I’m not a CrossFit convert…but I could be.
So I left you hanging, didn’t I? Sorry about that. So I was pretty nervous, and when I showed up to Reebok CrossFit Bicocca. There were only 6 of us there for the free trial class, and here’s what we did:
- Mobility stretching
- Warm-up: Jumping Jacks, High Knees, Air Squats (don’t remember how many)
- WOD: 5 rounds for time: 5 Burpees, 7 Box Jumps, 9 Air Squats
Here’s what I liked:
- Instructors – Stefano and Marco were professional and welcoming, and they traded off during the workout explaining what CrossFit is, what some of the basic moves are, and how the lesson would proceed. Stefano won the Reebok CrossFit fitness Championship 2012 in Italy, which is cool.
- Box – The “box,” what all CrossFit gyms are called, was pretty spartan (as is normal), and new. The locker rooms were still being finished. It’s always great to find something new in Italy.
- Box Jumps – Can you remember the last time you jumped with both feet onto a box? Me neither, until last Friday. I was pretty intimidated at first but towards the end I was really enjoying them. Yes. I’d like to jump more boxes, please.
- Mobility – I think this gets overlooked (by me, and by weight lifters in general) so it’s a good reminder to keep flexible and not to ignore parts of my body which aren’t muscles.
Here’s what wasn’t so great:
- CrossFit is in BFE. As I mentioned in the last post, this place is far from my house. I budgeted an hour to get there and it took about 50 minutes. On the way home it took me about 40 minutes, which means for an hour workout, I’m spending 150 minutes, 2.5 hours. For someone who works from home, and literally walks 4 minutes to her gym (case in point: Wednesday’s workout at my normal gym: 2.6 hours for 2.5 hours of workout), I’m not interested in this kind of trek for any sort of regularity. There are other boxes in Milan, which I still have to check out, but I did like that this was backed by Reebok as it ensures some consistency with what I’m seeing elsewhere.
- The Intro workout. I know an intro lesson means exactly that, but it was pretty light on working out (though I was working hard and got sweaty during the WOD) and I didn’t get a full hour or even 30 minutes of exercise. Given that my normal workouts are from 60-90 minutes, I left feeling unfinished. This really isn’t their fault, but rather my own expectations. I was ready to jump into a normal class which probably isn’t a great idea for beginners…but I was ready to get my butt kicked!
- Burpees. The intro WOD included burpees, which are recognized by the Geneva Conventions in some countries as cruel and unusual punishment. There are a lot of ways to get a workout without flinging yourself to the floor continuously. I joke. Kinda. In any case, I would recommend not doing it for an intro workout. Save it for the more experienced CrossFitters who grow to love torture. Also, instructors, just FYI, you say burr-pees, not bear-pees.
But here’s what I think I could grow to love:
- CrossFit every day – One of the great things about CF is a wide range of workouts that means you’re doing something different every day. When you chance upon a WOD you’ve already done, you can measure your progress comparing metrics from last time. I sometimes do WODs at home, but I think I’d really want…(see next point)
- The Community – That’s pretty much what everyone talks about when I read about why people love CrossFit. In Italy, it will probably take some time to catch on. So the community isn’t really there yet. But it will be. It would be great to be a part of that community from the beginning, and I’d like to meet more women into weight lifting here in Italy (there are very few in my current gym). Related, I’m also looking into Nike Women Italia in Milan for this reason.
- The Basics – one thing I didn’t realize is everyone new to CrossFit needs to do an entry-level class where you go over all the basic moves so you know the correct form and also you can experiment with weights so you know what weight you should start with when finally jumping into the regular CrossFit sessions. Since a lot of the Olympic lifting moves are new to me, I welcome the opportunity to get some personal attention and also set a foundation for weights and moving forward on improving.
So I didn’t become a convert from Day 1…but I think I could. I just need to figure out how to fit CrossFit into my life here.
Moving forward, I’ll most likely do The Basics course so I can drop in on any CrossFit box in the world and not have to do an intro lesson, and look at getting a few visits so I can do a weekend workout there.