Sunday, March 29, 2009

Crossfit Update #2

This last week was my third week of Crossfit workouts, and so far I have nothing but good things to say about the program. It has really challenged me in ways that I hadn't thought about. Being a coach, I think it's good sometimes to put yourself in the position of being a beginner at something, of being new and maybe intimidated and frustrated with yourself. It definitely gives you a lot more compassion and insight into how the people you're coaching feel.

That's how I've felt from time to time with Crossfit. Many of their exercises do intimidate me. I've never done any kind of powerlifting moves like the clean-and-jerk or the deadlift. Even though I've intermittently gone and hit the weight machines in the gym for years, I've never done any kind of lifting that maxed out my muscles. All of the coordination necessary to do these moves is new and feels awkward to my body. Even looking at the big round black weights on the bars kind of wigs me out a bit, to tell the truth.

To the credit of our Crossfit coach Jeremy, I've felt very comfortable with the level of skills instruction in the Crossfit program. Each time we did a move that was new, we practiced it over and over with a piece of PVC pipe while Jeremy gave individual feedback on technique and position. Despite my worries (especially with my recent back injury), I never felt so much as a twinge when we moved on to doing these moves with weights. I've lifted way more than I ever have in my life, with way more repetitions than I imagined I could.

The great beauty of the Crossfit program though is the intensity of the workouts, the fact that they're timed, and the fact that you're doing them with other people which ups the ante and makes you really really push yourself. On Wednesday I tried to swim right after the Crossfit workout and it was hilarious because my body really just didn't work, at all. My muscles were limp noodles, I could barely raise my arms to take a stroke. After about 800 yards or so, I felt like everything started responding again, but that was a really strange interlude, and it shows how taxed you get during these crazy intense workouts.

So bottom line is that Crossfit has exceeded my expectations for workout intensity, general fun, safety, and good technique. I feel like I've learned a lot and been able to push my body in new ways. I'm starting to feel good results in my swimming and running too. My hips especially feel stronger in the run (all those squatting moves) and my lats and shoulders in swimming.

So far, this program gets an A+ in my book.


Fifi said...

I've been curious about Crossfit for awhile now so it's good to see a fellow triathlete's feedback on it!

Erica said...

Crossfit has a way of getting under your skin - glad you are liking it! If you haven't found it, is a great resource for tri and endurance athletes.