Crossfit: One month in.

In Crossfit, there's no shame in stopping to recover for a little bit. The idea is to get back to it as quickly as your body (and mind) will allow.

Take my last routine for instance. It looked pretty manageable when written on the board.

12 burpees, (squat thrusts with a pushup and a jump thrown in), followed by 12 pullups. Repeat 10 times. Well, I suck at pullups — I'm pretty sure I can't do 12 clean ones in a row — so pretty quickly I was hopping to get myself up, then lowering myself as slowly as possible. The burpees — I can do them fine, but 10 sets sure seemed like a lot after I had only done five.

At any rate, the routine took me close to a half-hour, including some rests that probably ran as long as a minute. And after I was done I dropped to a knee. Twenty minutes later, though, I felt great, about as relaxed and filled with endorphins as can be.


Other Crossfit workouts include barbells and kettelbells, (instead of dumbells) but a lot of it is just using your own body.

So the results: In just a month, my body has tightened up considerably. I've lost about seven pounds. I didn't measure my waist, but my low-rise 34-inch-waist jeans are fitting pretty comfortably, unlike a month ago.

Here's something even more tangible. On Monday, I went to an aerobics class at the YMCA on Palm Ave. in Tampa. I've been a regular for years, but have scaled back recently because of Crossfit. Anyhoo, the instructor Brian finishes with floor exercises, mostly core work. Let me tell ya, the abs routine was much, much easier than it had been a month before.

And here's the kicker. There are no isolated ab exercises, sit-ups, crunches and the like, in Crossfit, yet just about everything involves your core.

So yeah, this shit is hard, but I'm pretty hooked. Steve's policy is first visit is free. You can reach him at 727.502.9100. By the way, Crossfit can be contoured to meet all existing fitness levels, so don't think you need to already be in shape just to show up.

One month of Crossfit workouts under the tutelage of Steve Ashton at Anytime Fitness on Central and MLK in St. Pete. Time to take some stock, evaluate results. Sorry, I don't have before-and-after pictures. I don't because, well, I have some self-respect. But let me start by saying that this program, while very challenging, works. Fast

Crossfit is all based on multiple movements and short, high-intensity workouts. It's essentially the opposite of station-to-station weight-lifting — y'know, three sets of bench, curls, triceps, etc.

I started Crossfit because I wanted to get back in shape (click here for my first Crossfit post) after shoulder surgery (in March) and not go back to the outmoded model of multiple sets on machines and free weights that I had done for years.

The longest workout I've had, and I've only done six proper Crossfit routines, has been just short of 30 minutes. Because there is very little rest involved in the exercise sequences, you get a lot of cardio. Kind of like lifting and getting sprint training at the same time. Man, do I get gassed.


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Eric Snider

Eric Snider is the dean of Bay area music critics. He started in the early 1980s as one of the founding members of Music magazine, a free bi-monthly. He was the pop music critic for the then-St. Petersburg Times from ‘87-’93. Snider was the music critic, arts editor and senior editor of Weekly Planet/Creative...
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