I’ve done several CrossFit workouts before, but I’ve never actually done CrossFit on consecutive days. I got the urge, so I decided to take a break from my old tried-and-true routine by throwing in a full week of Crossfit.
I started by gathering a list of CrossFit workouts from the official CrossFit website. I went back into the archives and put together a full week of WODs (workout of the day). I squeezed them onto a Microsoft Word document and printed it out to take with me into my home gym.
One of the first things I realized is that I didn’t understand most of the terminology, but I finally found it all explained on the CrossFit FAQ page. Probably the most useful things to understand as a beginner are the terms “PX’ed” (prescribed), “AMRAP” (as many reps as possible) and “For time” (complete the workout as fast as you can).
This is the routine that I did, along with the notes I took along the way.
Workout Name: CINDY
- 5 pull-up
- 10 push-ups
- 15 squats
My completed rounds: 12
I was able to complete 12 rounds before I couldn’t do any more pushups or pullups. I probably could have done more squats, but I didn’t know the rules on continuing. I figured that I should stop anyway, because I wasn’t sure how punishing the following week was going to be on my body. I finished my final round with an extra long set of squats of about 50 or so. I don’t remember the exact number, but it was somewhere around there.
Workout Name: NANCY
5 rounds for time:
- 400m Run
- Overhead Squats, 15 reps (95#/65#)
My time: Approx. 28 minutes
I really thought I was going to do well on this one, but wow, it was difficult. I especially had problems keeping good form on the overhead squats. I just couldn’t seem to keep my arms straight above my head while squatting. Overhead squats are a new exercise for me so I probably should have started with much less weight than what was prescribed (95 lbs. for men, 65 for women), but I powered through anyway.
Workout Name: CrossFit Tri
- 2000m Row
- 1 mile run
- 100 Double Unders (or 4x singles)
This one wasn’t timed or for reps, but I finished it at about 24 minutes. I don’t have a row machine, but I found that the suggested alternate exercise for rows are sumo deadlift high pulls (SDHP) with just an empty olympic bar (45lbs). Those things really kicked my ass. For each 100 meters, you need to do 10 SDHP’s, so for this WOD, I had to do 200 pulls. By the time I got to 150 SDHP’s, I just wanted the pain to stop! I’m not able to do double unders yet, so I just did 100 regular rope jumps instead. I realized later that single-unders are in no way able to compensate for the exertion required of double unders and that I should have done at least 400 single-unders or the official CrossFit approved one-for-one alternative, tuck jumps. Here’s a video with an example.
Workout Name: Elizabeth
21-15-9 reps for time:
- Squat Cleans (135#/95#)
- Ring Dips
My time: approx. 23 minutes
If there one thing I learned from this day, it’s that if you don’t have experience with a lift, start out with lighter weight than what is prescribed. I pulled a muscle in my arm at the very beginning of doing the squat clean, which made the rest of the workout much harder than it needed to be. I kept massaging the muscle after every couple of reps to work it out, and that helped me get through it.
This one is definitely tough. I had poor form for the first 4-5 reps and then I re-watched the exercise video on the CrossFit site a couple of times to get the form down. Since this was my first time doing this exercise, I could only get in 3-5 reps each time with short breaks in-between before starting up again.
I don’t have Olympic rings available to me, so I had to do dips on my power tower. From what I’ve read on the CrossFit forums, they recommend substituting power tower dips for olympic dips at a 2:1 ratio, and some suggest a 3:1 ratio. I have always had shoulder problems with dips so I just did them one for one. It was still a great workout.
Workout Name: Jackie
- 1000m Row
- 50 Thrusters (45#/45#)
- 30 Pull-ups
My time: 14 min. 34 seconds
I don’t know if it was the previous day’s workout or if it’s all of the workouts of the week finally catching up to me, but I was pretty sore all around. The foam roller was putting me through some pain!
This day was probably the easiest of all of them so far, but that’s not to say that it isn’t a tough workout. Thrusters are a new exercise for me. I did the exercise with just the bar (45lbs.), which is the way the workout was planned. I saw some videos of people on YouTube doing it with 45’s though. Now that’s crazy.
I also learned that there are different types of pull-ups in the CrossFit world; kipper pull-ups and butterfly pull-ups. Both of those pull-ups seem really weird. I watched a video online and I couldn’t help but laugh at how silly it looks when a group of people are doing butterfly pull-ups at the same time. I can see how these pull-ups can add some variety to a workout though and I’m sure they work a lot of other muscles that regular pull-ups don’t. I don’t have the space in my basement to swing my body around to do these, so I had to stick with regular pull-ups.
Workout Name: AMRAP 20
- 10 Burpee Box Jumps
- 10 Toes-to-bar
- 10 Burpee Wall Balls
- 10 Goblet Squats
- 400 meter run
- * 10 walking lunges before each 400m run and 10 more after reaching turn-around point
My completed rounds: 2.75 rounds in 20 min.
I got to rep 8 of round 3 on the wall ball squats when the timer went off. I went on to finish the round at 4 min. 18 seconds later. I was beat by the time this workout was finished.
Some Final Notes
CrossFit is a lot of fun! Even without lifting heavy weight, I got really sore. CrossFit is very similar to HIIT training, except that CrossFit puts more focus on functional strength & conditioning while HIIT often focuses more on cardio-only training and less weight lifting. I love that I was able to lift weights and get a cardio workout at the same time. It definitely felt like a more athletic routine than what I’ve ever done before.
There are a lot more body movements involved when doing CrossFit, so to prevent injury I would recommend that if you’re a beginner that you watch instructional videos for all of the exercises, even the ones that you think you know, because CrossFitters do a lot of things differently. I also suggest that you start slow and use a lighter weight than what is prescribed – at least for the first couple of weeks.
I’m doing my old weightlifting routine again right now, but I plan to start adding a week of CrossFit into my routine regularly from now on. I’m thinking that I might do one week of CrossFit every couple of months to start, but I had so much fun that I have a feeling I might do it a whole lot more as time goes on. The way I get with things, I wouldn’t be surprised if my garage became a fully-outfitted CrossFit gym within a year 😉