Monday, June 3, 2013

Crossfit: Week 1

The last week of May was jam-packed with highs and lows--and busy! Started an "until something better comes along" job (with an unruly commute), unpacked more, planted our veggie garden, ran a little, and committed to month of crossfit.

After my exhausting crossfit intro class, I took a few days to think it over and recover. I looked at training plans and thought about to balance running, biking, maybe swimming, the occasional yoga class AND crossfit. And rest days, don't forget the rest days. It seemed like a daunting task, and June will be put to the test, but I've been told it can be done. And I'm going to try. So I took the plunge and registered for the beginner month at Tangletown Crossfit. I decided I really needed to commit 100% to the month to really know if crossfit was a good fit for me. So for 4-weeks I will be doing ridiculous things I never thought I was capable of doing 3-times a week. I'm also assuming I'll be sore for most of the month of June...

Crossfit: Week 1

Tuesday started off with me standing awkwardly aside at the box, while everyone around me seemed to know what to do be doing. It's a 4-week cycle, but not everyone is starting new at the same time. So there I was, the new girl. Tuesday's instructor, Dori, is a little ginger firecracker! Super friendly, pint-sized with a punch. After an exhausting warm up (400m run, 30sec L-sit, 10 sit ups, 10 wall squats, 10 pull ups, 10 broad jumps), we learned the ins and outs of the strict press and a basic kettle bell swing.

And then the WOD began.

12min AMRAP
5 Press
10 Kettle Bell Swings

I was sharing a station with another girl, and we agreed on a 33lb bar and a 10lb kettle bell. When the giant, intimidating, stop watch on the wall hit zero we had completed 10 rounds. I got busted for not using a heavier kettle bell, but was definitely feeling it by my last set of presses, so I think it worked out.

The weight I used for the WOD must not have been heavy enough, because my upper body wasn't sore at all after that. My quads and hams, however, were angry for several days. Too many squats.

Thursday I came into the box with a little better idea of what to do and where to go. Jill, another pint-sized, super-powered instructor, was really friendly and encouraging. I worked my way through another exhausting warm up (400m run, 10 GHD sit ups, 10 pull ups, 10 extensions, 10 broad jumps) and then worked on dead lifts, followed by 5 sets of 5 DL working towards a 5RM. I never found my 5RM because I was really unsure on how much weight to add at a time.

Pull Ups
Sit Ups
Kettle Bell SDLHP (Sumo Dead Lift High Pull)

I honestly wanted to throw up when I saw the work out. I can't do one pull up, let alone 21, 15 or 9. And certainly not 45. There aren't enough giant rubber bands at the box to propel me over the bar for a pull up. I had no idea what I was going to do. Jill was nice enough before the WOD began to talk me through pull ups and how to engage my lats to make it "easier." Mind you this entire conversation took place while she was effortlessly doing pull ups, occasionally hanging by one arm so she could gesture with the other, and never missing a beat. Or being out of breath. I'm not sure if I want to hate her, or be her.

My first set of 21 I started out pulling myself up maybe 3/4 of the way, with the help if a red and green band, but even that lasted only 14 or 15 reps. Eventually it was determined I would do jump-ups, and work on controlling the down motion of the pull up, with the help of a giant rubber band. Sit ups and SDLHPs challenging but doable, but those f'ing pull ups made me want to cry

I was definitely the last to finish this WOD. By like a minute or so. I don't even know what my final time was. Slow? I left the box exhausted and defeated, really wondering what I had gotten myself in to.

Saturday's class is led by Darcy, the box owner, who was the one who convinced me to give it a try in the first place. She claims to be 40 with two kids, but her six-pack showing through her fitted tank, would tell you otherwise. It started out with a similar warm up (400m run, 10 GHD sit ups, 10 pull ups, 10 extensions, 3 GHD extensions, 10 wall sits) followed by a demo on strict press, push press and push jerk.

Strict press, I can handle. Push press requires some thinking, but doable. Push jerk, however, requires way more coordination than I have. Luckily we focused on determining our strict press 5RM, and put the other two on the back burner...until the WOD

5 Rounds
3 Press
3 Push Press
3 Push Jerk
10 Sit Ups
15  Air Squats

We used 65% of our 5RM (mine was a measly 45lb) from our drills for the workout or, in my case, just the 33lb barbell. Once the timer started all I could think about was not wanting to be last, again. Anything but last. I found that I concentrate so hard on getting the lift just right that I tend to slow myself way down, but I suppose speed will come with practice and time.

There is also the fact that my quads still felt like they were going to explode from Tuesday's WOD. So that didn't help either.

I finished the WOD in 11:35, just 3 seconds before the last person.

And then, rubbery arms and all, we went outside to learn how to properly swing a sledge hammer into a giant tractor tire. I can't even make this stuff up. I would, however, recommend giving me plenty of room when I'm swinging a sledge hammer.

Week 1 is in the books and I am honestly excited to go back for week 2. I'm hoping that it will start to get easier with some time and practice, and that I will start to be more comfortable in my skin eventually. What this first week has taught me is that crossfit will never get boring, and that while some things may get easier, there will always be something challenging. And if someone as uncoordinated and weak as I am can do it, anyone can.

1 comment:

Hannah Gomez said...

I just did my first crossfit workout yesterday! It really was challenging but I'm going back today! Glad to hear someone's input on it.