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Thread: 1st experience at Cross-Fit "On ramp" class...wondering, "is this normal?" page

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    Canarygirl's Avatar
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    1st experience at Cross-Fit "On ramp" class...wondering, "is this normal?"

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    I finished 5 prerequisite personal training sessions at my local cross-fit gym before they would let me take my first on-ramp class. I mostly enjoyed the personal sessions, especially learning the olympic lifting techniques. And I liked the trainer. But the one on-ramp class I went to, I thought was pretty terrible and it didn't make me ever want to go back. I'd like to know if this experience sounds normal to you experienced people, or not.

    That day there were two classes happening at the same time--a regular CF and the onramp class and they kind of merged together...it was loud, chaotic, and hard to hear (for me). The leader knew that I was brand new and older (I'm 52) but I hadn't worked with him before.

    There was a warm-up (running around the block), a bit of unstructured rolling around on foam rollers, a bit of lifting a pvc stick, then an aerobic-y circuit of rowing 500 meters, 10 "double-unders" (jump rope) to which I was "WTF?" and left me with a bunch of red welts on the fronts of my shins, and 10 wall-balls if I have the jargon right. The instructer told us to do this series of exercises in sequence, switch off with eachother, then repeat. There was no explanation, demonstration, or scale-back consultations offered which made me feel frustrated/embarrassed especially because I couldn't do the double-unders at all. Then when the workout was almost over he finally told me I was supposed to switch exercises when the other people switched, not when I'd completed the recommended number of reps. I think I screwed things up for the other people because I wasn't doing it right. After the workout was done I started feeling more angry about the whole thing, it was kind of a bad experience and shouldn't have been. I felt like, "why would I want to spend $150/mo to do a disorganized, half-assed deal that makes me feel like a failure like back in high-school PE class?"

    I called the club co-owner and he apologized saying that trainer was new and that I should come back in and try it again, with him as the instructor. But I'm having a hard time getting myself to go. I wanted to feel successful at this first class to give me a boost of confidence. But the first class had the opposite effect and I'm doubting this could magically turn-around. I tend to be on the deliberate side, I don't have a high "kinesthetic intelligence", and I don't like to feel pushed to go faster than I want to go (which isn't fast).

    Is cross-fit just not for me? If not, is there any other way I can get the experience of weight lifting that isn't solitary, but that doesn't cost $50 or more an hour?
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    tfarny's Avatar
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    Occam's razor - most likely solution is that branch of crossfit sucks and is not a great place to be for you. $150/month is a very expensive gym membership and you should know damn well you are getting value for money. If you've already paid for it, you might give them another shot. At least crossfit doesn't require 12 month commitments and contracts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canarygirl View Post
    ... why would I want to spend $150/mo ...
    Are you shitting me? What a colossal rip-off. Almost $2000 per year for someone to tell you what exercises to do? That's just insane. Get the PBF and DIY for free.

    Gordo

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    Yeah, that gym sounds really disorganized. The fundamentals classes at my gym are scheduled in their own time block, and the coaches don't just throw the newbies in with the general classes like that. Sounds like you got either an inexperienced coach, as they're claiming, or they are not a great affiliate. I question their judgement in having that coach running a beginners' class if he was new. In my opinion, a beginners' class needs a seasoned coach because you need someone who knows how to modify stuff, how to spot form problems and correct them, and so on. That expertise takes time to develop, and having a new coach who is trying to handle two classes at once all jumbled up like that is a recipe for trouble.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canarygirl View Post
    I called the club co-owner and he apologized saying that trainer was new and that I should come back in and try it again, with him as the instructor. But I'm having a hard time getting myself to go. I wanted to feel successful at this first class to give me a boost of confidence. But the first class had the opposite effect and I'm doubting this could magically turn-around. I tend to be on the deliberate side, I don't have a high "kinesthetic intelligence", and I don't like to feel pushed to go faster than I want to go (which isn't fast).
    I would absolutely go to the class led by the co-owner, and try to find out what other recommneded classes would be for you. (At least while your first months membership is paid for.) A teacher/instructor can make all the difference in the world. I would never take a class again with the instructor you disliked. (I'd think hard before paying that again though as there are so many free resources online that may be just as useful to you. You could still get lots of ideas for things to try at home by going to some better quality classes there until your membership is up...)

