What are the best tips for CrossFit

Crossfit: This is how a beginner experiences the highly intensive workout

Up until now I always thought: fitness studios are a terrible invention. Places of torment, where sweating people with questionable fragrances meet for collective suffering. And examine yourself again and again in mirrors that are as big as the walls of a house. Everyone knows that no one can look advantageous who is trying to push 80 kilograms up on the bench press. For me, fitness studios are test laboratories for city dwellers who like to go "to sport". What a silly term.

Crossfit wants to turn the fitness world upside down

Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit. I have to say in my defense that I am a man without muscles. More like Lulatsch type. Like Thomas Müller. The Bayern striker is known to be a "spatial interpreter", that is, he recognizes where he has to run like a young foal in order to hurt the opponent. If I see a packed gym, then I also become a spatial interpreter. I know I have to run in there to hurt myself. My anxious question: Does that also apply to Crossfit, this new trend from the USA that is supposed to turn the narcissistic fitness world upside down? I have to try it out.

Brooktorkai, in Hamburg's warehouse district. The “Crossfit St. Pauli” box is on the ground floor of a former carpet store. You don't say “studio” but “box”. That sounds short and crisp, reminiscent of “boxing”, somehow powerful and strong. “Studio”, on the other hand, has the lukewarm, airy sound of a casting where you take photos and drink a latte macchiato. "It looks like a garage in the Bronx here," I think as I enter. Bare, white walls, cool halogen spotlights on the ceiling, no trace of wellness feeling. There are no mirrors, televisions or ergonomically shaped fitness equipment here either, but all sorts of barbells, weight plates and leather medicine balls.

Put it in the box - and give it your all

Coach Moritz Fiebig - hooded sweater, shorts and thighs like a racehorse - welcomes the ten participants in today's "Class". This is called that in Crossfit because “course” sounds boring and like “stomach, legs, buttocks”. A class always "only" lasts 60 minutes, "because afterwards you are totally exhausted", as Benny tells me, who, like everyone else, welcomes me with a high five and "comes here four times a week". His small height, stature and red hair are more reminiscent of an Irish rugby player. Square, practical, good.

Stretch to warm up. I can stretch. I know from running. It looks stupid, of course, that I'm the only one who doesn't get to my toes with his fingers, but it doesn't matter. Puppy bonus. Jumping jacks work better. Then it gets trickier: “Okay, everyone grabs a barbell,” Moritz calls out. They are stuck vertically in a box like spears and easily weigh ten kilos - without additional weights. “Okay, now we're going to do deadlifts. Stand up with your legs apart like sumo wrestlers and pull your barbells up to your hips. ”Anyone who watches the Olympics on television every four years knows that: chest out, buttocks in and then slowly pull up. Just don't push up, you shouldn't get cocky. However, my attitude is miserable, which Coach Moritz also subtly points out to me. After three more repetitions, I'll get the hang of it at some point. “Okay, then grab some weight plates. First ten kilos on each side, ”I hear from the left. I never thought I'd become a weight lifter in this life. Lo and behold: it feels good.

Up until now I always thought: fitness studios are a terrible invention. Places of torment, where sweating people with questionable fragrances meet for collective suffering.

David Siems, # BeatYesterday author

The Crossfit recipe: weightlifting, endurance, gymnastics and your own weight

Short drinking break, time for a short chat with the coach. He says: “Crossfit is a combination of weightlifting, endurance units, self-weight exercises and elements from gymnastics. What excites me so much about it is the complexity and composition of the exercises. "

Crossfit is not just a term, it is actually a protected trademark. In Santa Cruz, California, the program was originally developed for police officers by former competitive gymnast Greg Glassman. Word spread quickly about its effectiveness. As is so often the case, the boom from the USA spilled over to us. “Anyone who opts for this training method quickly gains a new basic feeling and a better understanding of their whole body. Above all, the transfer into everyday life is very large, ”says coach Moritz.


