Crossfit Comas & Sexy Bitches

Being the exaggerated extrovert that I am, if I go any stretch of a day without someone to talk to, I come home jabbering away like a sideshow parrot. It’s not the feature of mine that Captain Introvert Boyfriend is most fond of, I can assure you.

Yesterday however, I found myself in what Boyfriend coined a “Crossfit Coma”. When I got home from my romp with Hybrid Athletics, I was not interested in talking or being spoken to, I didn’t care what Boyfriend’s day had been like, and the thought of cuddling made me queasy. I just wanted to curl up into a ball and never move again.

However, that part of my “Crossfit Coma” was only the tip of the iceberg. Boyfriend wasn’t around to see me turn green as I put away my weights at the gym, nor did he watch me fight the urge to faint as I stumbled to my car in the parking lot. He also missed the 10 minutes where I sat motionless in my car with all the doors open in a futile attempt to stop my head from spinning. It wasn’t pretty.

So, here’s the workout that kicked me into my coma:

POWERLIFTER’S WARM UP (WU)

25-Yard Sled Pulls (Forward & Backwards x 3)

Just as it sounds, they give you a sled with weights on it, and you drag it across the floor for 25 yards. You have to drag it while move forwards, and then pull it and walk backwards to complete one rep. I never bothered to ask exactly what the weight was, but for the first 2 rounds there were what looked like two 45lb. plates on the sled, and then they added another 45lbs. for the last set.

Glute Walk (20 steps each leg x 3)

With a thick rubber band around your ankles, you bend your knees and set your feet about shoulder-width apart. Without letting the band go slack in between, take 20 wide steps to the left, and 20 wide steps to the right. The first direction isn’t so bad, but by the time you’re on step 15 going back, you can really feel it.

Bandy Russian Deadlift (RDL) (20 x 3)

It’s the motion of a regular deadlift, but you’ve got a thick rubber band looping under both feet and up, over your neck. It’s simple enough, and not very strenuous. More of a mobility exercise to prepare you for the actual thing.

YTW w/ Tubing (10 each x 3)

With a length of tubing around a pole at should height, hold one end in either hand and stand with your arms straight out in front of you, far enough back from the pole that there’s no slack in the tubing. As if you’re the victim of a shitty DJ at a young couples wedding, stretch your arms up into a “Y” shape 10 times, just as you would for the “YMCA” dance. Then, make a “T” shape 10 times, keeping your wrists in line with your shoulders. Finally, make a “W” shape 10 times, so that you elbows are beside your ribs and your wrists are by your shoulders.

SWOD (Strength Workout Of the Day)

As if the regular WOD wasn’t enough, sometimes they throw a little extra torture at you in the form of a SWOD. First, they gave us 10 minutes to find our  90% Deadlift. For those not familiar with lifting, a 90% Deadlift is a lift that’s 10% less than something you could lift only once, exerting absolutely all your effort (otherwise known as a 1 Rep Max, or 1RM). My 90% Deadlift landed at 122lbs.

 10 Minute EMOM: Deadlifts & Box Jumps

“EMOM” is a deceptively cute-sounding acronym that stands for “every minute, on the minute.” In the case of this SWOD, it meant that we did a 90% Deadlift, followed by a Box Jump, every minute, for 10 minutes. As I detailed in a previous post, Box Jumps and I really don’t get along. Luckily, they let me use the 24″ padded box, which don’t psych me out the way the wood ones do.

WOD: Christine (x 3)

5oom Row

12 Deadlifts @ Bodyweight

21 Box Jumps

Similar to the dreaded Dirty Thirty WOD, Christine was scored for time. We had to cycle through everything 3 times, and then see how long it took us. I came in at 17 minutes, but I wouldn’t count it officially. I can’t even do a 1 rep Deadlift with my current bodyweight, so I used about 100lbs. instead, and I modified the last 2 rounds of Box Jumps so that I was stepping up, rather than jumping on with both feet.

