So after a couple years of sitting on my rear-end writing and chasing little ones, coupled with a wife who’s a great cook, I’ve fallen WAY out of shape, and my weekly volleyball match isn’t nearly enough exercise. So I finally bit the bullet and signed up for Crossfit at a local gym that’s just starting up.
Two years ago I completed P90X. It was one of the toughest programs I’d ever attempted, and I left in the best shape of my life. It’s amazing, though, how quickly that goes away when you don’t keep at it. I walked in to the Crossfit gym not really knowing what to expect, but fully understanding that I would likely struggle for a while. I wasn’t wrong.
The gym’s owner, Chris, gave me a few minutes to stretch in our first on-ramp course then sent me on a short “warm-up” exercise. I began with a 400m run. No big deal, I can do that, and I did. The short run got my pulse up, which then led into the real warm-up, consisting of 10 air squats, 10 pushups, 10 situps, and 10 “mountain climbers,” repeated three times. The first time through — no big deal. The second time through, I was sucking wind and beginning to get dizzy. By the time I finished the third set, I was having trouble remaining on my feet and thought perhaps it might be time to return the contents of my stomach to the wide open world. I didn’t eat breakfast before the workout because I was afraid I might throw up, but I may have also been done in by that strategy in not having enough fuel in my system. Lesson for future workouts — eat something beforehand.
Chris was kind enough to give me a spell to recuperate, then we spent some time practice a couple different types of squats with the barbell. I focused on my form and paid as much attention as I could while the world slowly stopped spinning, and I think I had the form and key points pretty well figured out (though more practice would certainly be helpful) before it was time for the regular workout to end our day.
The workout itself was eight minutes long. The first four minutes consisted of eight rounds of 20 seconds of air squats followed by 10 seconds of rest. Was definitely “feeling it” by the time I got through the first four minutes. The next four minutes, though, were pure hell. I was to do another eight rounds of 20 seconds on with 10 seconds of rest, only each round now was continuous pushups. Having already warmed up with more pushups than I’d done in quite some time, I was a bit sore. I made it through the first minute efore I had to start doing pushups on my knees. By now I had just about nothing left, but did my best to keep moving for the final six 20-second rounds of pushups. The last round I may have only accomplished three or four reps. When the timer finished, I rolled over and saw three bunnies in the corner by my water giving me the evil eye. The room was spinning, I was sweating so hard I could hardly see, and was WAY out of my comfort zone. Chris gave me a minute, then we went to the wall to do some stretching exercises. I did my best to stretch, but really at this point most of my focus was on not falling over and trying to keep the gym from moving around me. We finished the stretching and I sat down for a few moments to gather myself before getting up to find my water bottle (where I noticed the three evil bunnies from earlier were really just my extra T-shirt coupled with extreme fatigue and triple-vision.)
Sat in the car for a few moments again before starting it up and heading home. I’ve got a lot of work to do, but was amazed how much of a workout this felt like, given that the actual “high intensity” portion was really only the warm-up coupled with 8 minutes of real workout. Hopefully Wednesday will go better.