So last but not least, a friend recommended Nuvaring. And I had never really thought about it, and she said she loved it. So I was like, well. Maybe I’ll try that out. The doctor gave me two samples. But I was like; oh, I should go pick up my birth control. Or my prescription. Because I needed to get another prescription.

So I go in. The Nuvaring for one month is inside your body for 21 days; $150. But wait, insurance covers some of it. $115. It was $115. How does that make any sense? Zero. It makes zero sense. I need to call my insurance and ask about that.

But here’s the thing. I hate dealing with insurance. If I could just not have insurance, that would be just fine with me. But my husband is like, no. We have to have insurance. You know, I get it. If you get in a crazy car accident. Which happens all the time. It’s pretty damn helpful to have insurance. But I hate it. I’ve had a crack in my windshield for over a year now. Do I need to just call insurance and get it fixed, for free? Yeah. For sure. But I don’t want to call them. Because I hate insurance.

So. Whatever. I bought the prescription. I need to figure it out. Because I’m not paying that monthly. That is bananas. I might as well just have a child! Same cost! Kind of. I obviously know a lot about kids.

Speaking of kids, my girlfriend is having a baby shower this weekend. I’m very excited for her. They have been trying for a long time. They finally got pregnant. They’re having a little boy next month. They’re so f*cking excited. Her husband has become this beautiful butterfly of excitement. It is so cute how excited her husband is. He built the furniture for his baby. He built the crib, and then he built the dresser. Legit! He built this dresser. And it looks like something you’d find in a high-end place. It’s crazy! So cool.

So her baby shower is this weekend. So her best friend, who is putting it on. She was like; “Ok. We want you to give money to my Venmo account, and then we’re going to buy her a running stroller.” Because my friend is an amazing runner. So we do that. And then she’s like; and bring a book. So me, not understanding that babies need books too. I’m like; “Ok she wants an adult book to read while she’s breastfeeding.” Doesn’t that make sense? You’re like, meh. Someone’s sucking on my teat. I’ll just read.

I was laughed at by my friends. They’re like, “No. She wants baby books, you idiot.” I was like, oh! {laughs} Why, babies don’t know what’s going on! {laughing} It’s so f*cked up. They understand, they know what’s going on. Stop getting mad at me. But I was going to bring her this new, like Girl on A Train. “This is really great to read to your newborn baby I hear. I think he’ll really love it. Maybe he’ll be into true crime too.”

So I need to get a baby book. And go to this baby shower. It’s at a brewery. I’m not sure why. Maybe she just likes breweries. I don’t think she’s a beer drinker. But in Colorado, you just go to breweries. That’s what you do. Me personally, no I don’t go. But everyone else does. People just love beer around here. I’m like, that tastes like sh*t. But whatever. Let’s go talk about babies and have beer. I’ll drink some water. Probably pack some snacks in my purse. Doesn’t sound like there will be snacks at this brewery. F*cked up.

So that’s what I have going on this weekend. And we’re going to be watching this fight. This f*cking; this annoying ass fight. The whatever it’s called. Mayweather and McGregor fight. And it’s crazy. It is c-razy that I even know that. But that’s how much it’s on commercials right now. Can you believe these guys are going to get $100 million? For this one fight. One. Oh, just one. Just one fight. And they’re playing it up like they just want to kill each other. They’re acting throughout all of this. You know they probably don’t hate each other. They’re like, “Hey let’s act like we want to rip each other’s heads off, and then everybody will watch.”

So I was like, hey, husband. Let’s have a date night on Saturday. And you know what we’re doing? We’re hanging out with friends watching the fight. What a romantic lovely Saturday night. Giving money to those two dudes who are acting. Who knows? What if the fight is like; what’s crazy about these fights is that people spend so much money to watch this fight, and then sometimes it lasts like 15 seconds. Like Ronda Rousey back in the day. Crazy.

Speaking of crazy. How crazy was that? Was it Powerball? I don’t really know all the lotto. I’ve never bought a lotto ticket. How crazy is that one woman winning that $758 million lotto. And she picked the numbers herself. How insane is that? And she’s walking away after taxes like $340 million, something along those lines. That is so insane. Man. Could you imagine getting $340 million?

You know those shows where they have how the lotto ruined my life. How do you make sure you don’t become that person? Who do you turn to for advice? How do you trust your lawyer? How do you trust anyone when you’re working your day job at the hospital, and then you have $340 million in your bank account?

And like, she quit her job right away. She called in, and was like, “I won’t be coming to work tomorrow.” But how long does it take for you to get that money? Is it right away? You get it that same week? Or is it like, “Oh no. Honey, you’re not going to get that for the next year.” And the person is like, “Oh f*ck, I already quit my day job!” I don’t know how any of those things. I’m sure she looked into that. But you never know. You never know.

Ok. Before I get into this entire topic of today, I just want to say I don’t know what’s wrong with me. But almost every single night, 90% of the time. So I did Invisalign retainers to straighten my teeth. And then after you do your Invisalign, you have retainers to keep in at night, to keep your teeth straight obviously. Well. I’ve been sleeping with them every night. But every time I wake up; I have to go to the bathroom a million times a night because I drink so much water. So I wake up, and I think it’s like 5 in the morning, so I have maybe less than an hour to sleep. So I take my retainer out, and it’s like midnight. And I do this almost every night. I take my retainer out thinking it’s 5 in the morning, and it’s actually midnight. So less of the time I’m sleeping is spent with my retainer in. It’s a real bummer. I’ve got to get that sh*t together. What is wrong with me?