High intensity on the way to Rome

So far, I only knew the word transfer from the Bundesliga. But I also consider myself Thomas Müller. The eternal HSV hero and former successful trainer Felix Magath would also like it here, because medicine balls are next on the program. Magath is obsessed with medicine balls. I don't yet. We stand in front of a wall, throw this incredibly unwieldy ball at a height of almost 2.50 meters, catch it, crouch - and start all over again. The faster the better. It is really exhausting and it really hurts your legs. Above all, I can tell from my pulse rate that Crossfit is high-intensity. This is also called "high intensity training". Coach Moritz: "Many roads lead to Rome - this is one of them!"

Finally, a 20-minute circuit training session, also known as a MetCon unit (MetCon stands for "Metabolic Conditioning"), consists of four exercises: jumping rope, weight lifting, air squats (something like wide-legged squats) and burpees, a mixture from push-ups and stretch jumps. Now the fun really starts. There is only a 60-second break between the individual exercises so that the pulse stays up. “The training effect is simply better,” says Moritz, while I gasp for air. How good that crisp 90s rock by Nirvana and Rage Against The Machine is playing out of the speakers. That motivates and pushes. Otherwise I would have thrown in the towel long ago.

And suddenly I'm in the tunnel, totally focused and in the flow. As if by remote control, I go from exercise to exercise. I left my weaker self behind me somewhere for miles.

David Siems, # BeatYesterday author

Tunnel vision workout

And suddenly I'm in the tunnel, totally focused and in the flow. As if by remote control, I go from exercise to exercise. I left my weaker self behind me somewhere for a long time. And then it's over. What, already over? The 60 minutes felt like 20. All participants stand in a circle one more time and clap each other. “Well done”, congratulates us Moritz. The mineral water afterwards has rarely tasted so good, and the hot shower on site was also worth gold.

As I dry myself off, I think of an old saying: "Teamwork makes the dream work". Sure, a cliché. But it goes very well with Crossfit, where everyone cheers each other on. On the way out, Benny (the little Irish rugby player) asks: “So? Will you come back? ”That could very well be. For now, I've managed to get rid of my fears about fitness rooms. I'm just a spatial interpreter.

The day (s) after: sore muscles are guaranteed

Every athlete knows: Those who train (too) hard also get sore muscles. As painful as it can be, it is also beneficial proof that we really gave it our all. The fact that I had sore muscles in my legs for almost 10 days, despite my fitness, made me ponder a bit. Okay, I'm 41, which means my body just needs more time to regenerate. The secret, however, lies in the intensity and power of Crossfit, which should not be underestimated (especially as a beginner). The most important thing is not the brutally high number, but the correct way of doing it - an aspect that every trainer, whether fitness or crossfit, repeats like a prayer wheel. You don't always drive a car with the accelerator depressed. A hot bath, massage and a lot of cycling quickly regulate the lactate levels back to normal - and the desire for the next round of Crossfit comes back.

Crossfit to try out: The best exercises for at home

These three simple exercises can also be tried out comfortably on the living room carpet or in the fresh air. They are completed over three rounds in a so-called “21-15-9” cycle. This means that you should do all three exercises in a row 21, then 15 and finally nine times.

  • Burpee:
    The push-up jump not only strengthens the entire body, but also stimulates the cardiovascular system. You start in an upright position, crouch slightly and jump into the push-up position, then touch the floor with your chest, push yourself up again and jump your legs into a crouch. From there you jump off the floor and bring your hands together behind your head.
  • Air Squat:
    The squat begins in an upright position, feet shoulder-width apart on the floor. The hip is first pushed back. You slowly crouch down. It is important that the hips are below the level of the knee joint in the final position. The heels do not leave the ground during the exercise. Then you bring the body back into an upright position. The whole exercise sequence is carried out at speed.
  • Hand release push up:
    Pushups are a perfect way to work on upper body strength. With the so-called "HRPU", the hands briefly leave the floor in the lowest position. During this time, only the chest and thighs touch the bottom, but not the stomach. From there you push yourself back to the starting position.