CrossFit After 40?

By on November 19, 2013

By Diane Zuri

female_mastersIt seems like a bold move, right? CrossFit can be intimidating to someone fresh out of college, let alone after you turn 40. Does that mean that one shouldn’t do it? No, and let me tell you why.

Public admission: I am in that category of “after 40” which means I started CrossFitting after I had already turned 40. I know, hard to believe right?! I never talk about age because I don’t feel it and I don’t look it (just agree with me here, k?) and I certainly don’t want to be categorized by it. This all being said, I think it is important to share how this sport is for ALL ages, not exclusive to any.

As I shared in the last article, when I discovered CrossFit I was intrigued. Once I came to a class and got through it with the support of my fellow CrossFitters, I was hooked. I did movements I had never even heard of, let alone attempted, and I loved it! I never once thought, “Oh, you’re 40, what the heck are you thinking trying this?” I didn’t want to begin to think that way because in my opinion, that line of thinking is what causes people to stop trying new things and in turn become stagnant and simply slow down. I’m a firm believer in the power of the mind and once a person starts thinking a certain way, they become that way. Think old, act old, become old faster. We all know someone in their 20’s who acts like a senior citizen, and some seniors who are as spunky as people half their age! They become what they think.

Magazine articles talk about how once a person hits 40, their metabolism slows down and they put on weight. While that may be scientifically true, I don’t believe it applies to everyone because there are too many variables to make a general statement that once you turn 40, it’s all downhill physically from there. I am in the best physical shape of my life and that is entirely owed to CrossFit. I am competitive and can keep up with people who could be my kid and that is because of CrossFit. This being said, things don’t come as easily to those of us over 40 but it doesn’t mean that we stop trying. We simply try harder and when we DO get it, the feeling of accomplishment is all the greater.

You see, CrossFit wasn’t around when we were in our twenties. If it had been, I like to imagine that I could have been a female Froning. Even though that window has long since closed, that mental image keeps me going through the most difficult WODs and brings out the beast in me when I want to quit. (a CrossFit box is the only place where you can call a female a beast, and it is a compliment) All the twenty-somethings who are CrossFitting now, need to recognize the gift they have and realize that when they hit their 40s, they will be physically superior to their non-CrossFitting friends (or muggles…for all you Harry Potter fans). Fact!

The bottom line? Don’t start thinking all you can handle is Tai Chi. While that may be a great activity to reduce stress, so can the exertion of flipping a tire. We’re called Masters for a reason, people!!! So get out of your head and get into a box and watch your world expand. Guess you can teach an old dog new tricks.

About Diane
She has been in the fitness world since college and has been CrossFitting for 2 years at Integrated Fitness in Pittsburgh, PA. As a hairstylist, she loves to recommend healthy tips and ideas to her clients to help them feel beautiful inside, as well as outside. CrossFit, she believes, is the answer to people’s fitness prayers. www.if-fit.com

Comments

comments

24 Comments

  1. elliemae1025

    November 19, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    I started CrossFit after 50…I just turned 52. Love every minute of it. You’re never too old to get off your butt.

    • mk0024

      November 20, 2013 at 11:05 am

      I started at 53 best thing I have ever done

  2. Michael Perkins

    November 19, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Good article. What about CF after 50?

    • Sean

      November 20, 2013 at 9:22 am

      Actually all of the ladies in that picture are over 50.

  3. Beki

    November 19, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    YES!!!! I started Crossfit 2 months ago and I’m 40! I love it and can’t get enough! I am working to the day when I get to compete! Masters here I come! :)

  4. Joyce Spiegler

    November 19, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    CF after 50? Absolutely! I’m 78 & doing CF-my mantra is “wear out, not rust out”

  5. Debbie

    November 19, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I started at 60! That was a year ago and I’m doing things I never expected or thought I could do. I go my own pace….well, with lots of nudges and pushes from my trainer, but I can’t believe that it’s really me doing Cross Fit!

  6. Peter Trubody

    November 19, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I totally agree with Diane. I am 53, yet to start Cross Fit, but am a Musculoskeletal Therapy student @ Endeavour College in Australia with lots of 20 something’s looking at me telling me I shouldn’t be there. I am in the Masters category and have no intention of playing bowls. I am a qualified remedial therapist and suggest visiting a WOD to my clients.

  7. Bronson Dant

    November 19, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Totally agree. that’s why we started this Facebook page Over 40 Crossfit Athletes!! https://www.facebook.com/CFOVER40

  8. Lynda

    November 19, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    There are so many ways to challenge oneself through exercise. Try them all. Don\’t just be limited to one type…

  9. diane rico

    November 19, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Every single comment I’ve just read is “right on the money”!!!! I’m 63 soon to be 64 and have been at this for over 3 yrs. I LOVE IT!!!