But I feel like the retainer, it just feels so bulky. And I feel like I’m a mouth breathe/sleeper now. Before, no problem. Keep my mouth closed. Sleep like a little angel, I’m sure. I’m sure I’m an angel. And now I’m like {snoring}. You know? So I want to take that retainer out. Who likes to wake up with dry mouth? I’m going to have to get on that weird prescription they talk about with dry mouth. And they’re like; you’ll have mouth sores. That’s the only downside of taking this medication. Stupid medications out there.

Remember the days when prescription medications weren’t a thing? I remember when those came on, I was like, it’s so weird they’re talking about a prescription on TV. So weird.

Ok, anyway. Any who. Let’s talk about some things. Let’s talk about something that is very close to my heart. But beforehand, let me take a sip of water. I’ve got to stay hydrated. I’m not editing that out; get real.

Ok. Oh wait. I can’t really talk about it, because I haven’t been watching it thoroughly, because I’ve been so busy. But Bachelor in Paradise; the only thing I have to say about Bachelor in Paradise. The only thing; so for the people who are like, “Go to hell, Juli. Shut up!” Ok, I will. In one second. Hold your tits!

So when did Robbie become so weird? Robbie was on Jo-Jo’s season. I think he was the runner up. And obviously, he took it pretty hard. Because he is for sure a gay male. There’s no way he’s straight. And that’s cool with me; it’s just like, stop acting like you want to go on dates with women. Stop. But he; if you want some entertainment, you should look at his Instagram. It’s quite entertaining. And his teeth are so incredibly white. And he’s wearing eyeliner. And he’s filling in his beard with some sort of color. And it all weirds me out.

And they eyeliner; you know when girls kind of take off their makeup but they half-assed it. I say this doing this all the time. And then you wake up and you have black little smudges right under your eyelids? Well, below your eye. Yeah. It’s not cute. And you look very haggard when you wake up in the morning. That is how Robbie looks in every video. He has the smudged eyeliner. And all the girls are oohing and aahing over him. I’m like; what? Who wants to date a guy who wears eyeliner? Unless he’s in a punk rock band. And then still; come on man.

And if you’re going to do your eyeliner, just do it differently. Ok? Just do it differently. But it creeps me out. It’s very creepy. I hope people are with me on this. If you don’t watch Bachelor in Paradise, it’s worth watching just to see Robbie’s eyeliner. And he has the most intense spray tan of all the women there. It’s so weird. It’s so weird. And all they talk about now is rape on the show. It’s just very overwhelming.

But I haven’t been able to watch it during the week. And then it’s like 4 hours on Saturday. Who has time for 4 hours on Saturday? Not me. I have to go on a baby shower, and watch two dudes half ass fight each other. Ok, I don’t have time for 4 hours. Tough life, man.

Ok. Let’s talk about the real thing, why we’re here. Why you maybe even turned this podcast on. If you lasted this long, congratulations. You made it 20 minutes in. Let’s talk about some stuff. Let’s talk about something that’s very close to my heart, like I said before. CrossFit.

I get emails, just random emails sometimes. And it kind of gave me an idea. I was like, I should do a podcast completely about CrossFit. Because I did one about Orange Theory. Which is the other workout I do. But CrossFit literally; Parks and Rec style. Changed my life. It completely changed my life. It made me a completely different person, both physically and mentally. And I recommend it to anyone. It changes lives. I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone out there.

So I want to kind of talk about my experience with CrossFit. What you should be looking for in a CrossFit gym. Things that annoy the sh*t out of me, since I coach CrossFit and have dealt with many different athletes over the years. So I was going to talk about those.

And I got that idea from a reader. She was like, “You should talk about the things you hate that athletes do, so I never do it when I start CrossFitting.” {laughs} I was like, that’s a fun idea. Because I’m good at complaining, aren’t I? Yes. Yes I am.

So. Ok. So I started in CrossFit in, let’s see. When was it? Like late 2010. Yeah, late 2010. I had a boyfriend back in college who did CrossFit, and I tried a workout with him at first. And it had burpees in it, and I was like, no f*cking way am I doing this ever again. I did like 10 burpees, and I was like, “Oh my god what is going on? What is happening with my heart rate?” I didn’t understand how much working out could hurt until I tried a CrossFit workout. So I was like, no. Never doing this. I’m not in good shape. And he would try to help me do a pullup. And this poor guy would throw out his back trying to help me do a pullup.

So anyway. I started doing modified CrossFit on my own. So what I would do is I would go onto CrossFit.com and I would find workouts that I could do, and I could modify myself. Because I was just working out at a gym in town during college. I sometimes worked out at the rec center, but I had my own gym membership because the gym at the rec center would be so busy. The college rec center.

