My First Time: Crossfit
Posted on April 26, 2016 by michelletherunner
Disclosure: I was given access to a free class to check out the new Crossfit YKV facility. The class was free but I was not paid to write this post.
I have NEVER ever tried cross fit EVER! I’ve always taken a more conservative approach to weight training myself. I’m a long distance runner (turned track runner sometimes) and I love running more than zombie walking after “leg day”. When I was offered the chance to try out the Crossfit YKV gym I was reluctant. I kept picturing myself in a dark, garage like gym listening to a room full of people grunting.
To my surprise, Crossfit YKV was not your usual crossfit faciitly. It was bright, clean and totally high tech. I was shown the change room and I was happy to see that I didn’t have to bring my own lock (which I always forget!) The lockers have built in locks that you program yourself. The class was about to start and the class instructor Blair was amazing. He started every section of the class with a full explanation on both form and progression.
The first set of exercises we had to do was a skipping warm up. This was just to get the heart rate up a bit and warm up the muscles. It was quickly becoming apparent I’m more graceful as a runner. We then moved on to squats. The deal was, we had to do three full weighted squats to overhead shoulder press in 1 minute, which included the rest. I know my squat form is really bad, so I asked Blair for some extra help to make sure I was doing it correctly. With his tips and a few adjustments I was doing squats like a boss.
The next set of exercises was burpees, progressing to burpee shoulder presses and then burpees to box jumps. I hate burpees, and to be honest I only hate them because I’ve never been shown how to properly do them. Once again, I called Blair over and asked him to PLEASE help me help myself. This guy is a pro trainer for sure. He showed me exactly what I was doing wrong and how do it the right way. What a difference it makes. Every time I’ve attempted burpees on my own, I looked ridiculous and I hurt in places you shouldn’t hurt. I was able to get through the three sets of burpees.
What I liked the most about this gym is, even though you’re in a class, it’s really how much you have to give that day. The sets are timed, including the rest so you can go slow and work on form or go fast and get more reps in. Everyone was really friendly and helpful if I forgot what I was supposed to do next. Everyone worked at their own level, some beginners and some really advanced. There was no pressure whatsoever to work beyond my own ability. For me, it was just the right amount of discomfort. I had a really good workout and even got to try some extra advanced things like, rope climbing, wall climbing and the gymnastic rings.
I was impressed how much this experience changed my view of crossfit as a way to develop as an athlete. I’ve watched other crossfit classes so I’m not going to broad stroke and highly recommend everyone to run out and join a crossfit gym. The biggest complaints I hear in the fitness industry is the lack of attention people get in crossfit gyms and the amount of injuries that happen as a result. When lifting weights, especially free weights, form is the most important and if you don’t have a strong foundation to begin with then you will only strengthen your bad form. Having a great class leader that will help you work through your form is an important feature to me. I love running, crossfit or anything else, is just a tool to keep me doing what I love for longer. If you live in Toronto and can check out Crossfit YKV, I HIGHLY recommend you take one of Blair’s classes. Once you try it you’ll see what I mean.
Check back to the Crossfit YKV often and check out their WOD for ideas, tips and tricks.