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Why I’m Not CrossFitting Now + Workouts + Meal Plan

Hope you guys are having a wonderful weekend!

This morning I received a question from a reader who noticed that I’m not CrossFitting anymore and she asked if there was a reason why.


(After I RX’d Fran for the first time)

Let’s chat about that for a second. I started CrossFitting back in 2012 when I accepted the job as General Manager of Metro Fitness Club. We ran a CrossFit program out of our gym that had grown so much that the owner was in the process of opening a separate CrossFit box to house the program when I came on board. I thought that it was important that I CrossFit and get certified to coach CrossFit since it was such a big part of what we offered. A little over a year after I started CrossFitting, I completed the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer Course.

For the next two years I coached a good amount of CrossFit (probably 4-8 classes per week) and CrossFitted myself 2-4 times per week. I quit coaching CrossFit when I stepped out of all management team responsibilities at Metro (gosh, maybe like a year and a half ago?) and decided to dedicate my focus to yoga/writing/personal training. I kept CrossFitting a good bit through the end of 2015 but almost always on my own and never in classes. For the last year that I CrossFitted, I rarely followed any specific program. Rather, I would either program my own WODs or cherry pick between a few other sources.

I phased out of CrossFit when I decided at the beginning of this year to focus on consistent strength and lifting, which has been really great for me. It’s not that I don’t like CrossFit, I just needed a break.


Here are some of my personal pros and cons of CrossFitting:

CrossFit Pros

  • It made me a better overall athlete. I truly believe it brought me to a new level of fitness in every area from strength to coordination to speed to conditioning and much more.
  • It made me a faster runner. I 100% credit CrossFit with helping me set new running PRs. CrossFit is really good at making you comfortable with feeling really uncomfortable.
  • It was a new challenge every day. CrossFit is so random and varied that I never got bored with the workouts. I loved the mix of barbell, bodyweight, kettlebell, gymnastics, etc. movements that you’d find in workouts. Handstand push ups, burpee box jumps, double unders, kipping pull ups, ring dips, snatches…there was a whole library of movements that were fun and different to learn.
  • It made me stronger. To be honest, I was never really into setting new lifting PRs but I did see big strength gains through CrossFit and it was fun to lift heavier weights than what I did teaching BodyPump.
  • I really pushed myself in classes. When I did CrossFit in classes, I pushed myself about 10x harder than I ever did working out on my own. There’s so much camaraderie and everyone cheers each other on.
  • The community. I enjoyed being a part of our Metro CrossFit community and I know that is something that attracts many others to CrossFit. It’s fun to show up and workout with the same people ever day and that usually ends up translating into friendships outside of the gym.


CrossFit Cons

  • Short workouts. While I appreciate efficiency and don’t want to be at the gym for 2 hours working out, I found CrossFit workouts to be a little too short. I feel like the majority of the workouts are programmed are between 6-16 minutes. My sweet spot is in the 20-30 minute range. Even though you’re supposed to “give 100% total effort” for 6 minutes, it still didn’t leave me satisfied.
  • It became a little too random for me and I wanted to do more. Over the last year I have really craved following a more specific and structured strength and muscle development program. I just didn’t feel like I was getting it from CrossFit and I could never find a programmer whose programs really spoke to me. Also, so many CrossFit WODs are couplets or triplets (2 or 3 movements repeated) and I just wanted to do more than deadlifts and box jumps (for example) in a day’s workout. I guess I wanted more balance of upper and lower body strength.
  • Focus on heavy lifts and PRs. As I mentioned before, CrossFit definitely made me stronger and for that I am grateful but I also really have no desire to work towards PRing lifts or to lift super heavy in a workout. This is mostly due to my “risk versus reward” life philosophy (I need to write a post about it!). I often felt the risk of trying to PR or adding extra weight to my bar or trying to RX a workout was not worth the reward I’d get from it. I would say that I probably lean to the side of being a little too conservative when it comes to CrossFit. I also coached my athletes that way, which not everyone agrees with. I’d 100% rather see someone nailing a movement with perfect form and able to move the next day than lifting a weight that’s sketchy for them.
  • Finding the right coach. I had a hard time finding a coach who I could consistently work with that a) could push me towards further developing myself as an athlete and b) understood my goals.

I’m so glad that I CrossFitted for the time that I did and I can’t say that I’ll never get into it again. I still use CrossFit-style workouts in my own programming and my clients programming occasionally but I love the way my workouts have felt in 2016 through working with my trainer and focusing on more traditional strength. I’ve also been training my clients that way and they love it too.

Remember, fitness is an evolution. Just because you do something today doesn’t mean you have to do it next year (or even tomorrow!). Constantly ask yourself how you feel, what your goals are and if you’re making progress towards them. You are TOTALLY allowed to change your mind, quit things and try new things. And you’re also totally allowed to make your way back to something after time away. I just try to stay grounded in the reasons why I workout. 1) To keep my body healthy and strong, 2) to feel good and 3) because I freaking love it!

Last Week’s Workouts



21-15-9 of the following…

Back Squats (85#) and Kipping Pull Ups
Back Squats (85#) and Ring Rows
Kettlebell Deadlifts (70#) and Push Ups
Kettelbell Walking Lunges (25# each hand) and Burpees

Note, I used a CrossFit-style rep scheme for this workout and did kipping pull ups. Something I rarely do since working with my trainer but have added in here and there.