So, I would find workouts that I could do. Or I could at least modify. So I’d find ones that were pushups and air squats and pullups, because I could do them on the assisted pullup machine. And I would just modify however I needed to. So I would modify pushups on my knees, and pullups on an assisted pullup bar. I would watch videos of how to properly squat. I just did a lot of YouTube searches of how to properly lift. And that’s kind of how I started to teach myself how to CrossFit, in general.

So I did that for probably 6 months, and started to see my body really change and got more confidence in myself. I was like, “Ok, I think I want to try a CrossFit gym.” I want someone to teach me movements correctly. I want to learn from an actual coach. I want to be involved with other people. Because I was working out on my own. And I wanted to get the full experience of a CrossFit gym. So I started up at a CrossFit gym, and not long after I started at that gym, I did my first competition probably 2 months later. And then I was hooked on competitions.

I competed for I think 3 years. I did two stents at regionals, at the CrossFit regionals, because they have competitions. So I did two times at that, and did a ton of different smaller competitions. So I really got wrapped up in the competition mode and getting stronger and faster and bigger and better in general.

So how I did that was, back then it was still pretty new. CrossFit wasn’t what it is today. Because this was 6 years ago; 5 or 6 years ago. None of us really knew what we were doing. There were, sure, a couple of people. But it was mostly like, for me, I’m just going to workout all the f*cking time. I’m going to lift all the time. I’m going to do met cons all the time. Which is metabolic conditioning. Which is faster paced workouts. So I was just working out two to three times a day, every day, rarely any rest days. If I took a rest day, I would run three to five miles. I was literally never resting my body. It was f*cking stupid. But, I sure as hell got bigger. I got stronger. I got faster. And I improved for sure.

So that was kind of my experience with CrossFit. I no longer compete. I don’t want to compete. I have no interest in competing whatsoever. And I don’t really push it extremely heavy like I used to. So I’m going to kind of talk through things looking back that I wish I would have done differently. And things you should look for when you’re trying to find a CrossFit gym.

So before you even look into finding a CrossFit gym, whether you’ve never worked out in your life or you’re a seasoned athlete who, maybe you’ve played sports in college or you’ve been Olympic lifting. Or whatever. Whatever. You’re a triathlete. I don’t care what you were. No matter what you are, leave your ego at the door. CrossFit is different than most sports out there, or most lifting maybe you did when in college or whenever else. So leave your ego at the door. If you think you know it better, then go start your own CrossFit gym. But leave your ego. Don’t think that you know it best.

Because you are in a class for a reason. And your coach can see what you’re doing. And people don’t have a lot of body awareness. But your coach knows what’s best. So you need to listen, you need to drop the ego, and know that you might not be the fastest. You might not be the strongest. So you just need to work on all those other little details to get better and better. So drop the ego. The ego needs to go.

I see this in women, but I more so see it in men. And maybe that’s just a woman coach telling a male what to do, that’s not always; men aren’t always a fan of that. Most men are fine with that, but I’ve definitely run across many men in my day that don’t think I know what I’m talking about at all, and don’t respect me. So don’t be that person. Leave the ego. Leave the ego. Just leave it.

So, next. You’ve got to find the CrossFit gym. So coming from my background, I live in Denver. So we have so many gyms. Some of the gym have started to close. But we have so many gyms to choose from, and new gyms keep popping up as well. So it’s pretty easy to find a gym in your area. So if you don’t like a gym, you can go to a different one. It’s pretty damn easy. It’s easy as that.

So if you’re trying to find a gym, that can be hard. It totally depends on the place you live. Maybe you only have one gym option. Maybe you have a ton of gym options. But different ways to kind of figure out if they’re a good gym. You can obviously talk to people. Ask people if they’ve been to that CrossFit gym. If they’ve heard about it. Get recommendations from your friends if they love different gyms. Or, even you could always put it out on Facebook. So you’re like; “Oh, I am moving here. Does anybody know if good CrossFit gyms?” Or, “I’m visiting here. Does anybody know about good CrossFit gyms?” People love to talk. They’ll help you out for sure.

And then if that doesn’t work, you can always look at reviews. And I always say, take reviews with a grain of salt. Because; I was just looking at our gyms reviews on Yelp. And it’s like 4-star review, because this woman is like… If you just look at that, you’re like. Ok, that’s pretty good. It’s not the best. And then I look at why it’s a 4-star and not 5, and it’s a woman who’s like, “I’ve never actually been in this gym, but I work in the neighborhood and the sleds are super loud.” So she’s rating the gym based off of nothing. This f*cking; what a dumb B.

So remember to actually look through those reviews. See what people are talking about. See what they like or dislike. And at the end of the day, it matters what you think. It doesn’t matter what other people think. I was just looking at a review; I posted a dress on the blog today. And I’m obsessed with this dress. It seriously fits like a glove, and the material is amazing. And I looked; it only had one review. And I looked, and the woman said she hated the material. And sent it back. I’m like, that’s crazy. I literally love the material. So remember you can always listen to people’s reviews, and base your opinion off of that. But at the end of the day, it’s what you think. So, remember that.

