My CrossFit journey... so far
Dan is the new CrossFit champ of the office; here he talks about his first few weeks of early mornings and challenging workouts.
Having spent the previous 18 months getting into shape for my summer holiday to Croatia, my motivation to return to the gym has been a struggle. In search of something to get me back on track I turned to CrossFit, something Emma, TJ and I had trialled as a group a few months ago.
I chose CrossFit because if I’m honest, I needed help to push myself harder, so felt it was best to find something to help me do that. So, here we are, a month into my CrossFit journey and it’s time to find out if I love it or hate it.
I wake up at 5:20 to attend the 6:00am CrossFit class each morning. Personally, I prefer an early start to the day. Some, well most, may feel this is too early, but it works for me. For those who would prefer the sun to rise before jumping feet first into a CrossFit class can find a range of classes on offer throughout the day.
It can sometimes look a little like a scene out of The Walking Dead at the start of the class as everyone slowly wakes up and begins to focus on what the session ahead of them will consist of.
Each class begins with a warm-up, which isn’t too taxing and often includes active stretching or basic movements like frog jumps and bear crawls.
We then move onto a strength element, which doesn’t last much longer than 15 minutes. When I first started, I scaled the weights down to make sure I understood the routine, before adding more weights. In recent weeks I have begun pushing myself harder by slowing increasing the weight as my understanding of the sessions and the movement patterns grow.
Finally, we move onto the main CrossFit element of the session, which is usually 25 minutes of nothing short of hell, but a good hell…if that’s possible. When explaining to often bemused family and friends what I do during 25 minutes of non-stop exercise, it really doesn’t sound too bad. However, it is the carefully structured combination of exercises and an absence of any scheduled rest periods that make the sessions so challenging. I’ve only completed the required sets once in the month that I have been training but the reassuring thing is that not many other people finish them either.
I make CrossFit sound awful, it’s not. It’s without doubt the most challenging form of exercise I have ever done, and that is a good thing. The pride and joy I get from completing a session is amazing and well the results, I hope will speak for themselves.
So, has it actually made me fitter? Yes, I’d say it has. I wouldn’t say I’m any less exhausted after sessions, but I feel that I manage to maintain a better pace for a longer period of time.
I’m definitely going to continue attending CrossFit classes, even if it means I have to leave at 5:30am every morning. I understand people’s reservations about CrossFit, but in my brief experience, I’ve found it to be a really fun which offers the best of fitness and exercise in terms of expert training, a great way to meet new people and challenging workouts.