You've probably heard people talking about CrossFit, but what is it? According to Wikipedia, CrossFit workouts incorporate elements from high-intensity interval training, Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, powerlifting, gymnastics, girevoy sport, calisthenics, strongman, and other exercises. Athletes aim to complete high intensity daily workouts (otherwise known as a "WODs" or "workouts of the day". This sounds intimidating, but after a few months thinking about it, I finally decided that this January would be a perfect time to complete the introductory Crossfit sessions. I chose Edmonton Crossfit's St. Albert location, as I have a good friend that coaches there.
My goals after these sessions are to learn some new Crossfit workouts and incorporate at least one Crossfit session into my weekly workout regime.
The introductory, or intro classes were explained to me as six one hour classes, held over the course of a two week period at 8pm on subsequent Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. The classes are coached by a certified Crossfit instructor, and we are coached on form, movement, technique, and proper alignment. But I secretly wonder, how am I really going to learn how to do Crossfit in only six sessions?
During my first intro class, we are introduced the other students, or athletes as they refer to us on the white board. My class consists of three women and two men, and our coaches were also women. So good odds so far. Generally, in my experience, gym culture, especially the weight area, is dominated by men, and can be a bit intimidating. But this space felt really welcoming.
Over the next six classes, we are coached through skills including skipping, dead lifts, and body rows. We are taught about the importance of stretching and warming up. We are introduced to WOD's, and a whole slew of other acronyms like AMWRAP, as many reps as possible, and DU's, double unders with a skipping rope. It's akin to learning a new language, and so far, I was loving every minute of it.
The coaches made a big effort to make us all feel welcome, and specifically brought in an alumni athlete to some into classes so that in future classes, we could at least know one person during training. That was a really thoughtful step in the process, and it felt like they went the extra mile to make us all feel less intimidated.
Each workout presented in class is completely different from the previous workout. The workout is written out on the white board, and proper warm up of the muscle groups that will be targeted is completed. The exercises to be performed in class are reviewed and practiced. So, if you crave variation and challenge in your fitness, then this is the place for you.
I, for one, am loving the diversity of workouts and the comradery of group training that Crossfit offers. If you've been thinking of trying it, I encourage you to take the intro classes. Come learn a new language, improve your skills and techniques, and challenge yourself in 2016.
By Christina Herbers
Check out Edmonton Crossfit at http://crossfitedmonton.ca/home/