Sunday, September 28, 2008
So I started a new work out called crossfit. It's a thing, as in not just my new gym does it, but people crossfit throughout the US. I guess you might describe it as a very dynamic form of weight lifting. You lift heavy weights - in the form of dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells - but you do it quickly and you use your body to do it. So, for example, if you want to get weights from shoulder height to fully extended arms, you bend at the hips and use the energy from straighting your hips to help push the weights up. If you're swinging a kettlebell, you don't use your arms to push the weight, instead you use your body, bending your legs and your hips to move the weight. Instead of just lifting, you lift very quickly engaging your entire body and it ends up being a cardio vascular work out as well as just a weight workout.
I have lifted weights since I was 18. If anyone is counting, that's a very long time. I am strong. I did 36 pull ups on friday. I think if you break atheticism down to three components - speed, strength and flexibility, I will always get the strength easily but have to struggle for the other two. But, I have always lifted weights, done pullups, push ups, and dips, very deliberately.
Sometimes I'll do lots of reps quickly with light weights, but usually I try to lift heavier weights slowly, focusing the full range of motion. Also, with most weight lifting I have done, you use specific body parts for each exercise, not using your legs or core to help lift.
Crossfit is different. Many of the workouts we do are timed, so you're trying to do things quickly Also, the emphasis is more on using your entire body (mostly core) to help you lift so you can do more, more quickly. So it's essentially learning an entirely new work out. Things that seem like they should be pretty easy, are suddenly really hard when you've done three sets of rowing, combined with quick dips, combined with throwing a medicine ball up a wall. Oh and crossfit requires lots of squatting. I can't squat.
So it's fun and it's very hard. I'm learning something new. And I have a few goals for the year. First, I want to try to climb a rope up to the ceiling (20 feet). I have no idea if I can do this now or not, but I want to try. Secondly, there is this thing they do (it has a name but I don't know it), you do a pull up on rings, then you get your body up and over your hands and push yourself up so your arms are straight. This I know I can't do at the moment. Dave, my trainer, said he's not sure any women in the gym can do that. That's goal number two. The third is to do a hand stand with no wall. I've been trying this for years in yoga and can't do it for more than a couple seconds.
So now I've written down my goals. We can touch base in 6 months and see how they're going.