As the dark days of winter slowly, slowly make their way back to the dark hell they came from and spring grows warm enough to melt the death inducing ice in my driveway, Brian and I have to decided to pry our backsides from comfortable depths of our LoveSac sofa and siren’s call of the Netflix account and get back in shape.
Living in DC, this was much easier. All we had to do was hop on the bikes and pedal two miles to the local gym a few times a week. Here in Princeton, the urban jungle is not quite so forgiving. Workout spaces are few and far between with membership prices that would shock you.
Ironically on the way home from a chocolate factory tour, we stopped at a “box” on the side of the road that turned out to be the local CrossFit studio. Lo and behold, the trainers had space in their introduction class the following week. Never one to turn down anything free, I signed us both up on the spot.
Now folks, I admit I was a big chicken about this. It’s intimidating. I’d seen the pictures, read a few blog posts from my friend Ericka and was skeptical about whether I could make it through an hour of box jumps and pull ups without dying. But Brian and I dutifully showed up to the VERY crowded CrossFit Hamilton box at 7pm to see what we’d gotten ourselves into.
Turns out intro classes only last about 30 minutes and don’t require ANY weights or crazy parkour like techniques. Joey, our instructor for the evening, started the class with a “run” that was really more of a speed walk around the block while asking all five of us about our fitness goals. Returning to the box, Joey walked us through a familiar and painless set of stretching and warm up exercises that had Brian and I wondering if maybe we hadn’t joined the toddler class by accident.
That’s where things got fun. Joey walked us through three basic exercise movements that Brian and I could easily do in our sleep. Squats, burpees, and sit ups are not that challenging, people. That is until Joey pulled out the whiteboard. The goal, he explained, was to put all these exercises together as a round, then do as many rounds as we could in six minutes. No problem, I thought. 6 burpees, 8 squats, and 10 sit ups? I got this.
Then he started the clock.
Guys, when the timer finally went off, I was done. Brian and I had tied with four rounds each and even though we weren’t that sweaty, we felt every muscle in our bodies resisting the sprint we’d just put them through. I felt good! I felt strong! I felt like throwing up. Joey graciously released us to get water and remember how to walk then pulled us all back to cool down and explain the CrossFit philosophy.
The goal, he said, is to do these types of quick rounds throughout the week incorporating different exercises to allow for muscle confusion. Over time, you do more rounds in the same amount of time, building endurance and burning more calories/ fat. CrossFit trainers will teach you the exercises and coach you through the rounds, all at the low, low price of $250 a month!
Needless to say, Brian and I really enjoyed our first and last CrossFit class. A quick YouTube hunt confirmed that the cost of membership just isn’t worth our monthly grocery budget. The results of CrossFit are hard to shake a stick at, but if you’re willing to pay with some serious discipline, the ROI can be just as good. While I don’t think I’ll be doing any ring pull ups or Olympic level weight lifting in the near future, we do have a heavy bag on the way and run planned for later this evening. It’s enough to get us started.