I’m sitting in the corner of the kind of sports bar where fitness is essentially bowling and beer. I take a breath from hammering sliders and sweet potato fries and look at a big screen. It’s on ESPN2 and they’re airing a show called the CrossFit Games.
I forget to chew I’m so awe struck by the sight. I’m watching a race. Twenty women have just swum open waters in the Pacific Ocean, then did something like 50 body weight squats, and then sprinted across the sandy beach to the finish line. These women look like they could hurt me. Their quadriceps are only outdone by their abs, which can most closely be mirrored by the men of the movie 300. They are powerful, fast, and never quit. These are the most in-shape people in the world. And thus is the goal of this competition and show: To find the world’s fittest man and woman. Then reward them with cash.
Nick and Brad were there with me and they couldn’t look away either. Thousands of international and national men and women tried out to take part in these games, which look like the toughest sports competition I’ve ever seen. On this particular day, it’s the women’s episode.
“Minus the boobs, do these women pretty much the bodies we’re shooting for??” asked Nick.
“I’d take the boobs for that body,” I replied.
Watch the video above and tell me you’re not intrigued.
That was last week. This week they showed the men and women. I watched men hanging from rings pull their weight up until their hands were touching their hips. They repeated this 10 times. Then they ran to a mat and clean-and-pressed 185 pounds 10 times. Next they completed straight leg situps off a bench that allowed them to arch their backs for added range and difficulty. Finally, they did a 50 meter sprint… then they repeated that circuit three more times. Oh yeah, they added weight to the clean and press.
Now, CrossFit is nothing new to me. I’ve even blogged about a CrossFit workout Wayne Jackson showed me. To this day it’s the best and toughest workout I’ve ever done.
Recently, marathons have been my thing. I’ve been lifting while I continue to lay off my knee for a month or so to let it fully recover. Watching the CrossFit Games was exactly what I needed. After being reminded how badass CrossFit is, I plan on stepping up the madness.
There are CrossFit gyms in my area, but the hours and prices don’t jive with me. But luckily for anyone who wants to try CrossFit, you don’t really need a gym. The guy who was in second place after day one of the CrossFit Games trained in his parents’ garage. There are no excuses.
In some cases, you don’t even need weights. Check out the Spartan Race’s blog for great examples of that.
I’m in the middle of a lifting schedule that is low on cardio and CrossFit type workouts. I’m going to fix that. I’m planning on adding bicycle kicks or burpees between each set. I have been ending each workout with a circuit I created called “The Burnout.” Feel free to sample.
Complete as a circuit, 30 seconds each (no rest between):
-Ply metric pushups on to dumbbells (Set dumbbells on the outside of your hands as you are in push up position. Push up and onto those dumbbells. Perform a deep push up from there, landing back on the floor)
-Resistance band twists (I hook my bands around something fixed, then do one Lat pullback, one twist to the left, then one twist to the right. You could substitute in weighted trunk rotations if you don’t have bands)
-Alternating opposite hand-foot plank, 15 seconds each
-Plyo-pushup with half-bonsu ball (put the ball end of the half-bonsu on the ground, then do a push up that launches you off the ground as far as you can, then land softly back on your hands)
-Mountain climbers on sliders (I have floor sliders I use for these. You don’t need them)
-Reverse crunch walk-up (Start in plank, then walk your feet up to your hands. Your butt should go sky-high)
-Weighted burpee, into a shoulder press, into curls
-Elbow walk-up, into push up (Get into a plank on your elbows, then push up off them to land on your hands, then perform a push up)
You should be able to Youtube or Google most of these moves.
As the lady in the video up top said, CrossFit is about endurance, strength and diet, but it is mainly about guts. I’m pretty sure I’ll be leaving my guts in the trashcan.