Workout of the Week: CrossFit

Members work for results at the CrossFit M.V. Gym in Vineyard Haven. — Photo by Sarah Hill Mass

What happens when all your friends join a gym and you don’t? When all my friends began talking about the high intensity strength and conditioning program, CrossFit, their enthusiasm led me to try a class. My first day, I was beyond nervous. I followed the CrossFit Martha’s Vineyard sign and thought I was surely lost when I ended up at a garage. But as I approached the door, I heard the thumping of bass, and found that I was in the correct place. Inside were weights, bars, boxes, ropes, and equipment I’ve never seen before. There were people ranging in size and muscle mass, all lifting huge barbells over their heads. These people didn’t look like the bodybuilders I’d seen on TV, but where did they get this superhuman strength? I knew I was in for a unique workout, which intrigued me since I’ve never been keen on counting calories, or reading magazines on a treadmill.

Because it is so challenging, CrossFit requires beginners’ classes, professional training, and advice as you move forward. A solid foundation is critical to staying safe. We started out learning some of the CrossFit movements: a “burpee” (starting in the standing position, drop to the floor with feet and chest on floor, and then pull legs forward, landing in a squat, stand up and end with a small jump and clap above the head); a “snatch” (the goal is to lift a barbell with a wide grip from the floor overhead in a fluid quick motion).

It quickly became clear that CrossFit requires a drive and passion to become a stronger, healthier person. I was drawn to the raw emotion, passion, and common goal to build strength. I plan to attend my second informational class, and I am looking forward to building a healthy, strong, dependable body in 2014.

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