Word on the street seems to be that CrossFit is hardcore and intense – something for those people who are crazy about fitness. The group workout sessions are known for their inventive and challenging, weightlifting and aerobic activities. The sessions I attended had me sweating, panting, and eagerly awaiting some downtime after class. However, the flexibility built into the program, the coaches’ constant encouragement, and the fellow athletes’ welcoming attitudes made me confident that anyone interested in improving themselves physically could make it happen with CrossFit.

Going into my first CrossFit session, I had all that talk of how hard CrossFit is, throbbing in my brain. I consider myself an ‘in-shape’ individual, but secretly I was hoping for an easy WOD (workout of the day). Mostly, I really didn’t want to embarrass myself by having to surrender in the middle of a workout, while other more experienced athletes paraded on around me.

Turns out, neither of those things happened. My first session was at CrossFit Fire City. The warm up alone (3x—5 burpees, 10 pull-ups, 15 walking lunges) was quite intense. This was followed by a weight training portion of seated shoulder presses. Next were some push-ups, followed by the WOD. This consisted of five over-the-bar burpees and five snatches with a weighted barbell within one minute, then as many kettle-bell swings as possible within the next minute. For fifteen minutes, it was back and forth between these exercises, with no rest in between. It was hard and towards the end I didn’t always complete the five snatches before the minute was up, but I always had Sam (the coach at Fire City) pushing me, and I did finish the 15 minutes.

This may sound intense, and it was…but there was also a lot of room for catering to different strengths and abilities. For example, the snatches could be done with no weight on the barbell or with a PVC pipe. There are varying weights for kettle-bells and, in this WOD, you simply had to do as many as you were able.

All the CrossFit workouts follow this same outline—warm up, weight training, and WOD. The actual movements that fall under each of the categories change daily and are written on a board for everyone to see before the workouts begin. At CrossFit Unit the WOD I did consisted of five rounds of 20 tricep dips (either on suspended rings or on a box), 15 kettle-bell swings, and 10 V-ups (ab workout). Again, challenging yet customizable for different levels of fitness. At Reebok CrossFit Enduro it was 10 minutes of alternating between snatches, jumping rope, pushups, and kettle-bell swings. This was done with a team of four and ‘scores’ were kept by recording the number of reps everyone had done combined.

The unity and camaraderie of the athletes at all three of these CrossFit boxes was impressive. People cheered each other on and welcomed me as a newcomer. Everyone pushed themselves to do their personal best, rather than competing against each other. It was a comfortable environment to come in to. Men and women of all different sizes, strengths, and capabilities were present at these boxes, again illustrating the adaptability of the program to suit anyone.

If you’re new to the fitness game and nervous about joining CrossFit, I say don’t be. No doubt you will have a great support system waiting to push you to your max and congratulate you when you do. If you’re a seasoned athlete looking for something to push you to the next level in your fitness game, CrossFit can provide a new challenge. Each year ‘opens’ are held, which are preliminary tests for the CrossFit games. If you want to see how you stack up to other CrossFit athletes you can attend and have your scores recorded and submitted to the international CrossFit community.

Each box runs differently and has a different schedule. If you’re interested in attending sessions at one of the boxes visit their websites below and see which location and schedule works for you. Also note that you will need to attend a CrossFit fundamentals class before starting a workout regiment at any CrossFit location (information also available on the websites).

CrossFit Fire City is located at 111C King George Ave, S208559 and online at www.crossfitfirecity.com

CrossFit Unit is located at 76 Playfair Road, LHK 2 Building Lobby 2 #01-04, S367996 and online at www.crossfitunit.sg

Reebok CrossFit Enduro is located at 11 Syed Alwi Road, #01-03 Teck Heng Long Industrial Building, S207629 and online www.reebokcrossfitenduro.com