If you’ve been following me on twitter you’ll know that I have taken the plunge and I am now a fully inducted member of my local CrossFit box, CrossFit Witham in Lincoln. After all the encouragement I received following my blog post about my taster session, I have joined for one month to give me a decent starting point, and then I will make use of the pay-as-you-go drop-in sessions.
For me it’s all about strength. While my legs will cycle or walk for miles (well, they used to, haven’t really challenged them recently), my arms and core are nothing. It’s always been that way and I have always moaned about it; I decided it was about time I actually did something about my whinging and attempted to build a little bit of muscle power. Hopefully I’ll see some improvement in the next few weeks in readiness for pushing that Harley around, and then I’ll have something to build on over the summer.
I have already proved to myself that I am not as weak as I thought I was. In my first proper WOD after my induction I managed one (very small and rather wobbly) front squat with 70kg across my chest. Before that I managed 3 reps at 65kg and 5 reps at 60kg. Just the one at 70kg was my absolute limit and I dropped the bar to the floor rather than getting it back on the rack. My movement down into the squat was very limited but I was told that it was good enough as a starting point. 70kg is several bags of sugar more than I weigh so even though I lifted the lowest amount in the gym that session and I can’t lift anywhere near that from the floor yet, I’m taking that as a pretty decent PB for now. Something to work on next time it comes up in a WOD!
I think like all forms of exercise I am already learning that there are things I am happy to do and others I really hate. I don’t mind the weight lifting or the box jumps (20” at the moment), I’m happy with skipping (some double unders too!) and sit ups using an abmat, and wall balls are okay. On the other side, toes/knees to bar and muscle ups are impossible at the moment, and the rope climb is a failure before I’ve even started. I can’t lift anywhere near my own weight with my arms, which makes that sort of thing very difficult and a little bit frustrating as even trying once or twice ruins my arms and they are no good for anything after that. I’ll have a party when I manage my first unassisted pull-up!
This evening’s WOD included something rather terrible: “death by burpees”. I got to 13 in a minute before I ran out of time attempting 14 - I simply could not pick myself up quick enough! And then there was WOD 2 to do, including the dreaded muscle ups and toes to bar, which I scaled down so very much. I am sure there will be other, worse, workouts to contend with – I just need to stop looking at the WOD information before I turn up at the gym in case I start not going when I don’t like the sound of the exercises!
My goals for my time at CrossFit are small. I want to feel stronger and more toned. That’s it. Just a bit. I’m not planning on going every day or ending up being sick after my workout, I’m not intending to enter any contest and I know I’m certainly no competition for anyone else who goes to CrossFit Witham – I just want to see progress in my core and my arms, maybe even in my general fitness. When I go I give it my all and I enjoy my food and rest afterwards.
I have to say that the people at CrossFit Witham are lovely. Adam and George, the owners and trainers, are fab and very encouraging, as are the other members who all seem to be getting results for the work they put in. So here’s hoping it works for me too!
Do you CrossFit? How are you finding it works for you? How often do you go? Do you also hate the rope and rings?! How long were you doing WODs before you noticed a difference in your strength? Let me know in the comments below.