Over the past month, we have been discussing all things CrossFit at Purition. We have learnt about the techniques, practised the lingo and even got a feel for that community spirit everyone talks about. But as with all things, the best way to truly understand CrossFit is by trying it out in person, and what better way to do this than by booking onto a beginner class at CrossFit SY1, Shrewsbury.
New to CrossFit!
I would be lying if I said the thought of walking into a CrossFit gym (or rather a CrossFit ‘Box’) for the first time wasn’t a little daunting. As I pulled up outside, I could see people, red faced and running laps while the sound of clinking, clanking weights came from inside.
All those who are new to CrossFit must undergo some initial training before they are let loose on the main ‘Workout of the Day’ (WOD) – understandable when you see some of the moves that are included! At CrossFit SY1 the training is spread out over five or more sessions and covers the fundamental exercises:
- – Deadlift
- – Squats
- – Push/Pull
- – Clean
- – Snatch
Beginner classes are considered a vital step in the CrossFit journey. Not only do they teach the core exercises and principles, but they also show how to build strength and increase work capacity safely.
The movement of the day was the “Clean”. Simply put, this is the pulling of an object up off the floor and onto the shoulders. Just short of an Olympic lift, the Clean demands speed, power, strength and skill. I’ll be honest, the mere thought of it was enough to give me butterflies!
Scaling Up & Down
To my relief, the intimidating Clean was broken down into simple steps. This meant us beginners could get a feel for the movement, the range of mobility involved and the skill transfer required. Starting with a basic squat we gradually progressed to a Medicine Ball Clean and before I knew it I was hoisting a barbell up onto my shoulders. Success…!
Ok, so the barbell was probably lighter than most of my peers’ and my technique was certainly in need of some refinement. Nevertheless I was challenging myself without overdoing it. This is one of the great things about CrossFit, it is scalable for all levels of strength and fitness. Beginner or veteran, there is always somewhere to start and the potential for progression is ongoing.
After Strength came Conditioning, where the movements we had learnt during the session were put into a cardio capacity:
10 Barbell Cleans (lifting a bar with weights from the floor to the shoulders)
8 Medicine Ball Cleans (variation of Barbell Clean using a weighted ball)
6 Burpees (from standing, squat down to press up and return with optional jump)
Five rounds of this was certainly enough to get the heart rate going. It probably comes as no surprise that I was last in the group to finish (too much focus on technique I suppose!). But the support coming from around the room was amazing and certainly helped me to reach the finish line.
CrossFit puts much of its success down to the sense of community arising from the camaraderie and competition among its members. This was certainly true at CrossFit SY1 and one of the first things I noticed on arriving. There was a collective sense of excitement in the room as people of all different shapes and sizes supported each other through the exercises. Everyone seemed to know everyone and despite my nerves, the friendly atmosphere certainly helped me to feel more at ease.
Cool Down and Stretch
At the end of the session (and with very little energy remaining!) it was time for the cool down. An essential part of any workout to avoid injury. During this we were able to ask questions and reflect on what we had learned during the training.
Looking around the room I could understand why CrossFit is such a fitness phenomenon. Scaleable activities for all abilities, Exciting WODs, and thanks to the famous CrossFit community spirit, there will always be someone cheering you on.
As with all sports there is a risk of injury, so its important to make sure you are doing the exercises correctly and within your limits. A CrossFit instructor should be able to help you with this, so make sure you always ask for help if unsure.
Whilst I don’t envisage competing in the CrossFit Games anytime soon, I really enjoyed my first session and would like to say a big thank you to CrossFit SY1 for having me. I left feeling satisfyingly exhausted and with that wonderful post workout feeling.
My first CrossFit experience had clearly challenged me physically, so it was time for a post workout refuel. Purition is perfect for this. Packed with all-natural, wholefood ingredients it provides a balance of protein, healthy fats and fibre giving my body the nutrition it needed. After a delicious Vanilla & Macadamia Purition shake I felt revived, energised and (despite a few aching muscles!) ready for whatever the day had to throw at me.
Refuel with Purition – All Natural Protein Powder
Article written by Helen, Team Purition