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Crossfit Week 1 - The Best Parts of Gym Class

Washington Park Chiropractic is the only practice in Denver, Colorado specializing in Sports Chiropractic, Prenatal Chiropractic and Pediatric Chiropractic. Our Wash Park Doctors are expert certified and trained in Sports, Pediatrics and Prenatal Care including massage, acupuncture, Webster Technique, Graston Technique, Laser, K-Laser, Kinesiology Tape, RockTape and NormatecLisa Goodman, DC, CCSP, CACCP

So, I cannot stop doing handstands. Partly because they are fun, and partly because I’m really, really terrible at them. But that may be because I haven’t done one in about 20 years. Like my title says, one week in, Crossfit is essentially like the best parts of gym class. Remember back to the rope climb, playing with the rings, doing gymnastics? Those parts I imagine are what keep many Crossfitters coming back for more. As I mentioned in my first post, most Crossfit gyms have a ‘fundamentals’ class where they go over all of their core movements and lifts. There are about 7 lifts that Crossfit Wash Park incorporates into their workouts, we’ll get into more of those later. Even though I started a little ahead of schedule, I will still be attending the January 9th, Fundamentals class at 9 am in the Wash Park neighborhood of Denver, Colorado. Please join me if you want an intro to the gym and the sport!

In a word, my first week as a Crossfitter has been - fun. Really really fun. On my first day I got to do a move called a ‘wall climb’ which is basically going from a pushup position, to a handstand by walking your feet up a wall and on my third day, we did strict handstands (with the help of a wall) which are much harder than they look! As a college rower, I have been excited for and dreading the rowing machine (erg) and for better or worse, I got initiated on the erg on day 1. I’ll be honest, I went out too hard. I set a pace that was not easy to keep up. I did 250m, 8 times at a pace of 1:56/500m. That might even be the fastest I ever did 500m at the University of Miami. It didn’t kill me, but my lower back was sore for a day after and my lungs felt it for a few days. However, thinking back to my initial conversation with Ethan, he stressed that if you aren’t uncomfortable, you aren’t making progress. So perhaps I pushed it just hard enough.

I finished day 1 without any olympic lifts. As much as I was nervous to get on a rower again, I was more nervous to do my first lifts with that huge, heavy, metal bar (not to mention adding any weight to it!) Well, on day 2, which for me was 5 days after I started, I got to do the Snatch. This is a complex, full body move where the bar starts on the floor and ends up over your head. One of the most technically challenging lifts of the lot. Ethan was debating letting me do it on day 2, but after a few practice reps with a 35lb bar (yep, they have some lighter ones to get the technique down), he let me add some plates for the WOD reps.

Backing up for a minute what exactly is a WOD? Workout of the Day. It seems to consist of 3+ activities and is done either for time or reps. During a typical workout at Crossfit Wash Park the hour will consist of warm-up, strength session followed by the WOD. During the strength session, athletes get to build up to a PR or just do some heavy weights at low reps for 15-20 minutes. During the Strength part of the class, I was introduced to a Back Squat. Literally, introduced step-by-step with just a bar and a medicine ball to aim for. My squat technique needs work - who knew!? Knees wider!! The WOD typically consists of a lift (in my case Snatch), a gymnastics move (see, the best parts of gym class!) and a cardio move (ie. assault bike, wall balls, jump roping, sprints, etc). Nearing the end of week one - which for me was three classes - I again showed up for a Saturday workout. One of the coaches, Lauren (who I have seen at all three workouts, I think she is there a lot!) jokingly mentioned that I’d be disappointed there are no heavy lifts on Saturdays. She was kind of right, I really look forward to the next lifting days. However, as an uber-competitive person who has never done lifts before, I am also just fine taking it really slowly. That is one really cool thing about Crossfit Wash park (and I imagine other Boxes) there are always other coaches around, so far Lauren and Matt have been super helpful at offering encouragement and technique tips.

For all of the negative hype I have heard about Crossfit, I don’t see any evidence of it here. I am sore - nothing an ice pack, and adjustment, or a NormaTec session can’t take care of. My ego is bruised - I am nowhere near the level of most of these athletes I am working out next to. Thus far those are the only two side-effects of my first week of Crossfit. The first, being sore, I’m sure will improve with more strength, conditioning and mobility. The second, bruised ego, should give me some nice fuel for motivation! It seems as though some people love the strength moves, and others love the gymnastics. I’m not too sure how many people would vote for the rowing or assault bike as their favorite though! I’m pretty sure that the strength moves will have me coming back for more.

Next week: Monday,Thursday and Saturday (Fundamentals). Stay tuned to the blog as I focus on gear, shoes, mobility, Personal Records (PRs), nutrition, more on Olympic Lifts, technique, schedule, recovery and more in the Crossfit World....[email protected] Twitter @lisakgoodman Instagram @washparkchiro

*All exercises should be cleared by your treating physician or Chiro

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