Watch this video to see how I was feeling the night before my first ever Crossfit experience.
My new friend Blake Sama is a Crossfit competitor. He is a strong, able bodied guy who had a good foundation of strength before he began doing crossfit. He is a medical device engineer and a personal trainer/ small business owner.
He is a competitive guy and for him, the atmosphere at Crossfit is perfect. After my neighbor, Darrel, the “Mayor” of my building, awkwardly set us up to meet and chat about all things fitness, I quickly learned how much Blake loves Crossfit. I figured—why not try it? After all, I had only done the at-home workouts I mentioned in my video.
They do not call it the “Taj” for no reason. It is INCREDIBLE.
At 20,000 square feet, this large basement with multiple rooms is almost freaky it’s so large. It is located underground in the Financial District.
The locker room had a SAUNA.
It was nice and clean, had a snack bar, olympic lifting stations, rings etc.
They had mobility exercises listed on the wall— two thumbs up. I noticed this almost immediately. (Look closely on the left poster, top exercises).
There were also mobility tools to use before the workout. Two thumbs up.
During the workout, professional photographers shot photos. Just my luck. Read what the workout was, and then see photos below.
The Forrest Workout:
20 L pull-ups
30 Toes to the bar
As we all gathered around the Crossfit, “coach” I stared at the white board. I began panting or rather, exhaling extremely loud and forcefully thanks to a combination of nerves, too much pre-workout and seeing the number “20” next to the word “pull-ups.”
“Garrett, are you going to be okay?” asked “coach” Crossfit.
Big exhale with puffed out cheeks, “WOOO yeah, I think so; twenty is a lot.” I replied.
He quickly told me about all the modifications and swinging techniques and said I would be fine. He also said, which I noted, that elite athletes would be able to do this in around 30 min …. DING DING I had a goal.
The flow of the workout:
-we did a warm-up
-we did a group stretch
-we had an instructor who demo-ed the movements
The DAMN swinging
So in my own training I do dead-hanging pull-ups with realistic sets, and dead hang toes to the bar. Might I add I am proud of my strength there. When I saw the number of reps in the workout, I freaked.
*20 “L” pull-ups
*30 toes to the bar
How can you swing into an “L” pull up anyway, I thought?
Now they allowed us to swing into the L…. I thought if I have to do 60 of these, I am going to have to swing, so I did…. WHEN IN ROME.
By the end of the second round, while running (you have a basic natural upper body swing when you run) My shoulder felt off. Not cool.
I did like how encouraging seemingly attentive the Crossfit coach was.
I had fun. I felt like it was the “marathon” or “half-marathon” of the training I have been doing for a while now. Was I able to keep up? YEAH. But did it feel good? It felt hard.
Doing this every day would not be sustainable for me. However, for people with a good strength foundation, crossfit is a cool challenge I think, to do here and there, now and again.
BUT Imagine this…
What about the young guy or girl who comes in and can’t do a pull up? Someone who doesn’t know what toes to the bar is? There is a demo, sure, but not enough coaching for this elite style of training.
I can say this…
…. Crossfit encourages movement, it inspires some people and motivates people and I LOVE seeing people work hard and be proud of themselves. But Crossfit is NOT for everyone. Just like Black Diamonds or Double Blacks in skiing are not for everyone.
I think it is not sustainable for a lifestyle of healthy movements, but for someone like me who had taken a day off of lifting to recover the day prior, or for someone who can already do pull-ups, it was a SUPER fun challenge in a very nice facility and a great way to have fun with my new friend Blake.
Here is a video I took RIGHT after the experience!