Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Repost: Not in as much pain as I thought I would be

Originally posted on another blog I write anonymously, but re-posted here because I want this blog to represent my entire journey since starting CrossFit.

So, I went to the CrossFit Philly gym last night, but I didn't actually do a "real" CrossFit workout. The gym has something they call the "elements class". You still do a circuit-style workout with CrossFit exercises, but you can go at your own pace, and there's a big focus on form and executing the movements properly, rather than speed or load. Also the class sessions incorporate learning new moves, so that after a month or so, you're fully prepared to jump right into "real" Crossfit.

I think it's a great system. And honestly, it probably does a lot to help "convert" people to the method. I was so intimidated by all of the information online about CrossFit. But the idea of starting small and learning and building up to that seems much more feasible to me. I'm more motivated to try now, because it doesn't sound so impossible.

My workout yesterday was just to get a baseline, and see "how I move", according to the instructor. First she had me do 20 body weight squats. She wanted me to get pretty low, so I was a bit off balance until my muscles "remembered" how to do deep squats. Then she wanted to see me do pushups - we started with 15.

At that moment I was SOOOOOO glad that I had put the time in about two years ago to focus on doing "regular" boy pushups. It was always embarrassing to me that I couldn't do pushups, and then when I started dating Husbeetle, it became more important to me to overcome that challenge. So I incorporated them into my post-run stretching, and eventually I was doing them with my feet up on my front step! I never did get up to 30 in a row, but I did get over 25.

Anyway, I did 15 "real" pushups (which was pretty much my max for one set, I was pretty wobbly on the last 2) and that was good. Then the instructor had me do a reverse pushup - I think it had a real name but I can't remember it... She lowered a pair or rings to about armpit height, and I grabbed them and leaned back, balancing on my heels, with my body totally straight and my arms straight out. Then I pulled myself upward in a pushup motion. Did that one 10 times, which was another max.

She asked me how those 3 movements felt, I said good, and so she set me off to do 4 more sets of 20 bodyweight squats, 10 pushups and 10 reverse pushups. I had to put my knees down on the third set for pushups, and only made it to 8 on the fifth set. And I don't even know if all 8 were really that good.

It was good!

After that she taught me the basics of swinging a kettlebell. I've read about kettlebells and seen some videos of them being used, but never tried it. I liked it! It was cool that it wasn't an arm exercise at all. It was all about the legs and trunk, and translating their power into moving the weight. Very cool. I only did a few of those, but I did graduate to a heavier one before we quit, so I think I was doing well. :-D

We finished up with planks. There were 2 other people there for the elements class, and they had started at the beginning of the month, so they were doing a modified version of the "real" workout of the day (WOD). They finished up as I finished with kettlebell stuff, so all 3 of us did planks together. It felt awesome. I was totally quivering because my muscles were so f-ed up from all the other exercises. It rocked. But I didn't put my knees down at all, maybe just let my butt stick up a tiny bit near the end of the second one. :-p

I called my sister on the way home, and could barely hold my phone up to my ear because my shoulder muscles were taking a break from being able to contract. Good workout!

Because I'm insane, after I got home I was inspired to do some gardening since it had been raining the last 2 days. So I got out the shovel and moved around some small bushes in preparation for putting in some new annuals that I bought.

I talked to my sister because she's stopping by my house on her way home from a trip up north. Visitors motivate me to make my house pretty, so after coming inside from playing in the dirt, I washed 2 weeks worth of dishes and did a few loads of laundry.

I think that last bit explains why my right arm is a *lot* more painful today than my left arm. But it's not the worst I've felt after my first day of a workout. My legs feel fine, I will need to incorporate some running or something after the Crossfit stuff if they don't work the legs more. Three words for you - September beach vacation. Gotta look good from behind as I go running down the beach. :-p

This morning I must've been feeling *really* motivated by that workout, because I weighed myself for the first time in about a year. 145.4. Pretty much what I thought. I'm going to use SparkPeople to track my weight, but not calorie stuff, which I've used it for in the past.

I felt so good this morning... I wish I could feel that way every day. I'm going to try my best to make that happen.

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