I’ve been indulging in CrossPit fitness training for three weeks as I write this column, and I can affirm that the workouts do get easier, just as I had been told from the start.
Let me clarify that a bit. When I say “easier,” what I actually mean is that the muscle soreness no longer borders on crippling. Those first two or three sessions were followed by some serious pain. Fortunately, I know a local expert in the field of bodybuilding who let me in on a secret that I’ll pass along to you: Take as much Vitamin C as you can.
That expert is Bob Cameron. He’s a former Mr. Olympia and the strength trainer for Kokomo High School. He’s also a city councilman, so he wasn’t difficult to find. It seems that no matter how much Vitamin C you shove down your gullet, your body will use what it needs and expel the rest harmlessly. And the amount it does use helps your muscles recover from heavy exertion.
I tried it. It worked like a charm. Bob Cameron gets an A in my book.
Now that the pain has subsided, I can truly enjoy and appreciate the results I am getting from CrossPit. Three weeks doesn’t seem that long, but already I can feel a difference. I’ve lost a little weight. I don’t know how much because I refuse to obsess over a number on a scale. Suffice it to say that my pants fit a little looser. Score!
Conversely, I was surprised to find that my shirts are fitting a little more snugly across my chest and arms. And I feel more solid. Score again! My endurance also has increased. Exercises that seemed impossible on my first night in class are now manageable. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t excited.
But the small advances I’ve experienced to date aren’t nearly as exciting as the results one of my CrossPit classmates has seen. Here comes the obligatory testimonial, and it’s a good one. Aarin Hutchins has dropped 70 pounds since January by taking the classes. She agreed to share her thoughts on the program. She even let me take pictures of her during class for this column. Most sane people politely refuse as my photography skills are painfully pedestrian. I’m guessing I probably owe her an apology or something.
Hutchins used to take karate from Indiana Pit owners Terry and Carrie Gruel a number of years ago, and she reconnected with them after hearing about the CrossPit program at the beginning of the year.
“I was really out of shape at the time, and I didn’t realize it,” said Hutchins. “I went to my first class, I couldn’t hardly get through it. I remember thinking, ‘Are you kidding me? We’re really doing more push-ups?’ But after a few classes, I noticed a difference.”
For Hutchins, the turning point was a simple, yet punishing exercise called a plank. It involves balancing your body on your forearms and toes and keeping your body as straight as possible. It’s kind of like preparing to do a push-up, but not following through. And it makes your stomach and back muscles scream in short order.
Of course, remaining stationary is only part of the exercise. Once you’ve spent a little time in this suspended position, the instructor will ask you to relocate your arms, moving your body in the process. I’m sure my description is insufficient, but I assure you that I understand why Hutchins couldn’t perform the plank exercises when she started. Neither could I.
“But about three or four classes later, I realized I was actually doing them,” said Hutchins. “You get so strong so quick, it just happens.”
Let’s be honest. I’m nowhere close to being able to balance on my toes for more than a few seconds at this point. So, I use my knees instead. You get a similar result. And the cool thing is, no one cares if you can’t do it perfectly the first time. The instructors encourage you to perform at your pace. I’ll get to the toe balancing eventually – without the pressure. I hope that one day soon I’ll have the same epiphany Hutchins had with that exercise.
“The nice thing is it’s always at your level, and you can really do it at any state of physical fitness,” said Hutchins. “You don’t have to wait until this or that happens or changes. You can start right now, and as you improve you can do the exercises a little faster or a little harder.”
There are a lot of other cool things about CrossPit I’d love to share, but they’ll have to wait for the next column. In the meantime, you can visit indianapit.com to learn more about the program here in Kokomo. You can also call Terry and Carrie for additional information at 236-0632. Indiana Pit is located at 2140 N. Plate St., just north of Morgan Street. Come join me at CrossPit!