Snatches and Burgers and Bears, Oh My!
Okay, so my CrossFit experience hasn't involved any bears so far. Everything else in the title stands, though. Snatches and burgers!
I went to my first real, non-Elements CrossFit class on Wednesday. CrossFit is structured around a brief, high-intensity Workout of the Day (WOD). At Commonwealth CrossFit, the hour-long sessions involve a cardio warm-up (Wednesday's was jumping rope), then exercises which are either skill-building or prep for the WOD (Wednesday's involved a lot of loosening up the shoulders, for example, but Friday's was sort of a gymnastics free-for-all involving everything from handstands to rings), then the WOD, then a cool down period with stretching.
I hope I'm not making this sound too scary, because it's actually pretty fun.
The WOD on Wednesday was comprised entirely of snatches. Lots of snatches. If you aren't familiar with snatches, this is a good video to watch. According to the coaches at Commonwealth CrossFit, they're one of the hardest lifts to do. Luckily, you're supposed to scale your WOD to your skill level. Even though Wednesday's involved doing thirty snatches with a barbell at a prescribed weight (I believe it was 45 lbs for elite female athletes, maybe 55 lbs, with more for men), then increasing the weight and doing thirty more, then increasing the weight again and doing thirty more - or as many of these as you can fit in in ten minutes - I was able to make it intense, but manageable.
Nora, the coach that day, told me that since it was my first class, I should start with the training barbell, 15 lbs, for my first thirty snatches, then work up to 35 lbs, etc. In the end, I managed to do the thirty snatches with the 15 lb bar and fifteen more with the 35 lb bar in ten minutes, and I was super pleased with that.
Friday's WOD was a bit different. It involved 5 clapping pull-ups, 10 clapping push-ups, and 15 jumping backsquats - on repeat, as many repetitions of that cycle as you could do, with four minutes of working and one minute of resting, four times. Phew! Sounds exhausting, right? And it definitely was. I managed to do eight cycles through, plus 5 more pull-ups (aided by a black band, with no clapping involved), using the l5 lb bar again for the backsquats. Pretty drained after, but in a good way, with lots of endorphins and adrenaline mixed in.
When I got back to my dorm, I found myself facing something completely different: hunger. I was famished. What should I eat after my workout? I immediately gravitated toward a burger, since the grill station at my dorm was emptier than usual, and ended up with a bunless burger and sweet potato chunks - pretty simple stuff.
I found out only later, when I was doing research on what's best to eat after CrossFit so I'd know for next time, that my instincts had been correct. Sweet potatoes are apparently a great post-workout food. Many people who do CrossFit also advocate the paleo diet, which involves eating a lot of lean meat. I don't think I could ever successfully follow that diet - not if it meant giving up cheese, the horror! - but I was on a similar track with the burger. Carbs and protein are apparently what you want in your body after CrossFit, and I managed to get them in.
So, all in all, I think this first week was a success. I'm looking forward to my CrossFit classes next week, and already thinking ahead to I'll eat afterward. A little preparation never hurt!