Mar 5, 2014

Cross Fit, oh the Pain

There's a guy in our neighborhood who is cross a fit certified trainer and, together, with his wife they do cross fit in their garage daily.  They invite their kids' friends who bring their parents and they get together for some great fitness.
I went once in November -ish and kept getting off work late then had an aggravated injury so I did not go back.  Sounds like a bunch of excuses doesn't it?  As many of you know I ended up not working out at all for about 1.5 months and after I returned to the gym I decided to head back to their garage.  I have to admit I had to work up the courage to go because I was embarrassed that I never went back.  I thought they may have thought I gave up... which I did not but they did not know that.

Anyway, I can commit to 2 days per week and then the other days will be my regular gym time.  Last week our workout of the day (WOD) was:

toe to bar - 30
single squats up to 145 lbs max
squats 70 lbs.  1st round 21 reps, 2nd round 15 reps, 3rd round 9 reps
hand stand push ups 1st round 21, 2nd round 15, 3rd round 9

The group ranges in age from teenage to approximately the 50s and the skill level has a wide range as well.  The toe to bar is where you jump up to hold onto a bar and lift your toes up to the bar that you are holding onto.  This is something that people progress to from sit ups.  I have lots and lots of ab training so I was able to get it done but my hands hurt like hell afterward!  I am not saying I was automatically a pro but thankfully I got to skip the sit ups.  :)

Single squats began with 1 squat at a time with lower weight and continuously adding weight to each single squat until you are maxed out.  I maxed at 145 lbs.

Next, we incorporated the squats with the hand stand push ups where the 1st round of squats was 21 reps and then we moved to hand stand push ups.  Back to squats for 15 reps then hand stand push ups for 15 reps.  The 3rd and final round was 9 reps of squats and 9 reps of hand stand push ups.  One would think that only 2 exercises would be no big deal but, in fact, it was quite exerting.  Which I like. 

The next day was box jumps, several varieties of them.  Tabata squats where you do as many as humanly possible within 20 seconds then a 10 second rest.  Doing these continuous intervals for a total of 8 20 second rounds.  My hamstrings were already sore from the day before and here we go!!

I worked on power cleans while the rest of the group worked on squat cleans.....hmmmmm....something to work up to.

Then we did push ups until exhaustion.  I am missing something here but I cannot remember what it was.  I knew I should have written this last week!!  I figured I would definitely remember since I am sore ALL OVER!!  My lats hurt, back hurts - lower and upper, quads are somewhat sore and hams are very sore.  The only thing not sore is my biceps & triceps so I was able to work those yesterday at the gym. 

I plan to go for about a month but the problem for me is that the workout session goes from 5P- 6:30P and on one of the days it was 6:45P.  I usually get in and out of the gym in 30 minutes!  The strange part is that there is a lot of standing around so even though I am sore, there was still a lot of standing around time.  I think it is because there are so many of us in the garage.  It makes me wonder what the calorie burn comparison is considering I am so damn sore but have less movement during the actual training session.

I like it so far and I am learning new things which I love!  There are a few concepts that are different for me.  For example, during a sumo squat the knee goes over the ankle and when lifting weights that is a huge no-no.  Matter of fact, everything I have ever heard or learned is not to allow the knee extend over the ankle.

The other strange thing is holding your breath during a squat.  Typically, I have learned to breathe through an exercise.  Usually exhaling on the movement when the contraction is done but in cross fit the idea is to hold your breath, momentarily, during the movement.  The purpose of this is to keep oxygen in the diaphragm which also keeps the core engaged.  This helps reduce the risk of injury and when I did it I could see the logic and how it actually worked.  I could feel my abs and back muscles tighten against the belt which also kept them firmly in place with less chance of something 'slipping' out of place.

Have you tried cross fit?  What do you think of it?  Post your comments!

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  1. Just reading this got me exhausted. Are you sure it is good for you to be so sore? I thought the premise of no pain no gain was a thing of the past. Maybe I am too out of the loop.

    1. Great question! It is good to be sore from working out but NOT from an injury. So when the muscles are achy/sore that is them telling me "I am developing" and they are becoming stronger and better.

      This should not be overdone as the body and muscles still need rest time. Sometimes people mix up being sore from working the muscle with injuries and try to "work through" the pain.

      If you are interested in learning more, I have explained the difference in this blog: