I ‘graduated’ from CrossFit Fundamentals today, after a lengthy 1.5 hour session this morning.
Very proud of my accomplishment, particularly considering the past year’s difficulty with figuring out and dialing in the proper nutrition for these types of workouts. It is a very difficult and individualized thing to ascertain the right balance between physical activity and food intake to maintain both peak performance and bodyfat at the desired levels. I’m only just beginning but I think I’m on my way. After just a week of CrossFitting I’m already noticing more muscle definition and some loss of belly fat.
Today’s final Fundamentals session started with a warm-up consisting of:
- 500m row
- Bear Crawl
- Those bend-over-to-touch your toes stretch then crawl out to a push-up, do the push-up, then crawl back to a stretch things that I did the other day and completely forget what they’re called..
My coach told me that she wouldn’t make me do any squats today. I was a bit disappointed at that, as the squat is THE fundamental movement in CrossFit (and, essential fitness it seems) and I worked on them on my own this week and wanted a professional set of eyes on whether I was improving. Fortunately, she lied. Because we then proceeded to work on lots of things that still had me squatting, although not all the way. Here is what we did:
- Push Press (aka “Military Press” or “Strict Press”)
- Some variations of the Press – I forget their names
- Sumo Deadift High Pulls
- Medicine Ball Cleans (I really struggled with these)
- Kettlebell Swings
- Box Jumps
We finished with a 3 minute AMRAP of 10 box jumps (it was either a 21″ or 24″ box – I *think* the former) and 20 kettlebell swings (18lb). I did two sets of each in 3:11. My coach seemed to be very pleased with my kettlebell swing form – she remarked when I finished the first set, “You could do those all day can’t you?” I’m glad I looked like I was good at them, but they tired me out pretty quickly.
The box jumps I really enjoyed – they’re a lot of fun. A bit nervous though – I think it’s inevitable that I’ll lose concentration on them one of these days, catch my toe(s) on the way up, and wind up bowling over the hard wooden box. It will be painful no doubt…
At the conclusion of my first Fundamentals session, when my coach asked me if I could condense sessions 2 and 3 into a single longer session, I was a bit concerned that we were going too fast and I wouldn’t be prepared to begin the group sessions, but today was very reassuring. While I still had a lot of trouble with some of the lifting forms (especially the medicine ball cleans, which I never really got), one of the great things about today was that my one-on-one session was happening during the same time as one of the group sessions, so I was able to keep an eye on what was going on with the group session. And I really liked what I saw. Specifically:
- There were people of all shapes/sizes, and ages. Some were totally ripped/muscular in tone, while some were, uh, not so toned.
- There was a lot of instruction going on. Prior to today’s group WOD beginning (it was the infamous “Nasty Girls” today), the instructor spent quite a bit of time explaining the movements. This was reassuring because, while I get the basic gist of the olympic lifts, I forget their damn names!
- Everyone was pushing each other in a good, friendly way. Very motivating and very fun atmosphere.
- Perhaps the coolest thing: there was a new mom in the group session. I only know that because I looked over towards the benches/’spectator’ area and saw a baby in a swing, and her ‘big brother’ (I estimate around age 3 or 4) playing nearby. You’d never see that at your typical gym. They’d either insist on not allowing it or charge an extra fee for a babysitter.
So I’m set to do my first group session likely on Thursday. I’m really psyched and if I’m not sore tomorrow (unlikely) I may try to do it tomorrow afternoon. I’m signed up initially for two sessions per week. If all goes well I may bump it up to 3x but for now I’ll really push the intensity during the 2x and see how I feel.
One final note of great importance (to me, anyways): the ‘carb refeed’ of Ben & Jerry’s I indulged in last night worked. I felt real good today. Sore (in a good way) post-workout, but good. Tomorrow will be the real test – that is usually when the glycogen depletion has hit me in the past. I’m confident I have the situation under control though. My concern now is over-doing it on the carbs. It’s a slippery slope.
Here’s a video on medicine ball cleans, which were my nemesis today. This chick makes the form look easy!