By Jane Talbot
After more than 25 years of going to fitness classes (as both a participant and as an instructor), I can safely say I’ve pretty much seen it all. I’ve stepped up and down, I’ve pumped to the max, I’ve slid from side to side (I never actually got either the hang or the point of that one), I’ve aqua-fitted whilst pregnant, I’ve Zumba’d and I’ve hip-hopped, I’ve sported leg-warmers (for a very brief period in 1989) and (as I am spilling all the beans) I actually wore a thong OUTSIDE my lycra leggings for far longer than I ought to have. In short, up until recently I would have been happy to lay a bet with you that nothing more would surprise me in the fitness world…
Actually, I have to admit that I am writing this article in a state of pleasant surprise (and drenched in self-congratulatory “I’ve definitely done something good for my body” smugness). I am “fresh” in from a try-out at CrossFit Causeway in Coleraine and, although I sense that crawling may be the best means of moving for the next couple of days, I am already itching to have another go!
CrossFit Causeway runs regular free try-outs so you can get a taste of what is being dubbed as the new “sport of fitness”. Turning up to my try-out to be greeted by the sight of 8 fit men wearing tights under their shorts (and us women never thought it could get worse than thongs outside our leggings J) hanging off bars with sweat spewing out of them like over-enthusiastic volcanoes was a bit of an unexpected bonus.
If I am totally honest, it all looked a bit frightening and I was bracing myself for a hefty dose of humiliation.
As it turns out, this try-out session turned out to be in the life-affirming league of experiences. Led by Robin Taggart, us newbies were taken through our paces in a supportive and inclusive way as we learned more about this form of exercise.
CrossFit classes are a form of circuit training based on the use of functional movements. I found myself with a heavy ball in my hand squatting right down and then throwing the ball at a target, jumping on and off boxes, pulling myself up on rings and haring (elegantly, I might add J) around the block outside. Do you know what? It reminded me of being in the playpark as a child – and I was so focused on what I was doing, the time just flew (and the sweat just poured!)
We got lots of positive feedback and 1-1 coaching – in fact, small numbers and personal training are a feature of the CrossFit world. What’s more, everyone trains together (regardless of ability) and you get a real sense of energy and community as everyone supports each others’ efforts. If you are worn out just reading this, it might help to know that all the exercises are short and sharp, so although they may not feel easy at the time, they finish quickly!
By the end of the try-out, I was hooked . Far from being humiliated, I felt a sense of empowerment and gratitude ~ I realised I have a body that is designed to move in ways which support my daily life and, given the opportunity, that perfectly designed body of yours will show you how much it can do for you. This workout actually feels like a reward; it feels like you are doing EXACTLY what you are designed to do. If we were all collie dogs, CrossFit would be the equivalent of putting us in a field of sheep. We’d LOVE IT!
Find more out here www.crossfitcauseway.com and on Facebook (CrossFit Causeway). An “On-Ramp” beginners’ course gives a basic introduction to what CrossFit is about, how it works and teaches you the functional exercises that form the basis of the CrossFit training programme. The introductory course runs from8-9pm on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday night each week for four weeks; the twelve classes cost £60. The next On-Ramp starts Thursday 7th June. Contact Robin Taggart on 07776 181832 for more details.
Where else can you do CrossFit?
There are two other fully-affiliated CrossFit gyms in Northern Ireland: The Unit (CrossFit NorthernIreland) in Belfast and CrossFit Derry.
About Jane Talbot
Jane is a motivational speaker, trainer, personal development coach, fitness professional and sports adventurer who specialises in the fields of weightloss, confidence and relationships. www.thighhighbootcamp.com