If you watched the recent Miss America pageant, you may have noticed the fabulous bodies of many of the contestants. (By "fabulous" I mean fit and healthy, not super skinny!) The winner, Mallory Hagan, who hails from NYC, is a 23-year-old woman who seems to have her diet and exercise priorities in shape - pun intended!
I love when celebrities - or anyone in the public eye, for that matter - are honest about the fact that they have to work hard for a toned and healthy body. Mallory's boyfriend said that not only did she exercise to prepare for Miss America, but she added lots of fruits and vegetables to her diet. Yay!
Specifically, Mallory did a lot of CrossFit® training to get in shape for the pageant. For this and many other reasons, CrossFit is getting a lot of positive press lately.
Let me start by saying that although CrossFit is a great workout, you shouldn't jump into doing it if you are out of shape or haven't exercised in a while. You need to ease into it, as it is a pretty intense program.
According to the founder of CrossFit, it is a "core strength and conditioning program" with "constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement."
In other words, CrossFit incorporates a lot of strength training into an intense, short workout (around 20 minutes) that aims to leave you physically exhausted. It includes exercises such as sprinting, jumping rope, flipping tires (really!), carrying heavy objects, jumping onto boxes (just like the contestants on The Biggest Loser!), and weightlifting with kettlebells and dumbbells.
Part of the allure of CrossFit is that it is typically done in a group (although you can certainly do it on your own), and there is a huge online support community.
There are entire gyms dedicated solely to CrossFit, but many regular gyms offer CrossFit classes as well.
Another reason I like CrossFit is because part of the philosophy is using your own body weight as resistance and going back to simple exercises (squats, push-ups, lunges, burpees, etc.) that don't require the use of special equipment. That said, the workouts are very intense!
Curious about CrossFit? There are tons of videos on YouTube and on CrossFit's website (crossfit.com) that can give you a better idea of what to expect from a CrossFit workout. Not for you? That is completely fine! I just like to provide our Beyond Diet community members with different exercise options in the hope you will find some that you love.