Crossfit or, “God, I Hate Burpees!”

Posted: October 24, 2012 in Gym
Tags: , ,

Slowly but surely I am beginning to slip back into something resembling that of a regular work out schedule back at the gym, albeit reluctantly, since I REALLY enjoyed that time on the couch in front of the boob tube.  But now that I’ve completed the first two seasons of The Walking Dead, it’s ‘So long, Zombies, Hello Gym Bunnies!’  Time to snap out this Ironfunk!

The primary mission now is to lose those pounds I’ve added lately to the ‘ol waistline watching late night television, and begin on a rigid fat-burning program.  I’m still not running while I’m waiting for the soft tissue damage I sustained in my left foot at Ironman Wales thanks to all the hard downhill pounding and cobblestone roadways to heal one hundred per cent, so I’ve taken to the ergometer instead rowing approximately three to four times a week.  The short term goal now is to complete a half marathon on the erg by Christmas (21,097m) as a means of burning calories and ticking off another ‘Been there, done that’ item from my life’s bucket list.  I’m also starting a new weekly spin class with my TryForce group at Liberty Cycles.  The other main activity is strength building.

Three times a week I’m spending time getting all buffed up.  Well, I’m making the effort anyway.  I’m not going all Lou Ferrigno or anything and totally Hulking out but, instead, focusing on a specific endurance and fat-burning weights program I stole from ‘The Ultimate Guide to Weight Training for Triathlon’ by Robert G. Price.  The other bonus to this pre-laid program, apart from my not having to think or plan much, is that it’s something  that I can also do with Kelly as we also begin the process of getting her ‘bike fit’ for our big July event (details to come).  However, in keeping with this program and to burn as many fat molecules as possible – not to mention pay myself a little penance for all the potato chips I’ve consumed lately – I am aiming to amp it up once a week to include some addition plyometric routines and, yes, I’m revisiting the Push-up Challenge.  I started experimenting with plyometrics last year but, truthfully, didn’t get very far as I started a little late into the program and they were soon taken over by the pool and run workouts.  So I’m giving ‘er a go again this year.

What I learned last year is that plyometrics are HARD work, like, total ‘Holy fuck my heart is exploding hard!’  It’s definitely not for pussies.  It wasn’t something that I was very good at pushing myself through solo.  This year, however, my local YMCA is running a cross-fit program called ‘Power Circuit’ so I decided to give that a try.  After all, how hard could it be?  I just did an Ironman, right?  What an idiot I am.

Lead by one of my coaches at TryForce, each ‘circuit’ was to include seven different exercises to complete within a seven minute time frame, three times over.  As it was explained to us the routine was going to look like this:

  • 4 (laps) x running intervals
  • 20 push-ups
  • 4 x running intervals
  • 20 burpees
  • 1 (lap) frog jumps
  • 1 (lap) plank walk’s (Inch worms)
  • 20 “Mountain Climber’s”
  • 20 triceps extensions/kick backs
  • 4 x running intervals

Child’s play!  Or so I thought anyway.  Again, I’m an idiot.

The class is apparently a very popular one and a whole host of participants with different body types and fitness levels were showing up which, I must say, was very encouraging to my overly-competitive nature.  Looking around, I was neither the ‘out-of-place-token-fat-guy’ nor the ‘ripped-gym-rat-dude’.

It started off okay and the four laps of running to opposite sides of the gym posed no real challenge, nor did the push-ups.  I think ‘Hey, I’m kicking ass!’ even went through my head at one point.  There’s that idiot mentality resurfacing again.  But by the time we got to the burpees, the positivity began to erode away to a ‘Fuck me this sucks’ mentality.  Mere words can’t express how much I loathe burpees.  Whoever invented burpees was a total sadist.  Surely these were something designed for torturing prisoners of war and the like, right?  At first, you’d think they were probably conceived by the same sick minds that conjured up the Rack, the Iron Maiden, thumbscrews and the Spanish Donkey but, in actuality, they were named in the 1930’s for American physiologist Royal H. Burpee, who developed the ‘Burpee Test’ as part of his PhD in Applied Physiology from Columbia University in 1940.  Whatever, you still suck Dr. Burpee, you bastard.

After seven or eight of these abdominal burpees my energy began to fade quicker than Lance Armstrong’s reputation and I realized that after only three or so minutes, I was truly in a dire situation involving a river of excrement and a Native American water vessel without a means of propulsion.  To surmise, I was screwed.  I couldn’t walk out and leave, but I felt like I wouldn’t be able to continue either.  I was no longer jumping right up to complete my burpee so much as I was simply throwing my limp arms in the air like a drunken MILF at a wedding reception.  My heart rate soared like a jack rabbit on crack.

And let me tell you, the ‘Frog Jumps’ or ‘Mountain Climber’s’ that came later weren’t much fun either.  Fortunately, I was able to complete my routine before, say, the few old ladies who also happened to be in the class but not by much.  In short, I was a hot sweaty mess.  My body was spent and my spirit was broken and I still had two more sets to go in order to complete the “short” 45 minute class.


I silently hated on our instructor, I hated on Royal H. Burpee, I hated on life in general.  I was not in my ‘Happy Place’.


In hindsight though, this is probably the regular ass-kicking I need to burn fat and kick-start my power training, prior to starting my regular long distance training.  So while I still burpees, I’m going to try and stick with this class for the time being to see what results come of it, and crossing my fingers that I’m not going to end up dead in a pool of my own sweat in the middle of the YMCA gymnasium.


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