Hurts so good!

So, Mike is hangin’ in there for another week of Crossfit. I am not surprised to find out how much he likes to “play kid games” though since he often likes to mix up his endurance training with grown up man things like basketball and rugby. Yes, folks even runners and triathletes can spend some off season time just playing other sports for the sake of fun. Some of them do wonders for the speed and agility too.

As John Mellencamp has said, “C’mon baby, make it hurt so good.” Yep, that pretty much sums up my 2nd full week at crossfit. I am not sure if it is the fact that I can’t fully extend my arms, OR the fact that when I do get them fully extended my traps feel like I just tackled a semi-truck. Either way, it hurts so good.

I feel like a kid again doing these workouts. The basic idea behind them is to do a half-hour warmup, whatever really comes to the trainer’s mind. For example, we would run 400’s while tossing medicine balls between us, followed by some intense and fast hopscotch. Yeah, that’s right, intense hopscotch. I am not sure if it warms my legs or my cheeks up more from smiling so much while doing it. Followed by some team drills, think one person jumps rope for 30 seconds while the other does air squats, then switch. There is also the ever so fun “goofy ladder run”. Think of awkward football players trying to have fast feet while running a rope ladder on the ground. I am not kidding when I said my cheeks hurt form smiling and laughing. All fun and games until we hear the actual workout for the day. Then it is time to get serious.

The 10-30 minute INTENSE workout starts after the fun time. Many of the exercises that we do only involve body weight or light loads. Let me give you an example, today it was max rounds in 20 minutes of a 200 meter sprint, followed by 15 thrusters (front squat to below parallel and shove the bar above your head upon standing), followed by 15 kipping (think thrusting your hips to the air and using momentum to get above the bar) pull ups. REPEAT, REPEAT, REPEAT until the time is up or if you boot, in that case, wipe your mouth and get back to it. Not kidding.

The great thing about these workouts is the camaraderie. Everyone in the gym (really a modified industrial garage) is doing it and you are all pushing each other. The only way to truly get the most out of these workouts is to go balls to the wall. That means NO PACING, something that is completely foreign to many long distance athletes. It is tough, builds pain tolerance, and is a killer workout that will result in big improvements.

I have decided to go 3 days on, 1 rest day, 3 days on, etc. I leave every workout exhausted and happy it was only an hour. I also go to bed every night pretty sore and wake up that way as well. I asked some veteran crossfitters today if that will ever change. They told me that it does get better, but the great thing is, your body is NEVER able to adapt because the workouts are so varied. There really is no getting bored here.

For those of you scared to take the plunge here are some of my recent observations: When I look around the room and think I am going to beat others that look like they went to high school with jesus, I get my butt kicked. You are never to old or out of shape to lift your own body weight, in that same vein, your body weight is A LOT more than you think. Proper form is full range of motion for most exercises (not 2 inch squats and half length presses). Proper lifting form produces results, fast (ask my wife as she has commented on my new found arms). Crossfit is kicking my butt and I like it, I like it a-lot!

More to come next week, hopefully by then my arms will be able to straighten.

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