Another thing we have all established is that horse health and fitness is pretty important. But do you ever think about rider health and fitness?
I know I sure didn't give a heck in college and I ballooned to 200lbs (45lbs over my normal) because I was a slob, ate whatever was handed to me, usually pizza and literally never set foot in our million dollar fitness gym.
|Tipping the scales at over 200lbs|
I won't go into it much, as you can read more thoroughly above in "Crossfit Journey". Long story short, I started Crossfit and it changed my life forever.
I could ride without getting tired. Sitting the trot was easy. I felt strong. I was confident. I didn't feel like a slug in the saddle. And ultimately, I felt like a better rider overall with a stronger core, stronger seat and better cardio. Also I started to look good in breeches.
Thats what crossfit is all about, functional fitness!
The key is finding a good box (CF gym) and sinking into your niche. I tried a few boxes before I found my CF family, and they're a lot like your barn family. Supportive, encouraging and with you every step of the way!
For me, I want to maintain my fitness level to be strong enough to ride complex movements. Go from being in shape, losing it, and come back and I TELL YOU HWHHHAT, its hard. Harder than you think. After I got over Bronchitis I struggled to catch my breath for a month.
I truly believe that CF has changed my body, my mind and my riding in a positive way. CF is not for everyone, it can be intense and sometimes after a WOD (workout) I want to die. But in that sense, WODs are like shows or riding goals, you want them so badly, and sometimes it sucks, but getting there is the reward and the success is so sweet!
Generally I TRY to get to the gym 3-4 times a week for a WOD. Because of my limited time, this usually means at 6AM before work. If I can't, I run at home and lift heavy, usually squats or deadlifts. I am also doing a Tough Mudder in May and I'm attempting to train for that. Some weeks though, I just don't have it in me to go to the gym and I'm learning thats OKAY.
Now, I've morphed into a true "kool-aid" drinker and embody a lot of CF practices. Two of these practices are Paleo dieting and counting macros. Normally two things that don't work together well, but I will try and break it down quickly.
**ALERT NERD ALERT**
Paleo is eating natural, fresh and whole foods. Limiting dairy and processed food as much as possible. Here, you can go as extreme as you like. I really love yogurt, so I still eat it, but this is considered "not paleo". WHATEVER YOLO. But I have cut out bread from my diet completely. Grains and nuts are OK, but processed bread I only allow myself on Saturdays (cheat days). I think its incredibly important to allow yourself cheat days or meals, otherwise you go crazy and WILL fall off the wagon. I eat a fuckload of veggies and fruits, as well as lean meats like chicken and fish. Beef is a treat. I eat so much chicken sometimes I think I might die. I "break" the paleo rule when I use protein powder and creatine, but both of my supplements are non GMO, natural all that shit. I stick to this diet 6 days a week generally.
Counting macros is quite different and most call it 'flexible dieting'. It helps to get your measurements first, as in, body fat and weight. From there, your macro formula can be made. It all depends on activity level and goals. Do you want to lose weight, gain muscle, do both? Then you get daily set goals. Protein, Carbs, Fats and Calories.
I try to not look at calories unless I'm not meeting them (harder than you think). For me, its hard to meet protein macros and not go over on fats. I consistently hit my carbs macros daily. This is all done on a smartphone app. Takes about a week to get used to, but if you're like me, I generally don't deviate from my diet and eat the same thing everyday (UNLESS ITS SATURDAY).
Usually, I have to drink a protein shake at the end of the day to get my protein without the added fat of meat. Its fun, but difficult to perfect, and I like a challenge. But anything counts. Anything. Did you eat fries and a burger for lunch? LOG IT.
Most likely you've just eaten your fats for the day and need to eat really lean the rest of the day. Its helped me shed the remaining 5lbs and accentuate my abs a bit more. Or look more "shredded". LOL. Anyways people swear by it and I am people, so.
I also have a fitbit HR and might legit be obsessed with that thing. OBSESSED.
Okay, I nerded out for a minute...but this is what I do to stay healthy for my sport. It means a lot to me to be able to workout and finesse my diet, and I could be considered a wee bit of a freak about it. I know that route is not for everyone, its just made a difference for ME. This is what works for ME because I am a lazy sack of shit that needs an app to stay on track and CF coaches that force me to complete workouts I otherwise would give up on, everyday to be healthy. WAH.
So dear readers, what do YOU do? I want to know! Do you walk? Is riding enough? Do you run marathons? Do you not care like I didn't, haha! Tell me, what do ??
**no judgement by the way, at all!