Adventures in CrossFit (Part 2)

In case you missed part 1, I was peer pressured into doing a month-long trial of CrossFit. I survived the month, and now I look like this:

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Photo courtesy of: foxypar4

Ok, not quite (but, I do look devilish in a kilt). While I was hoping I’d be transformed into a Scottish Warrior, I’m not there yet. That being said, I have felt some noticeable changes to my physical fitness. For example, after my first day, I almost puked and I couldn’t lift my arms. After today’s workout, I still can’t lift my arms, but I just had a slight tinge of “I’m about to puke.” I’ll take progress where I can get it.

Now that my month has wrapped up, here are some of the highlights (and lowlights) from my adventures in CrossFit:

CrossFit things that I’m good at: Running, jumping rope, and (some) ladder drills

CrossFit things that I’m bad at: Rowing, extreme sit-ups, or anything that requires me to lift weights

Hardest workout: Since every workout seems harder than the previous one, I’ll just reference the most recent. Today we did a workout named “Cindy.” Side note, if a workout has a name, that usually means it’s a monster, and you’ll feel like all your muscles were karate chopped the next morning. In this case, “Cindy” gives you 20 minutes to do as many cycles of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats as you can. I felt annihilated by about minute 4, and by minute 20 I was what I like to call “black out tired.”

Easiest workout: Does not exist

Sorest muscles as a result of CrossFit: Abs, arms, abs, legs, abs, back, shoulders, neck, abs (seriously, did I mention that my abs are sore?) butt, hands, and I’m starting to think my ears are sore. I need to ask Coach Jo why my ears are sore.

The most rewarding thing about CrossFit: Since it’s really, really hard, I feel a sense of accomplishment after every single class. Since I’m new (and for all in tense and purposes; a weakling), I rarely excel during a workout. But that’s the beauty of it. I’ve finally learned that I’m only competing against myself, and if I finish a workout, I feel pretty darn good about it.

The most humbling thing about CrossFit: I’m 90% sure the people in my class are cross-bred with velociraptors, because they’re maniacs in there. No joke, you should see these people in action, it’s terrifying (in a good way). So, while I know that only I’m competing against myself, being surrounded by such a fit group is inspiring.

This is Armando (The Peer Pressuring, CrossFitting Stallion that got me hooked)

This is Armando (The peer pressuring, CrossFit Stallion that got me hooked)

My trial has ended, and despite the fact that I’ve been complaining non-stop to my friends, family, and co-workers about always being sore, I’ve decided I’m going to keep going. Waking up early is rough, and I still hate the rowing machine with a fiery passion, but once I’m awake and at the gym, it’s actually really fun. Coach Jo and my 6 a.m. classmates are awesome, and starting the day with a kick in the butt is extremely gratifying. So while I’m not a Scottish Warrior (yet), you’d better believe that I’ll be tossing cabers in no time!

Huge thanks to everyone at CrossFit Revival, Coach Jo, and Armando (the guy who convinced me to try it) for giving me the chance to give it a shot. If you get a similar opportunity, I highly recommend you try it. Trust me, if I can survive it, anyone can.

Introducing the 31 Day Push-Up Challenge

Cartoon-Character-Strength-Comparison-MeterI do not have “blasted pipes.” I don’t have “fiery cannons,” “explosive guns,” or “screaming pythons.” As you can clearly see in the “Cartoon Upper Body Strength” meter, I’m sitting somewhere between Olive Oil and Bugs Bunny. For a dude in his twenties, that’s not good.

But as it turns out, I’m not alone in my quest to have a shredded, “I look like I’m carved out of rich mahogany” upper body. Since there are no motivators like peer pressure and competition, a December gauntlet was thrown down. Along with a few of my friends, we created the “31 Day Push-Up Challenge.”

Here are the rules of the 31 Day Push-Up Challenge:

  1. The challenge runs from December 1 – December 31
  2. Participants can only do push-ups in two minute time increments
  3. Depending on your starting ability, the number of allowable sets per day will vary (I’ll explain this below)
  4. All push-ups must be “proper push-ups” (No saggy backs or downward dogs!)
  5. All tracking is done by participants, and it’s the honor system

Rule number 3 was developed to level the playing field. One guy in our challenge looks like he’s half rhino, and could easily do more push-ups in a two minute time period than anyone else. To even things out, we handicapped it so if you can’t knock out a pile of push-ups all at once, you’re allowed to do more sets in a day. For example: Rhino Man is only allowed to do 5 sets per day, while other participants can do 7. In theory, it makes it fair, but it takes more dedication from the weaker participants.

We’re on our 4th day of the challenge, and my arms already feel like they’ve been repeatedly thunder punched. But more surprisingly, my abs are screaming at me! While the quest was for Stallone arms, the core strength benefits from push-ups are a great side effect.

If I can still lift my arms high enough to type, I plan to track our progress on MillionIdeas.org. But in the meantime, wish us luck! Oh, and to all my co-workers that find me doing push-ups in hallways, elevators, and at my desk; I’m not insane, I’ve just got a challenge to win!

Current push-up total: 576

If you’d like to hop on board the 31 Day Push Up Challenge, we’d love to have you! But to make sure you’re doing a proper push-up, here’s a quick video from our physical therapy expert and guest blogger, Colin Hoobler.