A few weeks ago, the UT team was invited to try out the challenges at the recently concluded Titan Games at The Camp in Taguig. You can check out photos of the event here.
It was a fun afternoon because we got the chance to be Titans even just for a few hours. For me, it was a great way to sweat and, hopefully, shed a few pounds. However, I didn’t really expect to do that in just one session. Though it did burn a lot of calories. If I wanted to see the effects, it has to be something I do on a regular basis.
Fortunately, we were asked to join Crossfit Mad Minute for a month-long session at Yakal in Makati. It got me really excited.
While I’ve tried running and lifting weights on several occasions, I felt those weren’t enough to get me fit. Plus, just going to the small gym here in our area can be really boring. Crossfit is different because it’s done as a class.
The first Crossfit Mad Minute 101 class was on November 5 (Tuesday). Cj and I geared up for our 8 pm class. I came prepared. Had rice (carbs for energy) and stretched a little to avoid cramps.
The moment we entered the gym I knew it was going to be hardcore. There was an earlier class lifting barbels. They’re also doing back squats and dead lifts. I was scared for a moment that we’d have to do those on the first day. Then we learned it was a different class. Whew.
There were nine participants in our class. RJ, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, was our coach. Before we geared for battle, he gave us a quick rundown of what to expect and introduced us to CrossFit and its benefits to the body.
I enjoyed the brief lecture because it taught us important things:
- Things that make up general fitness (stamina, strength, flexibility, endurance, speed, power, balance, coordination, agility, and accuracy)
- How each fitness aspect is developed by either the brain or body
- How functional workouts differ significantly from the machines at the gym and how these are applicable to the things we do every day
- Importance of proper form
- How to correct posture
Then it’s time to get down and dirty.
First off were squats. This looks easy but doing it the right way will require some effort.
How to do it right: while making sure your back is straight, push your hips back and go down using primarily your hips. Keep your weight balanced toward the heels and push the hips back in order to use the glutes and hamstrings.
Next are push-ups. I like these because they give the arms quite a workout. And I heard these help improve the pectorals. It’s also a great way to gauge how strong you are since you’re basically holding your entire body. It’s not the easiest thing in the world but feeling the muscles burn after a few reps is a good feeling.
How to do it right: make sure that your hands are placed close to your chest. Your body should be in a straight line. As you push down, the waist shouldn’t touch the ground first. When you push up, the chest should rise along with the entire body.
Third is the body row. This is basically the opposite of the push-ups because you’re pulling your body. This involves rings suspended on bars. All you need to do is pull yourself up. Easy, right? In my experience, this is easier than push-ups.
How to do it right: hold the rings with both hands (rings should be at chest level), bend your knees and then lean back until you’re body is in a straight, diagonal line. Pull yourself up and then bring it back down.
For the exercise, we had to do all these for a certain number of sets and then run 200 meters outside. It was quite exhausting but a lot of fun. I was breathless by the time I got to the 200-meter run but it felt really great.
I finished at around 6:09 while Cj finished way earlier at 5:02. Really good job.
The first session was a fun one. It’s not as arduous as the challenges we had during the sneak peek of the Titan Games but these exercises did make us sweat. And we felt the effects the next day.
My muscles were quite sore, which is good because it meant something is happening. That our bodies are burning calories and repairing some muscle tissues. Can’t wait for the next sessions.