Crossfit Elements — First Session

Crossfit Central gym

Crossfit Central gym

After doing a lot of reading and research into Crossfit, I finally made the leap and joined a Crossfit gym (Crossfit Central in Austin).

Before I can jump into the Workouts of the Day (WoD) at the gym, I have to complete the three-part Crossfit Elements class to learn the proper form and technique for many of the lifts and exercises that are used in Crossfit.

And that’s how I found myself at Crossfit Central at 7:10 a.m. on a Tuesday morning to train with Crossfit coach Zachary Thiel.

There were two other ladies (both named Gina, mother and daughter) taking the Crossfit Elements class with me.

NOTE — just a reminder that I am woefully out of shape. Both ACLs have been reconstructed, and I have babied my knees for the last 10 years, doing zero running and zero leg work. I still have pretty good upper-body strength, but zero stamina.

The Crossfit Elements I class consisted of the following elements of instruction:

  • A quick warmup (some running and jumping in place, along with some air squats and push ups)
  • Squat
  • Front squat
  • Overhead squat
  • Push up
  • Kipping pull up
  • Concept II rower

A few notes:

  • I was relieved that my knees didn’t bother me during the squats. I was afraid that I wouldn’t have enough flexibility and mobility to actually go allow the way below parallel. But that was no problem.
  • Pull-ups — I’m a big, heavy guy at 260 lbs. I can manage about 2 good unassisted pull-ups. So, for the Kipping pull-up demonstration we practiced with jumping pull ups. I think I’ll probably be doing these for a while until I 1) lose a bit of wait, and 2) gain a substantial amount of stamina.
  • Rower — It’s been a few years since my marathon canoing days, so the rower (even just the instructional phase) was kicking my ass.

Once we completed our rowing instruction — and while we were still strapped into the Concept II rowers — Zachary informed us that we would go through a mini-Crossfit workout so that we could have a starting place from which to start measuring some improvements.

One of the mantras of Crossfit is “Our warmup is your workout.” And since we had just completed what turned out to be an extended warmup session. I was already pretty tired.


The mini-workout (for time):

  1. Row 500m
  2. Run 400m
  3. Squat x 30 reps
  4. Pushups x 20 reps
  5. Pull ups x 10 reps

I would say that I felt like a complete girl, except that would be an insult to the Ginas who both beat me (Gina Jr. by a full 2 minutes, and Gina Sr. by about a minute).

The 500m row completely gassed me. I couldn’t complete the entire 2 minutes worth of rowing without stopping once for a deep breath.

Nor did I complete the 400m run without stopping to walk once (it was the first time I’d tried to run in several years).

The squats were the only thing that didn’t kill me.

The pushups, I could only do 5 at a time.

And the jumping pull ups were done in two sets.

Total embarrassing, humiliating time: 9 minutes 38 seconds.


I have a very, very long and steep road to climb. But I’m committed to getting fit again. I expect it to be hard.

This entry was posted in Crossfit, Crossfit Central, Elements. Bookmark the permalink.

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