This past Saturday I got my first taste of a Crossfit workout in a traditional “box.” My friend Allie informed me of the community WOD (workout of the day) class at Birdtown Crossfit in Lakewood. Since I didn’t have to teach a spin class that morning, I was super pumped to try something new, and something I’ve been wanting to try for a while (just without the financial commitment).
Birdtown is located in the old Screw Factory in Lakewood. It’s basically this huge old building the size of a city block. It’s a really cool location for Crossfit. I was super excited to get in a great workout and do something out of the norm. I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure how intimidating the environment would be.
But it was far from intimidating! Tricia, one of the coaches at Birdtown, was super friendly, positive and upbeat from the getgo. She had us circle up first thing and introduce ourselves, say if we’ve ever done Crossfit and if we had any fake parts. Surprisingly, there were several people who had done it before but for one reason or another hadn’t been attending in a while so came back to the fundamentals. But there were also a couple of “Crossfit virgins” (myself included) so that helped make the vibe of the group even less intimidating.
We started off by warming up. Jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups and a 200m run. Which basically was a nice little run out of the box and through the hallways of the third floor of the building.
After we warmed up, we learned some Crossfit skills. First thing were box jumps. I had heard of these before and knew that it’s all mind over matter when it comes to doing this skill. First we jumped on to a 12″ box, then a 16″ and finally a 20″ box. Each time Tricia told us to step up on the box first then back down, and the second time to jump onto the box. 12″ box was easy-peasy. 16″ was easy as well. When it came to the 20″ box I wasn’t feeling very confident. Standing only 64 inches tall all I could picture myself was crashing shins first into the box. After I did my step up then down, I stood in front of the box and thought for a little to long. When I attempted to jump I couldn’t get my legs to do what my brained wanted it to. Tricia encouraged me to try jumping onto the 16″ box again. I did that with confidence twice. Then I just walked over to the 20″ box and stood by it watching everyone else practice box jumps. Tricia then asked me if I made the jump on the 29″ box. I shook my head, but then did my step up. Once I stepped back down, I regained me stance and then BAM! I was standing on top of the 20″ box. I just had to jump and not stand there and think about it. I was glad I was able to conquer the jump (and my fear) but did not feel comfortable doing that tall box during the workout. Tricia advised that I use the 16″ box for the workout.
Next came push presses. Which are basically standard standing press with dumbbells with a little squat.
And then we reviewed various ways to modify push-ups.
Now, onto the workout.
6 box jumps
8 push presses
AMRP (as many rounds possible)
This workout didn’t seem impossible, but I knew it was going to be challenging.
When we all took off on our run, many people took off really fast, like in road racing. I did too, but quickly came to realize by the time that I made it to the turn around point on the run, I wasn’t going to be able to maintain this pace then go complete the other skills. So I scaled back my pace a bit. When I got back into the box, I immediately went to the 16″ box to do my box jumps. After doing the first one just stepping up, my legs and brain couldn’t coordinate together with all the adrenaline running through my body, so I moved down to the 12″ box. Next came 8 push presses using 10lb dumbbells (which I realized when I put them away I was given one 10lb and one 12lb). Knocked those out and then did 10 push ups against the box. One round down. Man, I was huffing pretty hard, but I knew there was plenty of time left for me to knock out several more rounds. As I ran back out of the box for the 200m run, it was nice to hear cheers from friends (Allie and Heather).
As I completed each round, I used my run to try and recoup and get my breathing under control. But I noticed that running was the hardest part of the workout because it got harder each round to run it as fast as you can push out the skills.
At the end of 14 minutes I had completed 5 total rounds. After completing round one, I told myself that my goal was to complete four total. So I was definitely proud of myself for pushing beyond me goal.
Immediately after the workout ended, I felt tired but as I caught my breathe and drank water, I slowly began to feel energized.
I left Birdtown with this amazing high (equivalent to a runner’s high after finishing a race). And this high and energy stuck around for most of the day. It helped me get a lot of errands and chores done Saturday afternoon. It was a great feeling because it’s one I haven’t gotten from exercising in a while.
Overall, I enjoyed my experience at Birdtown and will frequent the Community WOD every Saturday I can.
When was the last time you tried out a new workout class/program? How did it live up to your expectations?