Last night, I scraped together some savings and purchased a 10 class pass for Crossfit. I don’t have the time or the money to do an unlimited month like I did before, but I truly love this exercise and this gym. I missed it, and I felt like I wasn’t challenging myself enough with regular workouts. Okay, also, I got a bit sick the last couple weeks and probably wouldn’t have gone much even if I had the ability to do so…

But last night I was back and it felt so good. It was good to see people that I had trained with before and have the coaches remember my name and work my butt off.

It was nice that my hands got plenty of time to heal up from the abuse of tearing all my callouses off. Since then, I’ve done some research on the best way to handle callouses in the future. There are two schools of thought, roughly, one that advocates gloves and one that advocates smooth callouses. Either way, I’m going to need to invest in some sort of hand care if I want to keep that from happening again.

And class began with a very real reminder that I haven’t, as of yet, done that.

The skill portion of the class was a pull up ladder. For 10 minutes, every minute, we would start a set of strict pull ups. No kipping, jumping, or hip movement in general. The first set is 1. The second is 1 + 1. Then 1 + 1 + 1, and etc… until the last set is 10. If at any point in the set, the pull up fails to be strict, then the next set starts over at 1.

The first set is easy! The tenth… not so much. I used a green band and a blue band in tandem to assist my pull ups. I tried using just the green, but I only got through 3 sets that way. Then I used both. I don’t know if I ever broke form enough to start over, but it seems like everyone did because at the start of the last set, everyone started putting stuff away so I stopped at 7. It was hard enough to get that many, and it was likely that I broke form at some point.

I was really confused as to how the timed portion of the workout would go, partly because I had no idea what hand release push ups were supposed to be:

3 Sets against a 4 minute clock:
– Row 750m
– Max rep Hand release push-ups
– Rest 4 minutes

My mind conjured visions of push ups that end in a clap or with a jump or something else equally difficult. Turns out the rowing was much more difficult than the push ups.

It seems that certain members of the gym, mostly male, have been “cheating” their push ups. The goal (for this gym) is to get the chest on the floor for each rep, and some people had been only bending their elbows moderately. So, in order for a hand release push up to be performed, one must go all the way down to the floor and lift up one’s hands. Just a simple little lift, no theatrics needed. That motion guarantees that the chest has reached the ground.

I actually find it easier to go all the way down during a push up than to try and keep my chest up, so this was not a huge deal for me. The rowing, however, was a doozy. My rowing speed tends to be about 2:20 per 500 meters. And now, I had 4 minutes to do 750 meters and then as many push ups as possible in the time remaining.

I was always one of the last to get off the rower, but at least I did complete the 750 each time. I managed 16 push ups on the 1st round, 20 on the 2nd and 18 on the 3rd, for a total of 54. My rowing speed was fastest for the 2nd round, but I’m not sure how I did it. It seemed like every time I pushed the speed close to 2 minutes per 500 meters, it would just creep right back up no matter what I did.

I think my legs are too short.

Actually, I think I’m going to start practicing rowing more. And I need to find out where I can get a jump rope at the rec center so I can work on those double unders… Pull ups are a hard one. There’s an assisted machine, but it never feels like I can get the right hand grip there. And the only pull up bar I know of there is so high I have to jump to the edge of my range just to grab it.

But still, with only having budget for one Crossfit class per week, I’m going to be trying to work on skills where and when I can.

Hm… if I use my bed to work on box jumps and the wall to work on hand stand push ups, I wonder who will complain first, my husband or my neighbors…?

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