CrossFit Q & A II

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Hi, guys! Hope you’re having a wonderful Wednesday! :mrgreen:

Let’s get right to it!


Just like yesterday morning, I woke up craving My Favorite Breakfast Pancake, so I whipped up one and topped it with sliced strawberries and a big scoop of Teddie Peanut Butter. I also drank a homemade Peanut Butter Wonderful iced coffee with breakfast.

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After breakfast, I headed to CrossFit for a workout. I almost didn’t go this morning because of the condition of my hands:

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Ouch!!! I ripped seven calluses last night!

Before class yesterday, I spent a solid 30 minutes working on Kipping Pull-Ups (I did 3 in a row!) and then did the WOD, which included 100 Knees-to-Elbows, so by the end of the workout, my hands were absolutely shredded. I recently starting slacking on my hand maintenance, so I definitely learned the hard way that I need to keep up with it. Wah. My hands hurt.

Anyway… today’s workout ruled. Check it out:


Weighted Bar Dips

5 x 3

Rest 2 minutes between sets; add weight each round if necessary.



On even minutes 7 Thrusters

On odd minutes 7 KB Swings

For the strength part of the workout, I did 5 sets of 3 reps using my body weight for the Bar Dips and then I did one set of 8-pound weighted Bar Dips (my first ever). For the WOD, I used 75 pounds for the Thrusters and 35 pounds for the Kettlebell Swings. FYI: EMOM stands for “Every Minute On the Minute,” so the clock was set for fourteen 60-second intervals. On the odd intervals, we did 7 KB swings and on the even intervals, we did 7 Thrusters for a total of 98 reps for each exercise. It was a good one!


After CrossFit, I came home and whipped up a protein shake with vanilla protein powder and almond milk. I enjoyed it on the back porch with Murph ‘N’ Mal.



A little while later, I made lunch, which was half of a toasted onion bagel with cream cheese.

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And a salad topped with cottage cheese, sliced almonds, and Annie’s balsamic dressing.

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CrossFit Q & A

I’ve been receiving a ton of questions about CrossFit lately””I love that you guys are so curious about it””so here’s a Q & A that answers some of them.


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I am interested in giving CrossFit a shot but am definitely intimidated. I’m pretty mediocre when it comes to my fitness level. I’m a fairly new mom (to a 10 1/2 month old boy) and since becoming a mom haven’t really stepped my fitness level back up. Do you think someone of my fitness level can attend CrossFit? Do you suggest trying a class first and taking it from there? I mean, I can’t even do one pull up so that is kind of daunting.

Absolutely! CrossFit is scalable to any skill level. A lot of people can’t do pull-ups when they first start CrossFit””me included! (I’m still working on them 6 months later!) There’s a modification for nearly every exercise at CrossFit, so just about anyone can do the workouts.

If the scaling is done properly, you’ll have the same workout intensity as someone who is more experienced with CrossFit. For instance, today at CrossFit, we did Bar Triceps Dips, but there were three different options for doing them (band assisted, body weight, and weighted), so everyone worked out together and challenged themselves on their own individual level. I guess what I’m saying is you don’t need to be fit to start CrossFit (but, boy, you will get fit if you stick with it). Sign up for an intro session and see how you like it. Here’s what to expect at your first session.

How often did you go to CrossFit when you first started? Do you go more often now?

When I first started CrossFit I went a lot””probably 5 or 6 days a week. I still go a lot, but I try to stick with 3 days on and 1 day off to give my body some recovery time. Of course, if I’m sore and tired, I’ll take a day off when I need it.

Do you do the Paleo diet?

I don’t do the Paleo diet (here’s why), but I eat a diet that is generally very Paleo-friendly with lots fruits, veggies, meat, fish, eggs, nuts/nut butters, coconut, etc. But, I also eat dairy, whole grains, beans, and fun foods like cookies, bagels, and beer.

My town is small and we do not have a CrossFit box anywhere near here. I am not very in shape, I just had my 4th kid. I take long walks, but I have not done high intensity workouts for a while. Are there any CrossFit type activities I can do on my own at home with minimal equipment?

There sure is! Check out this post about at-home and budget-friendly CrossFit workouts.

I just took an intro-session at my local CrossFit today! And I’m torn… I enjoyed it, but it is expensive. I LOVE to run, and I run races, on occasion. I also am part of a gym so I can run on bad-weather days and in the winter. I do some weights at the gym too, but I don’t know enough to really gain strength. I don’t feel like I can justify both CrossFit and the gym. How did you make the decision to drop the gym and pick up CrossFit? Also, how do you still train for races while CrossFit-ing? I’m kind of nervous to drop the gym, join CrossFit, then miss the gym in a few months.

