Last month, I tried CrossFit for the first time. Frequently, my Facebook news feed is full CrossFit, WOD, 13.1, CrossFit-themed quotes, and photos of very fit friends making some heavy lifts with expressions of determination or pain on their faces. As difficult as it may all look, I wanted to try this.
Being a former Olympic weightlifter, (the name of the sport, no I didn’t make it to the Olympics), I wanted to try something that used these same lifts and techniques, but not train with the intent to compete. I basically wanted to clean and jerk some weight then drop it on the floor again!
|Hey, nice face!|
|Clean and Jerk: 60 kg (132 pounds)|
Combine my previous weightlifting experience and desire, with Rachel posting something on Facebook about trying CrossFit, as well as buying some new running clothes on Prodirect Running, and you had a recipe for success! And eventually Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
Now I’m not sure if all CrossFit gyms are the same, but at CrossFit Aberdeen, you must do a Taster Session to try it out, and if you’re willing to give it a go, then sign on to a 3-course Fundamentals series, where you learn all the basics required for you to be successful with further training. We had to reserve spots in the free taster session, which was mid-day on a Saturday.
I picked up Rachel, who had already done a weights session at her gym, and we headed over to the CrossFit Aberdeen facility. We began by squatting with good technique, which totally brought me back to my Olympic Weighlifting days: squatting into deep-knee bends, then pushing upwards. The only difference was that my back and abs weren’t nearly as strong as before, and I had aged about 7 years! We then did kettlebells, which I was doing for the first time and really liked, (so much so that I’m considering taking a class at the local gym). As we were finishing up, the following mini-workout was written on the white board for us:
Rachel and I looked at each in fear. This soon dissolved when we were told we had to do this workout with a stranger-partner, and that both of us had to do both runs, then split the squats and kettlebells, so that each person did 4 sets of 10, for each exercise. This was also timed, thus creating a wee competition. My partner was tall Phil, a former rugby player.
We began seemingly quite equal, but once we’d all done 40 squats and 40 kettlebells as fast as we could, this seemed to thin out the competition. Rachel and Olly came in first, and poor tall Phil had to settle for second last as my legs felt like Jell-O! After some quick stretches and chat, our first CrossFit session had come to an end.
|Moi et Rachelle (in French because she is running the Paris marathon soon!)|
Did I like CrossFit? Yes. Would I do it again? Yes. I really liked the emphasis of always mixing exercises up and keeping things fresh to constantly challenge your muscles. And it’s so intense, which I find very satisfying. Will I be going to CrossFit again soon? Don’t know. The CrossFit Aberdeen Fundamentals course is currently run on Sundays, which interfere with Rachel’s long runs. I could go on my own, but considering we did it together, I think it’s better to just wait. Once the Fundamentals course is finished, I’m not quite sure when and how often I’d be able to do it considering I live about 35 minutes away from the studio (one way), and would realistically only be able to make out on the weekends. We shall see.
|A view of the gym post-Taster session|
|Tight and bright!|
Have you ever tried CrossFit?
What do you use for your recovery post-exercise?