Snatches. Clean and Jerks. What the F*ck? No, this isn’t some erotic exercise review but my immersion into the CrossFit lifestyle. Many of you are probably scoffing at this thought, thinking of that one friend that always talks about this “cult-like” workout or naming all the terrible things you have heard about this new exercise “craze.” To be honest, I may have once been one of those people. I grew up playing sports and training consisted of strength and conditioning coaches giving you exercises passed down to them from their coaches. Add to that, I have worked the past 8 years in the sports nutrition industry and you can understand my hesitance of trying something outside of “bodybuilding” workout protocols made famous by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
I heard of CrossFit in 2009 while living in Las Vegas. A colleague’s friend was opening up a gym (box or affiliate, as it’s known in CrossFit) and I decided to try it out for a week of workouts. At the time, I thought it was a neat idea but did not fall in love with it. Fast forward a few years, I again was thrown in front of CrossFit by my employer MusclePharm. In 2012, they decided to expo at the CrossFit Regionals and Games sites. I saw firsthand what this “sport of fitness” was about and I started to get the desire to try. It looked like something that was not intimidating to me and I foolishly thought I could beat those guys (and girls) at all their workouts. For the next two years, I added a CrossFit Workout of the Day (WOD) into my fitness regimen to mix things up.
When I first started writing gym reviews for 303 Magazine, I focused on unique local businesses that could provide readers with alternatives to globo-gyms. I intentionally turned a blind eye to CrossFit boxes because I knew it would be a challenge to represent their culture in a week of workouts. After a year of these reviews, I decided to approach a Crossfit box about the potential partnership to be the newbie voice of the culture that maybe didn’t always have the rosiest view of the fitness craze.
CrossFit Verve (on the corner of 33rd and Walnut Ave.) stepped up to prove that any misconceptions or ill thoughts I had about the CrossFit community would be a distant thought after 6 months.
First off, what is Crossfit? Founder Greg Glassman defines it as “a regimen of constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity in a communal environment that leads to health and fitness.” This might sound daunting to a new person into fitness or someone just new to Crossfit, but to help with this change in fitness theory, Crossfit Verve requires all their new members to go through a “Foundations Course” regardless of their fitness background. These six 75-minute courses go over the theory, introduce and refine technique, and discuss range of motion requirements for the array of movements in Crossfit. At the end of each class, they put you through a mini-WOD that reinforces the teachings of the day and benchmarks your ability.
How did someone that considers himself in relatively great shape do in these Foundation Courses?
Stay tuned for next week’s article…