I remember the first time I ever heard about Crossfit – my friend showed me a video on YouTube and to be honest, all I could think was that these people must be absolutely insane. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago when my colleague went along to a Crossfit session with Health 101 that I actually considered the fact that normal people do go to Crossfit… sometimes.
After hearing him go on and on about Crossfit for a week or so, I finally agreed to head along to experience it for myself. I’m not going to lie – despite the fact that I go to the gym regularly and head out for runs a couple of times a week, I was very nervous about giving Crossfit a go. In my mind Crossfit really was only for the ultra fit and unfortunately, I didn’t really feel that I qualified for that category of human being.
After spending a full day with knots in my stomach, convinced that I was probably going to either pass out or vomit during my workout (yes, dramatic I know but seriously), I got into my activewear, had a whole bunch of pre-workout snacks and prepared myself for the pain.
Arriving at the Mt Eden gym, I joined in with a class of more experienced Crossfitters (is that what you call them?) and waited patiently as our instructor explained what today’s workout would consist of. I discovered that each workout is basically divided into three sections, each of 15 minutes. The first section is the warm-up and the other two sections get progressively more intense as they go on.
To be honest I expected the warm-up to be well… very intense, however I was pleasantly surprised to find that the warm-up was true to its name. The warm-up consisted of a 100 metre run, followed by bear crawls and push ups. We repeated this three times and by the end of it I was warm, but feeling pretty good.
After the warm-up our instructor began to explain that stage two would consist of none other than gymnastics skills. I breathed a sigh of relief! I mean, I did gymnastics when I was younger so surely I would be okay, right? Unfortunately I overlooked the fact that I have minimal upper body strength and handstands are not quite as easy as they were in my pre-puberty body. Despite my lack of skills and strength, I managed to complete three sets of ring dips, wall handstands, kettle bell relays and core rockers.
I’m not going to lie, compared to stage three the other two sections were a walk in the park. Stage three consisted of a 400 metre run, kettle bell swings and weighted squats. We had 15 minutes to complete three sets of the routine and I can tell you, by the end most people in the room were sweating so much they were unrecognisable.
I would be lying if I said that the workout wasn’t hard, but to be honest it actually wasn’t as bad as I had expected. I was pushed and challenged every step of the way and of course there were points where I felt like I couldn’t do it, but in the end I was actually really proud of myself for what I had achieved. I was surprised to see that there were a whole range of people there – everyone from mums and dads, to high school students, to young professionals.
My take away thoughts? Crossfit isn’t just for the super fit (although you are likely to get super fit if you go all the time!) but it is actually just for people who love to be challenged. If you are looking to get fit and you are the type of person that responds to a challenge, Crossfit could be perfect for you. It’s hard, but a bit of hard work never killed anybody, right?