Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Quit Now

Most days, I don’t ram the virtues of Crossfit down your throat. Today is not one of those days.

If you’re at a commercial gym, I want you to quit. Hell, you want you to quit. You just don’t know it yet.

Last time you were in Buff Joe’s Spandex-O-Rama, you were probably working out alone. You were listening to Kelly Clarkson belt out a tune somebody else wrote, and you kept losing the pull-up bar to some meathead who was using it to stretch.

It took you an hour to do a workout that takes 20 minutes because you had to wait to get the 30s from a pre-teen doing quarter-range tricep kickbacks. Screw that.

Quit now.

The transition isn’t easy--after my first Crossfit workout, I walked funny for a week.

Suck it up, Sunshine. Paying your dues is well worth the effort. Our methods will give you tremendous returns in motivation, work capacity, strength, and coordination.

Working out does not have to be a solitary slog through the machine minefield. There are future Crossfitters all over the country who are currently hooked to their iPod, standing on a treadmill, staring at a 5-inch TV, wondering why they’re not getting any better at anything.

The solution? Unplug all that sh*t. Come workout with people. All the computer programming in the world can’t replicate the motivation you’ll get from watching the guy next to you work harder and longer than you ever thought possible. In a few months, you’ll be competing at his level.

I tell my friends about our workouts.

“Today, we did Angie. 100 pullups, 100 pushups, 100 situps, 100 squats. Took about 25 minutes.”

This usually results in the “Holy Sh*t” stare. This is where your friend/girlfriend/mom/boss looks at you like you just told them that you believe euthanasia is a viable method of population control.

I love the stare.

The reason you get it is the numbers you just spat out. We think nothing of doing 100 of anything, because we do it all the time. Crossfit builds amazing work capacity quickly. There’s no magic trick involved. The human body can produce a staggering volume of work. Getting it to do so requires repeated attempts at doing more work than you did the last time out.

Try to do 100 pushups. You’ll end up breaking them down into multiple sets of 5 or 10 or 15. Next time you try, you’ll do sets of 15 or 20. A few months down the road, 100 straight pushups will just be a momentary respite from those nasty pull-ups, and you’ll thank God for every rep.

Your superhuman work capacity will transfer to every physical activity you undertake. Suddenly, running a 5k feels like the saddest little workout you ever did. Baseball doesn’t even seem like a sport, and football games are over before you get a chance to break a decent sweat. Your resting heartbeat will hover in the low 60s, and you’ll be able to hold sustained aerobic activity for hours.

You’ll also be stronger than you’ve ever been in your life. We practice the most effective lifts in the world—the snatch and the clean and jerk. Each of these movements is a full-body lift that requires power and coordination to complete. The weight goes through an unparalleled range of motion extremely quickly. This results in huge power output and work volume, and a whole boatload of strength. Check out “A Physics Lesson” for further explanation.

Coordination comes from all aspects of the Crossfit experience. You’ll learn handstands, kipping, dips, muscleups, and a myriad of other gymnastics skills. Spatial awareness, balance, and agility will result. You’ll be a more effective athlete in every sport you try, because the learning curve for new skills will flatten significantly—you’ll already have all the building blocks you need.

Crossfit is not easy. You’ll pay for your gains in sweat and skin. Nonetheless, you’ll get better week after week and month after month, with no end in sight. You’ll do it with a great community of athletes who live for every moment of endorphin-induced bliss, and you’ll love every second.

Call your gym and cancel your membership. Come out to Again Faster on Sunday mornings, or stop by any of the Crossfit Affiliates. We’ll show you what you’re missing, and I guarantee you won’t ever want to go back.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am beginning to think you have lost your marbles but very entertained & intrigued.

Dan Mac

7/12/2006 06:42:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Gilson said...

Ummmm....thanks, I think. We do things slightly different around here, but it's only because "slightly different" works very well.

Ready to give it a shot?

7/12/2006 07:33:00 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

J - true true! in actuality i belong to two other gyms besides xfit, and i just canceled the one that i have to pay for. enough with the tireless hours of elliptical and fighting for a mat to stretch out. being introduced to xfit was the best thing that has happened to me as of late. i hope to beat my fat coworker in a pushup contest come september...

7/12/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Blogger Will T said...

3 words:



7/13/2006 03:33:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home