Andrew Padilla was in shape, but he still hadn't found a workout that produced the kind of results he was looking for. When a friend invited him to try out the new CrossFit gym that opened in his neighborhood, Padilla was game.
"I had tried everything from endurance-based training like running and cycling to strength-based lifting programs performed in your typical 'Globo Gym' and simply was not getting the results that I wanted," said Padilla. "This made it difficult to find the motivation to suffer through another workout."
One encounter with CrossFit was all it took. Padilla was hooked.
More: What Is CrossFit and How to Get Started
Subtract Boredom, Add Intensity
If Padilla was getting bored with his previous workout routine, CrossFit proved to be just the opposite and provided no room for boredom, or even routine.
"There is no such thing as a typical CrossFit workout," says Padilla. "One day you may do a heavy barbell benchmark workout, which can take just a couple minutes and the next day you're running miles and performing hundreds and hundreds of body weight exercises like pull-ups and air squats which may take you an hour or more."
CrossFit workouts share one common theme, says Padilla. They're all intense.
More: A Full-Body CrossFit Workout
Padilla trimmed 25 pounds from his 6-foot 2-inch frame and says CrossFit brought him more strength, power, coordination and stamina than ever before. Padilla lost substantial body fat with it and says it even helped give him develop a stronger mind. He went from barely being able to complete a CrossFit workout to becoming a regular on the gym's top five performers' board. The 'top five' board is an example of CrossFit's team approach that creates an environment of support and healthy competition.
Couple With Clean Eating for More Results
CrossFit also helps people see results by encouraging so-called clean eating. While the workouts are extremely intense and participants typically see results from them alone, nutrition is still an important component of the program.
"Exercise was the catalyst [for my transformation], but you can't exercise away bad nutrition," says Padilla. "I thought I knew what proper nutrition was until I found the CrossFit community and the resources it provides. CrossFit is just as much about nutrition as it is exercise; it is a lifestyle."
More: Fuel Up With High-Fiber Foods at Breakfast
Don't Be Intimidated, Get Started
CrossFit workouts are intense and many physically fit people who walk in the door are unable to finish a workout. Padilla says not to get discouraged.
"Don't be intimidated," says Padilla. "Say you can't even do a single pull-up; you may be intimidated to walk into a CrossFit gym where you see very fit people moving really heavy weights quickly a bunch of times. Once you are there, you'll notice a team-oriented and encouraging atmosphere full of like-minded and driven people."
"The proper instruction, team spirit and friendly competition will push you farther than you thought possible. Before you know it you'll find yourself on the floor trying to catch your breath with a stupid grin on your face after a workout that included one hundred pull-ups. Trust me, I've seen it."
CrossFit has many affiliate locations across the country, and most offer a free workout for anyone interested in joining.
More: 3 CrossFit Workouts to Sculpt Your Body
Stay in shape in a fitness class.