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My first taste of Crossfit

Posted Mar 13 2013 12:20am
I was super excited when recently one of our run instructors at the Running Room told me she was organizing a Crossfit night for runners.  I have always been intrigued by Crossfit and given my back and core issues just figured I wasn't tough enough.  This special session was the perfect chance to see what it's all about and tonight was the night.

But first, I had 5km on the schedule for today so I jumped on the treadmill during quiet time.  My poor knee didn't feel great but I got the distance done and after my stretching spent some quality time with a bag of ice on the couch.

When we got to the gym (or box as they call it in Crossfit) we were told to spend a bit of time on a treadmill or spin bike just to get warmed up.  This particular gym was cool because some of the cardio equipment was up on a mezzanine so we could watch what was happening in the box while we warmed up.

It was crazy.  There were people lifting olympic-sized weights, a pregnant lady skipping rope like nobody's business (my poor pelvic floor quivered at the sight of that one!) and tons of people doing push-ups in a full handstand position.  Crazy!  I was hoping our workout wouldn't be quite so advanced...

After we'd all warmed up we were introduced to our trainer and he told us a bit about how Crossfit works and what our workout would be like.  He said we'd be starting with some ladder work, doing some Tabata training and then ending with a team drill.  Here's how it went
  1. A variety of agility drills with the ladder to keep us on our toes
  2. Deep squats and situps in a 20 sec on/10 sec rest cycle for 8 repeats
  3. 21/15/9 team drill consisting of the rowing machine, burpees, planks and a rest station
I did great on the agility drills.  My knee didn't hurt and surprisingly I could handle the coordination necessary to get the drills mostly right.  Ha ha.  We all had a good laugh as we messed up and tripped on the ladder.  The squats and situps were tough!  The squats were super deep and although really tough, worked our butts and hamstrings like never before.  Ouch!  The situps were hard for me but I tried my hardest to keep the right core muscles engaged to protect my back.  We'll see how it feels in the morning but I won't be surprised if my low back is a bit sore.  

The team drill was hard but a lot of fun.  It's those darn burpees, I'm just horrible at them because it's so tough to do the pushup and then jump to your feet while keeping your core and back stabilized.  Well at least for me with my crappy back/core it was hard.  Anyhow, the rowing, planking and rest stations were fine but altogether it was a good, hard workout.

So what did I think of Crossfit?  Well, I really liked it.  I like the format of how the workout is the same all day (the WOD, workout of the day) so you can come to any session that suits your schedule.  I like the personal training aspect of it.  When you start you do 4 private sessions with one of the trainers to teach you the basics.  That's when they get to know you and your unique needs and our trainer told us how they show each client how to modify when necessary.  It gave me hope that maybe I could be tough enough for Crossfit, as long as I could modify as needed.

When I think of Crossfit and the people I know who do it regularly, a lot of them are pretty hardcore and tough.  I was surprised to hear from our trainer tonight that there is room for modification if people need it and that not everybody is a total hard-body superstar.  In fact, while we were there warming up I could see that there was a real mix of people from big to small to ripped to pregnant.  

This particular gym also has childminding so it is actually something I could fit into my schedule.  I really liked the type of workout and would really love to give it a try.  I know I could certainly benefit from the cross-training!  It's pretty pricey but since I'm not paying for pilates this session it almost evens out.  Anyhow, I'll have to think a bit more about whether I'm going to try it but tonight was a great experience and I'm so glad I got the chance to try it out.
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