So, one of the endurance athletes I have coached for almost 2 years, has decided to mix it up a bit in the weight room. Yep, Mike, is going to take Crossfit for a spin around the ‘ol weight room block. Seriously, here is a guy who HEARTS the weight room, but hasn’t given the functional fitness routine a go. Well, I warned him. It may look like it is for girls, but it’s like the hardest tempo run going on steroids and forcing you to go lactate with 100 pounds on your back. I don’t think he understood the accuracy of that statement until well…until yesterday.
So, if you are curious about this beast, then don’t walk into the lair without reading the following words from Mike. He will update us over the next month as he gallantly drinks the ever so power concoction of Crossfit. Here is his pre-workout take and then his first real workout that came charging and snorting like a red eyed beast right into Mike’s body.
Uhmm..Mike…next time, don’t forget a shield!
Let me start off by saying that I have been racing triathlons hard for the past 6 years. Numerous M-dot races, numerous 70.3 races, numerous, ahh well, you get the idea. After the debacle of torrential rain that was IM Lake Placid last year, I needed a break, a LONG break from the 3 sport sport. Needless to say, my break is still occurring. Not sedentary, but merely a break from the three headed monster! Enter, weight room!
Last winter I finally got back into the weight room seriously. First time since college Rugby in the late 90’s. The testosterone rush was addicting. I actually hit the pitch (rugby jargon for field of play) again and realized, that stuff really hurts when you can’t wash the pain away with numerous hours at the pub! I decided to hang the boots up and still have fun in the weight room. I did, to the tune of 14 lbs of pure muscle mass!
I had great hopes for this tri season, that is, until I started training! My mind was not fully recovered yet. I guess it takes some people longer than others! Did I mention that Lake Placid was rainy, yeah, to the tune of 4 inches during that hellish day!
Fast forward through the summer, lotsa running, no swimming, and barely any biking. Time for another off-season romp in the weight room. So, I started my first week of lifting 3 weeks ago and it just wasn’t doing it for me. That is when Deb and my good buddy from Ohio, Red, told me about crossfit. Deb had mentioned trying a few workouts, Red had told me to jump in and hold on for the ride.
The next few weeks I am going to chronicle the adventure that is Crossfit. I went to the first class on Saturday, Nov 14th and heard their philosophy. Intense anaerobic workouts that last from 5 to 20 minutes and completely kick your butt. Yeah, right! A 5 minute lift kicking my 200 lb butt that thrives on the weight room? c’mon man!
Well, I decided I needed a new fitness fix, I have decided to drink the Crossfit kool-aid. I signed up for 1 month. I am going to totally dedicate and immerse myself in this crossfit program to see if it will make me a better 3 sport monster, or at least get me ripped like Arnold!
But, I had my first experience with some functional triathlon crossover and I haven’t even officially started. On Saturday, my crossfit coach taught me a new squat technique, putting my big ol butt below my knees. WAIT!!!! Isn’t that supposed to be bad for your knees? You ask. Well, the way he explained it is as follows. “When are you ever going to squat to parallel or less.” Good point I thought, and dropped my butt down. He then asked me to sit on a low box and stand with NO momentum. I couldn’t. I was humbled, embarrassed, and a little peeved! He was pointing out the fact that one can be very strong in many aspects, but lack what crossfit terms, “functional fitness”. Maybe that is why I never really have that biking power I want?
To read more about this functional fitness and crossfit, check out this website http://www.crossfit.com/ . I have my next session on the 16th at noon. I will blog again later this week to see if this “10 minute of hell” routine is all it is cracked up to be. Apparently this week I learn how to power clean, dead-lift, jerk, and other Olympic lifts the crossfit way. We will see if the kool-aid tastes as good as I remember!
Now, get ready for blood and carnage boys and girls.
A Whole New Flavor
So, I am almost done with my first week of crossfit. Gotta say, I have really never seen the point in squatting below parallel, using momentum to do a pull up, and other “functional” movements. That is as the crossfit world says. I used to giggle at the “girly men” at the gym that would kip (a form of crossfit hip thrust as you do a pull up) when they do a pull up. I would point at the muscle head that would squat till his trash touches the floor. Well, let me tell you something. It ain’t as easy as it looks.
First off, just trying to get my hip thrust to get a pull up done has caused a mass amount of confusion for my body. Squatting below parallel, well, lets just say that my hips are not quite that flexible. Now, on top of that, throw a 10 minute time limit, box jumps, push ups, and kettle ball swings and a coach yelling at you that there will be no gains unless you go balls to the wall! Lets just say that my guts were on the floor already in my crossfit journey.
So, the week started with a warm up of squats and jogging. We talked some correct form so I would not tag out of this game early, and then onto the workout. My first workout was ten 36 inch box jumps, followed by 10 20 lb kettleball swings, followed by 10 push ups in 10 minutes. The goal was to get as many as I could. And that I did. BUT, let me tell ya something, crossfit is a new game. Total lactate threshold work. I was expecting to blow my coaches hair back. And that I did, with the chunks spewing from my mouth after my last set. SERIOUSLY!
So, the week has progressed, today (Thursday) was my rest day, and I just (read that as 30 minutes ago) am now able to fully flex and extend my arm again. Yep, full on not able to even pick my own nose. G’times. At to think that all of the workouts so far have only dealt with body weight moves. Absolutely zero added weight, apparently this is telling me something. Still trying to figure out what that is!
After almost finishing my first week, gotta say. The kool-aid tastes pretty damn sweet. It has been tough to swallow, but once down, I am liking the taste. I have not puked from a workout since my college rugby days. And to tell you the truth, I like it, I like it a lot. The workouts are intense, full body, 30-50 minute workouts with the hardest part lasting anywhere from 10-25 minutes. I love the feeling of busting my gut with all I have and being able to see results immediately, even if it is simply boogers that I can’t pick;)
Alright, next week I will give more detail on the whole crossfit mind set and let you know if any of my muscles are adapting to the new moves. My guess is that workouts are going to be so varied they will not have the time to adapt. I believe there in lies the benefit of this new cult!
Until then, I’m pouring another glass, or 6, for the next week!