In the third instalment of my CrossFit diary, I actually start to learn how to do a few things. I also decided to make a little video interview about what CrossFit is all about. For the previous diary entry (week 2), click here.
It’s not like I wasn’t enjoying CrossFit before, but this last couple of weeks seems to be hitting new levels. Why? Well, I actually felt like I was learning a few things that I thought were pretty tough.
Firstly, double-unders. Now, I actually only learned to skip a few months ago and I was pretty awful at it. I think I used to manage to do about ten proper skips before hitting myself in the leg and getting frustrated. Now I can happily skip on the spot for a few minutes without stopping at all. Yeah, double-unders are a hell of a lot trickier, but I can do about three in a row now. Considering I didn’t have a clue how to do them a few weeks ago, I’m pretty pleased with that.
Physically, they are a bit tougher, but the real difficulty is the mental timing. The obvious thing to do when you’re trying to do double skips is to swing your arms faster and jump higher. That works fine for one but then you’re completely out of sync and you have to start again, usually after you’ve whacked yourself in the shin. I’m basically turning up early for each class and spending ten minutes on them before the main WOD. Seems to be paying off.
The second thing I’ve picked up is kipping. I used to watch CrossFitters doing kipping pull-ups whilst thinking to myself “they look pointless”. To be honest, they probably are for some things, but based on the fact that CrossFit workouts are largely about speed and strength, sticking in strict pull ups for a workout is going to both wear you out and take ages to do. They are actually pretty hard to get your head round as well. For the first hundred or so tries I basically just swung about like a child on a climbing frame with no idea what I was meant to do. I’m still pretty shoddy at it, but I’m starting to work out when I am doing it right.
The third thing, and this is something I haven’t even got close to doing yet, is muscle-ups. You’d be hard pressed to find any exercise that looks quite as cool as a muscle up (maybe a kick-up – which I can actually do), so I’ve been desperate to learn how to do them for years. Turns out you need a fair bit of flexibility in the shoulders and chest to manage them, which sucks as I have very little. We’ll stick that down as a long term goal – but at least I know I need to develop some mobility and not just try and do them with raw strength alone.
Oh yeah, I also made a little video with ManVMiles about my early experience of CrossFit. Grab yourself a nice cup of tea or a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy.
Music by Nordgroove from Fugue