Next, when you’re looking at gyms, and you’re talking to gyms and getting a feel for trying out a class, you should always, always go to a gym that has an elements program. And they’re called different things. They’re called onramp, elements, beginner program. Whatever. You should go to a gym only if they have an elements program. And no offense to anybody who is listening, whether you own a gym or you go to a gym and they don’t have an elements program. But I think it is incredibly unsafe for a person who maybe has no experience in the gym to be coming into a class and be doing a snatch, or a clean and jerk, or a back squat, or an overhead squat, or a kettlebell swing, or a pullup. Or any of those movements without ever trying them before.

And with our gym, we have all those movements and we go through all those movements and warmup all those movements and redo them over and over. But we expect a person to have some sort of a background with at least just doing the movement once before. And nobody has to be perfect whatsoever. We see a person who’s gone through elements, and they still have a long way to go. But you should have some sort of understanding and some sort of little bit of confidence going in. And I think it is so not ok for a gym to expect a person to come in having no background or experience, and throwing them into the fire. I just think that’s not ok.

So if your gym doesn’t offer an elements or an onramp program, find a different gym. I really believe that. I just think that’s not cool. No offense to those gyms out there. But I think that’s really important. Especially now that CrossFit gyms have been so established, and there are so many different fitness options and gyms out there that these gyms know better and they should be stepping it up. So just keep that in mind when you’re looking for a gym. They should have an elements program so you can really get the basics, and get confident and comfortable before you step foot in a class. I think it’s so important, and I can’t push that enough.

So after you go through an elements program, obviously you need to go through an elements program. Because if you’re doing a snatch, you’re doing an Olympic lift that is so incredibly complicated. If you don’t know what the hell you’re doing, and you just see other people throwing weights on there, and you throw those same weights on there when you’ve never tried this movement, you’re setting yourself up for failure and your setting yourself up to get injured. And then you’re going to be the person who said, “I hurt myself and it’s all CrossFit’s fault.” When it’s not. It’s your fault for not understanding your body.

So that brings me to my next piece. Don’t be a hero. So after you’ve gone through an elements program, you’re going to jump into classes. And, depending on what kind of CrossFitter you are out there. So I’m just talking to a person who is like, “Yeah. I’m in! I love CrossFit. I want to get better. I want to do muscle ups. I want to do this. I want to do that.” Just like I was when I started CrossFit. It’s easy to get wrapped up and to see what other people are doing and to feel like you should be doing the same thing.

I don’t care if you’re an athlete and you have worked out your whole life. If you come in and you think you can do an overhead squat, and your shoulders don’t actually go to that position, and you throw 95 pounds on that barbell, sh*t’s going to get real really fast. So don’t be the hero.

If I could do anything differently, going back in CrossFit, I would stay lighter longer. Stay light in my weight, and really dial in my movement and understanding what my body was doing. So I wish I would have just taken the time to stay light. Make sure I’m feeling every muscle group that I’m supposed to when I’m lifting. So you know, when I’m setting up in a back squat, I don’t have my knees coming in, or going to my toes when I’m doing an overhead squat. Or whatever it is. I wish I would have really nailed down those movements before I put heavier weight on the bar.

And the thing about CrossFit is we see; maybe we see athletes or we see friends in class who are putting weight on the bar and you’re like, “Oh, I can totally do that.” Well, not if you haven’t trained your body to be in a certain position. CrossFit, we squat deeper. We hold positions in different ways. So you really have to dial in those movements and teach the body what it’s supposed to do before you add weight on there. And I wish I would have done that and understood that before. CrossFit was so new, that the coaches back then were like, “Yeah! F*ck yeah, put more weight on there! Do it!” Nowadays, I think coaches really dial back.

But feel free to stay lighter. And I have that all the time with people who have just started with CrossFit. I’m like, who cares about the weight today? We just want to get through this workout. Have a good workout. Have a good sweat. And feel good afterwards. You don’t have to put a crazy amount of weight on there where you can’t walk for 7 days, and then you don’t want to go back to CrossFit because you’re so uncomfortable. Remember to just take care of yourself first. So don’t be the hero; take your time. That’s totally ok to take your time. Get comfortable with the movements beforehand.

And you know, if you have one of those coaches that maybe is new, and they’re telling you to go heavier. It’s ok to say, “You know what? No, I’m going to stay lighter today. I think I just need to dial in my movement.” Whenever anyone has said that to me, I’m completely ok with that. Because I do have; especially women where I’m like, “Hey, I think you could go heavier than that.” And I’m thinking of one girl; and I have multiple women at the gym. But I’m thinking of one girl in specific. And she can always do heavier than she does. And she’s like; “You know, I just want to stay with the movement.” And I’m completely ok with that. Because I’ve been in that position and I understand that.

So don’t be afraid to speak up and say, “You know what, I think I want to go lighter and just work on this movement, because this has been challenging. Speak up so the coach knows. It’s not like you’re being lazy. Because we do have some of those. But it’s not like you’re being lazy; you just really want to get comfortable with the movement. So don’t be a hero here. Get comfortable. Get confident with your lifts. Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s one of those things. It’s so easy to compare yourself, and I did it as well. It just doesn’t make a difference. If you compare yourself to another person; why? You’re not that person. So it’s f*cking pointless right? Right.

