Yesterday, I broke out of my normal routine and went to my first CrossFit class. It’s important to mix-up your exercise regimen to stress your muscles and avoid plateau. With this in mind I thought it was time to finally see what the hype was all about. Here’s my experience…
7:00am *alarm goes off*
What on Earth was I thinking? Why did I agree to this? Can’t I just go for a run?
What should I eat for breakfast? I have to be there in 45 min...okay just a banana, cup of coffee and lots of water.
(Disclaimer: don’t eat just a banana before you workout if you’re prone to fainting. Your body needs fuel! My thought process behind just the banana was knowing the fact that I don’t do well with a lot of food in my stomach when I work out. Bananas get metabolized at an average speed and provide enough carbohydrates to get me through an hour long workout. Your body needs energy, so eat eat eat!! That being said, also listen to your body and figure out what foods work best for you before you workout. Click here for some good guidelines)
8:55-9:10am *driving there*
WHAT ON EARTH AM I DOING? I’M SO NERVOUS!
(Before doing Crossfit, I heard mixed reviews. I know people who love it and swear by it. I also know a lot of critics and those critics were people I looked up to and respected. Because of the, for lack of a better word, aggressive lifts and exercises being done, think a lot of power lifting movements...picking heavy things up and putting them down...Crossfit can be dangerous and can cause some serious musculoskeletal injuries; hence my nerves. Now, I was able to convince myself before I walked in that they can’t make me do anything, I know proper form on most lifts and exercises, and I need to keep an open mind. As a member of the exercise, health, and wellness community I know that I can’t completely write something off without at least trying it and researching it further. Especially something that has had massive success like CrossFit has.)
9:15am *the workout*
Okay, okay this place looks like a warehouse, this is how I die. Fine, I guess I’m okay with it. That’s a pull up bar, I really hope I don’t have to do a pull up. Wow, everyone is so fit. Play it cool, you got this. Why is everyone so friendly? I love it. Cool, a 200m run, I ran a marathon, eat my dust suckers.
A 200 m run
Squats and squat jumps
Caterpillar and bear crawl
Build up to a 4 rep max on front squat and then decrease by 10% till you rep out.
21 then 15 then 9 rep circuit of front squats, wall ball, 30 double unders with a jump rope.
Stretch on your own.
(There it is. One of many “workouts of the day” or WOD as they say in the CrossFit world. Going in I had no idea how to do a front squat, it was humbling to learn something new, I was so set in my back squat ways that this workout was really going to stress my body in ways I didn’t even know I could. The workout was written on a whiteboard, demonstrated by the coach, and then we were off. During the workout the coach walked around and to my pleasant surprise corrected even minor details in form. This is so important for safety reasons. The workout is timed so you’re competing against a clock and if you’re super competitive, the people around you.)
*My Final Thoughts*
Going into this I was nervous and very skeptical. Coming out I’m excited, motivated and humbled. I was skeptical going in because I did not realize how involved the coaches were. They know what they’re talking about and they’re willing to push you to a healthy limit where you’ll improve but, won’t hurt yourself. This is why there are results. I plan to incorporate CrossFit into my weekly routine 3 days/week and run 3 days/week. The group atmosphere is motivating but, not dangerously competitive as I had originally thought. The people who are there are passionate, so friendly, and welcoming. All things that are necessary for success in a workout. However, since I want to be completely transparent with you all, I don’t believe CrossFit (in my experience so far!) is for everyone. A certain niche of current or ex-athletes and people passionate about lifting weights will thrive, but the obese woman or the 68 year old man may find it intimidating and discouraging. CrossFit works for a lot of people and I think it’s really going to work for me in achieving many of my fitness goals, but if it doesn’t work for you, don’t worry. My advice if you want to try CrossFit: be humble. Listen to what’s being said and don’t push yourself to the point of injury because the person next to you can bench 30lbs more than you. Also, do a proper cool down. Maybe it was just the specific class I went to, but the cool-down portion was lacking. Hey, CrossFit keep the instruction going and advise people on some stretches and cool-down exercises, okay? Thanks.
Finally, the important thing here is meeting the minimum recommended amount of exercise each week (150 min of moderate intensity exercise), how you get there is totally up to you. All in all, don’t feed into the bullshit. People will try to sell anything and everything to you, if it sparks your interest, give it a try. If not, move on. Of all the exercise regimes out there, there really isn’t a perfect one, because we’re all different people with different experiences and different goals. Exercise is important, how you specifically do it really isn’t. Find what you like and that helps you achieve your specific goals and run with it. I’ll advise you to mix it up a little and take some rest days throughout but, you go girls I believe in you!!