I was instantly keen to take it up. I've wanted to step up my training for months, as when you are working out on your own, it is so hard to stay motivated. I have no problem with commitment, it's just my effort levels which were seriously lagging, to the extent that in some of my recent work outs, I was barely even breaking a sweat, which is just a total waste of time. I also really wanted a personal trainer. I lift weights a lot, and although I research proper form on the internet, actually utilising that information into various exercises is very hard without anyone correcting you. I know Crossfit gets a lot of criticism as people think that Crossfitters form is awful and that they are putting themselves at risk of injury, but my experience so far has actually been the total opposite. I suppose it may depend on which box you go to though. As I am at University in Leeds, I'm going to the one in Leeds, which is excellent.
Having researched Crossfit, I decided that if I wanted to take it up, my best option was to do so in Leeds. I went to a taster session last semester, and I knew that I wanted to start ASAP, so I convinced my parents to pay for my sessions as a 19th birthday present. I want to be challenged to the extent that I was at bootcamp again, drastically improve my fitness (which is admittedly not great right now), and make some major progress towards my goals. I'm disappointed with myself, as since last summer I have really let all of the amazing progress I made go, and now I am desperate to get my body back to where it was. I've actually gained 1.5 stone since I was weighed after finishing bootcamp, which I'm pretty embarrassed about and need to properly commit to losing. I've never cared what I weigh, and I also never weigh myself. But I was curious over Christmas what my current weight was, and then after looking up my weight post-bootcamp, I was pretty shocked. However, my weight after bootcamp isn't really sustainable, realistically. I was working out 8 hours a day at that time and only consuming 1,200 calories. My body actually reaped the benefits of it for at least 2 months afterwards, which was pretty great. So I wanted to find some kind of bootcamp style training which I could do, to get me back into that kind of shape. Anyway, Crossfit is my first major step to reversing this weight gain and getting my body back to a place in which I will be happy with it again!
After the taster session, you have to have a course of 4 hour one-on-one PT sessions (called fundamentals) before you can start the actual sessions. This is to ensure that you have proper form when doing all of the exercises. Here is a recap of my first two sessions, and I will continue to record them on this blog as I go!
Row to warm up
Learnt how to do pull up variations including:
- Standing on a box jumping up so chin above bar
- Regular pull up
- Pull up with band in between one foot (an assisted pull up, basically)
- Holding onto the TRX straps and leaning back then pulling up.
Push up variations (making sure to keep elbows in!):
- With hands on box and feet on the floor.
- Regular push ups
- And the easiest, with your knees on the floor.
We also did a few different AB exercises
- Hanging leg raises - toe to bar (I could actually do this!)
- Single leg raises
- Double leg raise
- Regular crunch, with a pad on your lower back.
We also did regular lunges and squats, before trying barbell front and back squats.
My form needed more correcting with the squats than I was expecting. Here are the tips I can remember: Keep your head and chest up, and back straight with a slight arch. Have your toes slightly pointing out, and your feet about shoulder-width apart. To correct my posture we did squats where I put my hand up against the wall and then kept them there whilst doing a squat, then I stepped away from the wall and tried to maintain the position.
We then did a final work out at the end. He said that these would get progressively harder to prepare me for the actual classes.
15 air squats
5 push ups on box
10 jumping pull ups on box
Bike to warm up.
The first thing I did was learning how to do deadlifts properly. Obviously I had done these before in the gym, but not with proper form, as I was soon to discover.
I had to keep the bar on my shins, lift up my back and shoulders at the same time, bend knees, and face forward looking up. I got the hang of this pretty quickly and worked up to 40 kilos, which I know isn't much but it's more than I'd ever lifted on deadlifts before.
The PT then also taught me how to do - hang squat clean, power clean, push jerk, push press and thruster, split jerk, all of which I'd always wanted to try but had never known how to attempt before. I found doing a thruster the most challenging.
We then finished with a work out, which was a step up from the one I did in the previous session.
20x skip rope
8 lunges with 5kg plate overhead
It was pretty hard! But I can't wait to continue with the sessions and see what it brings. For anyone wanting to try out Crossfit but worried that it's unsafe, I would 100% say you should just go for it, as if you go to a decent box with good PT's and listen carefully to what they tell you to do, you won't be at risk of injury.