Well, technically, I still have my gym membership, but I put it on hold for the summer. The only reason I keep it is so I can run on the treadmill during the winter and maybe pop into a Body Pump or yoga class every now and then. Although, the more CrossFit I do, the more I’m considering canceling it all together. I haven’t been there since early April, and I really don’t miss it.

Doing CrossFit on a regular basis, I don’t feel like I need the gym. I get strength, cardio, endurance, speed, power, coordination, agility, and flexibility/mobility all from CrossFit. Plus, the type of workout (constantly varied) and community (I love my CrossFit family) keeps me coming back for more, so I’m much more consistent with my workouts. I also push myself a million times harder than I would at the gym, so I’m in much better shape after doing CrossFit for 6 months than being a member of a gym for 15+ years. (Ok, I think I just convinced myself to finally cancel my gym membership.)

As far as training for races while doing CrossFit, it’s been a real challenge, but only because I enjoy CrossFit so much and never want to miss a workout. What usually happens is I schedule a run into my weekly workouts and then a fun WOD pops up on the same day, so I blow off my run and go to CrossFit instead. Although, this isn’t a terrible thing because CrossFit has definitely helped me get stronger, so I’ve PR-ed at a couple of races recently. However, I’d be worried about fitting in all of the running if I were to train for another marathon.

I read that since you started CrossFit, you’ve noticed an improvement in your back pain from your scoliosis. I was “diagnosed” (that sounds so horrible and serious!) with scoliosis when I was little and I’ve dealt with pretty bad posture (slouched shoulders) and now I’m noticing uneven shoulders. I’ve gone to several doctors and all they can tell me is that it’s not severe enough to require a back brace or surgery. What I was wondering is how “bad” your scoliosis is and what you’ve done to help it (besides CrossFit). And, also, did you have scoliosis since you were a child and did it get worse?

I’ve had scoliosis since I was a kid and my curve falls somewhere between 10-15 degrees, so it wasn’t bad enough to require a brace or surgery. It actually didn’t really bother me until I started long distance running (my scoliosis caused a hip imbalance and eventually hip pain), but since starting CrossFit, I’ve hardly had any hip/back pain during my runs. Of course, CrossFit didn’t cure my scoliosis, but it’s definitely made my back stronger. I should mention, however, some CrossFit workouts make my lower back (where my curve is located) feel really tight. Mal often says the same thing, so it could just be the workouts (i.e. deadlifts) and maybe not totally my scoliosis.

If you have a question that wasn’t answered above, check out my first CrossFit Q & A post. If you still don’t see an answer to your question, please ask it in the comment section on this post. I’ll do my best to respond to it!

The Story of “Fran”

For those of you who are already CrossFit fans, check out this video with Greg Glassman (aka CrossFit’s founder). He talks about how he created “Fran.” It’s equally amazing and hilarious!

Weekly Workouts

  • Sunday: Off
  • Monday: 4 miles + CrossFit
  • Tuesday: Yoga + CrossFit
  • Wednesday: CrossFit
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: 7 miles
  • Saturday: CrossFit

Question of the Day

What are your questions about CrossFit?

P.S. I’m hosting a giveaway to win a copy of Ellie Krieger’s Comfort Food Fix cookbook over on Trading Up Downtown today!



  1. This is great. I currently fall into the “I’m scared of Crossfit” category, but I know by the winter I’ll be ready to try. You couldn’t pay me to ever get on an elliptical again! (Okay, well, if you DID pay me…I’d do it, but you know what I mean 🙂 )

  2. So after reading your Crossfit Q&A you’ve inspired me to give it a shot after my personal training sessions are finished. It seems like you work every part of your body all in one workout and the variety of WOD’s gives you a different workout everyday so that it keeps your body guessing. I can’t wait to look up and find where my nearest Crossfit box is 🙂

  3. I always love your Crossfit posts, Tina. I worked on kipping pull ups for a long time this morning too but dang I can’t believe you ripped that many in one day! I cancelled my gym membership and don’t miss it either though I do have a treadmill and elliptical at my apartment I use sometimes so that helps.

    I’m curious what your favorite WOD’s or moves are. I have hurt my back doing deadlifts twice now — hate those things. Which do you hate the most? I love hearing people’s opinions on the exercises.

