I first got introduced to Crossfit through my local rugby club.  About 8 of us would do a 1 hour session, 1 day per week.  For the first two classes we spent our time going through different basic movements like push-ups, squats, deadlifts, bench press, box jumps etc using what I would have considered at that time to be light weights!!  I can’t lie that the thought didn’t run through my mind a couple of times like ‘this is all a bit too easy for me’ and ‘I can’t see myself getting any benefit from this type of training as the weights are too light for me’ because up to that point in time I had spent most of my life playing some sort of sport and I had been going to the gym religiously for about 7 years so I would have considered myself to be in fairly ok shape.

 

  I guess you could say that my ego was getting in the way a bit because I had to remember that not everyone in the class went to the gym like I did all the time so it was important that everyone was reading off the same hymn sheet when it came to understanding and performing the different exercises otherwise it would ultimately hold us all back when it came to getting results.

 

I also now understand that it was important to do these exercises so that the coach could assess what our level of flexibility and strength was in order to programme the work outs that would be challenging for everyone and also be very achievable to complete as a collective group. 

 

Sure enough I got a real eye opener to the world of crossfit training as soon as I had completed the 3rd class!!! We started off with doing some mobility (warm up) exercises and then  strength training, I think it was back squatting, we then finished with a WOD (work out of the day) called FRAN. I can remember Ger (The Coach) saying that FRAN was a great bench mark work out to test yourself with as it would show you where your current fitness levels were at which got me psyched me up for the challenge.  For those of you who don’t know what FRAN is, it basically consists of 21,15,9 reps of 95lb (43kg) thrusters (a thruster is a front squat followed by an overhead press out) and pull ups for as long as it takes to complete all 45 reps of each exercise.  Now on paper FRAN looks like a very doable WOD, at least that’s what I thought anyway, but I was wrong!!  I think it took me somewhere in the region of 9 or 10 minutes to finish but for at least 7 of those 9-10 minutes my legs, forearms and lungs seized to function in a way that I never knew was possible!!  As soon as I had finished the WOD my body didn’t know what had hit it and my lungs were burning in a way that I never knew was possible!!  There I was on lying on my back on the floor of a garage gym, in a bucket of sweat, breathing hard, looking up at the ceiling, and all I could think of was….I thought I was in good shape…I NEED TO LEARN MORE, I NEED TO TRAIN HARDER….!!!

 

Long story short I stuck at Crossfit and I kept coming every week.  The friendly environment, encouragement from the coaches and the other Crossfit Mallow members along with the tailored varying training programmes slowly started to improve my strength, flexibility, aerobic fitness and endurance. I could definitely see an improvement on match days as my recovery time increased which allowed me to maintain a relatively high tempo from start to finish. I was starting to sprint faster than before because I could pump my legs faster due to the fact that we were doing a lot of Olympic lifting and resistance band running type training which increases your power, speed, flexibility and strength.

In my opinion Crossfit is the only type of training that I have come across that you can perform in a gym type environment that even comes close to resembling the trauma that your body goes through on game day.  It trains your body to push itself physically and mentally just like in a game when your approaching the last ten minutes and you have to dig deep to carry on. You don’t get bored of doing the same old exercises day in and day out as the WODS are different every day and there are so many different movements / exercises to master that keep your body guessing and therefore keep the gains coming.

 

Since I started training in Crossfit Mallow I have met a bunch of descent, sound new people and made some good friends who I probably would never have met if it wasn’t for Crossfit Mallow. I’ve even recently have been given the amazing opportunity to be a member of the Irish Crossfit team to take on England, Scotland and Wales in a tournament in Manchester in October, which is something that I never thought would ever happen to me as I am sure that you will agree that anyone who is into their sports dreams of representing there country one day. The sport of Crossfit has given me that opportunity!

 

The beauty about Crossfit is that you can treat it like a sport, which I do, or you can treat it as a way to keep fit and achieve fitness levels that you never thought were achievable.  Like anything you do in life the more you put in the more you will get out!!

 

Crossfit may not be for everyone but if you are looking for something that is different or you are into playing sports and you want to take your training to the next level then Crossfit is for you.

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