Day 23 of Fitness – Intro to CrossFit at CrossFit Atlanta
Best Self account executive: Sandy
When we began our 30 Days of Fitness series, I knew I wanted to try CrossFit. When I went to sign up for a class at CrossFit Atlanta, though, they said the first step was to take a free trial/introductory class and fitness evaluation since I had never done CrossFit before. This hour and 15 minute introduction to CrossFit is so you can make an informed decision about joining CrossFit Atlanta.
Dan MacDougald, the owner and my instructor, asked me about my goals, my experience in fitness, exercise, and sport, my injuries and limitations, and assessed my mobility and flexibility. Then he began class by telling me the history of CrossFit, who started it and the science behind it. I learned that there are ten recognized fitness domains: cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. I think this is really valuable information to have before you embark on this fitness program. Knowledge is power, and it actually motivated me! He explained how a machine-based gym does not give you the overall rounded workout that CrossFit does. You can actually be good at everything and not just one or two things when you do CrossFit.
Then we began the true workout portion. I was nervous since I thought the gym would be full of just guys who didn’t look like they needed to work out one bit! I thought they’d all be in there pumping iron. I was wrong; there were quite a few young women and older women, some guys who were super fit and some who were still on their journey of fitness. There was every age and every body type and fitness level. I was relieved.
Dan began by instructing me on basic movements like the proper way to do a pushup, pull up, sit up, squats, rowing and why I should do them that way. So many injuries are because of not doing an exercise the proper way. You don’t have to worry about that here, because they will make sure you are doing it correctly. Dan would stop me and make sure I got it right before doing any more. I felt safe and I knew I would not hurt myself with this type of personal training by my side. I learned that I can’t just keep doing “girl” pushups and think I can graduate to “men” pushups! Dan showed me a way to do them using my toes and very slowly coming down to the mat, touching the mat with my body, and then worming my way back up. He said that I would learn how to do a standard pushup faster by doing that than by keeping on my knees. I never knew that. He had me doing squats over and over until I got the form correct so that I would not hurt my knees. He prompted me in every exercise to think about where I felt the burn—if it was not in the right muscles, then I wasn’t doing it correctly. So I did them until I got the burn in the muscles I was supposed to feel it in…success! Plus, some of the exercises were fun, too, particularly the rowing – I pretended I was on the Potomac where I was brought up and the sun was rising and the wind was blowing in my face. I liked seeing the meters rack up to my set goals!
These may seem like small hurdles to some, but it’s all relative. That’s the great thing about CrossFit—each person can do their own max, be it lifting 20 pounds or 200 pounds, and you’re all still working out in a group together despite your different levels. After the workout I felt totally accomplished and excited for my Level One class next Wednesday!
This free trial is definitely worth giving a go – you will not be sorry. No matter if you are a Mr. Olympia look-alike or a grandmother of 10, they will help you understand how to reach your personal goals.
Details: 200 Permalume Place, Atlanta GA 30318, (404) 862-6580, www.crossfitatlanta.com