For about the past 4 months I have been trying my hand at Crossfit. I had only heard about it hundreds of times and honestly had no idea what it was. But then I noticed more and more people coming into the store looking for more minimalistic style shoes for their crossfit classes. Lots of Nike Frees, InoV8′s, and NB Minimuses going out the door for crossfit. So I finally caved and decided to look into it. I started asking people where they went and I heard the name Titan Crossfit over and over. One of the customers gave me the owners card so I contacted him, explained I was a runner who used to love strength training (until I found running) and was interested in getting back into a strength routine and wanted to find out what Crossfit was all about. The owner, Nick, emailed me back immediately telling me to come on in and give it a shot (he always invited our other employees to come try their hand at it). So we committed to a day and time and back in July, me and two coworkers went in, all but blind, for what was in store.
I’d be lying if I said we didn’t go in with a bit of the “Hey, I can run a marathon, how hard can this be?” mentality. I knew it would be challenging but didn’t know what to expect really but felt fairly confident going on. And then the warm up happened. I was tired after the warm up. Then the work out happened. I was AMAZED how utterly SPENT I was after a 12 minute workout. And then came a little thing called a tabata workout for “dessert”. Let me just say that after those kettle bells swings, wall balls, ring rows, air squats and single unders (jump roping) I had a whole new respect for what can be accomplished in a 12 minute workout. I was literally shaking the rest of the day and the next morning when I woke up, I could barely reach high enough to brush my air. Obviously I was hooked.
So since then I’ve been going at least once a week but with a goal of getting there 2-3 times (I’d love to go more but time doesn’t always allow it) and am LOVING it. The only complaints I have heard about crossfit is that its too focused on speed and not enough focus on form thus leading to injuries. Well obviously I can’t speak for all boxes but at Titan, that couldn’t be more untrue. Yes, there are definitely workouts designed to be done “for time” (effectively doing the workout in the shortest amount of time possible) but every workout I’ve been too has looked like this.
- Come in, catch up with people real quick, and get yourself ready for the workout
- Coach makes any announcements about any past, future of current workouts or events going on
- Warm Up: Coach goes over the movements in the warmup and every does their warmup and stretches
- After the warmup, everyone comes back together to look at the day’s WOD. The coach goes through EVERY movement regardless of whether the people are veterans or new. Of course they don’t need to go into extreme depth if everyone in the class has has plenty of practice with the prescribed exercises but at the very least, everyone does a couple of reps of the movements and the coach makes any pointers and gives any tips they see fit.
- Set up: Everyone sets up their spot with whatever they may need for that WOD
- Countdown: Clock is set with the 10 second count down. 3-2-1, Go
- WOD: everyone does the prescribed workout in their own time. Coach makes any corrections needed. Everyone is encouraged to do the WOD as fast as they can WITH PROPER FORM and EFFECTIVELY but it is entirely subjective to your own abilities and pace.
- Record scores on the white board
- Dessert Workout: When the WOD is a shorter one, there is usually a “dessert” workout. Its typically a short (5 or so minutes) mini workout incorporating a movement not used int he WOD.
I’ve honestly never felt like I’ve gone into a WOD unprepared. Believe me, pretty much all these movements were 100% new to me but it has always been clearly and nicely explained to me and anyone else who needs a bit of extra guidance. Even when I’m in a class with very advanced people, I’ve never been made to feel like the “newbie” or embarrassed to ask anything or to ask for something to be explained in more depth. All the coaches I’ve worked with have been more than willing to explain everything step by step. The coaches are also really great at encouraging you to push your limits without making you feel intimidated or asking you to do anything that would be potentially dangerous. They will encourage you to try a heavier weight but also acknowledge everyone’s current fitness level and ability. Basically, I always feel like I’m being pushed but have never felt like I was asked to do something beyond my capabilities.
Another thing worth noting- the environment. Again, I can obviously only speak from my personal experience at Titan, but I have encountered nothing but supportive, energetic, encouraging people. Everyone supports each other. The first few times I went, I was amazed that every single person in the class introduced themselves to me. After every WOD, people are always going around high fiving each other and throwing out the “great jobs!” to everyone, whether you know each other or not. On most occasions, everyone sticks around until every other person is finished to support them through. I have never felt like I didn’t belong or that I was unwelcome or “not as good” as anyone else. Also, there is every shape in size in there and I LOVE that. Oh and plus, the coaches refer to every participant as an “athlete” (ie. ”the athletes at the 4:30 class did this”, or “yesterday’s athletes crushed it!”) which makes you feel just a bit more badass ; )
So for the past 4 months, I have had permanent bruises on my knees (hello burpees), and welts on my shins (jump roping is no joke. I’m finally starting to get the double unders down!), and I’m still terrified of box jumps but I’m loving it. Love the workouts, love the people, love the environment. If you are someone who has heard about the crossfit craze over and over but haven’t taken the leap to try it out, consider it! Many boxes will offer a free week or so to give it a go. No harm in that right?