My Experience at an Intro Session to Crossfit
So this evening I had my first, official “Intro to Crossfit session,” (it’s called an OnRamp session at CrossFit Newton). I got there a half-hour earlier than required (since I left my internship earlier in anticipation of bad traffic), and had some time to kill, so I watched some of the members there doing their workouts….and felt a little (OK – a lot) intimidated to say the least. I mean these people were swinging ‘huge-ass’ kettle balls, power-lifting God knows how many pounds, breezing through pull-ups, and one guy was racing through rope climbs… (gulp).
The gym (sorry – it’s called a Box in CrossFit terms) is actually in a garage and is not your typical “glamorous,” air-conditioned gym. This was an open space with mats, racks (for barbells), open weights, a pull-up area, stacks of boxes of varying heights, gymnast rings, rowing machines, kettle balls, and giant tractor tires outside (can’t wait till we push those ;)) Today’s session was actually pretty low key since we’re learning the basics over the next couple of weeks. A group of us (7 in total) started out with the OnRamp at 7:30pm Our coach explained the basic form and structure of a few key Crossfit warm-up and workout moves: spidermans, the air squat, press, back squat and pull-up, and we then did several sets of each of these to practice. (We’ll learn more exercises over the next few sessions – before we start our ‘real” workouts). After our warm-up and technique session, we did a basic level workout: a 400m run, 40 airsquats, 30 crunches, 20 push-ups and 10 pull-ups. Our coach explained that we just needed to do 1 round for the basic level, but a typical WOD might include 3 – 4 rounds of these types of exercises.
The 400m run was fine (though my legs were not feeling like running after doing a 6 miler this morning). Squats, crunches and push ups were all fine too. Weighted squats with 45lb were fine (though I’ll practice a bit before adding more weight), and the press today only utilized a 15lb bar which I’ll definitely add to next time. Pull-ups on the other hand are not my forte 🙂 To be fair, I think most women have trouble with pull-ups, and so at CrossFit gyms they have different forms of assistance for the pull-ups: boxes and varying weights of bands. I tried both the box method (where you push up and off with your legs) and the bands, and found the bands easier than the box (I’ll try a harder band next time).
So my thoughts so far? It was good – but I want to try a full WOD before I feel that I’ll be able to form an opinion. Today we covered things that I mostly knew and have done before, either on my own or with a trainer. I think that CrossFit will definitely challenge me in ways that I probably need to be challenged – and encourage me to work on my strength, both upper and lower body. And, I can definitely see it as a place and a workout that will keep you motivated to constantly improve and challenge yourself in new ways. However, I also know that CrossFit memberships are very expensive, and I certainly won’t be able to afford $160 a month to go 3 times per week (I’m using a Groupon at the moment to try it for 6 weeks), so I’m interested in learning the techniques and then hopefully incorporating the exercises and WODs into my own routine. Anyway…let’s see how the next few sessions go! I’ll keep you posted…. 🙂