CrossFit

December 29th, 2009
CrossFit in Downtown Colorado Springs

Lately I’ve been hearing more and more about CrossFit. It is becoming a popular way to get and stay fit. According to Wikipedia, the number of CrossFit-affiliated gyms has grown from 18 in 2005 to over 1,500 in 2009.

Instead of using machines, Crossfit uses jump ropes, calisthenics, kettlebells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, boxes, etc. The main workout for the day is an intense, timed circuit of several exercises. It also works on flexibility though stretching and other exercises. The idea is to gain functional fitness.

I’ve been curious about CrossFit. When I went over to the City Rocks climbing gym last week, I found out that there will also be a CrossFit gym there (SoCo CrossFit has moved to a different location).

The CrossFit Soco group workouts are free through the end of the year. If you’re in Colorado Springs, you only have a couple more takes to take advantage of the free workouts. The workout schedule is on their website.

I was there when a class was about to start and got talked into trying it. There was a warm up with some stretching and pull ups. Then we did the main workout which was jumping rope and lifting weights in between sets. It was timed and the goal is to finish as quickly as possible.

Even if I was cycling fit (which I’m not even close right now), I think it would have kicked my butt. It’s just a different kind of fitness than what I get from endurance cycling.

The following day I was sore. Then I added in a hike of the Manitou Incline. The day after that, it was very painful to go up and down stairs.

Yesterday I gave it another try. Although each individual exercise seemed really easy, I was dripping in sweat and tired even with a modified workout since I’m new. Today I’m sore especially in my shoulders and abs. I imagine I’ll get more sore as the day goes on.

Kevin, the trainer and owner, is great and does a good job of explaining the exercises. He said as the classes get bigger, he many need to have new members take a class to learn the exercises. It can be a bit overwhelming when everyone else knows what to do and you have no idea. The routines change every day and there are a large number of different exercises.

In January the membership is going to be $65 a month. I believe after that the price is going to $105 a month but if you get in at $65 you’ll keep that rate as long as you stay active. There’ll also be drop in and punch card rates for those that don’t go often. Since I’m not used to paying a trainer, the monthly rates seem quite a bit but I know people that’ll pay $40 a session for a personal trainer.

I believe cross training, core strength and flexibility are important for endurance athletes. I know I don’t work on them enough. It’s hard to fit everything in. Have you incorporated CrossFit into your training?

UltraRob

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Excuses, Excuses

January 11th, 2008

I’ve had way too many good reason not to workout such as being sick, the Holidays, working on my garage, etc. Spring is coming and now is the time to be training.

via The Everyday Athlete

Salomon X Alp Pro GTX Hiking Boots
Salomon X Alp Pro GTX Hiking Boots
Regular Price: $280.00
$209.95 on sale
 
Hi Tec Penrith Mid Jr. WP Hiking Boots
Hi Tec Penrith Mid Jr. WP Hiking Boots
Price: $38.73
 
Salomon X Alp Mid LTR GTX Hiking Boots
Salomon X Alp Mid LTR GTX Hiking Boots
Price: $219.95
 

Observations of Gym Rats

December 8th, 2006

Last night I went to the gym for the first time since last February or March. I went because it was cold out and more importantly I had a stiff neck and could barely turn my head to the left. I don’t feel safe riding my bike when I can’t keep track of what’s going on around me.

I spent 50 minutes on the stair machine. I’m not talking about the stair steppers that you can easily pretend to be working out but not really doing much. I use the machine that is basically a few steps of a down escalator. If you can’t keep up, you get farther from the controls and you could dropped on the floor. I would much rather do the old Manitou Incline. At least then I can see that I’ve gone somewhere and the surroundings are pretty.

The stair machines are along the wall so you can see most of the gym. I made some observations about the people there broken down by gender.

I’ll start with the 3 types of women I noticed.

  1. Very Fit and Generally Good Looking. It appeared staying fit was very important to them. Maybe they were also doing it for looks.
  2. Skinny but Didn’t Look Fit. I couldn’t decide if they were at the gym to do a minimal workout to keep from wasting away or if they were trying to burn calories so they would waste away.
  3. Overweight and Not Fit. I figured they were there in an attempt to lose weight but they’ll probably lose motivation soon.

I also came up with a list of 3 types for men. For this list I spent a tiny fraction of the time I spent making observations for the types of women.

  1. Generally Fit. They looked like they were fit from other activities or sports and were just trying to get some exercise on a cold day.
  2. Serious Iron Pumpers. These guys don’t seem to care about anything but adding more muscle. They don’t mind a little fat either as long as it makes them bigger.
  3. Fat and Out of Shape. I’m not sure why they were there other than to lose some weight or maybe not get injured with the start of ski season.

Unfortunately if someone else was making these observations, they’d probably put me in the 3rd group of men. I’ve gained back all the weight I lost training for RAAM and I really need to quit drinking so much sugar. My BMI is exactly 30 which is the boundary between being merely overweight and obese. Of course I don’t think it accounts for having much muscle.

Genetically I’d be good for the 2nd group. Even in high school when I was skinny compared to now, the guys at the local bike shop would always tell me I should be a body builder instead of a cyclist. I hate lifting weights and want to be outside so I never considered making the switch.

Right now my focus is to build my base fitness and reverse the slope of my weight. Normally December is when I get motivated for the following season and I’ve found myself thinking a lot more about cycling and working out the last couple weeks. I have a list of races in my head of races I’m interested in doing next year. I won’t be able to do them all but I have plenty of time to figure out which ones to do. Most of them are mountain bike races. Right now I just need to focus on getting in some consistent training.

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