  4. I signed up for an intro to cross fit session and start this Sunday…YIKES. I guess what I’m most confused/would like to know more about is your notebook that you keep for your workouts. One of your recent posts you posted a picture of your notebook and I’m not really sure what the numbers mean. You wrote 21-15-19, Power Cleans, Box Jumps, 8:08, #85, 24″. I get the time, and the 24″ box jump, but what is the 21-15-19? Sorry if this is a stupid question. I’m sure they will teach me all I need to know, but was curious about your notebook to track your progress.

    1. Hooray! Have fun! 🙂

      It’s not a stupid question at all. Those are the reps for the workout, so 21 reps then 15 reps and then 9 reps.

  5. I definitely plan on checking out crossfit this week or early next. I just dont look forward to having an intense workout in a metal building with no AC in 105+ temps that feel like 120. Hahha.

  6. I am loving your posts today! First you convinced me to truly try to overcome my sugar craving, and now you’re inspiring me to try CrossFit! My roommate just got the Groupon deal for it, but I was intimidated by it. After reading about your experience with it, I don’t see how I could pass it up!

  7. Do you feel like you’re upper body has bulked up? I’m in good shape, but my husband already thinks my upper body is too toned and wants me to cut back on working out my arms. I don’t even lift that much, but I’ve always had toned arms due to volleyball. I want to do crossfit SOOO badly, but I’m afraid to bulk up. I don’t mind getting stronger legs and abs, but I don’t want to get huge. P.S. Your abs look amazing!! Come to AZ and work out with me!

  8. Great tips and answers! I think Cross Fit sounds fun, but just not justifiable in my current situation. I will take a class one day though! I am happy teaching tons of fitness classes and training for a Half IM now, but I do really enjoy weight training, so I think I’d enjoy it.

    Congrats on the improvements you’ve made!

  9. Thanks for this! I am hopefully taking the Crossfit into class this weekend and I’m so exited. Your ethnusiasm has definitely worn off on me!

  10. Thanks for the information! For your protein shakes, which brand of almond milk do you recommend? Also, do you use the sweetened or unsweetened version?

    1. I pretty much buy whatever brand is on sale, but I always buy the unsweetened version. Lately, I’ve been really loving the coconut milk + almond milk that Blue Diamond makes!

  11. I’m struggling with the Crossfit versus gym question too. I think I’d feel the same as you. And we’re moving again so I feel like it might be a great way to get to know some people. But it IS really intimidating to start!

  12. My hands look the SAME way from kipping pull ups!! I have no idea how to not rip them, I’ve been googling all day!

  13. It is possible to wear weightlifter’s gloves while doing the workouts? I used to lift and found them quite helpful.

  14. I really want to do crossfit, I can see all the improvements it’s made to your fitness! Unfortunately I definitely cannot afford it (living off student loans for the next year until I graduate law school) and I’m training for my first marathon right now! Ahhh I want to do it so badly though, I’d love to get stronger and more toned!

  15. Hi Tina! I’m going to a trial at Crossfit Fenway on Monday. I’m super excited! It seems like you have inspired so many people to do Crossfit, that they should ad you to their payroll for promotion!

      1. @Tina: I always walk by CrossFit Fenway when I’m by Fenway.. I want a tshirt! Find out if they sell them! …yes I’m crazy.

  16. I don’t miss my gym AT ALL. CrossFit is way more fun!

    And for the people who are worried or intimidated…I’m 29 weeks pregnant, ginormous, and still CFing. I am super slow and modify 75% of the movements, but everyone is still really encouraging and wonderful.

  17. Love this post!!! Full of informative and honest crossfit info! I feel for your hand, I’ve totally been there and it kills! You are rocking with CrossFit lately! Every time you post your WOD your getting stronger and stronger, I love it!!! You are a perfect example of how well CrossFit fits in to a healthy lifestyle 🙂

  18. I took my first CrossFit class today! I was lucky enough to stumble upon a box a few weeks ago next to my husband’s studio and last week they had an amazing groupon. Score! It was so fun and so much more difficult than I anticipated. It’s awesome but I feel like such a lightweight. When did you start feeling stronger and start increasing your weight?

  19. Super Like!
    I love you blog btw. My parents have always emphasized the importance of being healthy healthy eating and I thank them for that. Reading your blog has inspired me to take it up a notch. 🙂

  20. Good Q&A. I have heard a lot of pros and cons about crossfit over the years and more so as it becomes a more popular form of exercise. Like everything I think the pros and cons are all valid and that people just have to make the choice for themselves if it is something they feel is a good fit for them. For some the pros outweigh the cons and they enjoy crossfit. For others the cons outweigh the pros making it a form of exercise that doesn’t work for them. I think what is important above anything else is always researching any new form of exercise you wish to try and then to realize that whatever works for you is what is right….not what works for me, or for anyone else. I think that concept is lost these days…the idea that just because one type of exercise works for one person does not mean it has to work for you.

