Workout of the Day:
I realize that not all of our CrossFit gals are opposed to going heavy; however, it is common for women to feel less comfortable going heavy than participating in met-con WODs. Women who were not engaged in team sports growing up have rarely been exposed to weightlifting. I know I wasn’t. I grew up dancing and dabbling in long distance running. Before CrossFit I certainly never lifted heavy loads overhead.
I think because going heavy is less familiar for women, we have a tendency to either avoid it all together (strategically making heavy days our rest days) or to not push ourselves to our full potential. I believe that is a great disservice to our overall performance both physically and mentally.
Why I think it is important to go heavy:
-Going heavy builds confidence and is very rewarding for women: There is something extraordinarily empowering about being able to perform a body weight overhead lift or twice your body weight deadlift. It reassures you that when you are out in daily life you can hold your own – lug several bags of groceries into the house, then balance them on one knee while you open the door; squat down and scoop up your kids one in each hand or change the water jug at the office.
-It helps build muscle and increase bone density: Muscle burns more calories than fat. The higher your lean body mass is the more efficient your body is in burning calories. As women get older their bodies produce less estrogen, which helps to keep bones strong. The strain that is placed on your bones during weight bearing exercise promotes bone strengthening and can help fight against osteoporosis.
What it feels like to go heavy:
–You will have to dump the weight at some point in time: If you are successful in all of your lifts you are not pushing hard enough. Some women are afraid to test their limits, because they think they won’t make the lift. That should never be a concern. If you can’t make it – you dump it. But you will never know if you don’t try.
-You might feel a little dizzy or light headed: If you get dizzy or light headed it is to be expected and you may be able to lessen the effects if you focus on your breathing. The dizziness is due to a lack of oxygen and won’t be as much of an issue if you make sure to take a deep breath at the beginning of each lift.