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CrossFit: Testing the Effects

CrossFit: Testing the Effects

SKI Mag sends a blogger, Hillary Rosner, to do our dirty work: Get in ski shape. She joins a CrossFit gym, which is reputed to be the best—and most brutal—way to get strong fast. It's painful, but ...
By Hillary Rosner
posted: 02/17/2010
CrossFit: How Fit is Fit Enough?

I finally made it onto the slopes. On a perfect blue-sky day—the sort that makes you feel smug about living in Colorado—I disembarked from the Colorado SuperChair at Breckenridge with my husband and brother-in-law and took my first ski run of the year. I knew what to expect. On my first day out each winter, I invariably feel like I’ve forgotten how to ski. What are these strange awkward planks on my feet? How do I turn? Why are my legs shaking? I wasn’t going to let these things get me down, though. I was just going to take it slow in the sunshine. 

And then something strange happened. I pointed my skis downhill, and it was as if I’d been at it all season. My knees bent just the right amount each turn; I was completely in control. I cruised to the bottom of the run, boarded the chairlift again, waited for the throbbing knees or burning quads, and felt…nothing. Nothing but the sun on my face.  

I felt great all day—as we toured through the pines on soft snow, navigated steep chutes with some icy patches, and clocked a few hairy seconds avoiding hard-to-spot rocks that stuck through thin cover. At the end of the day, I was exhausted. But my muscles barely ached. And the next morning, I was amazed to find that not a single body part hurt. (The only pain was of the psychological kind, caused by returning to my office.) I’d planned to give myself a day to rest before returning to CrossFit. But instead I was fired up for the workout. 

So I’ve answered two of my own questions: Will CrossFit help my skiing? And how fit is fit enough? To the first, the answer is an unequivocal yes! Even though we haven’t done jumping lunges in about a month, I’m stronger and fitter than ever before—and that makes me a better, more confident skier. Next up this season, learning to ski moguls. As for the second question, for the moment I care much less about where I land on the list each day at Boulder CrossFit. Ask me again in a week, but right now I only have to work hard enough to feel good about my own effort. And remember to take a snow day again soon.

reviews of CrossFit: Testing the Effects
So for $1800/year, $1050/6-month or $225/month (Flatirons Crossfit costs), anyone can enjoy "muscles barely ached" skiing by joining a Crossfit club? Sounds like an epic deal! What about joining a normal gym ($20/month) and then researching skiing-specific exercises to perform - total cost, less than $250/year. There's enough money remaining to buy a season pass and an entire ski equipment package. Now which sounds like the better bargain?!? Come ski 40,000 vertical and see if your "muscles barely ached." My word, how did anyone become ski-ready before Crossfit????
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