Being scared is normal. So when I first started CrossFit; I can still picture it. I was in my first car I ever bought. My red Honda Civic, 1998 Honda Civic. And I was living in Fort Collins. I had just finished school. So I was up in Fort Collins. And I would drive to my CrossFit gym. And of course, I would get there 20 minutes early before the coach was even there, because that’s what I do in life. I’m always early to everything. It’s really f*cking annoying sometimes. Because then you’re sitting in your car doing nothing.

But I would get there early, because I was so nervous. I would pour in sweat. And literally pour. I would have huge sweat stains down my armpits before I even stepped foot in the gym. I was so nervous. Yeah, TMI. I have to go to the bathroom like 47 times. So nervous. Heart rate going a million miles a minute. So being scared is normal. Especially if you’re a person who has never worked out. Going into a CrossFit gym is so f*cking intimidating. Oh my god, it’s so intimidating.

Especially; because what you see right away, if you’ve never worked out. You see these guys who are maybe dudes who have their shirts off, and girls in booty shorts. And you see those people right away. But you don’t see any of the normal people in there. You only see what you want to see. And I’m thinking of these couple of dudes in our gym who always have their shirts off. And they’re always screaming. That’s what they see when people walk into the gym. They see these crazy dudes, and they’re’ like, “I don’t feel comfortable here.”

So understand that being scared is normal. Being intimidated is normal. And those feelings might not go away for a while. Or maybe ever. The intimidation went away for me, but being scared did not go away. We just had a workout just two days ago that I’m so f*cking sore from. But it was a workout that had a deadlift, it had a bike. The airdyne bike. And it had toes to bar. And nobody had finished the workout, and I really wanted to finish it. I did not. And I was so nervous before we started. I was like, “Oh, I’ve got to pee! I’ve got to pee!” And then you just use your pee as energy. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works.

So know that I’ve been doing CrossFit for 7 years and I still get nervous. And that’s awesome. Shouldn’t you have those feelings of nerves and scared and doing something that scares you every single day? Whatever it is? I think those feelings are awesome, because you know that you’re doing something really f*cking awesome. I know that I’m changing my body, and I’m changing my mind by doing this one workout. And that’s pretty damn sweet.

So, know that you’re going to be scared and you’re going to be intimidated. Even if you’re a veteran athlete, you’ll still have those feelings. And those feelings kind of never went away. When you know how painful a CrossFit workout can be. But being able to get through that pain, and to push through those workouts. Seriously, it makes you so much more mentally strong. It’s pretty freaking cool. It has changed my life so drastically.

So know that those feelings are ok, and you’ll get through them. And then you’ll finish that hour workout, or however long it is. CrossFit workouts aren’t an hour. But they’re still incredibly challenging. They’re not an hour. Most of our CrossFit workouts, we do a lift and then we do a met con afterwards. So in total we’ve worked out for less than 20 or 25 minutes. Which is pretty rad. So those workouts, they’re still incredibly challenging. They make you so much more mentally strong, which is pretty rad. They’ve really changed my life.

Ok, so I talked about staying light. When you’re looking for a CrossFit gym, every CrossFit gym is a separate affiliate. So they all program differently. So no gym is going to be exactly the same. So keep that in mind. What I like to see at a gym, and not everybody agrees with this. I like to see a lift and then a met con. And some gyms only do a lift, one lift that day. And other gyms will do only a met con, and some gyms do both. I prefer to see a lift and then a met con. And met con just means kind of a fast workout afterwards. So pretty much most of our days at my gym. When I say my gym, I don’t mean I own the gym. Just to make that clear. It’s just the gym I’ve been going to and coaching at for the past 6 years.

So at our gym, we believe in lifting beforehand and then doing a metabolic conditioning. And I totally understand why gyms say, “We’re only going to do a strength.” Because you should be putting it all on the floor in that one strength workout. But if you’re paying for a gym, which CrossFit gyms are expensive. If you’re paying for an expensive gym, I feel like you should be getting everything. And maybe lifting isn’t your cup of tea. Or the metabolic conditioning isn’t your cup of tea. Or maybe you’re only able to make it on a couple of strength days, and you wanted to make it on the metabolic conditioning days. I think it’s so nice when gyms have both of those things going on. So they can get a lift in, and they can get their metabolic conditioning in. Getting two birds with one stone.

Not all gyms believe in that, and that’s totally ok. This is just what I like with my own body, and preference in my own gym. And what I’ve been doing for the past 7 years. I’ve been doing a lift, and then a metabolic conditioning workout afterwards. So you have to find what works for you. If you would prefer to just lift one day, or just do a met con one day. That’s totally cool. Find a gym that does that. You’ll be able to find one; I promise you that.

So keep that in mind. The programming is going to be different at all gyms. And you might not like the programming at one doesn’t mean you won’t like the programming at another. And when I say like, you’re not going to like it. Especially if you’re a person that doesn’t like to workout that much. F*ck no you’re not going to like it. I’m not like, “Oh my god, I can’t wait to be absolutely f*cking miserable.” No. It’s all; I don’t know what I’m trying to say. Just know that all gyms program differently, and you have to find the kind of workout that challenges you and you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Because CrossFit gyms are expensive, and you deserve to get an amazing workout every time you step foot into the gym. So keep that in mind.

