Trying CrossFit

I think I’ve just about got over it now. On Sunday and Monday, and even Tuesday, the muscles down the inside of my thighs, across my stomach and chest, and under my arms especially. This made standing up and sitting down a bit on the painful side, and I’m not sure I did a very good job of hiding it when I was away with work at the beginning of the week.

The reason? On Saturday morning I gave CrossFit a go. It’s been on my list of things to try (my big bucket list) since I first heard about it a few years ago. I saw photos of super toned ladies, I think associated with Reebok, scrambling up ropes, playing on gym rings, doing really high box jumps and lifting massive weights. It appealed. I could see how it might be a fun way to do some much needed strength and core work (as well as end up with a body like those girls in the photos!). It’s been a while because CrossFit seemed to be limited to gyms in the capital, which is often the case and means people like me living in more rural locations such as Lincoln miss out. As with many things (but that’s another blog post)!

CrossFit Witham recently opened in Lincoln in am industrial unit on my way home from work. It’s been open just a short while and they are offering free taster sessions to see if you like it. I went along on Saturday morning to see if it was something I could do, and was very impressed with the set-up. One of the two owner-coaches, George, showed me around the gym and introduced me to a couple of the common exercises. At the start of the session I paired up with Mel, who has been going just a few times so far, to complete the workouts, with George watching closely to make sure we were doing things properly. There were probably about ten people taking part, at different levels.

I actually really enjoyed the hour. I tried everything and ended the two short but intense workouts absolutely shattered but with a feeling of accomplishment. I certainly don’t think I made a fool of myself, which was my worry. There was a mix of people in there – yes some were completely ripped, but others were just like me in that they were trying this type of exercise as a way to gain strength. During the workouts (they all have numbers or names – I think I did “Angie” for the second one), I managed to lift 17.5kg repeatedly (doesn’t sound like much, I know), do box jumps (that very quickly turned to the tallest step ups I’ve ever done!), and did 50 each of pull ups, press ups, sit ups and squats.

I likened my CrossFit experience to “circuits on steroids”. If you’ve ever watched Biggest Loser USA or something like that you’ll know exactly the sort of thing I mean. The exercises are as tough or as easy as you make them depending on your strength and stamina, but as you work in short bursts and are in competition with yourself (to beat your “score” each time), you are motivated to work hard. I certainly was. The workouts are designed to work all your muscles and build them up rapidly.

I would definitely recommend CrossFit, and naturally CrossFit Witham, to you all. It is perfect for strength and core work I can see how you could improve and tone up this way, and probably quite quickly too. CrossFit Witham offer your first session for free, with no obligation to sign up, so it’s got to be worth a try!

The question people have been asking me… will I go back? Well I certainly want to. I think it’s exactly the sort of exercise class that I could get in to. However, the decision for me is one of time and money, which always seems to be the case. They recommend that you commit to two or three sessions a week, which costs £40-50 per month (depending on the option you choose). I know that this is much (much!) less than it costs in London, and it’s a lot less than a Personal Trainer would cost, but it’s still a lot of money, and I’m not sure I have the time to make the most of the membership should I join – I’m just too busy to go more than once a week normally (and you can pay per session). I was chatting to a friend yesterday and we agreed it was the sort of money I would be more than happy to spend if I had a month where I would just go for it – pay my money and go three or four times a week to build up strength and tone up, either before an event or a holiday or something like that.

Have you tried CrossFit? Do you go regularly and get results? What other strength and core focussed exercise classes would you recommend? How about similar things to try in Lincoln?

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