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CrossFit: Back to Work

CrossFit: Back to Work

[ Wed, 2010-05-12 13:22 ]
CrossFit: Back to Work
SKI Mag's blogger, Hillary Rosner, joins a CrossFit gym, which is reputed to be the best—and most brutal—way to get strong fast. It's painful, but the good news is that now Rosner has a backup job...as a brick layer. Or jackhammerer. Or contestant on that reality TV show where they pull trucks of cement. This week she gets back in the gym after a spring of slacking.

April showers bring May flowers… and April gym absences cultivate nothing but muscle loss and lethargy. I learned this firsthand, and now I’m trying to remedy the situation. A hectic travel schedule from mid-March through the beginning of May left me unable to make it to Boulder CrossFit more than once a week. Some weeks I couldn’t make it to the gym at all. As always, I vowed to do some of the traveling workouts designed to be done on the road. But as always, I was too exhausted at the end of a long day.

So now that my travel schedule has calmed down a bit—it’s been nearly a week since I saw the inside of an airport—I’m making crossfit a priority again. Hopefully it won’t take as long to get back in shape as it did to get in shape when I started, almost a year ago. Monday’s workout was a serious reality check: three rounds of 50 doubleunders (two turns of the rope per jump), 21 kettlebell swings (with two hands, over your head), and 12 pull-ups. I tried swinging the 16-kilo kettlebell and quickly realized I’d be paying for it the rest of the week with a backache. So I swallowed my pride and settled for a 12-kilo weight.

I also discovered, one round in, that my doubleunder ability—which was never that great to begin with—had experienced a downward slide since March. So after spending far too long cranking out 50 of them (with about four single jumps in between each, and a whole lot of tripping on the rope), I switched to singleunders—150 of them—for the last two rounds of the workout. With the modifications, I finished the workout fairly quickly, in a little more than 12 minutes. But the sore calves that haunted me through the week were my lasting reminder of why it’s important to stick with a routine.

Two days later, the workout was three sets—21 reps, then 15, then 9—of walking lunges (“one” means one on each leg, so 21 is really 42) carrying a 25-pound weight overhead, followed by dips and then sit-ups. Determined not to wimp out this time, I managed to lunge without crumbling under the weight. And I even did it in a relatively respectable amount of time! Proof, I hope, that getting back into the swing of crossfit won’t be as hard as it was the first time around.

While helping a friend move a couple of weeks ago—in the thick of my gym delinquency—I carried a desk from the house to her car without even breaking a sweat. When she subsequently carried it from the car to her new house, it was clearly a struggle. As the chronic weakling, the one never able to haul furniture without a hand, I was happy to see that my workouts—even in their woefully pared down schedule—were still making a difference. And my friend just might be coming along to give Boulder CrossFit a try next week.