Originally Posted by THE ABS WHISPERER GETS CROSSFIT by David Moretti
Crossfit Hollywood was the second hardest thing I’ve done in recent weeks.
Focusing on my workout instead of the absolutely perfect male bodies that surrounded me in class. The athletes partaking in this endeavor were people you don’t think actually exist in real life. But at the Crossfit Hollywood gym, they do. I’m not exaggerating when I say they make Abercrombie models look like they should probably start passing on dessert.
And I’m talking when Abercrombie was still good.
Upon entering, once you get past the visual overload, you notice a room full of eerily still equipment: Gymnastic rings, pull up bars, kettlebells, free weights, barbells, punching bags, platforms, and a multitude of other torture workout devices lay there quietly, almost daring you to approach. They seem to know something you don’t. It’s the calm before the storm. The students (a term which seems almost derogatory based on appearances) are pulsing with anticipation. They are literally begging to start…
I’m trying not to crap myself.
Today’s workout is called “Barbara.” The class gets divided into 3 teams of 5. One person is always at a station completing his or her part of the cycle: 20 Burpees (an explosive pushup from a squatting position followed by an aerial jump), 20 box jumps (jump onto a platform 24 inches high and then back down), 20 thrusters (squat with a 95 lb. barbell on your delts and press it up above your head as you stand), 20 sumo deadlift high pulls (wide stance, close-grip, barbell pull-up to your chin), and 20 pull-ups. You do this 3 times against the two other teams, waiting for the person in front of you to finish before moving on, thus truly enforcing the concept of being on a team. It’s more than just your own ass on the line, and I quickly realize that this offers huge motivation to keep going.
Because here’s the thing—I thought I was in pretty damn good shape until I met this bitch Barbara. Evidently naming the workout after what sounds like an un-athletic distant cousin on your mother’s side is intended to be a catalyst to pushing yourself. Well, she still kicked my ass and I was pushing. At more than a few points I had to pause, hand on my knees with forehead between my legs, just to regain my composure. This sure as hell wasn’t a workout I could have ever pulled off with my iPod on the gym floor. I would have dropped out after the first round.
Yet against a backdrop of intense, adrenaline-pumping music, were the constant barks of motivation from my teammates who I originally thought were too perfect to function. And with such visual and audible motivation, I somehow got through it... barely.
Only then did I notice there were no mirrors anywhere. I wasn’t trying to see if I'd turned into an Abercrombie model from 2002; I was just trying to see if I was still alive, or a mere apparition hovering above my lifeless body. And after realizing I was, indeed, alive, I asked why there were no mirrors (though I assumed it was because some student would have gone insane, cracked the glass, and used shards to stab the next person ordering him to do another burpee).
Andy Thompson, enthusiastic club manager and fantastic class instructor responded, “The focus of Crossfit is performance, not aesthetics.”
That made me stop and process my surroundings. Everyone was smiling, congratulating each other, and interested in all things but themselves. There was not a single self-righteous display of flexing, intimidating stare down, nor any other flagrant display of insecurity that one gets used to seeing in group classes. They were all, essentially, friendly Adonises.
Now I’m definitely ready for my next class.