  10. JoshiesMama

    November 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Great article especially since I fall in to this category. Just turned 44. While I have run marathons with fairly decent times, I know that since I had started Crossfit a few months ago, I am definitely in the best shape and stronger than ever. Love Crossfit so much that I got my 7-year old interested in CF kids. I just chuckle that one of his coaches is Coach Becca Voight, a renowned CF athlete.

  11. krista johnson

    November 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Me too! 52 and 4.5 months in! Not a previously active person….. AT ALL!! The best thing I have ever done for my self and very addicted. Am I having the crazy transformational results that you see on youtube? No. Not externally anyway. I still look like a chubby middle aged frumpy lady, BUT!….. I couldn\’t do a walking lunge 4 months ago and now can do them all over the place with a plate overhead and yesterday I completed the Filthy Fifty! I finished almost 20 minutes after everyone else but they are all about 20 yrs younger so I feel it evens out in the wash LOL My bad knees can limit some movements but my coaches know me and have always have an alternative ready before I can even thing about not being able to do something. Inside, I am much more confident, aware, my muscles are active and so mush stronger! We follow Crossfit.com and although I am not up to the 3 and 1 yet I know the day is coming. My only goal is to be able to do one unassisted pull up by March 20th at by 53rd birthday… and if I don\’t make it , that\’s ok. It won\’t be a \”fail\” it will just be an adjustment of time for my goal. Love Crossfit!

  12. Kym Newton

    November 19, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    I loved reading this article firstly I have just turned 40 last week. Things all CrossFit have not come easy to me since day one nearly 4 years ago and I\’ve only just got the dam double under…lol Its great to read articles/personal stories like this and we are so much about CrossFit being for everyone no matter age, ability or sex. Very encouraging and I will be sharing it on our timeline. Thank you.

  13. kelly

    November 19, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Joyce Spiegler you are my hero!! that is awesome

  14. Karen

    November 19, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I started crossfit at 40 and 5 years later made it to the games placing top 10! You can do anything you put your mind to, with hard work, great coaching and determination….no matter what your age! It’s so nice to be a master!! Never let age limit what you dream to do!

    • JoshiesMama

      November 20, 2013 at 10:01 am

      Congratulations!!! So awesome!

  15. Diane Zuri*

    November 19, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Joyce, you are exactly what I want to be when I become your age! I am truly humbled and amazed. Keep up the great work!

  16. Diane Zuri*

    November 19, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Wow…in fact, every one of you amaze me! I am inspired by each and every one of you and I appreciate your comments. Masters rock! Karen, what you accomplished is my goal. Congratulations on your Games placing!

  17. Peter Norén

    November 20, 2013 at 12:09 am

    I started CF when I was 48. And It’s a great feeling to beat those 20′th something in a WOD :-)

  18. Lou Panlilio

    November 20, 2013 at 3:10 am

    Age alone should in no way keep someone from CF. I would argue that the older we get the more we need to do exercise focused on power and agility. CF coupled with good nutrition may be the best anti-aging strategy. I started at 47 and even people in their 90′s have been proven to benefit from vigorous workouts.
    http://www.totalfitnessintelligence.com/older-people-lift-weights-2/

  19. Eduardo

    November 20, 2013 at 7:05 am

    I\’m 51 and have been 2 years in CF.I set myself a goal to finish the Filthy Fifty for my 50th birthday and I made it.\”We may not be the strongest or the fastest, but we sure will be trying the hardest

  20. Lynne

    November 20, 2013 at 9:46 am

    I will turn 49 in January and have been crossfitting since July 2013. My husband is still confused as to how this group of amazing women that I work out with at CrossFit Conversion in Clarksville, TN can motivate me to work out so hard and he wasn\’t able to in over 22 years of marriage! This is addicting and I\’m happy to say I\’m an addict! Love the CrossFit way of life!

  21. Tony T.

    November 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    I\\’m 52, been CrossFitting for over 3 years and FREAKING Love it! My wife and me opened a box over a year ago and have never enjoyed our lives more. We have certs in all sorts of areas and just enjoy making our athletes better everyday. Our marriage of 26 years seems like a newlywed game right now. I love to hear how our \\”Masters\\” group continues to grow. What a pleasure it was to read all of these post. It\\’s gonna make tomorrow so much better. Happy CrossFitting to all of you.