CrossFit Review Snapshot: Sara’s Review

First Impression: It’s not really fair to say that I had a first impression walking into P3 Crossfit because it wasn’t my  first Crossfit experience – but it is fair to say that, even after three years, I walk into every workout of the day (WOD) intimidated.

A little about Crossfit – every day is a different workout.  One day you might have 10 different tasks that you repeat a set number of reps and your score is your time.  The next day, you might see how many rounds of a different set of tasks you can finish in 20 minutes (AMRAP – as many rounds as possible).  The third may be just working your way up to a one rep max on one of the basic lifts (deadlift, front/back squat, press, push press, etc.) or Olympic lift (cleans, snatch, etc).  The motto is to train for the “unknown and unknowable”…translated – you do whatever is thrown at you and they like to keep you on your toes.  The philosophy behind Crossfit: high intensity functional movements.  That means you push yourself as hard and fast as you can using a range of functional movements.  In theory, every activity in a WOD should be something that has a real life application (e.g. a deadlift = picking things up off the ground/pull-ups=being able to pull yourself up on an object).  Now – there is some debate over the functionality of things like walking on your hands or hand stand pushups but, in general, the tasks you are given are pretty applicable to skills in day to day life.  The other unique component is that the tasks use a full range of motion so, instead of isolating say just a hamstring on a machine, you are doing full squats that tax about every known and unknown muscle in your legs.

This time around, we visited P3 Crossfit in Houston, TX which is owned and operated by John McPherson.  As a disclaimer, I have been to P3 before and think John is a pretty great trainer and not just because I know and work with his Mom, Susie – an amazing brilliant nutritional epidemiologist at UT-Houston.

What I liked the Most: Our WOD for this Hipster review was what we termed the Dirty Thirty…a scaled version of the Filthy Fifty.  The WOD included 30 reps each of box jumps, pull-ups, kettle bell swings, lunges, knees to elbows, push press, back extensions (we did good-mornings), wall ball, burpees and jump ropes…for time.  Usually the workout is 50 reps of each activity.  Things I love about Crossfit in no particular order:

  1. It’s an excellent work out.  Most WODs leave you gasping for breath or passed out on the floor.
  2. Everything can be scaled so it is difficult but not impossible. If there is something you can’t do (like a pull-up) you can scale it with bands or jumping pull ups until you get the full movement down.
  3. Average WODs are 15-20 minutes – and research has shown that high intensity interval training can be even more beneficial than longer, slower training

What I liked the Least: My P3 WOD was my first one back after a pretty ass-kicking stomach bug. Some days you are really on – and some days you are really off.  This was a really off day for me – but I finished it!

It was…Exhausting.  In a good way.

To see Kory and Maggie’s thoughts on CrossFit as well as the full review click the link below: