Losing My Crossfit Virginity

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
Check out Rachel’s timely post about our experience here.

After a meal at Nandos and some much-needed girl talk on every possible subject, I bid Rachel farewell to her flat with the tiny kitchen, and headed home for the rest of the Six Nations rugby. I found these clothes waiting for me:

Tight and bright!
How did I feel after CrossFit? Tired and like my legs were about to fall off. I woke up Sunday with a horrible case of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), and ran an easy 3 miles to try and shake it off. Unfortunately, that did nothing, and I was plagued with this until about the Wednesday after. I was on holiday that week, and if I’d been at home, I would’ve been fine. We were, however, traveling to Germany, and DOMS made air travel more difficult, as well as playing with little nephews and a niece, and having to get down on the floor to their level. I survived though, and have learnt my lesson that if I’m going to do more intense activity resulting in more frequent DOMS, I need to refuel more appropriately. I recently bought Pat and I some recovery powder, full of soy protein designed to help in immediate recovery, and diminish the weaknesses caused in the immune system after exercise. So far, no DOMS!

Have you ever tried CrossFit?

What do you use for your recovery post-exercise?

In other quick news, I’ve moved to self-hosting with Blogger, so you can simply type in http://www.lovetorunandeat.com, and you will be taken here. No more of that silly blogspot nonsense. There are a few things that need to get ironed out from Blogger and Google’s perspective, and that will happen soon.
Happy Monday everyone! Hopefully, I can get some more posts up this week because I’ve got a mini-series a brewing for you all.

9 thoughts on “Losing My Crossfit Virginity

  1. Only 19 days 'til Paris (ohmygod) so I can totally relax the running schedule soon! Also, I love the weightlifting photos, even the face!

    I stand by chocolate milk as my refuel drink of choice. I'd rather put real food into my body than any kind of supplement, and I don't trust those big plastic tubs!

  2. Yay! So glad that you got to crossfit. I do really want to try it tho' my doc might have something to say about that. haha. I like that most boxes do a teaser and then make you do a fundamentals course to make sure that you know what you're doing and aren't going to really hurt yourself. I don't think that I knew you did Olympic lifting. LOVE the photos!!

  3. Glad you had fun at CrossFit! Weightlifting is awesome, and I LOVE lifting big weight, but my favorite thing about CF was the community. It's such a great group of people!

    LOVE the turquoise pants!

  4. I know, it's coming so soon! I keep reminding myself to bid you good luck before we leave for Italy because our trips over lap. I'm excited for you because I really want to go back to Paris.

    I used to drink chocolate milk post-run, but now that I'm doing more cross-training stuff and working my muscles a lot more, I wanted something more. I swore by protein powder when I was weightlifting as well. I have been known to buy a chocolate Frijj milkshake though if I'm on the go, they're have lots of protein in them!

  5. Thanks!Yes, I think your doctor would have issues with all the deep-knee bends;) Mind you, as long as your quads are flexible, deep-knee bends shouldn't be a problem; this was what we followed for Olympic lifting, but then again, none of us had had knee surgery. And yes, I totally agree that it's good they offer a proper transition into the activity, rather than people totally immersing themselves too quickly only to overdo an exercise or do it incorrectly, then injure themselves.

    Thanks for your comment!

  6. Thanks, I love them too!

    The regulars at this gym seemed so enthusiastic and passionate about CrossFit, and Rachel (who is American) and I actually both commented how we felt it was much more American in feeling because of this. Definitely not something one would typically see in Scotland.

  7. I think you kind of mentioned it before, and maybe it didn't completely click, but I have managed to miss that you were a competitive weight lifter!!! I don't see myself ever getting into cross fit, but awesome that you are trying something new! And I always make sure to load up on protein rich foods within half an hour of a workout. It doesn't always prevent soreness or DOMS, but I do know that it is essential in helping your muscles recover.

  8. Pingback: 2013: The Year that Was | I Eat Therefore I Run

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