Monday, February 3, 2014

So I guess this really is happening

Last Tuesday, Superman and I went to visit a local CrossFit box. I've been interested in CrossFit for a while, but only recently figured out I might be able to afford going. According to the website, "The aim of CrossFit is to forge a broad, general and inclusive fitness." I like the whole body experience. I like the community they are supposed to embody. I like the idea of classes, and the types of exercises. I've actually incorporated a few of the exercises in my workouts already, though not to the intensity I'm certain I should. I'm hoping that will come in classes and with encouragement.

The introductory class consisted of a 10 minute warm-up (shoulder stretch, sit-ups, lunges), a 12 minute workout (5 burpees, 10 low level pull-ups, 5 box jumps and 10 squats), and a 5 minute cool down (8 sets of 20 second plank, 10 second rest). For those who don't know, burpees are 1) lay full body on the floor, 2) get to your feet and jump, 3) repeat. The low level pull-ups used rings. You scoot your feet in, pulling against the rings and slanting your body to increase resistance. The closer to horizontal you can get, the more body weight you're actually pulling. We flipped playing cards each round we completed, so we didn't have to count rounds and reps. 
I made it through 5 rounds plus 1 burpee. This workout kicked my butt a little, but not completely. I'm sure that's exactly what it was designed to do. I was breathing heavily, but at no point did I have to stop and rest. Were the workout 20 minutes, that may not have been the case.

Predictably, I'm excited about the idea of paying $100+ to get my butt kicked like this. I'm the one who uses all the gadgetry to run. Superman just throws his shoes on and goes. He's not so thrilled with the idea of paying that much $$ to work out. He wants to run and bike. Also, he has a gym workout in mind that worked for him in the past. I'd hoped we would do this together, but I kind of knew going in that wasn't going to happen. We approach this type of thing differently. I need the extra motivation of a class. He doesn't. I am interested in this type of exercise. He is not.

However, this particular Box (that's what CrossFit calls their gyms, mainly because that's exactly what they look like inside) is not for me.

Located halfway between work and Superman's house
There is only one trainer: the owner
It's CrossFit
Ideally, because I donate plasma on Thursdays, I'd like to attend a class Thursday mornings. Thursday morning and Friday night are the only times this box has no classes
CrossFit requires everybody go through Foundations training, to learn the lifts and moves. This box doesn't charge for the Foundation training. It's one class for about an hour, where other boxes charge $100 for 6 classes over the course of 2 weeks
The Foundations class is only 1 time, for about an hour
There is no contract. I can pay for a month, and if I decide this Box or even CrossFit itself is not for me, I'm not out a full year's dues
I'm not sure how other Boxes do it, but this one only has 2 shower rooms, 1 bathroom, and no other changing room facilities. Also, no lockers.
They have a couples discount, if Superman changes his mind
The website listed a $100 fee for a 3x a week schedule. The website is woefully out of date and the fee is now $125 for unlimited classes

I don't know how boxes are supposed to be stocked, but I didn't see any weight plates. Just the 45 lb bars and kettlebells. I thought there would be squat racks, at least.

There is a Box closer to work, which I visited Friday night. If Superman were excited about CrossFit, we would definitely go to the Box closer to his house. Without him in attendance, I'm inclined to frequent the one closer to work. The space is smaller, but brighter, and there were definitely more people around. This may have to do with the fact that the introductory class Superman and I went to was after the regular classes, while the one I went to Friday was during a regular class. Friday's Box has more classes available and also a much busier white board, both of which imply they have more people working out there.

Friday's workout was 20 minutes of warmup, including pushups, bear and crab crawls, suicide drills, and some time spent rolling out sore muscles with a lacrosse ball. The actual workout was descending reps (15-12-9) of 12" box jumps (I jumped a 20" 2x, but was afraid I'd miss when I started getting tired), 18 lb overhead kettle bell swings (I swung a 25 lb., but again was concerned about form when I started getting tired), and burpees. It was work. I definitely got my heart rate up and sweat going. I don't now if Friday's class was less intense than Tuesday's or if I just needed to get things moving earlier in the week, but I was less sore come Saturday.
Part of the reason I'm excited about CrossFit is the hope for a community like I had in Tae Kwon Do. I did not feel that community at the Box I visited with Superman. Granted there were only a few regular CrossFitters around, but I basically felt ignored unless interacting with the owner. Friday's Box, people randomly came up and introduced themselves, the trainer introduced me to everyone in the class, and people came up after class to comment on the workout and my participation in it. THIS is what I was looking for!
It also helps this box charges $10 less per month than the one Superman and I visited.

I'm trying to temper my excitement to spend money I don't necessarily have. I can afford this through donating plasma, but that doesn't mean I SHOULD spend that $$ at CrossFit. The gym I already belong to will offer CrossFit-like classes soon, for a fee. I'm not sure yet what the schedule will look like, but I know the Zumba classes (for which there is also a fee) are only available Wednesdays. I can't attend on Wednesdays. With a CrossFit gym I'll get the type of exercise class I want (interval, whole body training), just about every day. 

That said, I've already arranged to start the essentials classes. These are the classes where they teach me the different lifts and moves. There are 6 of them I have to complete before I can begin attending regular classes. My first is tonight. 

Guess this really is happening! 

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