Posts Tagged ‘training’


September 19 2013

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.


Fitness Goals

March 16 2012

In April, I will run a 16.1k as part of a Relay team at the Vienna City Marathon.  Luckily, there are two teams from IST Austria, and Morten will be running the 16.1k for the other team.  We will be running together, which will make it more enjoyable.  As I was running into Vienna last week (just under 16km), I decided that I wanted to run in a marathon.  Perhaps I can be ready for the Philadelphia Marathon in November.  Anyone want to join?

A second goal came about when I was at the gym on Sunday evening.  I discovered that I can not do a pull up.  So, my goal is now to be able to do a pull up.  I spoke with Rudy, the trainer at IST Austria and expert fitness coach sponsored by Activia, who gave me a few pointers on exercises to build up strength and muscle memory.

I will share one of my feeble attempts at a pull-up.  The video is side-ways because I do not know how to rotate it.  Sorry about that!  Hopefully soon, I can share my successful attempts too.