A Week of CrossFit

18:00 Mon 08 Jun 2009. Updated: 19:34 23 Jun 2013
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So last week I started CrossFit proper, that is, not doing intro classes but actual CrossFit classes. In certain respects it didn’t make a difference, since the workouts are still scaled to what I can do. I did five sessions, taking Friday and Sunday as rest days.


“Erin”, five sets of:

  • 15 dumbbell split cleans at 40 pounds
  • 21 pullups

I couldn’t do it as prescribed, mainly because I couldn’t do the pullups. I also used 35-pound kettle bells instead of 40-pound dumbbells, but apparently the lighter weight of the kettle bell is almost offset by the fact that they’re harder to balance. I did five sets of:

  • 15 kettle bell split cleans at 35 pounds
  • 21 jumping pullups

I was fairly happy with this one because I’d never done a dumbbell split clean before in my life.

It took me 25:34.


Prescribed was:

5-5-5-5-5 overhead squats

Overhead squats are also new to me, and I find them extremely tough, primarily because of issues with my shoulder flexibility. It’s just really hard for me to keep my arms back when I squat, even when I’m not using weights. I spent a lot of this class practicing with a wooden bar, and then tried it with just the weightlifting bar, which is 45 pounds. I got three sets of five done, but couldn’t manage any more while keeping the bar sufficiently far back. Lots and lots of practice with these is necessary if I’m going to get the hang of them.

(This was untimed; the idea is to increase the weight each time and see what you can work up to, e.g. 5 x 65 lbs, 5 x 70 lbs, 5 x 75 lbs, 5 x 80 lbs, 5 x 85 lbs, but my line would look like: 5 x 45lbs, 5 x 45 lbs, 5 x 45 lbs, —, —.)


Prescribed was:

  • 40 L pullups
  • 800 meter run
  • 40 strict pullups
  • 800 meter run
  • 40 kipping pullups
  • 800 meter run

L pullups are pullups where your legs are extended in front of you. I can’t do any of those pullups, so did jumping pullups instead… but at this point the instructors decided that if you do jumping pullups, you have to do two-for-one. So I did three rounds of:

  • 80 jumping pullups
  • 800 meter run

This was pretty tough. Jumping pullups sound easy, and certainly seem easy at first, but 80 is nonetheless quite a lot, and in combination with running they tired me out rather quickly.

It took me 30:53.


The crazy individuals who make up the rest of the CrossFit class had lobbied for this day’s workout, which was "7000 pounds any way"—that is, go from the ground to overhead each time, n x m repetitions where n x m >= 7000. I think everyone did 94 reps at 75 pounds.

I didn’t do this one. I just don’t have the weightlifting experience, so I spent the time practicing medicine ball lifts. Harder than it sounds, but not as hard as the work the rest of the class were doing.



Five rounds for max reps of:

  • Body weight bench press
  • Pullups

The group was split up for this one, with the people less comfortable with bench presses (including myself) doing this instead:

  • 400 meter run
  • Pullups until failure

This had a 20 minute time limit, so the aim was to do as many rounds as possible. I managed six, with pullup numbers of 1, 2, 2, 2, 0, 3. Even though I can’t do more than 3 kipping pullups in a row, and therefore my pullup sections were very fast, I still finished fairly low in the rankings with six rounds. My running still seems to need a lot of work.

Overall I’m pretty happy with it. I feel healthier already (admittedly that’s not purely from CrossFit, but it definitely seems to help a lot), which is a fairly rapid return on the investment of time, and I see plenty of reasons to recommend CrossFit to more or less everyone.

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One Response to “A Week of CrossFit”

  1. Niall O'Higgins Says:

    BTW the max rounds in 20 mins of pull-ups and 400m sprints is another benchmark WOD, “Nicole”.

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