Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A woman named Fran kicked my ass this morning

Playing drums in this band is physically demanding. In my former band, I used to have to change my shirt after we did a gig. In this band I have to change my socks...and everything else. I am gross. A gig or a practice is like a sporting event, and when I first started playing with Mondo in '08, I would come home from practice completely spent, like I'd run 15 miles really fast. Plus I'd be sore as hell for a day afterwards. So, bored with my usual fitness routine of running and lifting -- and tired of grinding myself into bits with too many reps of this or too many miles of that -- I switched about 5 months ago to a program called CrossFit.

CrossFit is a hybrid of running, rowing, Olympic weightlifting (clean/jerk, deadlift, snatch, press), and various gymnastic moves, using body weight (pullups, pushups, etc.) and rings. The whole idea is explained better if you poke around here, but it's based on a few simple concepts: routine is the enemy; lift heavy stuff; and, finally, go hard and fast with any metcon (i.e., metabolic-conditioning, or what you might call "cardio"). The workouts are short and intense. With warmup, workout and stretching afterward, you are easily done in an hour, often faster. Typically, you'll do a strength component and then a metcon. And you will be spent at the end of it.

Some of the workouts are so-called "benchmarks" -- done by CrossFit gyms everywhere and each named after a woman -- today's was "Fran" (21 barbell thrusters, 21 pullups, then 15 of each, then 9 of each). They will all beat you up, and make you stronger.

Typically, in addition to getting faster and stronger, once you start CrossFit, you also begin to listen to what CF tells you about nutrition, and then you start to feel a hell of a lot better, and your aerobic stamina goes through the roof , and your recovery after a workout (or a gig) is much faster. And if you're me, you lose 15-20 pounds of fat that you did not even know you were carrying.

So, yeah, one of the things you're going to run into here is talk about CrossFit. If I can get one of you to start doing this, I will have succeeded. And you will feel awesome.


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