So I already do quite a few forms of exercise: swimming, running, soccer, volleyball, yoga, and of course pole dancing. Now my wife has signed us up for a new plan at CrossFit LAX! I am usually not a big fan of weight lifting, preferring sports over the gym, however I will try anything once and CrossFit has a LOT of fans. I also have a really good friend who goes regularly and loves it. Like many other rigorous and regular forms of exercise and diet, people get real results. I should note that there are also skeptics who fear that pushing too far, too fast is dangerous. Another friend sent us one such article earlier today. So far it is too soon to judge, I have only taken one class. We will see how it goes.
Today was the first day of our 2-week fundamentals training session – affectionately known as the “fundies”. The class focuses on correct form for the different exercises, with a short introduction to the intensity which is CrossFit. The class was fairly small, eight students with one friendly trainer. Our warmup started with a short run around the facility. Next we were taught different types of walks: the high step, the butt kick, the bear crawl, and the standing jump. To me, walking with a high kick reminds me of only one thing: the Ministry of Silly Walks. Who knew it was such good exercise?
The next main pillars of the CrossFit regime is sets of Olympic style squats and lifts. We covered three different types of squats: air, front, and overhead. These I can handle, as they are not that different from various yoga squats, at least until we start adding weight later this week. Finally, pushups!! While I am fine with sexy burlesque pushups, there are no shortcuts here. These are high repetition and fast and they kill me. Warmup over.
The core of the program is the WOD. This is where we take the lessons into a serious Workout of the Day. Today the prescription was 10 pushups, 20 squats, run 400 meters (repeat 4 times). All this while being watched by the master wall clock (5 .. 4 .. 3 .. 2 .. 1 .. GO!). In all, I took 14 minutes, 50 seconds. Perhaps I could have pushed harder, but I am here for my health not to get hurt. The key is to have good control and from. Finally, we massage ourselves down with foam tubes – oooh that hurts.
At the end of the class, the instrutor had a few words of advice – perhaps the most meaningful was the “key to health is moderation”. That applies to both diet and exercise, and is probably the best answer to the CrossFit debate. My friend had warned me that I wouldn’t be able to walk afterwards. However, I made it up the stairs safely. I am definitely sore, but in a good way, and I can at least still type. I will be back tomorrow (and through next week). By the end I should at least be able to a decent push-up.