Having done the WOD as I did it, I’m not convinced I could have physically completed it any other way. By the time we all finished, I was an absolute wreck!

This doesn’t even begin to describe how tired I was

What a bitch…

As I put my weights away, I got the sinking sense that I was about to vomit, which was only worsened by the guy that tried to flirt with me while I was red-faced and sweating like I’d just visited the sun. Seriously, dude?

Furthermore, all my feelings of utter defeat were exaggerated tenfold by the gorgeous blonde chick who rocked the whole workout in a fraction of my time, lifting what must have been twice her bodyweight, and then sauntered off with little more than a seductive glisten of sweat highlighting her brow. It was like she came from some genetically engineered race that had been specifically designed to look hot at all times.

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UPDATE: Crossfit

For those who don’t know, I purchased a Groupon to a local Crossfit gym as a bit of a post-Christmas gift to myself. I went in for my first session on January 8th.

Hybrid Athletics in Langley, BC

The facility seemed small to me, but that was perhaps only because I’m used to going to Gold’s Gym, which is a roomy 40,000 sq. ft. Regardless, while the 7,000 sq. ft. Hybrid Athletics facility  was much smaller than Gold’s, it certainly didn’t feel crowded.

Upon arriving, I was put in a group with three other Groupon purchasers and we were all sent upstairs to warm up on the stationary bikes. Afterwards, our instructor came up and introduced himself, and began walking us through each exercise in the workout we were going to be doing. Crossfit utilizes a lot of exercises that are familiar to me by name, but it alters them slightly and has very specific technique rules. For example, Crossfit Push Ups call for your elbows to stay close to your body, and your chest must make full contact with the floor before your can rise. If you cheat on this, they make you “release your hands” which means lifting both hands off the floor between each rep to show you’ve made contact. For Squats, they don’t count a rep unless your butt passes below parallel with your knees. This is commonly referred to as ATG, or “Ass to Grass”.

DAY 1

TABATA ROWING (8 x 20 sec.)

Our workout started with some tabata-style Rowing. For 20 seconds we were told to Row as hard as we possibly could, and then we took a 10 second break. We did this for 8 sets.

TABATA AIR SQUATS (8 x 20 sec.)

Next, we followed the same principle for Squats. For 20 seconds, we did as many ATG Air Squats as we could (“AMRAP”), and then tried to meet or beat our first score for every subsequent set. I over-exerted in the first set with 16 Squats, then fell down to 9 or 10 Squats by the third set, and had to really push to finish with 12 in the final set.

21 – 15 – 9 (RingUp, PushUp, SitUp)

The main WOD was a 21 – 15 – 9 of RingUps (See image to the  left), PushUps, and Situps, with a 200m Run between each set. This means that for the first round, we did 21 reps of each exercise, then we ran 200m, then we did 15 of each, ran 200m, did 9 of each, and ran our final 200m. The 21 set was pretty brutal for me, considering I’d only been able to do 10 PushUps before. I’ll admit I had to transition into the “girl PushUps” halfway through. Similarly, RingUps were a real challenge for me and I had to keep my feet on the floor and give myself a bit of an upward incline.

DAY 2

This is a modified version of “The Filthy 50”. Having barely dragged myself through the 30, I can’t imagine surviving the 50. For this WOD, we cycled through 10 exercises as quickly as possible, doing 30 reps of each. There was a final step that the instructor failed to mention, which was curling up and dying afterwards.

30 Box Jumps

This was unnecessarily difficult for me. They give you a 20″ tall wooden box, and you have to jump on with both feet from a stand-still. When I jumped, I typically went an extra 4-6 inches higher than I needed to, but for some reason, I psyched myself into thinking I was going to undershoot. I kept spooking and hesitating mid-jump, then I’d have to reset. It took forever! Koodos to the instructor for pushing me through though.

30 Jumping PullUps

Stand beneath a bar and do a PullUp, but let your feet hit the ground and give yourself a bit of a jump. Not bad.

