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Gym Belle  - noun  one who enjoys pull-ups, push-ups, lifting things up/putting 'em down, PRs of all kinds, racing, jumping, spinning, daring and blogging re same (more here)


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Return to CrossFit

Ever since I tried that beginners class at CrossFit a few months back, I've kept my eye on their Elements schedule.  CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that focuses on varried, short, intense workouts.  Each day, there is a different prescribed workout.  CrossFit locations around the world aren't united by any particular business structure.  Instead, the gyms share a common philosophy.

Some CrossFit gyms will let you jump in to the main program right away, but before you can join the NYC location on 26th street, you have to complete a three week course called Elements.  For six classes, the instructors drill you on the proper form for various movements so that when you're suddenly asked to do a lot of reps really fast, or with super heavy weights, you don't hurt yourself.  Given the lawyer-to-square foot ratio in NYC, it's not terribly surprising that Elements is mandatory for everyone.

Various timing and commitment issues kept me from starting Elements right away, but a few weeks ago, I decided it was time.  Tuesday night was my first class. 

The class itself was very similar to the beginner class.  The instructors talked us through the philosophy, went over the proper form for pull ups, sit ups, squats, dead lifts, push-ups etc., and then led us through a super fast workout.  We did Tabata squats.  The idea is that you do eight sets of 20 seconds on, ten seconds off.  When you're on, you do as many squats as you can.  The idea is to maintain the number of reps you started with on your first set.  Your "score" is your lowest number of reps in any of the sets.  I started at 15, maintained for four sets, slipped down to 14.5, and then slipped to 13 on the second to last set.  The whole thing lasted less than four minutes, but it was pretty intense.

The biggest suprise of the night was that our group of six is half women!  From what I'd seen of CrossFit, I'd expected mostly dudes.

It was a fun night and I'm really looking forward to Thursday's class.  My goals right now are really short-term.  Elements comes with a two week trial membership that kicks in at the end of the three week class.  That will take me right up until the Disney Princess half-marathon.  So, for the next five weeks, I'll be cross-fitting and running more than anything else.  I'm hoping that this intense push will jumpstart my 2010.

I'll keep you posted.

-Gym Belle-

PS - Awesome inspiring articlein today's WSJ about one of the instructors.

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