Life in the Fast Lane


I Came, I Saw, I CrossFit-ed

By 5:55 PM , , , , , , , , ,

The fitness wave is taking over Manila as quickly as there are new restaurants being featured. (And if you're from Manila, you'll know that this is fast.) In fact, it's almost as normal to ask what a person's into as it would be to ask where he/she's from: "Oh, you went to so-and-so highschool? By the way, where do you work out?"

On my end, I'm proud to say that I've completed a full year's worth of exercise. I started Holy Week last year with a quick bike ride and brisk walk within Ateneo (because I couldn't run if my life depended on me). This year's Holy Week, I kicked things off with a CrossFit WOD trial, and swam, biked, and ran on alternating days.

As a regular runner and becoming-more-frequent biker and swimmer, I wanted to challenge myself. I knew that even if I was getting stronger and faster on a cardio level, conditioning- and strength-wise, I had nothing to be proud of.

Which was why I joined that CrossFit WOD trial in the first place.

Backgrounder: last year, I actually tried CrossFit for the very first time upon my cousin's request. She had been doing CrossFit for months now and was a certified addict. She would rave about how it was such a "high" to finish the workouts and to set personal records. My competitive side emerged and I wanted to challenge myself.

So I met my cousin Nicole at 11 in the morning on Labor Day at their gym (called a "box") in the Fort without expectations other than the fact that I knew CrossFit was similar to circuit training. Then again, I really shouldn't have had any expectations given that, in CrossFit, WODs change daily.

Yes, that's one of the first things you should know about CrossFit. The workouts vary every day so that all your muscle groups get exercised in different ways.

May 1, 2012

CrossFit workouts are fast and high intensity and they usually last anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes.  That day, I remember thinking that the WOD wasn't too hard. Boy, was I wrong.

We were made to do 4 reps of 400m sprints followed by 40 alternating lunges (the CrossFit veterans did the lunges with dumbbells while I didn't have to). Let's just say that after the first set, my thighs were ready to wave the white flag. Thankfully, though, I managed to complete all four reps, but I could barely walk, sit, or stand without waddling the succeeding days. When I recovered, I went back to running, biking and swimming.

Fast forward to this year: in order to promote the new box that Crossfit MNL will soon be opening in Makati, they've been opening up their workouts to people for free at the Legazpi Park.

So on Holy Tuesday, I invited some friends to join me in the workout.

That day, we were made to do a partner WOD: AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) within 10 minutes of planks while the other did 15 push-ups and alternating lunges. Then switch (you do the push-ups and alternating lunges while your partner does the planks). My partner and I were able to complete six full rounds that evening. The following day, my thighs took a heavy beating. Thankfully, since we were off for Holy Week, I was able to regain strength in my thighs by swimming and biking.

The following Tuesday, they offered another free WOD, so I went back. This time, I made sure to really stretch well, so I was a bit more prepared. That evening, we were made to do three rounds of the following: jog around the park; midway, do 15 burpees; jog 'til the end of the park; do 20 air squats; jog around the park again; midway, do 30 mountain climbers; jog 'til the end of the park; do 20 air squats; jog around the park; midway, do 15 burpees; jog 'til the end of the park; do 20 air squats. 

I pretty much died, but I was able to do all of that in 11 minutes. The average time, according to the instructors, would be between 13 and 15 minutes, so I was pretty stoked. Best of all, the next day, my thighs didn't hurt and I was able to do a 5K run!

I hope to join their next free WOD tomorrow at the Legazpi Park since it might be one of the last ones (if not the last). Honestly, I'm not sure if I can see myself committing to CrossFit in the future once these WODs end because it's a pretty steep commitment time-wise and payment-wise; while it's been fun to challenge myself with new workouts, I still think my more imminent goal would be train well enough for a triathlon.

But from what I've seen, I get why more and more people are choosing CrossFit as their way of life: the community support is amazing (imagine hearing people shouting at you, "You can do it!" while your quads are dying, followed by fist bumps and high-fives once you finish the WOD), you really do get a personal high after a workout, and you feel stronger almost immediately.

If you want to challenge yourself, why not try CrossFit? Schedule a WOD trial today!

CrossFit Manila

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CrossFit Mad Minute

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