Tanisha and I went to our first Crossfit workout yesterday with our friend Bob Cooney (
http://www.allsportmuscletherapy.com). The workout consisted of:
- 400 meter run
- 100 kettlebell swings
- 80 Ball Pass Squats with a partner
- 60 Ball Pas Sit Ups with a partner
- 40 Partner Burpees
- 20 Pull Ups
- 400 meter run
Bob was more experienced. He had been to a few sessions earlier in the week. Since this was Tanisha’s and my first time ever doing Crossfit, and since we haven’t worked out in over a year, the instructor told us to cut everything in half (except for the run). Instead of 100 kettlebell swings, do 50 kettlebell swings. Instead of 80 ball pass squats (40 per person), do 40 ball pass squats (20 per person). I went into this workout with the attitude of I’m going to do my best but be very mindful of my body because I don’t want an injury.
Before we started the workout, we did a lap around the building. According to my calculations, that's 266 meters. That doesn’t seem like a long run, but if you are not a runner, you feel it after the first 50 meters. Once the lap was completed we were instructed to do some stretches (Spiderman lunges, alternating side squats, quad stretches, etc.). When we returned to the building, the instructor went over the workout routine, demonstrating each exercise (again, the run was the exception). Then he set a clock and shouted “GO!” Everyone raced out of the building.
We ran counter-clockwise around the building. I managed to get boxed in right away. To my right and ahead of me were two couples. I’m not a fast runner, but they ran exceptionally slow. Tanisha and Bob were fifty yards ahead of me at the finish. When I walked into the building, I was winded, but not exhausted. The warm-up run was harder for me.
We jumped right into kellebell swings. If you’ve never done kettlebell swings, they are quite difficult. It’s an exercise that uses most of your major muscles. I used a 35 lb weight, and I felt my muscles pushing at every swing.
Next we did the ball pass squats. Squat, stand, toss the 10-lb medicine ball to the next person. Since there were three of us, including Bob, we formed a triangle and passed the ball counter-clockwise from person-to-person. By the end of this exercise my thighs were burning. I felt like they were going to seize up on me and stop moving entirely.
Burpees. Ever done a Burpee? Here’s a video demonstrating a Burpee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_Dq_NCzj8M
Since there were three of us, we each did twenty Burpees. Perform a Burpee, and upon standing, high-five the next person, who then does a Burpee and passes the work onto the third person. Round and round we went until we each finsihed our twenty Burpees. Upon finishing this exercise, we ran over to the pull-up bars and performed a modified version of the exercise. We then rounded out the day with another 400 meter run around the building.
After we finished all the exercises the instructor came over to talk with us. He told us he gets all kinds of people starting Crossfit, athletes, military, and people who haven’t exercised in years. Many of the non-exercise people give up after the warm up. Which is understandable because the warm up was hard. He told us a story about some people who literally walked out after the warm up…they just left. “Nope! I’m out!” He told us that he was very happy and impressed that we completed all the exercises. Between heavy breaths I said, “I know this may look like sweat all over my body, but it’s actually tears. This is what what it looks like when my body cries from pain.” He laughed.
Of all the exercises we performed, the pull-ups were by far the easiest. My back muscles are the only muscles that don’t ache today. There are a lot of muscles in the human body, but only about two hundred that will ever be discussed in a gym. Of those two hundred, about half of mine are sore today. This afternoon I’m heading to Pinehurst with my dad to watch the end of the US Open. I keep picturing that I’m going to have to tell my 72 year-old father to slow down because he’s walking too fast for me. Please don’t let there be stairs.