A lot of folks like to use beauty products and us crossfitters are no exception. In this month’s WODBOM box I got a bar of soap from Wodbrand Soaps (click here to see their website) and thought, “Hey, THAT is something I can review without a lot of extra work”!

So I opened the little sample and found it had an interesting scent. A look at the ingredient label let me know that it was mostly a sheabutter soap with sandalwood scenting. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice scent, but not one that I’m really in love with. At least at first.

After using it for several days, I’ve noticed that although the scent is strong on the soap, it doesn’t leave a strong scent after using it. So that is a total plus in my opinion.

Most sheabutter soaps I’ve used in the past seem to disintegrate quickly, but so far, this seems to last about as long as the harder “bar soaps” one buys in the store. This could be because the bar IS bigger than those, but it hasn’t melted to nothing in a week!

If there is one drawback, it is the size of the bar. I have these little hands and the bar is wider than my palm, making it a bit difficult to keep it in my hand as I use it. For those of you with larger hands, put your soap in a washcloth, or simply don’t worry about such things, this won’t make a difference and it’s not something that would prevent me from buying the product.

The other drawback is the price. I can purchase a package of regular bar soap for the cost of 1 of these. However, if you are concerned that your soap not have harsh chemicals, or other things that lead to ground water contamination, the price might not concern you. It’s quality enough that I will buy some of their other soaps to check them out too!

Why Have You Not Bought This Yet?

Notice this time I left out the day of the week!  haha

I’m sure if you are reading this, you have already signed up for CrossFit classes. But perhaps you are on the fence about the benefits vs your fears. Here are some of the common fears people have about CrossFit (or, at least these are ones I had before I fell in love with it).

  1. I’m scared to work out in front of people. I had this fear! This was my number one fear in fact. I had done a lot of the Beachbody workouts and really loved them. I had some great success from them and loved working out in my basement, where I didn’t have to worry about other people seeing me sweat, seeing me fail at movements and seeing me struggle to do the cardio-based DVD’s. I was petrified that when I walked through those doors, the highly fit people would laugh at me, call me fat, tell me I’m no good and shame me right out that door into never coming back. Indeed there were a lot of people who were really in shape there and the coach was in the best shape of all. But none of my fears were realized. Those incredible athletes HELPED me finish. The coach showed me how to not injure myself and how to modify the workout so I could get through it. Two+ years later all of these things hold true and now I cannot imagine working out alone, where I don’t have to worry about poor form, where modifications are based on my skill level.
  2. I will get hurt. You can get hurt doing any type of exercise. You can get hurt falling down the steps, or tripping on Lego that children always manage to place exactly where you want to step. The best part about CrossFit is there is a coach right there making sure you are 1. motivated to keep pushing through the suck and 2. continually checking and correcting your form if needed. They modify the workout based on your skill level and help you select an appropriate weight for a movement, especially while you are getting stronger and are scaling workouts. And if you do get injured, the coaches are there to modify the workouts around your injury while you heal!
  3. It’s expensive. This one can be a bit harder to ignore, especially compared to working out at home. Once you purchase the DVD programs, you have them and you don’t really need to buy anything else. Once that treadmill or elliptical is purchased there isn’t anything else you need to purchase. But you also only get those DVD’s and when those get boring, or the treadmill/elliptical becomes unbearably boring (that happened to me). If you want to do something different, you have to get another program, or a new machine. One of the things you get at CrossFit is constantly changing programming that you don’t have to think about. The trained CrossFit coach does that for you. The other athletes keep you motivated to keep coming, unlike other ‘normal’ gyms where you pay a membership, have to think about what you are doing to do, may or may not use all the machines (thus you are paying for other members to use those machines) and, if statistics are to be believed, a good percentage of people pay those fees monthly and don’t go. In that case, you are paying for nothing. What about personal training? This can run anywhere frmo 40-100 per session. So going 3 times per week really gets expensive. Going once a week and doing the rest at home means, again, you are alone, no one is checking form and no one is there motivating you to work harder, push through. Finally, becoming obese, getting Type-2 Diabetes and having to deal with the medical costs will be far more expensive than monthly gym fees.

I know it may be scary; I know you are worried it’s not for you. I had all those fears. But I found a community of friends, coaches who care about me, my health, my skills and ensuring I can get through the workouts. My health is better, my clothes fit better (I have to buy new ones), and I’m making better food choices. It has been worth every penny; it will be for you too, I promise.

Why Have You Not Bought This Yet Wed (Friday)

I should probably just change the title of this to Why Have you Not Bought This Yet , since making sure I do something on Wed seems near impossible. But I do have something that you should do for yourself: get a deep tissue massage.

