Last Wednesday, Michelle and I went on a workout adventure to the new Reebok Crossfit Ramsay as guests of Reebok.
You should know a few things about my state of mind when we arrived.
1. The idea of a Crossfit class freaked me out. The classes last one hour and combine elements of Olympic weight lifting, high-intensity calisthenics and gymnastics. Pull-ups feature prominently in the classes. I can’t do pull-ups. Michelle can.
2. I’ve heard to expect plenty of shouting and machismo in Crossfit classes. I don’t do well under either scenario.
3. My foot, although so much better, is still a little wimpy. I feared the box jumps and almost had my physio write me a note so I could get out of them. Then I decided that was childish. Instead, I planned to fake a stomachache if called upon to jump on boxes a la this agile lady.
Let’s break down the evening.
5:00: We arrive at the gym, set in a big industrial space near the Crossroads Farmers Market. From the outside, we hear men shouting as though they are trying rip each other apart with their hands. I tell Michelle that I’m afraid.
5:01: I also tell her that I’m planning to wear bright pink new shoes. This seems important as we walk into the den. Perhaps they can use this info to identify my body after class.
5:05: We get a tour of the place. The gym is separated into three sections: a little space to the side where the shouting men are just lifting weights. There is much eye-rolling from everyone else with regards to this section. I find relief in this. Next, there’s a large section in the middle with a big Crossfit board, medicine balls, funny little ab mats and a real dog. And at the back, the big room where the Crossfit class was just about to start. Michelle and I promptly name it “Big Scary Room.”
5:20: We meet our instructor and get the lowdown on Crossfit for beginners. We will not — amen! — be going into the Big Scary Room where, at that time, women and men were throwing themselves into pullups and box jumps with admirable fervor.
Crossfit has a very good program for introducing newbies to their system. You start with introductory Workouts of the Day (those are “WODS” in Crossfit parlance) and must go through 12 WODS with an instructor before you move into Big Scary Room.
5:30: We’re a group of six students of varying degrees of fitness. We warm up with a series of dynamic stretches and fun little handstand things. I’m happy here.
5:40: We’re introduced to our skills for the day — sit-ups and medicine ball cleans. I nail the sit-ups. The medicine ball cleans involve a deceptive amount of coordination. Our instructor goes through the skills carefully with each of us.
6:00: We’re introduced our WOD, a pyramid set of sit-ups and medicine ball cleans, starting at 10 and working down to 1. Our instructor is just about to set the timer to kick us off when I ask, “So can we do these together — like a team?”
Michelle dies inside that she is affiliated with me.
I’m informed that this is a race and the timer starts. Now I’m behind. On my left, Michelle is medicine-ball cleaning like a mad woman. There are multiple challenges here: maintain your form (which I keep losing, especially when the instructor is taking my picture; it’s hard to look attractive and squat quickly with a giant medicine ball); keep your counting straight; and get through everything as quickly as possible.
Michelle wins. Damn her. I come second. Yay me.
6:15: We get to do some stretching. I win. Perhaps no one else knew we were still competing.
6:30: We leave and go to the bar.
Final thoughts: I really liked Crossfit. It would be a fun and tough workout to do regularly with a friend. I can’t guarantee but I believe that by the time you’re ready for Big Scary Room, Big Scary Room won’t be so scary. There are people of mixed fitness levels here, including some remarkable athletes. The price packages vary. Check out the full list here. The BASICS: Crossfit Fundamentals Course costs $95.00 for a month.
Our workout gear was compliments of Reebok.
Here is the Big Scary Room: