So. Many. Acronyms.
No, seriously. Everything (at least that’s what it felt like) was written in acronyms.
It started with the workout, which was posted publicly on a whiteboard in the middle of the gym. “WOD” was scribbled proudly across the top of the board, warning all those who entered of the torture that was to come.
Relax, I was kidding about the torture part. I actually really enjoyed my first workout in the Crossfit box (aka-gym) that I joined. Once I could actually decipher the strange foreign language that was posted on the whiteboard, I was pretty excited about the workout. It involved deadlifts, box jumps, biking, and this strange gymnastics maneuver “T2B” (translation- toes to bar). The workout completely whooped my butt! I was exhausted (in the best way possible) when I finished. But I was also pretty dang proud that I could get through the workout without “scaling” (aka-modifying the workout to make it easier).
That was the ONLY workout I would be able to do without scaling. I was so sore the next day, sitting down on the toilet to pee was a struggle…not kidding. The experience was humbling, to say the least. I opted to go for a jog the next day, instead of workout again. The run definitely loosened up my legs enough to get a good stretch in (and start to feel human again).
Workout #2 and #3 were somehow even more challenging than the first one! I had to scale these workouts for one major reason- I did not have the “skills” developed enough to do them in higher reps. In workout #2, I’m a little embarrassed to say that I hadn’t perfected double-unders (getting the jump rope all the way around 2x in one jump). In order to complete the workout, you needed to be able to do 30 double-unders without stopping or messing up.
Workout #3 was the most skill-demanding of all the workouts I’ve done. Once again, I had to scale down- this particular workout required handstand pushups, and I wasn’t particularly interested in testing out my upper body strength at the risk of falling on my head. My coach suggested I modify the workout with pike push-ups. The workout still kicked my ass, so I can’t imagine how much more difficult it would have been if I was doing 30 handstand push-ups instead.
I had originally planned to do at least 4 workouts a week, but I decided to settle for three the first week. After going so long without lifting, my body was super sore from every workout. Rather than pushing myself to the limit, I decided to listen to my body and take the extra day to do light cardio, stretching, and ALL the foam rolling.
This week, I learned A LOT of things. But here are my biggest ones:
- The terminology/acronyms get easier. If you see it once, you’ll probably remember it. There always seem to be a handful of them at each workout, but they are committed to memory easily, because they actually make sense.
- Almost EVERYONE scales workouts. This is nothing to be ashamed of- there are lots of skills that require lots and lots of practice to execute safely, and in the number of repetitions required during the workouts. You are much better scaling the workouts to build up strength, then safely transitioning into the full skill.
- Foam rolling will save your life. I’m only being a little dramatic here. Foam rolling after workouts was huge for helping my body recover. I haven’t lifted regularly in quite some time, so jumping into 3 aggressive lifts really shocked my body. The best thing I have done to keep my muscles happy, is paying attention to my recovery! For me personally, that has meant doing proper cool-downs, stretching, and foam rolling.
Overall, I really enjoyed this first week. I have a newfound respect for the strength and skill of people who regularly do crossfit. Don’t expect to be a fit person, walk in off the street, and beat regular crossfitters at their own game. Like any other sport, conditioning and strength are only part of the game. Crossfitters have not only developed strength and endurance from their workouts, but also acquired an interesting set of athletic skill as well. Going into next week, I hope to start working on some of them myself. My goal is to get a handle on double-unders and kipping!
If you have any tips/advice, feel free to share!
Until next time,