CrossFitters (and other intense athletes) spend a lot of time working hard in the gym, lifting heavy, running fast (well….not me; I’m more like a platypus), rowing hard, tossing stones around like feathers. All that work can cause muscle soreness, which is usually only a minor irritation, but it can also irritate ligaments and tendons and that is usually far more irritating and, often, takes longer to heal fully.

Find yourself an expert in massage therapy and get that person to work on these sore areas, a few at a time and you will be surprised at the result. I’ve been dealing with a nagging shoulder injury. The doctor said it was muscular and to rest up; for the past 6 weeks my incredible coaches have been modifying all my workouts, not allowing me to use the shoulder. I’ve been regularly utilizing my TENS machine to provide extra stimulation and that has been helping as well.

I finally worked up the courage to see the massage therapist from the box. I’ve seen him before for various things and he’s really incredible, but I knew this would hurt and wow! It did!! He worked on my shoulder, exclusively, for an hour and I ended up bruised and seemingly more sore than when I started. But after 24 hours, I had more mobility and less pain. The following Monday (I saw him Friday), I used the shoulder for a workout for the first time in 6 weeks. I didn’t use much weight, but I did press overhead. The next day was bench pressing, the exact move where I was injured. Again, I didn’t use a lot of weight, but as able to do the move. Am I 100%? No, but I fully believe that another session would really help me.

So my advice is to schedule a deep tissue massage. Get that hip released, the quads worked, the shoulder pressed and the lower back worked on. It will be the most painful and the most wonderful thing ever. I promise.

The Power of Coaches

There are a lot of people who hate on CrossFit. People claim it’s: expensive, causes injuries, forces you to eat Paleo, pushes you past your abilities, the coaches aren’t competent, and will ultimately give you Rhabomyolysis thus leading to your death.

I have a beef to pick with all of these. But anyone who participates in any sport could run up against any of the things on that list. There aren’t injuries in football? Olympic athletes don’t have a nutritional plan constructed by a coach? If all coaches were created equal, there wouldn’t be such a huge fuss when a college football coach is replaced. Rhabo can show up for a variety of reasons and any extreme workout can induce it (marathon runners anyone).

The cost is something that is hard to get around. Yes, it IS more expensive than some other fitness gyms and yes the equipment can be expensive if one sets up their home gym and proceeds to complete the workout that CrossFit releases daily (go to CrossFit and you will see for yourself). It is less expensive than personal training, however. In a CrossFit class you get some personal attention. At our box, if the coaches see your form slipping, they will reduce your weights, or come over to offer suggestions on how to improve. We do spend time working on drills. They show us common mistakes and how to correct those mistakes. It’s not the same as one-on-one coaching, but it’s darn close. So you are paying for more personal attention. I know that for me, I would never have learned to properly execute a snatch from watching videos alone. The coaches are there to ensure your safety.

Injuries happen in every sport. I have spent the past 2-3 months dealing with a shoulder issue. This isn’t CrossFit’s fault. It happens; professional athletes get injured. You can trip going up/down the stairs and get injured. Heck, my husband required major surgery this past winter because he slipped on the ice and tore his quad ligament. Coaches are there to ensure your safety, so poor mechanics don’t cause injuries. Coaches will make sure you don’t put too much weight on the bar until your form is good. Coaches are there to help you scale and work around injuries should that be needed. They are there to help do rehabilitation if required.

Do a lot of CrossFitters eat Paleo? I don’t know. I know a few at my box who do. I know a lot of the athletes eat “mostly Paleo”. I also know folks who try to not eat so much junk and some folks who do CrossFit so they CAN eat some junk and everything in between. Most of us seemed to start by eating less “junk”. How far you take your nutrition is really up to you.

The coaches are there specifically TO push you. A good coach (and at my box they are all good coaches) has an uncanny ability to push you just past your comfort zone. This is someplace that most of us won’t go by ourselves. The coaches provides that last little nudge. Our coaches all have the ability to know our strengths, our weaknesses and those places where we’d rather not spend any more time. And yet, they also know when to back off, when we really have given our all. I’ve never seen anyone harassed for slowing down, dropping weights, or even stopping. Are there bad coaches out there? Sure, as in all sports some are better than others and it’s possible the box near you has one that isn’t quite as skilled, or willing to get to know their athletes’ abilities. If this is the case, find a new box!

The reason CrossFit works is down to the coaches. Their dedication, skill, hard work and love for both their sport, their livelihood and their athletes. The power of CrossFit lies in the Power of the Coaches.