A Year of CrossFit

22:38 Tue 01 Jun 2010
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I started CrossFit proper (i.e. non-intro classes) one year ago. Since then I’ve tried to go five times per week, and mostly succeeded. I’m in so much better shape now it’s a little ridiculous.

I had struggled for years to find some fitness program I could stick with, never managing it. Now I’m determined to keep doing CrossFit, or something very like it, as long as I am able.

This is the graph of my workouts per week; the red highlights are when I was away and didn’t stick to the routine.

I wasn’t in appalling shape when I started; I cycled frequently, played squash casually, could do self-defense classes without being totally wrecked by them. I wasn’t fit by any stretch, but wasn’t a total couch potato either.

That said, some differences between then and now:

  • I couldn’t do a single pullup. Now my personal best is 12 consecutive strict pullups, and I can usually knock out eight to ten without much trouble.
  • I had trouble doing overhead squats with just the bar (45 pounds), and when I started the intro classes had trouble with a wooden dowel. Today I did an overhead squat at 155 pounds.
  • I couldn’t do one double under[1] (to be fair, I’d had the ability to do one previously and lost it). Now my consecutive double under record is 93, and today I did 100 of them in a minute and 17 seconds (and am certain I could do better).
  • I’m pretty sure I’m able to do a 300-pound deadlift now. (I did 285 last November and am stronger at this point).
  • I’m very close to being able to get a bar weighing as much as I do from floor to overhead (my best is 165 pounds, not far off).
  • A classic CrossFit workout is “Cindy”, 5 pullups/10 pushups/15 squats as many time as you can in 20 minutes. The first time I did it, last June, I got just over 6 rounds, with kipping pullups. When I did it at the start of April 2010, I got 13 rounds—with strict pullups.
  • I can jump onto a 40-inch box without a run-up. (I definitely couldn’t do that a year ago.)
  • There’s no way in hell I could have competed in the NorCal Sectionals last June, much less managed to do the workouts as specified and avoided placing last.

I can run faster, and longer; I’m stronger in every way I can think of; I have better balance and overall body awareness; I have better endurance; and am generally far healthier.

I’m also happier and simply feel better overall.

While I’m clearly a CrossFit zealot, over time I’ve come to recognize how much of my progress has been down to my instructors—Kat, Lake, and Cip are fantastic, and as much as I respect the CrossFit methodology, it can’t get away from the need for excellent instruction, which I’ve been very lucky to have.

I’ve also been lucky to find a great, fun, and supportive group to do the workouts with. I wasn’t actively looking for camaraderie and community when I started out, but I’ve found it. Working out (and competing) with the rest of the KMSF Ciso basement crew has been an inspiration, and has helped me a phenomenal amount.

[1] Jumping rope where the rope goes under you twice each jump.

One Response to “A Year of CrossFit”

  1. Michael Says:

    “That said, some differences between then and now”

    You also cut off most of your hair, and are now an omnivore. :)

    Awesome work, Tadhg! Looking forward to another year of training together!


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