"It never gets easier, YOU just get stronger!"
Saturday morning I tried a free CrossFit class sponsored by Luke’s Locker in Dallas. I was super excited and nervous, especially when I arrived and saw so many “athletic” looking people ready to take the class. I was intimidated! I have been interested in trying a CrossFit class for several months now so when I received an e-mail about this event I was pumped.
The event started with the main instructor describing what CrossFit is and then went over the technique for a few key exercises; the Air Squat, Kipping Pull Ups, and the Kettlebell Swing. Their way of teaching the Kettlebell Swing is so different from the RKC Kettlebell Swing that I have been taught and that I’m still trying to learn. Crossfitter’s swing the kettlebell overhead, while the RKC style has you swing the kettlebell to eye level. I prefer the RKC style! With Kipping Pull Ups you have to swing your body and use momentum to get your sternum to the bar, very different from a standard Pull Up. And finally, with the Air Squat they ask that you open your knees (they say to push the knees out), keep toes slightly pointing out to to sides (I have always been taught to keep my toes pointing forward as much as I can), and sink the hips down low, ideally past your knees. Isn’t it funny how different styles of training have you do things completely different! Toes in! Toes out! Look up! Look down! Aaaahhhh, with so many exercises I just don’t know which method is right or wrong anymore.
Before going to this class I was 100% sure that I would be joining a CrossFit box by the end of the year, but now I’m not so sure. Their style is so different that I feel like I would need to unlearn years of technique to adapt to their exercises. I don’t know what other kettlebell exercises CrossFitter’s use but I prefer the RKC style of executing the moves and don’t want to learn a “new” way of doing them. I guess I’m just stubborn that way.
The actual workout was only 10 minutes long, we did five different exercises, each for one minute for two rounds. The rest of the time was spent on warm up and learning technique. I realize an actual CrossFit class would be much longer but overall the exercises that we did for the WOD (Workout of the Day) were not as intimidating as I expected. Although I will say that for the record I HATE the Wall Ball exercise! Geezzz… having to throw a 12 lb. pound ball up in the air and then catch it sounds very easy but it’s exhausting. Since the workout was so short I booked it over to BodyPump as soon as the CrossFit class ended! I love BodyPump!!
O.k. enough CrossFit talk, in this post I want to share a workout that was requested by KITTENDELISH from youtube. She asked for a workout that focused on strengthening the back muscles. After completing this workout my entire upper body, not just my back, was sore for days. I really enjoyed it and I plan to do it again soon. Thanks Celina for getting me to come up with this workout!
I divided the workout into three parts:
Part One: Exercise Combo (see the video below) & Bonus Core Exercise. This is THE best part of the workout. It will work your entire upper body, your core, and will get your heart rate going through the roof!!
Exercise: Plank with Dumbbell Row into Push Up plus a Stability Ball Pass
Reps: Pyramid style!
Round one you do 10 reps of Planks with DB Row into Push Up followed by 10 reps of the Stability Ball Pass
Round two you do 9 reps of Planks with DB Row into Push Up followed by 9 reps of the Stability Ball Pass
Round three you do 8 reps of Planks with DB Row into Push Up followed by 8 reps of the Stability Ball Pass
Round four is 7 reps of each exercise, round 5 is 6 reps, and so on until you are down to 1 rep.
***Count each push up as one rep (Example: push up, right arm row, left arm row= one rep!)
Part Two: For this part of the workout you will need a Pull Up bar. For me, the goal is to build my upper body strength to be able to do unassisted Pull Ups. Since I am very far from reaching that goal I did Negative Chin Ups and Assisted Chin Ups. If you have the upper body strength to do full Pull Ups do that instead!
If you are doing Negative Chin Ups, you want to hold yourself in the up position, meaning hold yourself up -sternum to the bar- , for as long as you can before slowly releasing back down. The key to the exercise is releasing yourself with control. Do not allow yourself to just drop from the bar! Control-control-control!!
Exercise: Negative Chin Up (or a full Chin Up or Pull Up) followed by Squats
Reps: 1 negative chin up followed immediately by 20 Squats for 5 Rounds
Round 1: 1 negative chin up with Squats (feet hip with apart) x20
Round 2: 1 negative chin up with Squats (feet wider than hip width) x20
Round 3: 1 negative chin up with Plie Squats x20
Round 4: Assisted Chin Ups – or Pull Ups- (do your max) with Plie Squats with a toe raise x20
Round 5: Assisted Chin Ups -or Pull Ups- (do your max) with Squats with a toe raise x20
***When I say do your max, that just means do as many reps as you can with good form. I was able to do 5 Assisted Chin Ups in Round 4 and 4 Assisted Chin Ups in Round 5.
Part Three: I used my Lebert Equalizer for this part of the workout. This piece of equipment is great for strengthening the back. The exercise I chose to do with the Lebert Equalizer is the Reverse Push Up. Follow the link I provided bellow to see the technique of how to do this exercise. My technique is awful so DO NOT follow my lead! I have issues keeping my neck neutral and I need to pull my torso up more. This is a really tough exercise which requires time and practice to get the technique down.
Watch the video below for an alternative exercise if you dont’ have the Lebert Equalizer.
Exercise: Reverse Push Up and Russian Twists w/ V- Hold (extra burn!)
Reps: 10 Reverse Push Ups and 10 Russian Twists
Rounds: Repeat for a total of 3 rounds.
I hope you enjoy this workout and let me know if you have any questions. See you next time!
Oh and I don’t have a Mother Daughter Bootcamp this week because it’s no longer a “Mother Daughter Bootcamp.” Random people at the park have been joining in and I don’t feel comfortable filming them and putting the video on youtube! People are often very intimidated to just workout, so I’m sure they would not like me to post a video of them on the internet. However, I will I’ll still try to post the workouts that I come up with on the blog.