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Aroundthefitnessworldin80days - Day 65! CrossFit (Level 1.4: Pull-up/Push-Up/Ring Dip) Review

Overall the class was quite fun today - the group were a cheerful bunch and because the exercises involved using the frame and the WOD had people moving around, it seemed like a much more interactive session.

Saturday 6th July 2013

CrossFit! clap clap clap CrossFit! clap clap clap!

Continuing the CrossFit Class Summary (Levels 1.2 and 1.3 links below):

Level 1.4 (Pull-Up/Push-Up/Ring-Dips)

- Pull-Up: Officially with palms facing you, you reach for an overhead bar, hang for a millisecond (so there's no cheating by using momentum from pushing off the floor) and pull yourself up till your chin passes above the bar level, lower and repeat.

- Push-Up: Push up with hands under shoulder blades and elbows tucked in (weirdly much harder than normal elbows-out push ups)

- Ring-Dip: Just as you've seen it at the Olympics for the Men's gymnastics (with less spinning, flipping, planking, kicking and dismounting. Just the dip, really. Which is hard enough.).

Looking at CrossFit stats alone:

- Day 25 Level 1.3 (Deadlift/SDHP/Box Jump) : 164 calories/session, 3.28 calories/min

- Day 39 Level 1.2 (Press/Push-Press/Push-Jerk) : 137 calories/session, 2.54 calories/min

- Day 65 Level 1.4 (Pull-Up/Push-Up/Ring-Dips) : 233 calories/session, 4.24 calories/min

So, it does seem that the workouts get harder the higher the level 1 class you are doing. That could be coincidence though - the level 1 classes are designed to teach you the basic techniques, with each class teaching a different move (with the exception of levels 1.6 and 1.7, for which you need to have completed levels 1.1-1.5) so it doesn't necessarily mean that Level 1.4 should be more advanced than level 1.2. But I did find Level 1.4 much harder (and more fun!)

As always, there was a WOD (Workout of the Day) at the end of the class, using the skills learnt in that session and it's here where the heart rate spikes (and what I imagine a level 2 class is more like). However, there's always a bit of discretion because the previous WODs all used the bars and weights. So it is obviously easier to complete the WOD faster if you use a lighter weight.

Today, because we are using our own body weight and because you can't make yourself lighter (or so you think), today's WOD was particularly tricky. Friendly Instructor Kate (from Day 39 Level 1.2) did tell us that ring dips would not appear in today's WOD (thankfully - half the class barely managed to hold themselves on the rings let alone try dipping and lifting) but the WOD did include the rest - to be exact, the official WOD was: 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats, as many rounds as you can in 15minutes. And for those that couldn't quite do a full pull-up, thick elastic bands were used for assistance.

Only yesterday (Day 64 CX Worx) had I said that the body could go through a lot if it's only 30minutes. I take that back - had the WOD been for 30minutes, I wouldn't have made it. And this is even with only doing 1-2 full pull-ups each time (Instructor Kate said better to do fewer full pull-ups than 5 assisted pull-ups). The combination of the pull-ups and the extra-tricky push-ups meant that my arms were dead after only a few rounds. In the end I managed 6.5 rounds (I don't think half rounds count in CrossFit though sadly...) - frankly, I was just pleased to have been able to do 2 full pull-ups in the first round.

Overall the class was quite fun today - the group were a cheerful bunch and because the exercises involved using the frame and the WOD had people moving around, it seemed like a much more interactive session. A glimpse of the CrossFit "culty" nature perhaps? Maybe I am getting converted...

The Need To Know:

- Where: Arch 3 Gales Garden (

- Nearest Station: Bethnal Green (3mins)

- When: Various Level 1 classes one or twice a day

- How Much: Single class £13, £58 for 5 classes and more packages

- Special Note: Read Instructor Kate's inspiring story here!

The Want to Know:

- Who's it For: For those who want a long-term challenge and like the idea of raw, pure, stripped back fitness

- Sweat Scale: 7/10 on average

- Strength / Cardio / Flexi / Tone: Strength, grr!

- Complexity: 5/10. Not so complicated, just hard!

- Fun Factor: 8/10. I enjoyed more than other classes so far.

- Changing Facilities: Changing room(/kitchen) and toilet. No mirrors. Not that kind of place. More grit than fancy.

- Instructor Inspiration: 7/10. Still clear, precise and friendly!

The Stats:

- Total Time: 55mins

- Calories Burnt: 233

- Average Heart Rate: 110bpm

- Max Heart Rate: 165bpm