Tuesday, December 1st was my first day back to CrossFit in a VERY long time.
According to CrossFit.com:
CrossFit is defined as that which optimizes fitness (constantly varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity). CrossFit is also the community that spontaneously arises when people do these workouts together. In fact, the communal aspect of CrossFit is a key component of why it’s so effective.
I’m currently in a CF Endurance class at CrossFit Tactical Strength in Ft Wayne, IN. According to CrossFitEndurance.com:
CrossFit Endurance is an endurance sports training program dedicated to improving performance, fitness and endurance sports potential. We inspire, coach, and provide our community with the most aggressive and proven fundamentals of sports science, exercise physiology, nutrition, and athletic training protocols.
The difference between a traditional CF course and an Endurance course is all about fundamentals. The Endurance class spends a lot of time on stretching, trying to activate muscles, think glutes & hamstrings, that are dormant in the bodies of most endurance athletes. We focus on movement and doing things correctly. We spend more time talking and practicing moves verses just banging out WODs. Ultimately, the endurance based CF class will not only increase strength but focus on reducing volume of endurance based training while increasing the quality of workouts. It’s a process. Strength, nutrition & flexibility seem to be key to our impending success. I hope you’ll follow along and see how CF Endurance impacts my running and triathlon adventures in 2016.
Week 1, TUE 5:30a Class
Brand new class. Fresh group of endurance athletes ready to get strong! From left: Me, Amy, Sheryl, Adella, Jaime & Brandy.
1) Plank Series: Front Plank, Superman, Side Plank Left, Side Plank Right. Hold each for 10 seconds, rotate to next move. 3-4 rotations. Week 1 was rough for me, even the warm-ups. I have shaky arm syndrome from being weak.
2) Hip Distraction – Let’s open up those hips and stretch the glutes and hamstrings. We were instructed to hold the stretch on each hip for 2-3 minutes. It takes 2 minutes for a change to occur in how our muscles work. Apparently, if we hold for a minimum of 2 minutes we create a new muscle memory. I can’t say one way or another because our version of this stretch had our back knee on the ground and both of my knees are injured from falling a couple weeks ago. So I tried to do this but couldn’t hold it very long because I couldn’t tolerate the pressure on my knee(s). I like the version in the picture and will try this next time.
Accessory Work (Kinda like Physical Therapy for all of us laymen) – Banded Hip Bridges – 3 sets of 10-15. We did it without additional weight.
Skill/Strength: Air Squat & Box Squat. A silly thing like a squat and we spent a lot of time on it this week. Being a long time endurance athlete, it’s hard for my glutes & hamstrings to activate. Spent a lot of time on proper positioning and getting our form correct.
Metabolic Conditioning – Mostly anaerobic for us since we get enough aerobic condition from the run, bike, swim. Tabata (4 minutes – 8 rounds, 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, repeat x8) – Rowing for Calories, Pushups. One group was rowing for the 8 rounds, other group did Pushups. Then we switched.
Week 1, THUR 5:30a Class
Warm Up: 1) Plank Series (Front Plank, Superman, Left Side Plank, Right Side Plank) 3-4 rounds of 10 seconds each. 2) Banded Walk with Squat. Once again building on that squat.
Skill/Strength: Deadlift (first image) & Push Press with Kettlebell (second image)
Metabolic Conditioning (WOD for normal CrossFitters): 21-15-9 Reps for Time of Kettlebell Deadlifts, Kettlebell Push Press & Situps. 3 rounds, 21 of each move the first round, 15 of each second round, 9 of each last round.
Accessory: GHD (Glutes Hamstring Developer) Hold. This was super hard for me. I have zero core strength and all my weight was on low my quads. It hurt. I didn’t do very well with it.
That’s a wrap for Week 1! I learned some new moves. I was humbled by how weak my body has become. And I realized exactly how damaged my poor knees are from the fall. I’m in rough shape right now. But onward & upward, right?
**Disclaimer – I write about my workouts for informational purposes. I personally need to do CrossFit & High Intensity workouts in a gym/box with supervision so that my movements are monitored to avoid injury. In the past, people have suggested that these moves are easy enough to do at home. Not for me. I share my journey with you so that you can see what these programs are like and have the courage to try them for yourself if you have an interest. Under the supervision of a trained professional. If you attend a CF class and are not constantly being hounded about your form and movement then 1) you are perfect or 2) your CF instructor doesn’t care about your safety. Please keep that in mind. I’ve had good luck with the facilities that I have attended but I’ve also heard horror stories about CF in general. Make sure your instructor cares about you and helps you to avoid injury thru proper movement and form.
** Working on Strength & Conditioning ** Amanda – TooTallFritz
Good job Amanda….from your post…I can see you are going to make big improvements down the road. Yes…most of the routines you just described or put up examples, are routines that require expert trainer guidance. Some routines are simple enough to also do on your own at home, but always best to stick with the main program until you really learn the correct form and execution of the exercise routine becomes routine. For example, deadlift and squats are fairly straight-forward exercises can easily be done at home if you have either free weights or kettleballs. But if you are not experienced at lifting, then it is key to get that expert guidance on correct way to do the lift or hold the stance, and once you have mastered the routine and it is “2nd nature”, then you might consider doing them on your own at home. Will be great to see how you feel and doing 1 and 2 months from now! Keep it up!
Glad to find your blog and CFE recaps! I too, attend regular CF and endurance CF classes. I’ve noticed a huge impact in my form in the past year. Not so much times yet since I was coming back from injury and training for my first marathon instead of shorter races. I look forward to following your journey and getting some more ideas too!