30 KettleBell Swings

I can’t remember what weight my KettleBell (KB) was.. I think it was 16lbs. This is pretty much what it sounds like– start from the ground and swing the KB up over your head until it’s vertical.

30 Walking Lunges

Lunge with one leg, move the other leg forward and lunge with that one. Repeat. Nothing to it.

30 Knees to Elbows

This is the pre-curser to the Toes to Bar exercise. You hold onto an overhead bar and kip your knees up to your elbows. My problems with this exercise were twofold: one, I don’t have the grip strength to hold onto the bar, and my hand slid off as soon as I started swinging; and two, I’m a marshmallow and couldn’t bring my knees anywhere near my elbows. As an alternative, the instructor had me do 30 SitUps on the Back Extension Bench.

30 Back Extensions

All the way down, then all the way up. This one isn’t actually too bad for me. Perhaps it’s a benefit to being busty– my lower back had to develop some decent strength when I was about 15, and it’s had to sink or swim ever since. The fact that I’m still standing is probably evidence enough that I have decent lower back strength.

30 Push Press

Using a barbell, this felt pretty much like the Jerk portion of a Clean and Jerk. It was really just an Overhead Press with a mini-Squat. We didn’t have any weight on the bars, so it wasn’t a problem for me.

30 Wall Balls

These, on the other hand, were a problem. They were a HUGE problem! If I wasn’t trying to get my face around the damn ball, I was catching it late after my toss and taking a 20lb. ball square in the chest. It seemed so simple– Squat with the ball overhead, throw the ball up to a line on the wall, catch the ball, repeat. Nope! Hard as hell. I was exhausted by the time I got to Burpees.

30 Burpees

Do I even need to explain how much these suck? Is there anyone that actually enjoys Burpees? They’re like the mosquitoes of the fitness jungle. Without the motivational push from the others in my class, I probably would’ve thrown in the towel halfway. That’s exhibit A why the Crossfit environment works well for me. The strength of my self-motivation sits somewhere between 0 and kitten.

30 Double-Unders

Make a skipping rope circle under your feet twice before you hit the ground between jumps. It’s just like we used to do in Elementary school, except back then I was good at it and I didn’t have boobs to deal with. I need to practice my skipping. I’m a girl– this should’ve been the easy part!

PushUps, Planks, and Crossfit!

While I didn’t necessarily set a specific New Year’s Resolution this year, fitness is still a major focus for me. I’m in the gym 4-5 days per week, and usually focus on high-rep lifting. That won’t change, as I really love my lifting routine. However, I’m also going to be aiming to strengthen two of my problem areas/exercises: pushups and core strength.

No “Girl” Pushups

 

This time last year, I was physically incapable of doing a single proper-form pushup. Not one. I can now do 5, which is a pretty big deal for me. My chest strength has always been weak though, and that needs to change. I’m addressing that problem with a little January challenge that I’ve set for myself using this Workout Calendar. It’ll have me doing a gradually increasing number of Pushups and Squats every morning, throughout the month. The Squats obviously won’t do much for my chest, but I needed something to break up Pushup sets, and figured you can never do too many squats! I start at two sets of 12 Squats and 5 Pushups, and work my way to (hopefully) three sets of 50 Squats and 30 Pushups. Looking at that last day from where I currently stand, it seems overly ambitious. Nevertheless, I’m curious to see how far I can get!

The photos claiming to exhibit the benefits of drinking 3 litres of water a day.

I’ve included little water reminders on that calendar, as I’ve always been awful about allowing myself to dehydrate. I’m aiming to drink about 3 litres of water a day. I read an interesting article on a woman who experimented with increasing her water intake to 3 litres a day, and while the findings aren’t exactly scientific, and the photos may very well be shopped, I figure it can’t hurt.

