CrossFit en­er­getic, ex­cit­ing – and ex­haust­ing

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - News - Tre­maine van Aardt

It is easy to see why ropes, tyres and ham­mers have found their place along­side dumb­ells and ma­chin­ery in gyms around the world, as fit­ness fa­nat­ics move from the mun­dane mus­cle chase to func­tional fit­ness train­ing such as CrossFit.

Led by our CrossFit coach Deane Ket­zner, 26, I joined a group of about 10 mem­bers at CrossFit Al­goa in New­ton Park for a 20-minute ses­sion which left me with lac­tic acid-filled mus­cles, a rush of nau­sea and a sur­pris­ingly sat­is­fied smile at the end.

Di­vided into teams of four, we were put through our paces by Ket­zner, com­plet­ing one of the cir­cuits set out for the re­cently held En­durade East Cape Cham­pi­onship.

The work­out con­sisted of non­stop rowing, push and pull tyres, and syn­chro­nised shut­tle runs, with team mem­bers swap­ping be­tween ex­er­cises.

While ex­hausted hardly ex­plains the feel­ing you are left with af­ter­wards, the 20-minute ses­sion was the most en­er­getic and ex­cit­ing rou­tine I have ex­pe­ri­enced in years, with the ad­dic­tion to the sport slowly build­ing as we tack­led each set.

Un­like the weightlift­ing rou­tine, which is pre­dom­i­nately done in iso­la­tion – both in terms of work­ing in­di­vid­ual mus­cle group­ings on a spe­cific day and ex­er­cis­ing in­di­vid­u­ally – CrossFit is very team-orien- tated, with mem­bers con­stantly en­cour­ag­ing the next and a good sense of ri­valry be­tween com­pet­ing teams.

Ket­zner said de­spite be­ing a per­sonal trainer at one of the coun­try’s lead­ing gym brands for sev­eral years, it took him a lit­tle more than three CrossFit ses­sions to con­vert to a sport which he says fo­cuses on three el­e­ments – car­dio, weight­light­ing and gym­nas­tics.

“The idea of CrossFit is to be a Jack of all trades but master of none. By cre­at­ing a more rounded ath­lete, in terms of be­ing av­er­age in the three dis­ci­plines as op­posed to be­ing su­per strong but can’t run a few me­tres, sees one more pre­pared to take on any chal­lenge.

“The work­out plans are done at least a week or two in ad­vance, with each work­out vary­ing in time, ex­er­cises and dis­ci­plines men­tioned be­fore.

“So you keep your body guess­ing, which is al­ways a good thing to do. With weightlift­ing one be­comes ac­cus­tomed to the ex­er­cises and set rou­tine, which is not ideal.”

While the classes range in in­ten­sity, mem­bers’ in­di­vid­ual fit­ness lev­els are catered to.

CrossFit has def­i­nitely earned its place in the new age of high-in­ten­sity train­ing and de­spite the pain, pant­ing and pink cheeks dur­ing the work­outs, the plea­sure that fol­lows know­ing your body could do no more is worth it and highly rec­om­mended.

Pho­to­graph: EU­GENE COET­ZEE

HARD AT WORK: Ce­leste Dou­glasJones in ac­tion at CrossFit Al­goa in New­ton Park, where teams tackle var­i­ous ex­er­cises

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.