Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Crossfit: an adventure in ass-kicking
This chick does Crossfit. You can see her before picture here.
So my experiment with Jillian's book died before it really got started, mainly because I went out of town two weekends in a row, but also because for the last couple of months I've been dealing with serious energy problems (i.e. I have none) which I think my naturopath is on the road to fixing now. Last week my hairdresser was telling me about her one time attempt at doing Crossfit. Crossfit for the uninitiated, is a military/police type workout which combines serious weight lifting with circuit training and some other stuff so hard you want to throw up all in a small class. It is somewhere between personal training, and a big group workout class. I thought I would only find such a thing in Seattle proper which is too far for me to go, but Crossfit is so popular that there is even one in Lynnwood.
This morning I went for a free let's see how it goes session. For the first few sessions you are not in a group. A very nice trainer who reminded me uncannily of my brother, had me doing squats (where I learned I've been doing it wrong for years), push-ups, pull-up type things since I'm not strong enough to pull up, and a lot of rowing on the rowing machine. Once I got the form down the workout went like this: 500 meters as fast as you can on the rowing machine, then 40 squats using perfect form with your arms over your head (my shoulders hurt WAY more than my legs), then 20 pushups (which I might have been able to do without my knees down if I hadn't just held my arms over my head during all those squats), then 30 sit-ups, and finishing off with 10 of those jump-up pull-up deals. Oh, did I mention it is timed? The Crossfit record is 4 min 30 seconds for the above. My time? 11 minutes and 8 seconds. My trainer told me the goal of the first day is not to die. I did not die, though during those squats I thought I might.
I have always liked working out alone. I hate aerobics classes because I am uncoordinated and it's too frustrating. Yoga is ok if the teacher is good, but other than a few months of going with my friend Laura last year, I pretty much do that alone too. I put my headphones in at the gym and zone out. But in doing that I also give myself permission to give up sooner than if I had someone pushing me. I'm also realizing that I am someone who needs people. If I don't have people to talk to all day for a couple days, I start getting depressed. Which is why I'm thinking a workout that has a social aspect as well as someone standing there making sure I do all 40 squats might be a good thing.
Crossfit is not exactly cheap, but it isn't that much more than I was paying for yoga. I'm seriously considering signing up to get my ass kicked all summer long.