    Good for you for speaking up and telling the co-owner (who will most likely discuss it w/ the instructor). I've read over and over on crossfit sites that it is for anyone, at any level, at any age. Obviously the instructor you had was not very good. Believe me, many 'experienced' folks in a class like that will probably be thinking "why isn't the instructor scaling this down for this newbie? He/she could get injured!" I always think its a sign of a poor instructor if needed modifications are not shared with the class participants...

    Good luck! I hope you find a way to get your money's worth out of the experience!
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    I agree with what the others have said. Every Crossfit box is different, with it's own "personality" etc. I've been to boxes that were deathly in love with "the sexy metcon" and did NOTHING but chippers every day :/ Then there are the boxes that just WORK for me... they have a long-term philosophy and plan and it shows in their programming.

    I'd go and take a different class as the owner suggested, but if that one doesn't work for you, I'd ask for a pro-rated refund and find a different box. Crossfit is not like the typical globo-gym where every one of their locations strives to be exactly the same... it's the opposite. Unless this is the only Crossfit box in your town, there's probably a box that fits your needs better

    It's like finding a hair dresser LOL... what works for some people is a disaster for others... and it's frustrating to have a bad experience, but if you keep looking, you'll find your diamond

    Good luck!

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    Thanks a lot for your input. The co-owner agreed to hold my 1st month's payment until I finished a second class with him. I'll ask him if the weekday evening onramp classes are ever held in their own time block or are always at the same time as a regular CF class. That's a key issue, being able to hear. Second key issue is having the right instructor. I'll also investigate other CF gyms in my area.

    Has anybody here got their own barbell rack and plates? I could see buying some of those...but I sure like the idea of the social/group setting too.
    I'm a quitter...but I'm back now.

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    lolov's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Canarygirl View Post
    Thanks a lot for your input. The co-owner agreed to hold my 1st month's payment until I finished a second class with him. I'll ask him if the weekday evening onramp classes are ever held in their own time block or are always at the same time as a regular CF class. That's a key issue, being able to hear. Second key issue is having the right instructor. I'll also investigate other CF gyms in my area.

    Has anybody here got their own barbell rack and plates? I could see buying some of those...but I sure like the idea of the social/group setting too.

    I like that social aspect, too... I find it motivating and it keeps me honest and accountable

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    Quote Originally Posted by Canarygirl View Post
    Has anybody here got their own barbell rack and plates? I could see buying some of those...but I sure like the idea of the social/group setting too.
    I got a power rack and Oly set off Craigslist for $350. Even if you budget another $250 or so for some nice dumbbells and a bench, you're still looking at only four months worth of crossfit. And if you ever quit, getting all your money back(or more) is a snap. You could always find a workout partner if you need the social interaction/external motivation. I don't bother, so it's real nice to have the rack in case I need to dump a squat.

    Gordo

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    I need the group environment to keep me going. I've tried having a gym membership on my own, and if I don't have a trainer or someone I'm working with, I tend to slack off going. I do best when I have to go somewhere at a certain time and when I have someone who'll call me out if I'm skipping too often. I tend to be a bit of an introvert, so you'd think that a group wouldn't be as good for me, but if I don't have a scheduled class, I will tend to just hang out at home and read instead of working out. It's nice to say "well, doing X at home is cheap/free", but for some of us, a Crossfit box is a good motivator. Finding a friend to work out with sounds great, but in my experience, it rarely works out since personal schedules are not as strict as gym schedules.
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

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