Why I’ve started doing Crossfit

#goals. Courtesy of www.crossfit.com

Introduction

My wife had been bugging me for the past year to go exercise.  I think my last workout was several years ago.  There were months where I ran outside a few times a week (thanks Stravia,) but nothing I kept up with for months.  With all the traveling and eating, my clothes were getting a bit tight.  I was hitting a new record weight and enough was enough.  But what finally broke the camel’s back?  Why, it was the crippling of MS that allowed me the free time after work now.  Yup, the death of MS led me to get back in shape.

 

Crossfit

In the past, I’ve just gone to the gym and did cardio and weights there.  It was very boring back then; I’m not sure how I kept up with it to be honest.  Well, a coworker of mine had recently started doing Crossfit, and I have a Snapchat friend who is a hardcore Crossfit person that snaps like 10 times a day.  So I wanted to try it out.  I found a local Crossfit gym; I think they used to have a Groupon but they got too popular so stopped it, but you should look there if you want to get started.  Quick aside – according to my coworker, there are 2 types of gyms – gyms that have the “workout of the day” posted and everyone does it on their own or the type of gym that you do it together as a group.  The latter is preferred since you have more camaraderie that way.

 

Initial Consult

I emailed them up and scheduled an initial consultation.  They got back to me pretty quickly and we scheduled a day for me to come in.  I asked what to bring and he said just a water bottle is fine.  There were probably about 6-8 people there doing their workout and the part owner gave me my own workout.  We started with a warmup of jump ropes and some stretches.  Then my customized “workout of the day” was to run 200 meters, then do 20 squats, 10 situps, and 5 pushups.  I was supposed to do that nonstop for 4 rounds or until I stopped.  Spoiler alert – I barely finished 3 rounds and just passed out on the floor gasping for air.

Since I was new to Crossfit, I had to join a 3 week introductory program whereby I went 3 days a week – Tues, Thurs, and Saturday for 2 weeks and for the third week, I could join any classes I wanted.  After that, I have the option of paying $150 a month for 3 times a week or $180 for unlimited visits.

 

Current status

I had to wait 2 weeks for the intro program to start.  On that first Tuesday, we did warmups once again and then once again had to run 200 meters, squats, pushups, situps.  Sure enough, I passed out again.  Oh I forgot to mention that after the first class, I was sore for a good 3 days (the worse being the second day.)  After the first class, I was sore once again the very next day.  So sore, I asked the instructor if the soreness ever stops and he said NOPE; you just have to manage it.

On that Thursday, we had to do rowing, some pullups, squats and lunges.  Sure enough, I immediately passed out.  I could barely walk after.  Barely made it up stairs to the shower.  Then passed out in bed for an hour.  At this point, I was considering quitting because it was so brutal.  However by the Saturday class, I had recovered a bit and it was fine.  I then bought some protein powder for the following Tuesday class and as I type this, I’m going into my Thursday class.

I think my issues for the first 3 classes were 1) I was really out of shape and 2) the class was at 6pm and I didn’t snack during the day and had little energy left by 6pm.  I have since remedied both issues.

 

Going forward

In the first class, the instructors said, “You won’t lose weight with Crossfit.  You’ll get stronger, faster, and lose inches.  Losing weight would be a bonus.”  While it’s only been 2 weeks, I’ve noticed my metabolism is better now.  I’ve also stopped snacking on junk food during the day.  I’m consciously watching what I eat.  I’m not going to deprive myself of food (because I believe in moderation and I don’t plan on going ‘hard-core.’  Already, while I haven’t lost any weight, a pair of jeans I usually wear seem to be looser than before.  Of course it could just be water weight I’ve lost so I won’t delude myself.  So far though, I am really loving Crossfit.  I don’t “hate” going to it like I used to for the gym.  I’d reco it if you want to get back in shape.

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  • Albert

    Vinh,

    Totally worth keeping up. I’ve been reading MPD for the past 1.5 years and actually started crossfit around the same time i ran across your site. I can tell you that i’ve never felt better since doing crossfit. I am definitely stronger, feel much healthier than before and have made good relationships and friends with people i’ve met doing WODs with them 5 days a week. It sounds like they are putting you through an “on-ramp” type course before giving you a barbell to throw around on cleans and snatches.

    One word of advice. When you do grab the barbell keep working on technique instead of going heavy. Technique is key into getting to heavier weights. Once technique is down, the heavier weights will come.

    Keep at it!

    -Albert

    • Miles per Day

      Thanks Albert. Right; this was the 2 week on-ramp. Regular classes start this week. I heard you don’t lose weight, but have you lost any weight or have you only seen a drop in inches around waist? How hard do you diet?

  • Ken

    What if you have bad knees, can you still do crossfit or can you modify things? Even basic squats without weights kills my knees so I’ve been trying to ride my bike. Half way through a squat I’d just fall due to the pain. My travel pants are getting tight and I refuse to spend another $100 for a larger pair. I’m not a small guy at 6’1″ 245lbs.

    • Miles per Day

      Not sure Ken. May want to call your local gym. I do know it does a lot of lunges and squats. You can do other exercises to make up for it, but when you start doing weights, you’ll need your knees.