I'm interested in gaining strength to help me get a bit more out of my swim workouts and to be stronger for more enjoyment of some of the other activities my husband and I like to do (rock climbing, hiking around, yoga, being curious...) I swim two to three times per week with a masters group, it’s pretty competitive/intense and I’ve slowly been easing back into it. I’m not in the fastest lane yet, but I’m right next to it. The guys know I’m right on their tails.
Anyway, a couple of folks recommended CF, I’d been doing some reading about it anyway and I liked the "functional strength" angle. They lift actual weights, something I did eons ago and really enjoyed when I swam in college and was into triathlon in my late 20s. It helped. So I wanted to check out our local CF gym, get a feel for the people and the classes, etc. They required me to make an appt. for an "assessment" with a trainer (it was free) which I did.
The trainer gal was super nice and enthusiastic, but I was asking some questions she couldn't answer, which was disappointing. Also disappointing/alarming was that the on-boarding process for "lapsed athletes” (my word for folks who are wayyy out of shape) was pretty rote and didn't seem to allow for a lot of variance in fitness levels. Newbies go through a mandatory foundations session (8 classes) and then get thrown in with the rest of the groups to fend for themselves. Anyway, she ran me through what she called a mini-WOD to assess my fitness. I hadn’t prepped for a workout, but whatever. Sure. Here it is:
500 meter erg sprint
50 squats (deeper than 90 degrees, I had to squat so my butt hit a small medicine ball behind me)
25 push ups (modified, I did them girl-style on my knees, she told me to touch my chest & tummy to the floor on each)
50 sit ups (feet together, knees apart a la “butterfly” pose, had to touch the floor with my hands
1000 meter erg sprint
25 "ring pulls" (modified pullups on a set of rings, a lot like rowers)
500 meter erg sprint
I knew I was out of shape but I almost fainted when I stood up after the last erg sprint. The trainer said "Your cardio conditioning is great, but your lower body strength needs a lot of work". I gave her my best "Yep, that's why I'm here" smile and tried to walk around. I was shaking like a bowl of jello, my heart rate was through the roof, I was dizzy to the point of needing to close my eyes, and I was utterly TOAST. The whole thing only took about 15-20 mins. I was, for lack of better words, shocked and dismayed and beyond uncomfortable to a degree I’d never experienced even at the height of my hardest swimming or tri workouts. It was humbling and upsetting—like I said, I knew I was out of shape and had zero strength—I expected having my ass handed to me with a reasonable amount of “Yup. You need work, you sybarite.” But I was also scared shitless that this was a “mini” WOD. Really???? This felt downright dangerous. I got in the car and had to sit for a minute to clear my head I was so dizzy. I’m still digesting the experience and don’t know how to proceed. I want to get strong, but I don’t think I need to faint or barf to get there.
I'm still really dismayed/upset/shocked by the experience. I have no idea how to proceed because I feel like such a piece of crap after this...physically and mentally.
"Being powerful is like being a lady: if you have to tell people you are, then you aren't." - M. Thatcher