Ok, what else. I keep getting phone call interruptions, so I keep having to go back and forth to this podcast. It’s throwing me off, guys.

So, this is one of the things that I hear a lot. I have two things that I hear a lot. Number one; CrossFit. I hear this from people. “CrossFit made me injure myself.” Here’s the thing. CrossFit did not make you injure yourself. You injured yourself. I have been doing CrossFit for 7 years, and I’ve injured myself once. And I did not blame CrossFit. I blamed myself. Because it’s my fault. You have to listen to your body, and you have to learn what your body is telling you. And it’s hard to know that. That’s why I recommend staying light and really dialing in your movement and getting to know your body. And getting to know what feels right and what doesn’t feel right and why.

But CrossFit didn’t injure you. You did. So if you go in, and you just start throwing around a ton of weight, and you have no understanding of your body, that’s not CrossFit’s fault. That’s your fault. And yes, it’s very easy to injure yourself when you’re doing challenging movements such as a squat snatch. Very easy. But it’s not CrossFit’s fault when you hurt yourself.

So, you’ll see very; like CrossFit Games. You’ll see CrossFit Games athletes injuring themselves. Because they’re pushing their body to the max. Why would you do that? That’s what happened to me. When I was CrossFitting, I injured myself in a competition. And I’m like, what is the point of this? I’m not competing anymore. I’m done with this. So why would I go to these crazy weights and maybe injure myself when I just want to look good naked, feel good in my clothes, and get a good workout in. What’s the point in injuring myself?

So you have to understand that you are in control of your weights, and you are in control of learning your body. Listening to your body. And taking care of it. If you don’t take care of it, it’s not CrossFit’s fault. It’s not. It’s not even the gym’s fault. I heard of a friend getting sued recently at a CrossFit gym because the woman fell off the pole bar. It’s not the gym’s fault. Whatever. That sh*t pisses me off when people sue for their own stupidity. You know?

So keep that in mind. It’s not CrossFit’s fault when you injure yourself. You have to learn and listen and take care of your body. I just said that, but I’m saying it again. Because your body will often tell you what to do the more you get to know it. Maybe not at first, but the more you get to know it, it will tell you what to do. I promise you that. So keep that in mind. It’s not CrossFit’s fault.

Another thing that I hear all the time. And I’ve gone through this, so I get it. Ok. The biggest thing that women say when they come to CrossFit. “I don’t want to get bulky. And I’m scared that CrossFit is going to make me look bulky or like a ‘CrossFitter.’” And you know what this is coming from? They are looking at Instagram’s f*cking explore feed. And they’re looking at the CrossFit Games. And they’re looking at these crazy, ripped women. And to me, that is very attractive. I personally like that look. Not everybody does.

But if you’re coming in and you’re just using the 15-pound barbell, and you’re just really trying to figure out how to properly do a back squat, you don’t have to worry about getting bulky. You don’t, ok. Because these CrossFitters are snatching; these women are snatching over 200 pounds. And you’re maybe snatching a 15-pound barbell. And maybe you’re going to move up to 100 pounds at some point. Maybe you’ll even move up to 150. And still you won’t be bulky, ok? You have to keep that in mind.

So, that being said. CrossFit will change your body. Because maybe you didn’t come from a lifting background and you’re suddenly lifting. And your muscles are changing. And your muscles are growing. And your body is going to change with that. So maybe you don’t want to look muscular. I’m sure many women look at me and they don’t want to look like that. Because I’m a more muscular build. I like that look. I want to have very shapely shoulders and arms. And I want to look like I work hard in the gym. I want people to think, “Oh, she works out.” I want that. And I want to feel like I look like I work out.

Not everybody wants that, and I get that. They want a more feminine figure. “Feminine figure.” So that is totally ok. But know that you will get muscles. Because you’re lifting. And you are putting your body into positions and into different comfort levels that it’s never been. And that’s ok. So maybe your jeans that have always fit might not fit anymore because you’re growing a butt. Or your legs are changing shape. Or your jackets don’t fit. And you have to understand that’s ok. You have to be ok with it, first of all. And you have to be ok with having more muscles. You have to be comfortable with that.

That being said, there are many layers to this. Every woman is so incredibly different. And I’m sure every man is different. I just can’t relate to that as much, because I do not have a penis. But I can relate to having a vagina. I just talked about the Nuvaring for lord’s sake. So I understand that every woman’s body is so different. And I see it at the gym. I see it at how my body has changed. I see when I was competing how my body looked compared to other women. Everyone’s body is different. Everyone’s hormones are different. Everyone’s genetics are different. So your body will change differently than someone else’s.

And, how you view yourself is different than how someone else views you. So maybe you’re like, “I’m getting bigger than I feel comfortable with.” And that’s ok. Maybe your coach is like, “No, you’re not getting bigger.” And maybe you feel bigger. That’s ok for you to be like, “I want to cut back a little bit in weight.” Because I’ve done that. I’ve competed in CrossFit. I got very heavy with my weights and I pushed my body to its max. I got very inflamed and didn’t let my body recover properly. And my coach, every single day, god bless him. I had him on this podcast; the owner of CrossFit Broadway. Every day, like this past week we had deadlifts. And I chose 125. And he’s like; do you mean 145. It’s like, no, 125. He’s like, you mean 135? I was like, no 125. And then he gave up. Because he’s got to talk to other people in the class.

