Despite the ideas you might have about Crossfit only being suited to the more hardcore, clean-and-jerk loving, extremely strong athletes amongst us– this fitness discipline isn’t all about death by burpees. In fact, whether you want to do Crossfit or not, borrowing a few of the principles of this type of training could help your overall fitness (and your health). According to personal trainer Kylie Tullipan, Crossfit and its fundamentals have a lot to offer and she’s learned some valuable life lessons over her years of training which have positively impacted her approach to fitness. So even if you’re not keen about taking on a WOD anytime soon, there are many take home tips that Crossfit teaches that could benefit your training. Tullipan talked us through some of the lessons she has learnt.

Adopt a fierce mindset

Being able to keep pushing when the going gets tough (hello, burning quads!) is an important part of training and plays a big role in Crossfit. “It taught me what I like to call, grit. Practice, patience and perseverance for long term goals and for life in general,” says Tullipan. “It brings an awareness to your self, your body, your mind and your life.” Staring down the barrel of a particularly difficult workout can be intimidating but by continuously challenging yourself and succeeding outside of your comfort zone, Tullipan believes you can build a seriously resilient mindset.

Vary your training

No two days of Crossfit are the same. Sure you’ve got your foundation workouts (if you’re looking for a killer sesh try ‘Angie’) but Crossfit workouts are all about variety and functionality. “This kind of training doesn’t allow your body or mind to run on autopilot. Varying your training exposes weaknesses, shows you areas you can grow and shows you what you’re capable of,” says Tullipan. We all have our favourite style of training but changing things up, trying new things and keeping yourself challenged is important regardless of your discipline. “It’s good for you mentally and physically,” she says.

Be stronger with a mate

Another aspect of Crossfit training is that seldom are you working out alone. Strength in numbers is a thing, especially when it comes to boosting motivation. “You push yourself that little bit extra because you don’t want to let yourself or the team down,” Tullipan explains. “It keeps you honest!” It’s good to have a little bit of fun when training, so recruit a friend, find a group training class or get involved in an outdoor boot camp. Training solo is good but mixing it up with a group sesh can be a great way to push a little harder.

Fueling your body for success (and happiness)

While Crossfit doesn’t have its participants adhering to any strict dieting rules, Tullipan does believe that it teaches you to fuel yourself properly. Eating in a way that nourishes your body is something we should all be aiming for. “When you train so hard and start to honour your body for the amazing machine it is, you start to see the food you eat as a way of giving it thanks,” she says. “Over time you might even start to notice that when you eat particular foods you feel a particular way. Some foods help you to push harder and recover faster and before long you’re choosing these fuels and craving less.” Tullipan believes that a realistic 80/20 rule is a great approach to fueling your body and at the end of the day, it’s all about finding a balance.

Kylie Tullipan is a Level 1 CrossFit & Kettlebell coach for adults and kids. After spending many years in California, Tullipan is back working at Crossfit 2010 in Surry Hills.