  21. Everyone’s going to comment about crossfit after this post but I have to say your backyard looks beautiful! I can’t help but think of a little mini-Tina or mini-Mal running around… Do you guys plan to have kids? 🙂

      1. Dont leave it too long Tina, I got so caught up in fitness/lifestyle etc, and struggled. After 4 years of trying, I am now 5 weeks pregnant but thorugh IVF. The nurses kept drumming into me about over excercising (I did not think I was) plus I think age contributed (started trying 34, now 38). The reality is the longer you leave it your chances decline significantly. Sorry if I sound like I am preaching.

        1. @Jodie:

          I hate to throw the MD card in here but while Jodie you are correct that biologically primary oocytes weaken with age, I think Tina is making the right decision to wait for the right time. Nowadays it is much more popular to start conceiving at a later age, and there are plenty of hormone replacements that can cater to such decisions. We’re not living in the 1800s anymore when the 22 year old girls were forced into wedlock and procreate 😉 21st century baby!

          Tina you have nothing to worry about. I don’t think motherhood is something that should feel rushed. It should come at the right time, one that feels appropriate to you and your husband. Although I really am looking forward to the mini-mal or mini-tina.. that kid is going to be showing everyone on the playground how to do pull-ups on the monkey bars! 😉

  22. Thanks for answering my question and dedicating your whole post to CF Q&A! Great, great info and insights 🙂

  23. That’s awesome that you went to Crossfit even though your hands were jacked up. Shows a lot of internal drive, which many people lack.

    What kind of protein powder did you use in that vanilla shake? It looks good!

  24. ive been doing crossfit now for about 6 months and LOVE it. However i really struggle with my pull-ups and its getting so frustrating! I kinda have my kipping down but cant do kipping pull ups yet. Everyone has an opinion on how i should practice and what i should do. What would you recommend? Pullups with the band to build strength? Practicing kipping with the band (which i feel is super awkward)?

  25. I’ve been debating Cross Fit for a while but your hands may have just scared me out of it. They look painful! I may have missed this in a previous post but do you have lifting gloves? I’ll definitely be getting a pair if I do try it out!

  26. Thanks for the info! I’ve decided that I want to start challenging myself more by incorporating some CrossFit-type workouts into my routine. Today I did box jumps for the first time, and wow are they tough. And also a bit scary! I kept on getting scared that I would miss the jump and hurt myself. 😛

  27. Im in the “scared of Crossfit” category too…I have scoliosis as well and had to have rods put in 10 years ago (I’m 24 now). I’m under “no impact” exercising due to bad discs above and below my fusion (the rods are out now, but I’m still fused) Definitely consider yourself one of the lucky ones. I’ll just keep living vicariously through you 🙂 I’m glad it hasn’t held you back at all!

  28. Everyone should try crossfit! I was wicked out of shape before I started after not working out for four years, and am in the best shape I have ever been in, even after playing competitive tennis in high school. I ripped my hand this weekend too practicing kipping pull ups, it was terrible…instead of switching to gloves my trainer used athletic tape to tape up my hands so I could still work out this week. You should try that Tina, it worked really well. Just wrap it around your palms and loop a piece through your fingers so it doesn’t move around. That way you don’t have anything rubbing against them and don’t get used to using gloves.

  29. Wow girl!! Look at those hands! I was just thinking I need some gloves for my weight training but you take the cake. The photos of your eats are inspirational. I think I need to kick it up a notch! Where did you get your straw?

  30. Tina, thanks so much for including all the links for Cross Fit info!! I am one who would LOVE to join a box but I am a stay at home mom with kids who are active in extracurricular stuff so I just cannot justify spending the $150 per month. I am going to incorporate the 16 day beginner workouts starting tomorrow! It may not be quite the same but it is a place to start and a great addition to my regular workouts!!

  31. I am so proud of your war wounds…I totally ripped my hands to shreds in a battle of the kettlebell snatch to a 3 second metranome during our own little Winter Games with our outdoor training group last year. Took it out with 300 lifts but nearly passed out when I seen my hands after the event…I bet that first shower after hurt…LOL!

  32. I was wondering what you thought about crossfit vs. bodypump in terms of gaining strength. I know bodypump is more about lower weight higher reps and crossfit is the opposite.

  33. I love Crossfit! Thanks for all of the posts and answering the questions. It’s fun to get someone else’s perspective on one of my now favorite activities!

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