A friend of mine has also just shared a 30-day Plank Challenge post on Facebook, which I may add to my routine. It starts with a 20 second Plank on Day 1, and ends the month with a 4.5 minute plank. Again, seems pretty ambitious when you’re looking at it from Day 1, but any mountain looks steep when you’re staring at it from the valley.

Finally, to round out my January fitness plan, I purchased myself a Groupon for a few semi-private session of Crossfit at my local Hybrid Athletics gym. It’s something I’ve wanted to try for ages, but just couldn’t afford it. I have a very competitive personality, and I think that environment could be good for me. I’m curious to see how it goes!

Feel free to print off and use that calendar I put together, and leave me a comment with your fitness goals for January!

Muscular Women Are Gross

“Muscular women are gross”. That seems to be the consensus of average women when they see a picture of a female bodybuilder. Don’t get me wrong, I have no desire to workout until my traps bulge or my biceps don’t fit into my shirt sleeves, but there’s a two-fold reason for that:

  1. It’s not an image I’m striving for, and I don’t think it would suit me. Just as I don’t think blue hair or facial piercings would suit me.  But, to each their own!
  2. I’ve only just taught myself enough dedication to get my ass into the gym regularly. I don’t have NEARLY the willpower to push myself into a bodybuilder’s physique. That requires a very strict diet and an excruciatingly rigorous workout routine (and sometimes often, steroids). I just don’t have that in me!

However, my inability and lack of desire to achieve that physique is not a ticket to condemn those who do! Yet that seems to be the norm. Whenever I see a picture of an especially muscular women, it doesn’t take much to find comments along the lines of “that’s gross”, “ew she looks like a dude”, and “is that even a woman???”. Why?? Women so quick to fly their feminism flag when someone belittles a woman for being overweight, but the same people are content to hound a fellow lady who happens to like being muscular. How does this logic make sense? Take a look at this:

Screen Shot 2013-10-24 at 11.16.58 AM

I intentionally didn’t blur names. One, these comments were posted on a public page and are therefore public already, and two, if Miss Havlen thought this was okay to post publicly, she damn well better be prepared to stand up for it.

Miss Havlena both claims that girls shouldn’t feel the need to “give into society standards” of what women should be, while at the same time claiming that the athlete in question is “not a woman” because she doesn’t look the way women traditionally do… Could she be any more contradictory?? What defines what a woman “should” look like, but the very societal standards she’s supposedly fighting against? It’s so idiotic, it actually hurts to think about it. Let’s move on.

If you don’t know who Dana Lynn Bailey (DLB) is, she’s a female bodybuilder and co-owner of a popular fitness clothing line called Flag Nor Fail. Furthermore, she was the winner of the first ever, IFBB Women’s Physique competition in 2013. She’s an incredible athlete, but what many of her critics seem to forget, is that she’s also a woman. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think all women want to be beautiful- whatever their definition of “beautiful” happens to be. I think all women have felt insecure about one thing or another at some point, but to have someone put you down for something you’ve genuinely poured your heart into and are (justifiably) proud of, is probably the worst. Think of whatever skill or feature you’re really proud of, and imagine having scores of people tell you that you’re wrong- that thing is actually your worst feature and you’re disgusting because of it. Would that not hit right to the feels? This brings me to the Facebook post that inspired this whole discussion:

Screen Shot 2013-10-24 at 11.30.55 AM

First, a giant kudos to Dana’s husband, Rob Bailey. Any woman would be lucky to have a man that’s so supportive! We all want to know that someone has our back.

Take a look at the comment beneath the photo. “is that a woman?” How heartbreaking must that be for DLB? I’m sure she gets it all the time, but is that the kind of thing that you can ever really just ignore? She’s got to feel it.  Bravo to her amazing husband for posting this, drawing attention to the bullies, and making everyone think about how they treat others. No, this isn’t a physique I want, or even a physique that I find attractive. But DLB is a woman with feelings, and she’s someones wife, and she’s someone’s daughter. The next time you feel inclined to comment on how “gross” a muscular woman is, think about that.