I celebrated my birthday earlier this summer and one of the most novel presents I received was an induction to CrossFit gym. CrossFit is a brand of gym around the world that prides itself on being a little different in concept to other chains. I had previously steered clear of my local CrossFit gym, having noticed the bare concrete floors, lack of gym machines and stacks of weights scattered across the industrial unit. However, I was in for a surprise when I stepped through the doors for the first of six intensive one-hour “On Ramp” induction sessions.
I was greeted enthusiastically by name and the entire gym congregated for the warm-up. Nothing too taxing, incorporating team work and a bit of competition for fun. There was a good proportion of ladies to men, and the age group was predominantly 25-35.
The final warm-up team race reminded me of school gym lessons- three teams lining up, passing a medicine ball to the person behind either over or under, then the last person running to the front and repeating till everyone in the team has run to the front. I had broken a sweat, all my major muscle groups had been engaged, and best of all, I had hardly noticed it!
After the warm-up, the beginners followed one of the two friendly instructors out back into a private car park and we spent the next 40 minutes working on squat technique. I was blown away by how much they emphasised good technique, carefully observing each of us as we went through the motions slowly. At CrossFit, it’s all about the classes, but you can’t partake until they have inducted you successfully or assessed that you know how to do all the necessary core movements safely and well. I’ve been plagued in the last year by a bad left knee, but by doing the squats with proper technique, it was a pain-free experience!
The sense of camaraderie was evident throughout the gym, with birthday invites chalked on the wall, evenings out and high fives all round at the end of the session.
If, like me, you have ever found yourself in a training rut or looking for a social and healthy scene, take up CrossFit’s free taster session offer and see if it’s for you. For me, roll on the next session!
P.S. I am not in any way affiliated with CrossFit gyms, I just found their approach refreshing. Always check with your physician before commencing/altering your physical routine.