Outdoor power yoga with Dorie


4 mile run




3 mile treadmill interval run + 30 mins strength


Hot yoga


I’ll go to the gym for a run and lift


This Week’s Meal Plan


Eggplant Parmesan with Homemade Marinara Sauce and Spaghetti Squash


Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs with Mashed Cauliflower and Braised Red Cabbage


Dinner with a girlfriend


Thai-Style Cod with Rice and Chinese Long Beans


Marinated Grilled Chicken Thighs with Roasted or Grilled Okra and Sauteed Squash


Alaskan King Crab Legs with whatever I figure out to do on the side…ideas?


Date night or plans with friends

I’m heading to the gym before I teach yoga. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday! 🙂

{ 13 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Meg July 31, 2016, 2:28 pm

    Great post! I love when you include what you actually do during your strength training workouts :))

  • 2
    Danielle August 1, 2016, 12:11 am

    Thanks for sharing your feedback on crossfit! I have always been curious and was interested to read how much it has benefited your running. I think I would feel the same way about the short workouts!

  • 3
    Taylor August 1, 2016, 3:36 am

    Hi Jen!

    Random question – my husband and I are going to be in Charlotte for one night because of a long layover we have there. What’s your favorite spot for dinner if you could pick one place to go?! Thanks so much 🙂

  • 4
    Brittany August 1, 2016, 7:03 am

    I agree with all of these points (the pros and the cons)! I did cross fit for a while and really did enjoy it, but I like programming that is designed specifically for whatever goal I’m after at the moment and not just a random workout. At the same time, I never worked out harder than when I did crossfit! My first yoga teaching job was at a box so it will always hold a special place for me! Thanks for sharing.

  • 5
    Teri || a foodie stays fit August 1, 2016, 9:47 am

    This makes total sense to me…I’ve backed off on Crossfit lately too, mostly to allow more time and energy to run. But, I haven’t added in more strength training. I’m happy with just 1-2 Crossfit workouts a week right now. But it is SO hard to sometimes feel like there isn’t a rhyme or reason, or that I’m able to work towards my goals vs. the coach’s goals or whatever is driving the programming.

    Good post! (Although, I pinned some of those recipes – yum!)

  • 6
    Teri || a foodie stays fit August 1, 2016, 9:48 am

    *Also, not although! 🙂

  • 7
    ACKTIVE LIFE August 1, 2016, 11:59 am

    Awesome post…I really liked how you broke it down into Pros and Cons…I have only done CrossFit a handful of times, but like you, I enjoy the consistency of strength training and being able to focus on specific muscles and needs depending on what I am craving that week or month.

  • 8
    Michelle August 1, 2016, 12:52 pm

    When we eat king crab legs, I will make a very simple side of steamed veg (broccoli, green beans or asparagus). We love to dip the crap in garlic butter, so the steamed veg off sets the richness 😉

  • 9
    Tara August 1, 2016, 1:49 pm

    i have only officially crossfitted a few times, but when i did i realized i could handle much heavier weight than i was doing which was a huge revelation for me. in my area to belong to an official box is very expensive so i have just used some WODs and sorta sometimes create my own HIIT style / crossfit workout. a pro/con is the time length. it did show me that working out in short burst for a short period of time really hard would still provide a decent workout when i was short on time. good to point out that fitness/life is an evolution. i’m also glad you did the post. i always wonder when i see someone give something up if they do not say anything. thanks.

  • 10
    Ali August 1, 2016, 2:01 pm

    I couldn’t agree with you more on the pros and cons of crossfit. I loved the sense of family and working out together but you hit the nail on the head when you said you sometimes left feeling unsatisfied and having no interest in hitting PR’s

  • 11
    Audie August 3, 2016, 12:17 am

    With crab you can’t go wrong with corn on the cob! When I steamed some crab legs last week I served it with a side of corn on the cob and roasted zucchini. Btw your meal planning skills are amazing!

  • 12
    Liz N. August 3, 2016, 11:33 am

    Jen, this is such a well written post. I had a bit of CrossFit burn out about 3-4 years ago. I wasn’t satisfied with my body composition or that I’d become a ‘one trick pony’ (strong as an ox but wouldn’t be able to outrun a zombie). CrossFit workouts were no longer satisfying and the mental anguish I put on myself through comparing myself to others and to PR on lifts or benchmark workouts became unhealthy. So, I took a break and focused on a more balanced approach, including more running (which I hated), yoga, Zumba (gasp!) and other movements. And you know what? I was happier for it. Your philosophy is one that I totally admire, which is why I continue to follow your blog all these years. When I found out that I was moving to Charlotte 1 1/2 years ago, I hoped that I’d have the chance to meet you in person. I’ve just signed up for your 12 week half marathon training and hope to meet you at one your running meet ups! Thank you for this piece. It’s a great reminder that fitness is an individual choice and constantly evolving.

    • 13
      Liz N. August 3, 2016, 11:38 am

      Side note: I am back to a CrossFit box, going 2-3 times a week and I’m in a better place mentally to not allow the pressure to PR or look a certain way get to me. When it starts to become a drag again, I’ll re-evaluate my fitness goals.

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