So what did I do? I ventured over to my gym, Washington Sports Club, and tried a free intro class. There was only one other woman who was taking the intro class with me, so I had the opportunity to ask tons of questions (which, of course, I did).
First, we were given a quick pep talk and a primer on how some CrossFit workouts actually, well, work. I asked questions pertaining to whether the CrossFit instructors at my gym actually focus on form, or whether they just emphasizes maxing out. Contrary to what I'd heard about CrossFit, the instructors at my gym actually focus on form, and demonstrated this focus by going over the proper form of each exercise -- including variations on each exercise depending on strength/skill level -- prior to beginning the actual workout.
Next, we began our warm up. The instructor informed the two of us that we were going to do each series of exercises twice, with a minute break in between.
|Body squats (Photo courtesy of Huffington Post)|
10 Push ups
10 Body squats
*If you don't know how to do a burpee, just do a quick Google search, and you'll get the idea. You might even start sweating or breathing heavily just from watching.
Next, we moved on to our actual workout routine (I'm almost certain I'm butchering all of the terminology). For the full circuit, we were to go through all five exercises twice, in no particular order, for one minute each. After the first circuit, we took a two-minute rest, and then we repeated the exercises (again, in no particular order).
Here is the circuit we went through:
1. Ball slams
2. Pull ups
3. Box jumps
4. Push ups
5. Jump rope
I have to admit that the ball slams just seemed stupid. In fact, I chose the 8lb ball over the 6lb ball because it just seemed way too easy. And, you know what? The first round, it was too easy. It wasn't until about 30 seconds in on the second round that I actually felt the burn.
There are so many different ways to do pull ups at the gym, and this is actually where I learned the most from this intro class. My upper body is not nearly as strong as I want it to be, so I was glad to learn different methods for improving your pull up numbers.
As a volleyball player, I always find it kind of funny when people make box jumps sound intimidating. Sure, you can get really jacked up if your form is bad, but the reality is that most volleyball players have done so many box jumps, they're almost second nature. The instructor was really impressed that I selected a higher box, so I took it. I'm not gonna turn down a compliment in the gym ;-)
So, how did I feel about my first CrossFit experience? Well, it wasn't as terrifying as some articles make it out to be, but I also recognize that each workout is different, and there are far more challenging workouts than the one I completed. I really liked that I had the opportunity to compete against my classmate, but, most importantly, I had the opportunity to compete against myself. I'm highly competitive, so I really appreciated this aspect of the workout. I'm not sure that I'm going to ever step foot in a CrossFit facility, but I would definitely consider another workout.
I think that the most important thing that I gained from the experience is that I could incorporate these exercises into my regular routines. All of these exercises will help me in some way or another, and the added challenge of timing myself and counting my reps makes me want to improve each time.
Overall, I enjoyed this intro class. If you would like to try and find a CrossFit gym in your area, I suggest checking out http://map.crossfit.com.
Have you ever tried CrossFit? How would you describe your experience?