Friday, July 20, 2012

At least I now know what a burpee is

The same friend who got me interested in the Paleo diet lo these many years ago, also got me interested in the world of Crossfit, as these two things so often go hand and hand. As a side note, I should mention that while I'm still at a point in my life where I love bread and refined sugar far too much to forgo them, that the Paleo diet has weirdly stuck with me more than I would have thought. My go-to meal is no longer pasta, and in fact, one of my favorite casserole-type things to make at the beginning of a week is a "lasagna" with layers of spinach and sausage separated by "noodles" of thinly sliced zucchini. I've continued drinking my coffee black and even find that iced coffee is not too bitter without milk. I also continue to dislike mashed potatoes.

But I digress. I had been curious about Crossfit because, while it seemed possibly a cult, it also seemed like a very friendly cult. Whenever I was around Crossfit people, they would speak in tongues with foreign terms like "burpee" and "AMRAP." But they also seemed weirdly excited about their workouts in a way that I never have been (nope, not even with Tony). When Crossfit Dynamix (may as well plug them since they're a great gym, and right here in Astoria), had a Groupon deal to try it out for a month, I figured my chance to see what all the fuss was about had arrived. The only downside is that Crossfit Dynamix is a good few miles from me, whereas there is another Crossfit gym a few blocks away. I'm cheap and willing to walk 30 minutes at 6:30 in the morning though, so I went with the Groupon. 

The coaches of Crossfit Dynamix. Badasses, all. 
The first six classes were basic Foundations classes to learn some of the mysterious language and the accompanying moves and concepts. After that, us newbies were released into the general Crossfit population to take as many classes as we wanted. So what is Crossfit? It's daily workouts centered around constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement. So basically, the intent is to build strength that you can actually use in your everyday life. They combine movements such as sprinting, rowing, jumping ropes, climbing rope, weightlifting with different instruments including barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, kettlebells, medicine balls, and many bodyweight exercises. Workouts of the day (or WODs) include a warm-up, a skill-building segment, and a circuit of high intensity exercise--all in an hour. 

I like the compactness of this because in an hour you really feel like you've had a great workout for the day. There is also a very social vibe to the gym (the aforementioned cult-like feel). The same people come to the same workouts most days. In just a couple of weeks, I've learned many names and faces. There's a camaraderie to the workouts. They are also competitive in that you are often timed, but you're mostly competing against yourself to improve your time. Still, it definitely helps me to keep going knowing the person next to me is struggling to finish too. 

I'd like to keep going with Crossfit, but it will depend on how broke I feel after coming back from vacation. Otherwise, until it stops being a million degrees too hot for running, I'm stuck swimming laps at the pool. I'm scared of the people in the fast lane because they're super intense. Even the people in the medium lane, really. Basically, I swim in slowest lane before hitting the older women doing water aerobics. Crossfit could not have come at a better time.


  1. Do you have a recipe to share for the pasta-less veggie lasagna? Your public would appreciate it.

  2. Here's the basic recipe I use, but I make a bunch of changes: I cut the grass fed beef amount in half because I'm cheap and because 2 pounds is way too much meat. I also leave out the mushrooms because...mushrooms. I also leave out cheese in the layers, and just put cheese on top. And after putting down the meat sauce on top of the "noodles" I throw some chopped fresh spinach down with the torn basil. I've made it a bunch of different ways though, and it's always delicious. Cooked zucchini is actually nicely similar to pasta in texture. I'm thinking of investing in a mandolin for easier zucchini cutting.

  3. What a fun idea for zucchini noodles! I've only ever eaten them raw, this sounds more enjoyable though. I will add it to the list and report back soon!

    I'm glad you found a cool gym nearby. I love how friendly everyone is at the boxes I've visited also. And working out is fun again!

    Glad you gave it a try, and even liked it. :)