I've reached the end of my first month of CrossFit, and I'm still hanging in there, but I have to tell you these trainers have really odd ideas about exercise that don't jibe with the real world. Not MY real world, anyway.
Today, for instance. We began with a 1000 meter row. Then we did the dynamic warm up, and that consisted of lunges from one side of the room to the other, followed by two other leg-stretching routines and some jumping. After that, we did a ring exercise where you lean back at about a 45 degree angle, holding onto two rings, and you pull yourself up, using your arms and shoulders. 30 of those. Then we did push ups on a bar, with our body on a slant, kind of like the ring exercises. 30 of those. Finally we did squats--yep, 30 of those too.
Now here's my understanding of normal work outs. First you warm up by doing some stretching exercises. Then there are the REAL exercises: the main event. Finally, there's a cool down period where you do some more stretching exercises.
Now, back to CrossFit's understanding of work outs. All that stuff I told you we did today? The rowing, the lunges and other stretching stuff, the pull ups, the push ups, and the squats? Yeah, apparently that's just the prelude--the warm up for the REAL exercises. For me, though, it's waaaaay past the warm up. It's the warm up, the drown in your own sweat (and blind yourself with it too), and the pass out. Then, once I can muster the energy to stand, it's the "exercise" where I stand for awhile under the air conditioning vent to dry off.
And at CrossFit, the routine changes every day, although that initial period of rowing is pretty standard. The other day, we did the row, followed by a series of the lunges and other similar stuff, and then the many reps of whatever exercises the trainer decided we should do--I can't remember what they were now. So then after THAT, he says--and I'm not kidding--"For the first exercise, I want you to . . . ." Of course, I replied, "Oops, too late!" He just looked at me like he didn't understand. But I get that a lot.
In CrossFit, after all that stuff that's supposedly NOT exercise, they have the Workout of the Day ("WOD"). The workout changes daily, as the name implies, and admittedly our little group isn't really ready for the Big Boys' Workout du Jour yet, but they work us as much as they can. Sometimes, they set up four or five stations with a different exercise at each one and make us do as many reps as we can for 40 seconds. Then we switch to the next station, kind of like musical chairs except nothing disappears--all of the stations are still there. That's what we did today, and we had to do the circuit four times, I think. (At other times, instead of timing us at each exercise, we have to do a certain number of reps before we move to the next exercise, again completing the circuit several times.)
I haven't been nearly as sore as I was that first week, and I'm grateful for that, but now I'm working on stamina. I usually have to stop and get my breath back a few times during the circuit, and after we've done a circuit or two, I'm usually not doing nearly the full amount of reps, but I keep trying and the trainer says it will come eventually.
I used to hate sweating, but now it feels kind of good, especially when I'm driving home from the workout with the A/C on full blast, as cold as it will go. Yeah, I kind of like the exercise in a somewhat perverted way, but I don't think I'll ever be as crazy as those hard core CrossFit people. Still, if I ever start talking about exercise as if it's nothing more than a Sunday stroll in the park, stage an intervention, okay?