I recently made the switch from Crossfit to Weightlifting and the result has been surprising: I don’t miss CrossFit one bit. Blasphemy, I know. I feel like this isn’t the place to voice that opinion but hey, the truth is the truth.
I did CrossFit for four years and don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t take a minute of that experience back. I loved CrossFit and it helped me to get in the best overall shape of my life. I cultivated skills I never thought were possible. From pull-ups and handstands, to walking on my hands to the ever elusive muscle up (aka the best day ever), CrossFit took me to places I never, ever imagined that I’d go. Not to mention, I met some amazing people and made some great friends along the way. It also gave me the chance to compete at something again, which I thought had ended with college.
CrossFit also introduced me to the world of Olympic Weightlifting. If it weren’t for CrossFit, I most definitely wouldn’t be where I am today, and for that I am forever thankful for the sport. With all that said, I really don’t miss it and I love where I am right now.
Weightlifting from the start was always my favorite part of CrossFit. Something about picking up heavy weight and putting it over my head was the best, and at times, the most frustrating, feeling ever. Making the switch over to the dark side has taught me many things, and for anyone thinking of doing the same, I highly encourage it! I’ve learned so much and have so much more to learn, and this is just the beginning, which makes me even more excited than ever. Here are a few things I’ve learned in the five short months I’ve stopped doing CrossFit and focused solely on Weightlifting.
1. There is a lot of rest
One of the first things I noticed when I walked into my new weightlifting gym was the amount of sitting going on. Coming from Crossfit where it’s always go, go, go as fast as possible, this was so hard for me to get used to. It took awhile for me to get used to and to slow down, and let’s be real, sometimes I still move too fast, but I’ve come to embrace the rest. Especially because even though I’m only doing a couple of reps each set, or even just doing singles, I’m fucking out of breathe. Which brings me to my next point…
2. My endurance has gone to shit
This is a big one that really stood out to me. I remember after a few short weeks I tried going for a run. A mile in it turned into a nice stroll. At first, I was wondering if I should give up CrossFit altogether, or try to keep it up but soon realized that wasn’t a good idea if Weightlifting was what I wanted to focus on. Now, I don’t miss cardio AT ALL. And I’m totally fine with that.
3. I’m more confident around heavy weights
While I’m still a mental case a lot of the time, I’ve become way more comfortable around bigger weights, which I would normally psyche myself out about. I’ve PR’d a lot in the past few months, mostly due to better technique, but also due to the fact that I’m stronger mentally.
4. I’ve learned to count in Kilos
Most of this new “mental strength thing” though, has to do with me not knowing what’s on the bar most of the time because now I have to count in Kilos. It hurts my brain half of the time but I’m learning! I kind of love not knowing what’s on the bar though and try not to add it up until I’m done, which works out great because I hate math. If I don’t know what I’m lifting, I can’t freak out about it and get in my head.
5. I'm not scared of snatching
It’s no secret that I really don’t like snatching. It’s frustrating and to be honest, kind of scary sometimes. But with some amazing coaching, learning the correct technique and fixing old habits, I’ve actually kind of come to like it…almost. I’m getting mostly more consistent and I’m starting to want to do them because I suck at them. And while I’d much rather do some cleans and move bigger weight, I’ve come to not hate the days I have to snatch. Unless I can’t make a lift to save my life. Then I hate it. But that’s the name of the game, right?
6. Weightlifters are very welcoming
The first time (and second, and third, and probably fourth) time I walked into my new gym, I was scared shitless. I was so intimidated that all these people knew what they were doing and I was so new to the sport and had no clue and knew no one. There are rules that I didn’t know, unfamiliar faces, and it just wasn’t the CrossFit atmosphere I was so used to. Also, I’m not the most outgoing person until I get to know people, so I’m not the best at making new friends. But, I soon realized that just like CrossFitters, Weightlifters are very friendly and welcoming and soon I felt way more comfortable. I still feel pretty awkward some days because I’m the most awkward person ever, but I’ve met some really awesome people who have made me feel at home.
So there you have it. My list of why I love Weightlifting so far. Hopefully it helps people who are on the fence about making the switch, and hopefully it opens the eyes of the die-hard CrossFitter to a big aspect of their sport. And while CrossFit will always be a huge part of my past, I’m having a blast and wouldn’t change my decision at all!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: KATE B.
Kate is a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer and former Division 1 Rower.