And happy long weekend to my Canadian friends. Anyone else feel like their brain is in long weekend mode already? There’s meant to be tons of sun shining over Vancouver and that means you’ll probably find me at the beach, on the sea wall, or up a mountain for the next couple of days. I’m planning on taking some quality time away from my computer screen, and hopefully you’ll do the same!
Work It Out
As those of you who have been hanging out around here for a while know, I’ve traded in a lot of the endurance training that used to make up my fitness regimen for solo strength training, HIIT-style workouts and Crossfit. I remember back in January when the thought of walking into a Crossfit class was enormously intimidating to me, and this self-imposed fear was one I’d formed based on what I’d seen and heard about the sport until that point.
I knew about things like handstand push-ups, kipping pull-ups, toes to bar, and muscle-ups, and felt like there’s no way it could be something I’d enjoy because I couldn’t do any of these movements. After seeing some of the impressively muscular physiques of pro Crossfit athletes, I just assumed you had to be superhuman – even to do a class.
And you know what? I STILL can’t do any of those movements I listed above. But since January I’ve learned that there is SO much more to a Crossfit class than high-skill gymnastics, and even those exercises have infinitely scalable variations for any fitness level. I’ve learned that it’s not about how heavy you can squat or how many handstand push-ups you can do, but about developing all-around fitness of all kinds. There’s kettlebell swings, barbell cleans, dumbbell thrusters, box jumps, wall balls, lunges, burpees and other bodyweight movements, rowing, running and so much more. Not only are these totally doable, but I’m actually getting pretty good at some of them!
(On a side note, while some of my pre-conceived notions were proven wrong, there were certainly some stereotypes about the Crossfit community that were I’ve realized are hilariously correct. Just to be clear, I have not turned into a hardcore loyalist, nor have I adopted said stereotypical behaviours.)
With all that said, today’s workout is one I wanted to share for all of you who, like I once did, feel intimidated by Crossfit. Much like recent circuits I’ve posted, this routine can be adjusted based on your fitness level and doesn’t require any crazy-flexy gymnastics abilities.
In a typical class at my Crossfit gym, you’d do a strength portion (think heavier weights, slower movements, fewer reps, and possibly lower heart rate), followed by metabolic conditioning (high heart rate, fast movement, more reps and lighter but still challenging weight). The workout below is an example of the latter, done after the heavy strength work. You can do it that way if you like, or just toss it into your existing regimen wherever you have time.
The 10 Minutes of Fire AMRAP Workout
AMRAP stands for As Many Rounds As Possible, and that’s what you’ll do in a 10 minute time span. That’s right – 10 minutes – that’s it. But the short workout means you need to give it an all-out effort and try to squeeze in as many rounds as you can, so don’t think you won’t get sweaty! You’ll start and finish with a 400m run or row, and prior to doing any of this, be sure to do some stretching and light warming up to prepare your muscles for action.
- Dumbbell lunges: Hold one dumbell up above your head and the other down by your side for half of the reps, then switch. This will force your core to stay activated in order to maintain balance. If you don’t have space to walk, simply stay in one spot and alternate the leg that steps forward into the lunge. If you’re a beginner, ditch the weights entirely.
- Kettlebell swings: This video breaks down a Russian kettlebell swing, which is where you swing the kettlebell up to eye height. You can do it this way or take it up a notch with an American kettlebell swing, where the kettlebell swings up above your head (video here). If you’re a beginner, keep the weight light and focus on feeling comfortable with the movement before trying to do it quickly.
- Wall balls: Here’s a great article that breaks down the move (which isn’t complicated at all) + provides some good form tips.
- Box jumps: If a standard box is too high, feel free to use an adjustable step. If you don’t have a box at all, swap these for squat jumps.
Turn It Up
Have A Read
- Lift weights faster. But how? – via Stephanie Rondeau, the blogger behind I Train Therefore I Eat. I LOVE this article. If you feel like you’re strength training without a plan and feel you need a big more structure or method to the madness, this post will give you some ideas.
- The most common athletic injuries in women and how to avoid them – via Self
- 13 simple ways to amp up your pushup – via Shape
So tell me… were you once intimidated by a fitness class or sport, only to discover that you actually really enjoyed it? Any fitness victories to report? Tell me all about them!