So I know what’s best for me, and it’s taken some time. And he wants to push me because that’s what you do as a coach, and I understand that. But I’m going to say, “No, I’m going to stay lighter. I’m cool with it.” Because I want something out of my workout, and that want doesn’t include my legs growing at this point in my life. So, know that your body will change. Know that you have to be comfortable with it. And know that it’s ok to cut back in weights. Or to push it heavier in weights. You have to find what works for you.

And a lot of times I hear people in CrossFit. They’re like, “Well CrossFit just made me bigger.” I get that. I am bigger than when I first started. Because my body has changed, and it’s more muscular. And I had to buy new clothes. And that’s just kind of how life is. But I also say, I don’t want to be 30 pounds heavier and I cut back in weights and that helped out. But you know what else helps? Diet.

So before you blame a certain kind of workout on your body change, make sure you know what your diet looks like. And don’t forget the alcohol that you’re consuming on a weekly basis. Because everyone forgets about the alcohol. They’re like, “My diet is perfect.” And I’m like, “Well you had 14 beers last night.” So your diet is not perfect. You’re just thinking about it in terms of what you’ve eaten, not drank. Keep that in mind.

So diet is so important, but know that you can change your workout. I have changed mine over time. I go lighter in weights. I no longer do muscle ups or ring dips, because I have implants and I don’t have the muscle structure that I used to have when I competed. And so it hurts now to do those movements. So I say, “ok I’m not going to do those.” My body is saying, “Hey, excuse me. You dumb b*tch. Calm your sh*t down.” So I don’t do it. I modify. And I move on with my day. Modifying is ok.

So keep that in mind. You’re ok to modify and really find your groove. But stop thinking of CrossFit as Games athletes. Because that is 1% of the CrossFit population out there. My friend’s parents do CrossFit. They are in their early 70s I believe? They’re retired. In their early 70s. They do CrossFit 6 to 7 days a week. They’re not f*cking competing. They are just working out to stay healthy. And you know what? They look better than they ever have. It’s so badass.

So when people think of CrossFit as games athletes? Yeah, no. There is a much bigger population out there of men and women doing CrossFit of all body shapes and sizes. So stop thinking of it as the 1% of the population. It’s like thinking in terms of models. Like, runway models. It’s like; why would you ever compare yourself to a runway model? Because that’s, what, less than 1% of the population? I don’t know. Something like that. Same thing with CrossFit. Stop thinking of it as what you see on TV. Because it’s not like that. Ok? Ok?

Now. I’d like to talk about some things you should not do in class when you start. Ok? Or when you’ve been an athlete there for years. Here’s the thing. Don’t be late. That being said, I understand. I live in a busy city at this point. Colorado is busy all the f*cking time, and traffic sucks. It took my husband an hour to get home, when it takes him like 20 minutes usually. It’s terrible. So I get that people are late. And I don’t give people sh*t like I used to when they’re late. Except if they come in late, and they just dilly dally around. Taking their time. Not apologizing. Be like, “I’m sorry I’m late. Traffic was sh*tty. What can I do to get warm because I’m 5 minutes late and I missed the run in the first part.”

Be polite. Because you are late, and you’re interrupting a class that’s already under way. And it’s ok that you’re late. That’s fine. But don’t be rude about it. Don’t dilly dally. Get into the warmup. Apologize, and get after it. Ok?

It’s so frustrating when someone comes in late, and is just f*cking around. And then they’re not warm when everybody else is. Because that can lead to injury, and then as I’ve just said, injury can lead to lawsuits. And it’s not my fault that you’re f*cking slow. Slow meaning late. Ok? So keep that in mind. I know I sound like a real see you next Tuesday. But man, I hate when people are late. It drives me crazy. Mostly because I’m 30 minutes early every time I get to the gym. And I’m like, why did I get here so early? Because I hate it when people are late.

Because sometimes, when people are late to Saturday morning, I’m like, Ok. You weren’t dropping your kids off. You weren’t stuck in traffic. And it’s 9 in the morning. So why are you late? Because you’re lazy. And you’re like, “I just can’t figure it out.” You can’t figure out time? You’re 30 years old. Figure it out.

Another thing that drives me crazy is when people don’t listen to the coach. {laughs} So you know, we’re about to start the workout, and they’re like, “Wait, what are we doing?” What do you mean what are we doing? We literally just talked about the workout. We went through the warmup of all the movements. And then I just repeated the workout. And you’re asking me what? What you’re doing? Ok. I’m going to smack a b*tch.

Listen. All you have to do is even half listen. Or just ask a person next to you. But just half listen. I get it. You’ve been working all day. You don’t really want to listen. I totally get it. Just pay attention for like 2 minutes while I’m talking about it. Move on. Easy.

