Gaspari Nutrition

Margaret Schlachter

Starting At a New Gym – CrossFit Style

It must be something in the air but CrossFit and Obstacle Course Racing seems to be a training tool of choice for many racers. With my recent move and my quest to settle into a new routine here in Utah. Luckily several Spartan Racers happen to own a CrossFit gym less than two miles from my house called UTE CrossFit, convenient! It's fantastic to be working with a gym that understands what I am trying for and what my goals are.

Before you get into the meat of the workouts aka as WOD's (workout of the day) UTE CrossFit runs a two week "On-Ramp" program which introduces you to the moves and helps to instill proper form. The owners told me this would not be mandatory for me but would be a nice way to access where my form and technique is currently. Lifting has been in my life for a long time, since age 14, but there is always something more to learn so I agreed "on-ramp" would be the best way to get started.

Monday was my first "on-ramp" class in a group of mixed athletic abilities and ages we went over several movements with kettlebell. Luckily, I started training with kettlebells over a year ago so most of this class was review. However, you are never too good at something to have your form observed. I picked up a few tips and made a few adjustments and finished off that night with a kettlebell WOD. Yesterday (Tuesday) I went for my second session. I felt a little more at ease with the other people and had a chance to chat before class. It's tough sometimes being the new kid on the block when starting at a new gym but most people I find want to chat and are friendly.

Last night was two complex lifts, the snatch and hang clean. Admittedly, the hang clean is my favorite movement and was stoked to hear this one, the snatch well not so much. The snatch has been a lift I have always avoided. It was one we never used in cross training growing up and as I became an adult I felt more comfortable sticking to what I already knew. As the trainer broke down the movements, I felt awkward. I am not use to being new at something. We practiced the movements over and over with a PVC pipe then moved to the bar, using the 35lb bar I tried to get the timing down. After a few tries I started to get it awkwardly. It still doesn't feel natural. We moved onto the hang clean which was able to show off my prowess and lifted my spirits. We finished off the lesson with handstands and box handstand push-ups. Before we finished up for the night we closed with a Tabada workout putting together all the moves we had just learned.

On-Ramp is teaching me for as much as I already know, it's never too late to learn more. It's humbling being a beginner again at times but is helpful to remind us we all started somewhere. No, I will not be on the CrossFit games anytime soon, but am happy to have a lifting routine mixed back in with my workouts. So for the next week and a half I will continue to be a beginner and use the time to practice my form and pick up more than a few new skills along the way.

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