Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

January 17, 2014

How to cross-train for better fitness

By SARAH ROSE
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — "That’s the face of determination,” said Seth England, CrossFit instructor at American Martial Arts Academy in Glasgow, while looking at a few photos my coworker, Melinda Overstreet, took of me when I was participating in the class. In those photographs, my eyes were closed and my face was scrunched up. It looked like I was training for battle.

Before the session started on Wednesday, I have to admit, I was a bit intimidated. This was my first time at a CrossFit class. When I lived in Colorado, I knew a few people who were involved in CrossFit. They all used the word “intense” to describe the workout.

England started off the session by playing music I wanted to dance to. During this time, people were doing some stretching on their own. There were women and men in the class.

I was first told to do 75 squats. I had a fairly easy time doing these because I was used to doing them while in track and field. I was glad there were full-length mirrors on the walls because I could focus on my form. It’s hard to tell if you are doing something correctly if you can’t see yourself doing it. England also paid attention to our form and nicely let us know if we were doing something wrong.

Then came 75 sit ups. During this time, England reminded the group that we could go at our own pace, but we couldn’t “slack off.” I didn’t pace myself well. When I hit about 50 sit ups, I felt myself slow down substantially.

When he told me how many pull-ups he wanted me to do, I felt like laughing. There was no way I could do 30 pull ups, I thought. I did two full pull-ups, then stopped. England then let me use what looked like a resistance band, which helped me to do more. He tied the beginning and end part to the top of the bar. I put one foot into it. The band helped to “push” me up. Even with the help, though, I struggled  because I don’t have a great deal of upper arm strength. England came over a couple of time to motivate me to keep going. I did keep going, but it was a challenge.

What was even more of a challenge, though, were the push-ups because my arms were already fatigued from the pull-ups. My arms were shaking like an earthquake when I hit about 20 push-ups. Well, 20 modified push-ups.    My knees were on the ground when I was pushing myself up. England came over and told me to keep going. At the end, he said, “Let’s finish this up together.” I couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried. My arms collapsed from under me. With a few short breaks in between, I did about 43 push-ups. He wanted me to do 50.

England didn’t ask me to do as many muscle exercises as the other participants because they had experience in the class. He said he starts everyone off that way because he doesn’t want to “scare people off.”

The class is technically 45 minutes, but people who get done with their muscle exercises faster can leave.

Even though I’m still sore two days after the workout, if my schedule allowed it (I work second shift), I would participate in it at least three times a week. It was tough, but so much fun.

I enjoyed pushing myself to my limit. I would recommend this class to anyone who is serious about getting toned.

Their classes start at 5:15 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday; and 5:15 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

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