Thursday, 12 February 2015

If I don't get Fit, I'll get Cross.

Or: CrossFit.

I am fairly consistent with my exercise. That is something I have been getting right. The difficulty is finding the time nowadays, with busy work and PhD demands.

I had been working out with a trainer in a group situation, for about 18 months. Over the last few months, she has become increasingly shouty. There have been the odd threats of more reps if we don't do the ones she said fast enough. If things hurt, we were doing them wrong, rather than her modifying the exercise. There were a few subtle points made about my weight, and she was puritanical about eating and drinking.

One day, after a particularly shitty day at work, I went to her session. It was really the last thing I felt like doing, but I know that I usually feel better after a good sweat. Sure enough, she threatened extra reps if I didn't run up a large flight of stairs quickly enough. So, I started the steps a bit up from the bottom. One of the group dobbed me in. I got accused of cheating, and told me to do it again. I said "no", and looked at her defiantly.

She did apologise and explained that she yelled at everyone to get us to work hard, but I explained that some days are just about ticking things over, the things in your mind too heavy to focus too hard on exerting yourself.

But that was it. I haven't gone back. I don't want to be yelled at. Fuck that.

I had been a bit intrigued by crossfit for a while. I like the idea - broad athletic competence, functional and varied movements. However, it gets a bit of a bad rap on the internets. Inevitable injuries, risk of rhabdomyolysis, overzealous coaches, paleo diets.

There is a crossfit gym (or "box") near my home. My curiosity outweighed my fear, and I gave the boss man a call. I told him about my niggles, asked a few questions. He was super friendly and sensible. I booked in for a trial session, which I did last night. The coach was friendly and knowledgeable, and a stickler for technique over reps.

The trial session was tough but enjoyable. I did a session tonight.

I rocked up at the "box" tonight. There were about 25 others there.  I was greeted by a shirtless young man, with bushy beard, mohawk and a chiselled 6 pack. He smiled broadly and shook my hand hello. I met the trainer from the previous night who greeted me warmly. It was very friendly.

The exercises were very reminiscent of the things that the other kids did at school while I had my nose in a book. Plus pushups (difficult ones). There was skipping, hanging off a bar and bringing knees up (hard on my girly hands) and a trial of handstands. I have a bit of a mental block to throwing myself at the ground headfirst, however the coach staged me through it. I was never any good at monkey bars as a kid, but I shall soon be swinging on a bar.

It was fun. I grunted and sweated and I felt better for it. I look forward to more.

What about you? What would you like to try?


  1. I find working out in london so stressful. I also stopped personal trainers. I have had to get rid of all of them because they get all funny. I only had one amazing one and he has ended up being one of my best friends who I still see to this day. He was my trainer in Melbourne who has moved here.

    I stopped working out bc of the stress that came with classes, booking and the BS that surrounds it all but then I realized I was cutting my nose to spite my face and all that so I am just trying to ignore the "noise".

    But can you believe it that I finally broke my 7 year yoga drought last week and now one of my new yoga instructors is one of the ladies of london ( the real housewive of london ) and I realized the forces were truly testing me!!

  2. Cross-fit sounds great. I was in a group training session for about a year and a half. I really loved it, but I was surprised how bent out of shape I could get some mornings .....@ 5.45am.., some people used to push my buttons. I just do a pretty fast and hilly walk now for 80 minutes - about three or four times a week. I can't see myself going back to group training, although I would highly recommend it! Good work, Cilla. Xx

  3. Life is too short to exercise with someone that doesn't motivate you in the right way. It sounds like your trainer has been doing too many boot camps and has forgotten her PT clients might not like the same treatment.
    Seems like the Monkey Bars are all the go at the moment in the gyms. My 6 year old is unbelievable at the monkey bars. I got up and had a go on the school ones (remembering how good I used to be on them too). Oh my aching stomach!! It was a bit of a wake up call I have to say…!

  4. So glad you've found a training plan that suits you! Sorry to hear that PT wasn't quite working there at the end. Cross fit sounds great!

    I have now tried something I've wanted to do for a bit - non gym based body weight training. I nearly died doing the burpee challenge in the lounge room this morning.

    I'm planning to mix these workouts with the gym and my PT which, touch wood, is still going well.

    SSG xxx

  5. Life is too short to exercise. That's all. No....really. Okay, not really, ruly-truly. It's too short to exercise with nasty shouty people. Or people who smell. I like to wander the suburb in a nice polo shirt and capri pants with neat but pretty shoes and a ribbon in my hair. I pretend I'm not exercising, I'm just....wandering. Rescuing a mango here, and a birds nest there. It's nice. I don't have to talk to people. I can think of all the witty things I'll say to the P&C President next time I see him, right before I hobble him for being an obnoxious twat at the last meeting. I don't sweat and I get some me time. Mind you, I don't lose much weight either....don't really know why. Anyways. Michelle Bridges and I are now on first name terms. She sends me emails and reminds me to do the challenge thing for the day. I think we'll be friends.

  6. I've just joined the gym here and had a few issues with the trainer here. To be honest, most people I've met with exercise injuries have got them from working with a PT. I think a lot of these trainers, after doing their rather dodgy 3 month certificate, have no concept of modifying programs for different bodies. It's one size fits all.

    I told my trainer I want to run her program by my doctor to make sure it's not going to cause injury because I'm pretty sure I shouldn't be doing some of the stuff on it. Her response was well if you need that reassurance, go for it. Um, yeah, the reassurance of a medical professional vs a dumb kid, yeah I will.

  7. Rhabdomyolosis from exercise! Gosh, that's a bit hardcore. I know I have never (EVER) exercised hard enough to actually do that kind of damage.
    Crossfit sounds cool, I like the functional strength aspect of it. I am a sucker for group fitness, I can't really motivate myself- I do the exercise but I don't do them hard. However, actually, I'm OK with that. Showing up at the gym for a light workout is better than sitting on my phone at home so...

    I'm with you on the shouty trainer...seriously. I like people that are passionate about their job but they aren't curing cancer here. People exercise for all kinds of reasons and I think they need to keep that in mind a bit more sometimes.