CrossFit energetic, exciting – and exhausting
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.
HARD AT WORK: Celeste DouglasJones in action at CrossFit Algoa in Newton Park, where teams tackle various exercises