CrossFit Day 1
Today after my 18.06 lecture I trekked up to Commonweath CrossFit, a ten-minute walk down Somerville Avenue from the Porter Square T stop, to have my first Elements class with Brian Buell, the gym's owner.
I was told that the gym was an open warehouse, but I was still surprised when I walked in by how much space there was. There was some equipment - pull-up bars, gymnastic rings, jump ropes, kettlebells, wooden boxes, barbells for lifting - but most of it was stowed away against the walls. When I came in, a 12:15 class was just finishing up. People were scurrying around doing pull-ups and kettlebar exercises. For me, that was a little intimidating to watch, but not as intimidating as my dad's warning that he had seen a CrossFit competition on TV and that it was "really intense" and I was "going to die."
Luckily, Brian is an extremely friendly person, and he has an uplifting fitness story of his own. He spent the first part of our lesson explaining to me what the equipment was for and how a normal session at Commonwealth CrossFit is structured: lots of warming up, cooling down, and rest periods around the brief, high-intensity CrossFit workouts. He also explained that these first five Elements classes were mostly about getting me comfortable with the exercises, and that the most important part was that I was using proper form so I wouldn't hurt myself.
Then, he went over the components of the CrossFit Baseline workout with me before I did the entire workout and timed myself. I took a picture of the whiteboard, but in case that's too small to be readable, the workout consisted of:
- 500m row (on a row machine)
- 40 air squats
- 30 sit-ups
- 20 push-ups
- 10 pull-ups
The notes in the margins are on how I did: the row portion took 2:45 (not bad, I'd never used a row machine before!), I did the push-ups on my knees, and I was able to complete all of the exercises in 9:06. "Black & blue" is not a reference to how I looked at the end of the workout, but to the bands I used to help me do the pull-ups. Apparently, many people start out with one or two bands to aid them before progressing to full-on pull-ups. I felt best about the squats, even though my legs really started to ache by the last ten, because I could actually squat down pretty far. Apparently, the yoga I did last semester helped my flexibility.
I was a bit shaky when I finished, but I also felt energized - moreso than I did after leaving lecture, anyway. Brian suggested that I do this workout again in a month to see how much my time improves, which already exciting to think about.
Tomorrow I'm meeting Khaki, another trainer, to complete my second Elements class. We'll see how that one goes! In the meantime, fellow fit-getters, keep on doing what you're doing. :)