Next. Do not fight with your coach about your weight. And I say this thinking about pretty much dudes. Mostly dudes. You don’t get that quite as much with women. And maybe women just don’t fight with me as much. But men; and I had this just last week. And I haven’t had this in a while. But it’s that whole ego thing. Came in, and could not hold position of a certain movement we were doing, and tried to put a lot on the bar. I was like, nope. Cut that weight back. I want you to start lighter. And he’s like, no. Like, what the f*ck do you mean no? That’s not how a class works, bro.

I was like, no I need you to cut back on that weight. Don’t worry, you can build up to it. But I really want you to dial in. And he’s like, no. {laughs} I was about to lose my sh*t on him. If he would have gone much longer, I would have been like, “get out of my class. Get out.”

But your coach knows best. And listen to them. So, if your coach is telling you to go lighter because you are not keeping proper position, and you need to work on a movement, and you need to get better at this or that; listen to them. Do not fight with them. Listen to them.

So this dude, who wanted to go crazy heavy in a squat clean when he couldn’t hold position, did a lighter wall ball and kettlebell than me in the workout. I’m like, “This is why I’m telling you to go lighter.” It’s very frustrating. Very annoying. Don’t be that person. And I know I said it’s ok to speak up if you want to go lighter; but listen to your coach. Your coach is there to keep you safe and to push you. So it’s finding that balance, and finding that relationship with that coach. But listen to them.

I have seen numerous men, and women, not know what they’re doing. And you’ve got to remember that it’s ok to not be the hero that day. It’s ok that dudes are going heavier than you. Or women are going heavier than you. So listen.

Last but not least, don’t be a cheat! Oh my god. It’s just so funny to me when people cheat their reps in classes. And they think nobody knows or nobody notices. Everybody knows that you’re the cheater, and everybody talks about you! They’re like; “That person cheats all the time. I don’t give a sh*t what their weights are. Or their score is, because they’re cheaters!” So remember that. That everyone knows you’re a cheater, if you cheat your reps. Everyone sees it. The coach counts your reps, and they’ll probably talk to you at some point. I’ve talked to a handful of dudes. I’m like, dude. You were doing 13 reps instead of 20. Can you not count to 20? My dog can count to 20, you can’t? We see it. We see it.

And it’s frustrating; I’ve totally seen my husband where he’s like, “Yeah I did 8 reps instead of 10.” My husband is not coming in first. He’s not doing prescribed weights, when he was doing CrossFit. He didn’t give a sh*t. If you’re one of those people, do you. But if you are coming in and you’re like, “I got the top score.” We all see through you. Nobody likes a cheat. It’s kind of like nobody likes a snitch in jail. We won’t jump you and murder you, but we won’t like you. Ok? We’ll judge you for sure. No murder, but judging.

Those are the things that annoy me. That’s not that bad. That’s not that many. But. If I could make everyone try CrossFit, I totally would. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I really mean that. It changed my life. It changed my future. It changed my; I mean, it changed everything in my life. And I wish more people could experience it and really experience what a life changing thing it can be. It’s so f*cking cool.

I’ve never been more confident. I’ve never been more comfortable in my skin. I can push myself in the gym. I can push myself mentally and physically harder because of my CrossFit workouts. It’s amazing. And I think everybody should try it. But not all gyms are totally the same. Keep that in mind. And before I found my CrossFit gym, I worked at and worked out at probably 5 or 6 other CrossFit gyms before I found the gym that I’ve been at for 5 or 6 years. So keep that in mind that it took me many gyms to find the one that worked for me. And I hope that you have multiple options in your neighborhood. If you don’t, I hope your gym is amazing.

Because just recently, I went to CrossFit Santa Ynez, and I think that’s the only CrossFit gym. I know it’s the only CrossFit gym, because it’s the tiniest little town, or community I guess. And it was amazing. So just know that you can have amazing gyms when there’s even just one option. Keep that in mind.

Ok. I’ve got to get going because I’ve got to shower and get ready for this live episode of My Favorite Murder. Yeah. I’ve got to go. So I hope you have a wonderful weekend. I’ll be back next week talking about my trip to Idaho. Boise. Because I’m going to Boise soon. I’ll talk to you about that experience. I’ve heard mixed reviews about Boise. I’ve heard it’s really amazing; it’s kind of like Denver. And then other people say it sucks. But I’m sure people say that about Denver, and I think Denver is amazing. So I can’t wait to tell you what I think. My personal correct experience. Know what I mean? I get to go paddle boarding. I mean, how could it be bad?

Ok. I love you long time. Keep being awesome. Get your ass in the gym. Push yourself. Be a badass. Be better than yesterday, ok? I know that’s so cliché and f*cking annoying, but be better than yesterday because who wants to be your yesterday self? We’re working towards the future, right? Be your future self every day.

Ok. That’s all I have to say for now. If you have any questions about CrossFit, or experiences, or what to look for, or whatever. Feel free to message me. Know that you will be sore. And that’s normal. I was very sore for many months, and I still get sore. I was just saying how sore I am. Soreness is normal.

Keep it light, keep it tight when you’re learning. I always say keep it light, keep it tight when I’m going lighter than what my coach says, and it annoys the f*ck out of him. That’s why I continue to say it. It’s the best!

Ok. Talk to you soon. Love you long time. Bye-bye!

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