I’m going to start this blog off by saying that what works for me may not necessarily work for other people, and vice versa.
Okay, so let’s get down to business. I’ve been curious about Crossfit for forever. Everyone I’ve talked to said it’s kind of like a fitness cult. If there would be any cult that I would join, it would probably be a fitness one. So, when a Groupon for a one month membership to Crossfit showed up in my inbox I jumped on that sucker like kids in a bouncy house.
I knew within the first five minutes that it was not my bag, mainly because the class instructor kept insisting that I could do something that I couldn’t. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this, but I have seriously jacked-up hips, I’m not sure if they came from my years of dancing or if they were just exacerbated by them, but my hips are kind of aligned wrong which really only bothers me when asked to do certain types of squats—my hips literally just don’t function like other people’s’ in this particular motion. We spent five minutes in one of those types of squats, and when I told the instructor my reason for not being able to do the squat correctly he said something along the lines of, “You have to do it.” I’m sure it sounded like an excuse to him, but I’m of the school of “People know their bodies a lot better than you do.” If years of physical therapy couldn’t get me to do it, I doubt an hour of lifting can. Needless to say I started off the class hating this guy.
Next came clean and press with barbells, which was fine by me, because I happen to have decent upper body strength. I was, however, partnered with someone who had to weigh forty pounds less than I do, was a head shorter, and of a much slighter build naturally. I’m not saying I’m a huge muscle man here, but I would guess that in a normal gym type setting we would probably not be lifting the same weight. There was no accounting for personal strength, build or fitness aptitude, women pressed one amount, men another.
After that we loaded up a barbell and carried it, one hand per person down the block and back—now this is the exercise that bugged me more than all the others, because it pretty much screamed out for bad form, rows of people leaning to one side and putting all the pressure of the barbell on their lower back and hip joint, not to mention disproportionate strain in the forearm muscles.
After that came push ups, sit ups, and pull-ups—standard fare. I will say that I saw a lot of people using momentum in their pull-ups, swinging their body to create the kind of force that naturally drives the body upwards. That’s less of a pull-up and more of a swing-up.
Is the class hard, there’s no doubt and I absolutely see why people get into it.
Is it for me, not so much. I really wanted to go to class and be a total convert, but mostly I just felt like I was in bad form boot camp. Of course, it’s very possible that other Crossfit classes and centers aren’t like this, but first impressions count and my first impression wasn’t all that great.
I have a month of classes left and now I’m wondering whether to let them go to waste or give this class another shot.
Have you tried Crossfit? What was your experience?