Gettin’ Fit with CrossFit

Have you guys heard about Crossfit? I posted about it in my last blog and prior to this weekend, I thought it was a place where only the super athletic went to lift humvees, jump on giant boxes and discuss the newest trends in eating like a cave man. (Remember when I tried the Paleo diet? That didn’t work out so well for me, but then again, neither did anything and know we now it was my craycray hormones. Yay for lab tests!) However, FitBloggin’ did me a solid in that I finally mustered up the courage to try crossfit as I knew I’d be surrounded by crossfit pals like Steve, Alan, Martinus, Erin and Dre. I’m not gonna lie, I was slightly terrified about joining the crossfit cult, but I made it through my hazing and I may now officially be a crossfitter.

Nervous and excited for my first crossfit! Photo by Dre at MissionMeltdown.com

Nervous and excited for my first crossfit! Photo by Dre at MissionMeltdown.com

What happened in CrossFit surprised me, because we only did about 15 minutes of actual exercise with the warm up and actual workout. I know, weird, right?! We started off learning a little bit about how crossfit works from friendly Reebok Crossfit coaches. Crossfit is defined as constantly varied functional movement performed at a high intensity, which means that every time you see the acronym WOD it means workout of the day, and it will always be different. We started warming up with jumping jacks, and then we learned the various types of moves we’d be doing – sit ups, push ups and AIR SQUATS. Now, I can drop it like a squat with the best of ’em, ‘cuz having a big old ghetto booty works well for squat-pros like me. However, I had never done an air squat, and that’s basically where instead of squatting down half way, you kind of drop your butt cheeks all the way to the floor and squat way, way down, using your arms to propel you. HOLY QUADS. I must never work my quads because everytime I sat on the toilet after the class (TMI, but that’s how I roll), I wanted to immediately stand back up. Burning, burning quads! Thank you air squats for awakening muscles that have been sleeping for years.

Steve demonstrating a perfect air squat with Alyssa following behind. Photo thanks to Dre at MissionMeltdown.com

Steve demonstrating a perfect air squat with Alyssa following behind. Photo thanks to Dre at MissionMeltdown.com

After we learned the moves, we were ready for our WOD – just four minutes of 9 push ups, 7 sit ups and 5 squats. You basically go as fast as you can while focusing on form. I was feeling pretty good because despite my lack of weight loss, I can definitely feel that I’m more physically fit. I think I made it through about five full sets by the time our coach blew the whistle, and by then I had worked up a pretty killer sweat. I stood up, knees shaking, ready for the next part of the workout… and then the coach announced we were done. Whaaaat? The workout was high intensity which was great, but I’m not so sure a 4-minute workout is going to cut it for me. According to my polar I burned about 76 calories, which is great for four minutes, but not great considering my usual boxing or bootcamp torches between 450 to 600 on a good day. I’m trying to keep in mind that this was just an example class so it’s probably unlikely to always be only a four minute workout, but at the same time, cool – crossfit might be great for busier days when you don’t have a full hour to devote to working out.  I know Alan and I were both like “Four minutes?! I wanted more!” Change is possible, folks — the girl who dreaded parking at the edge of the grocery store lot is asking for more cardio. Amazing!

My four minute taste was enough to get me intrigued, so in a few weeks, I’m going to check out Golden State Crossfit with my local fitbloggin’ friend Paula. She lives only 15 minutes away from me! Until then, tell me — what have you heard about crossfit? Would you try it? If you have tried it, do you like it?

 

 

Wacky Workouts: Kickball, Trampolines, Circus School, Crossfit and Roller Derby

One of the hardest things I had to overcome when embarking on this whole “getting fit” thing was learning that exercise did not need to be torture. Sure, it’s work. I’m not so sure I’ll ever be one of those people that bounds out of bed early in the morning, giddy at the thought of putting on a uni-boob-inducing sports bra and working up a nice, healthy sweat. However, I have learned that with a little patience and a little exploration, exercise can actually be FUN! I know, shocking, right?! Here’s a few wacky workouts that have caught my eye the past couple of months.

1) Kickball. One of my coworkers is a member of an award-winning kickball team called the Sofa Kings. Is that not bad ass? Imagine burning calories from something you used to do as a child. Awesome, right?

Image from Kickball.com

2) Crossfit. Crossfit has been sweeping the nation, and until I tried it this weekend, I was mildly terrified at the thought of pushing humvees, jumping on giant boxes and following a strict paleo-only diet. However, after a great and intense workout that was only FOUR MINUTES LONG (yes, you read that right – CrossFit is more about the intensity than the duration), I’m going to check out a Crossfit place near me.

woman-crossfit-torrance

Image from InspiredFitStrong.com

3) Roller Derby. When I saw the Derby Dolls Skate-Off in Los Angeles, I was instantly smitten. These chicks are BAD ASS. Tattooed, tough and totally gorgeus, there were all shapes and sizes rolling around the rink, thrashing each other with their arms and elbows. It looked like one hell of a workout, and one day when I’m brave enough, I’ll put on my quads and give it a go. They even get awesome names like “Laguna Beyatch” and “Betty Blowtorch.” I wonder what my name would be… Lecherous Lyssard? Lyssa Pissa? Haha!

Image from LATbirds.net

4. Jumpsport. Trampolines aren’t just for kiddos anymore. As I saw at FitBloggin’ this weekend, bouncing, jumping, twisting and twirling can give you one heck of a workout, because the spring in your step totally challenges your balance and core. Places are popping up all over the country that offer giant, padded trampoline rooms where you can boing and boing to your heart’s content. I’ve been meaning to check one out with a friend. Sign me up!

Image from LetsMoveItMommas.Blogspot.com

5) Circus School! Kids these days can threaten to run away to the circus and actually DO IT. Fun fact: My mom was in circus camp in high school! Anyhoo, Cirque School in Los Angeles teaches people to work out on aerial bands and ‘introduces students to a combination of aerial and Pilates exercises on the trapeze, fabric and rope.  Students follow a circuit of exercises to increase strength in their core and upper body creating a solid foundation for our Aerial Tricks classes.’ Because this one is local to me, I DEFINITELY need to try this. I’m always in awe of the incredible Cirque-du-soleil style performances I see, and I can’t imagine the strength it must take to dangle your body on an elastic rope and not freak the eff out. I love their motto – for any body with any body.

Image from CirqueSchoolLA.com

So there you have it – five totally wacky and weird workouts that challenge the idea of calorie burning needing to be torturous. Which one would you try first? I think Cirque School or Bounce Camp is calling my name!