Lucy's YP Get Fit Blog Week 2: Quitting is not an option

Lucy's YP Get Fit Blog Week 2: Quitting is not an option

For a month, Young Post sub-editor Lucy Christie will try out crossfit, one of the most intense and demanding types of exercise out there. Check in with her weekly blog to see how crossfit affects this already-sporty Scot.

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The face of concentration
The face of concentration

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Being prepared doesn't just mean having the correct clothing, eating well makes a difference too
Being prepared doesn't just mean having the correct clothing, eating well makes a difference too

Things I have learned about myself and Crossfit this week.

1. My pull-ups have improved drastically since my first session.

2. I am more flexible than I realised.

3. I work harder when I am colour coordinated.

4. Cheese toasties and Crossfit are not friends.

At 4pm on Tuesday, I had a cheese toastie, as I knew I wouldn't have time to grab anything before my session. It’s important to fuel your body before exercise after all. But not with a cheese toastie, as I soon found out. After eating it, I felt sluggish and unmotivated on the way to the session. Edmund was my trainer, who also happens to be head coach, and I knew he would be unforgiving no matter how many toastie excuses I threw at him. I braced myself for a tough session.

The workout itself was not too bad, but the recommended weights were still too heavy for me. As I'm still a newbie to the world of Crossfit, Edmund recommended that I practise the move with very little weight to work on perfecting my technique. Part B was a set of snatches followed by 10 burpees … repeated 5 times. Yikes. It shouldn't have been as hard as it was for me, but after the work out I felt a bit sick. I personally blame the cheese toastie.

On the Wall there are a lot of symbols and shorthand terms, such as RX, RX+, and lots of numbers that look like a complicated maths equation.
The complicated symbols are pretty straightforward when you understand them

RX just means recommended, and refers to the recommended weights. The first number is the recommended weights for guys, and the second number for girls. If you have RX beside your name on the wall, it means you completed the exercise using the recommended set of weights. If you have a number, you scaled the weights to your ability. If you have RX+15lbs, it means you completed the workout with 15lbs more than the recommended weights.

If you manage to complete all of part B at the recommended weight, your time goes in red on the Wall. If you scale the weights down, your time goes in blue. As you can see, there is a lot of variety and actually most people scale the workout. At Crossfit852, they have a whole Facebook album dedicated to WOD so that you can track your progress.

After the terrible cheese toastie experience, before Thursday's session I had a banana. It’s a no brainer, but I definitely recommend bananas over toasties for anyone who hopefully doubted the outcome of that experiment.

I went back to the class on Thursday at Central, as the trainer Wesley has really helped me with my workouts, particularly when suggesting what weights I should scale to or how to improve my double under skipping.

While I feel like I'm getting a personal session, I'm sure everyone else in the group does too, as Wesley shouts tips across the room about bending knees more or locking out arms.

The weights might look small but 30 reps can get pretty tiring

The workout was pretty tough though.

  • 30 alternate dumb bell snatches
  • 30 pull-ups
  • 30 ground-to-overhead lifts (cleans or snatches)
  • 100 double unders (skipping) or 300 singles
  • 30 ground-to-overhead lifts (cleans or snatches)
  • 30 pull-ups
  • 30 alternate dumb bell snatches
For me the biggest challenge was the ground-to-overhead lifts with the bar. It might seem easy to do one or two of these, but once you have already done 25 minutes of warming up and weight lifting, your arms get pretty tired. Breaking this up with pull-ups and dumbbell reps doesn't exactly give your arms a rest either. I was lifting 20kg overhead.

During the second set I was really struggling, and Wesley said I could switch to the lighter bar. I did one rep with the lighter bar, but it felt too light. I felt like I was cheating myself. I had already done half of the workout with the heavier bar, and if I scaled down now only the lighter weight would be recorded on the wall. No. I wasn't going to let that happen.

I was determined. My arms were shaking, and I could only manage two at a time, but I kept going. I was close to the 25 minute time limit by the time I finished at 24.26 but I did it! It makes me feel better that no one that day managed the workout in less than 15 minutes (go Pearl!), so it wasn’t just me that found it tough. 
It wasn't easy, but we all did it!

For me, that was a huge achievement. I didn't give up, and I didn't make it easy for myself. With any exercise, when you cheat or take it easy, the only person you are cheating is yourself. Those last 30 ground-to-overhead lifts were a killer, but I was really proud that I kept going and managed to see it through, and after the workout I was absolutely buzzing.

I went home on a real high, and I felt great (albeit with sore arms) the next day too. It's amazing how great it feels even reaching a seemingly small target like that. Although it’s only my second week, I can feel myself setting myself goals and target weights of things I want to achieve, and I’m beginning to understand why people keep coming back for more.

Week two has definitely been a week of high highs and low lows.

Wearing a party hat to celebrate the fact that I survived my second week of Crossfit!

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