Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Benchmark Is Still A Benchmark or CrossFit Basic Training, The Final Class

I had mixed emotions as I faced my last CrossFit basics class and really can't believe the end came so quick. I checked out benchmark workouts and there were only a couple that us newbies would be able to take on. I didn't know how it was going to be administered but I prepared, nervously, to get my behind kicked.

I briefly chit chatted with Michelle earlier in the day and said that Laurie was going to kill us tonight and the boot was not going to stop her. Michelle agreed that the boot doesn't hold Laurie back...

The six of us walk into the gym and there's Laurie and Libbie and someone that I don't know. I do not like onlookers but relaxed once I found out that it was Laurie's daughter who was going to help with equipment because of her mother's limited mobility.

We warmed up on rowing machines Tabata-style. Twenty seconds of rowing, ten seconds of rest. Repeat.

Next up, hollow PVC pipes for warming up the shoulders and practicing the snatch. A considerable amount of time is spent on snatch technique and, to really get a feel for the snatch, we practice with dumbbells. Next up, the ab mat. We're introduced to some piece of equipment where you can do a full body extension to work your abs. Completely forgot the name of the machine which they won't let you touch until you get more experience under your belt.

Libbie wants to also show us burpees. What's a burpee? Carol asks.

Me: I hate burpees...

I look at the clock and think there's no way that we have time for a benchmark workout. No way. We're almost 45 minutes into a 60 minute class. I was wrong. It's not a benchmark workout but a baseline chipper. Whatever, a rose is still a rose... I repeatedly scanned the board that the chipper was written on as I wrapped mind around the workout.

  • 10 Burpees (Modified)

  • 10 Pull-Ups (Jumping from a Box)

  • 20 Box Jumps

  • 20 KB Swings (25 pounds, Russian version)

  • 30 Sit-ups

  • 30 Slams (14 pounds)

  • 40 Jump Ropes (Singles)

  • 40 Prisoner Lunges

  • I've been working on my abs and, as a result, I took care of the sit-ups without much drama. In fact, I kind of enjoyed the experience. I also went right through the rope jumping and was much better at the kettlebell swing. After Mich mentioned the hip action, I watched a video on YouTube and a light bulb went off. The prisoner lunges owned me.

    Michelle and I gutted out the prisoner lunges together. She finished right before I did and I finished last and collapsed near a fan. Laurie's daughter was kind enough to position the fan so that I could get the full effect.

    I was hoping that I would have my answer about joining CrossFit but I don't. I do think that it is what I need right now and it was very satisfying making it though the baseline chipper but I am concerned about walking into a class with seasoned CrossFitters like, say, Libbie who took care of a 50 pound dumbbell demonstrating the snatch. Wish there were a step-up, freshman kind of class.

    After I got up off the floor, Laurie's daughter hopped up on the pull-up bar and hung there. I don't do this kind of stuff, she said quietly...

    And how long did it take me to finish the baseline chipper? 12:35. Some of that time, LOL, was spent bent over while breathing heavily. And the Epsom Salt bath? Already a done deal.


    1. Ugh, BURPEES! Gaaaaah!

      I don't know what people you're going to encounter at Crossfit, but I don't think you have to worry about those who are more advanced than you. There is a lot of camaraderie with any group of people who suffer together, and they will probably be delighted to have another member, no matter what your level. AND you might find you're more advanced than you think you are.

      Sleep on it. You don't have to decide today.

    2. gingersnapper,

      Thanks for your take on "to join or not to join." As usual, you have great insight. ;)

    3. I've been tempted to try crossfit but it looks so intimidating. There is one really close to my house here and I drive by it almost everyday!

    4. Sara,

      It is intimidating and they know it... If I take more classes, I'll let you know how the group sessions turn out.