A Workout in the Life of a Crossfitter

You walk in the gym and see that this is today’s program:

Warm Up:
Row 500 Meters
2 Rounds:
Partner Junkyard Dog
Banded Side Steps (20)
20 Mountain Climbers

3 x 10  Weighted Good Mornings (65/45#)

Find 1 RM Deadlift

5 Rounds for time:
6 Pull-ups
6 Push-ups
12 Jumping Lunges

You watch the class before yours finish up – they are barely sweaty because it’s cold in the box (the CrossFit term for a gym) since there is no heat or air conditioning. Usually you take off your sweatshirt before the workout so it doesn’t get too stinky, but today it’s so flipping cold you decide to wear it through the warm up. The new Monday coach introduces herself to you. You chit chat with her and one of the other usuals for this class period. The earlier class finishes, writes their time and accomplishments on the white board and they head out while you start your 500 meter row. Only two people in class today, nice.

With the warm up and mobility parts of the class done, you set up for the strength portion. You’re finding your new one round max for your dead lift. Last time was 200 pounds and you’d love nothing more to beat that, even if you haven’t done a dead lift since before Christmas. The trainer says to load up the bar with 60-70% of your previous max. You have to grab the calculator and do some math to figure out what weight you need to add to the the 45 pound bar. To find your one rep max, you do 5-5-3-3-1-1-1. Five rounds at the lowest weight, increase the weight a bit, do 5 more rounds, increase the weight, do 3 reps, add weight, three more reps. Increase the weight until you find your new max. 225 lbs! You probably could have done more and a different coach might have encouraged you to try, but you’re happy with the new personal record so you put the weight plates and bar away and get ready for the WOD (workout of the day).

You sub the 6 pull ups for 12 ring rows because you’re still working on building your upper body strength. But you think today is a good day to leave the green band behind and grab the blue one since it has less resistance in order to assist you with your push ups. There’s no way you’ll improve if you keep the same crutch. Eventually you’d like to be able to do push ups without the assistance of any band.

The WOD is for time today. 5 rounds of the workout as fast as you can with a 30 second rest in between each round. Your classmate has been doing Crossfit for 8 months and he completes the WOD in a little over 4 minutes, but it takes you almost double that. But that’s ok because you did the workout right and you finished. You leave the gym with your head a little higher, a new personal best and a personal improvement under your belt. Tomorrow’s an off day for rest, but you can’t wait to get back the day after next.

Crossfit is an amazing challenge that I think anyone can do. Just like running, I think the biggest challenge is mental. The words “I can’t” should be removed from your vocabulary. Yes, you can. As how I found with the running community, the Crossfit community is amazing. Your biggest competition in CrossFit is going to be yourself. Are you going to be able to walk into a gym and deadlift 200 pounds right off the bat? No, but with practice and proper coaching, you can get there. Considering how community driven (and expensive) CrossFit is, don’t be afraid to try out a few different boxes before committing to one. You’ve got to surround yourself with like-minded people who will encourage you (and hopefully you’ll do the same in return!) and there’s no shame in leaving if you don’t think you’re going to achieve that at the first CrossFit box you visit.

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