In college, for all purposes, I had a personal trainer, named Kevin.  Kevin started this program called “Gutcheck” and I was victim number 0.  These workouts were often intense, but Kevin was awesome.  He protected me against stalkers (yes,  I had someone follow me to my 6 a.m. workouts) and was great at challenging me to accomplish things I didn’t think I could do (I never told him that I doubted myself though, he would make me do push-ups or something for saying that).   I still blame him for my thighs getting bigger in college.

Through the last six years, I have been running a lot and doing group fitness classes: yoga, Pilates, etc. (btw, the Pilates torture machines are amazing.  I think they call them “reformers”).  I’ve been happy with this; however, I set a goal of doing a pull up over a year ago, and I still have not achieved that goal (I blame the stress of wedding planning).

So, when Kevin contacted me again recently, I began a search for “gutcheck”-like workouts.  It turns out that there is now a big movement in the workout world called Crossfit, and I found a crossfit gym near me.  (Wikipedia says that crossfit has been around since 2000 but I didn’t know about it until recently).  Honestly, I found the websites to be confusing.   But the idea is that there is a fixed workout every day and you do it.  It’s actually free, if you have the equipment.  If you don’t have equipment and/or want companions to do the workout with you, then you go to a crossfit gym.

Today was my first visit to Cross Fit New Orleans.  I arrived to a garage with doors on both ends, full of weightlifting equipment, and about a dozen people doing various things, sprinting outside the gym, lifting barbells, hanging from a bar kicking their feet up to the top.  There seemed to be no organization, yet everything was running smoothly.  At first I saw no women, but then I spotted one — lifting a barbell with huge weights on it.  I started to second guess my decision, and asked someone if this was crossfit.  They seemed confused that I would ask, but they confirmed.

I found my way to the front desk and met Tony, the owner.  He had me fill out a form, then instructed me to use a rowing machine to warm up until I saw the number 500.  After completing my first task successfully, he brought me over to a big white board. On it, there was a work-out of the day (WOD) written down with mysterious acronyms.  In a small corner, was my workout:


Wall Ball



50 m.

The first line (10-9 … ) was the number of repetitions.  I did this 10 times, decreasing the number of reps each time.  The first exercise was wall ball: I took an 8 pound ball about the size of a beach ball, squatted down, then used my legs/body to throw it up against the wall.  The second was the burpee: go down to a push-up position, down and up, and then jump up to stand.  He instructed me that I was putting too much time in the push-up part, so I should just drop down to the ground to start.   For sit-ups, he gave me this nice little cushion to support my back a little.  And, 50 m. was a 50 m. jog in between each set to cool-down.  The instruction was to do the exercises fast, then take my time with the jog.  He told me that the goal was to do it in 20 minutes.  I did it in 18.  Go me!

After the work-out, he told me more about their gym.  He mentioned that for the first 6 or so times I come, I’ll have special instruction after the work-out to teach me things about gymnastics and Olympic weight lifting (I think I gave him a funny face when he said Olympic weight lifting).  But, it seems like I have finally found a replacement for Kevin.  (Sorry, Kevin!)  But, maybe I should wait to decide that until after I’ve done a real WOD instead of just the introductory one.


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