While on a walking trail last week, the boyfriend and me spotted a CrossFit gym and decided to walk in. The gym looked more like a warehouse, had no central air but two giant fans. The equipment looked bare. The instructor gave us a brief overview of CrossFit which is described as:
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program with the aim of improving, among other things, cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. It advocates a perpetually varied mix of aerobic exercise, gymnastics (body weight exercises), and Olympic weight lifting. CrossFit Inc. describes its strength and conditioning program as “constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad modal and time domains,” with the stated goal of improving fitness, which it defines as “work capacity across broad time and modal domains.” Hour-long classes at affiliated gyms, or “boxes”, typically include a warm-up, a skill development segment, the high-intensity “workout of the day” (or WOD), and a period of individual or groupstretching. Some gyms also often have a strength focused movement prior to the WOD. Performance on each WOD is often scored and/or ranked to encourage competition and to track individual progress. Some affiliates offer additional classes, such as Olympic weightlifting, which are not centered around a WOD.
CrossFit programming is decentralized but its general methodology is used by thousands of private affiliated gyms, fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and military organizations including the Royal Danish Life Guards, as well as by some U.S. and Canadian high school physical education teachers, high school and college sports teams, and the Miami Marlins.
After our visit, I spent about a day and a half researching CrossFit. The consensus was that CrossFit was more of a mental than physican challenge. However, CrossFit seemed like something that would never get boring and it could bring me results sooner than alternative forms of exercising. So, I woke up at 5:20AM and arrived at class ten minutes before the 6AM class. I had to first complete a waiver (to ensure they wouldn’t be sued in the event I lost a limb or died). While stretching, I couldn’t help but notice I was the only woman in class; however, I did the same workouts as the men. I lifted weights and did pull-ups like everyone else. Everything was timed and everyone goes at their own pace. Another cool thing, the instructor and other participants constantly motivated each other. I’m pretty sure I got a “great job Ashlee” more times than my boyfriend (who did not finish his pull-ups). According to other participants who chatted with us after class, you start to seeing results after 21 days. So far, I’m up for the challenge but don’t hold your breaths, lol.
Photo source: Wikipedia