Crossfit Hosted By P3 Crossfit

What to Wear: Something Comfortable but Easy to Move in

Level of Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

Areas Worked:  Full Body

How to Train: Crossfit involves 10 General Skills: Strength, Stamina, Flexibility, Cardiovascular and Respiratory Endurance, Power, Speed, Accuracy, Agility, Balance and Coordination. Wheww, that’s a lot to prepare for.

It would be good if you had some sort of baseline when it comes to strength and cardiovascular training. Crossfit is strenuous and going from nothing to Crossfit seems like it could be a very mean experience to the body. I would definitely start with the introduction classes that are offered, and allow the certified trainers to show you proper form of the exercises they want you to do. They can watch you to make sure you don’t injure yourself. It’s like anything, jump in and soon enough you will begin to accelerate in your fitness level.

Exercises that may be helpful before beginning Crossfit: (Seasoned Fitness Peeps)  Squats, Pushups, Burpees, Lunges, 400m – 800m Sprints, Pullups, Deadlifts, Kettlebell Swings, Box Jumps, Rowing


Maggie’s Review

First Impression: The gym looked so minimalist, I thought “this doesn’t look THAT scary. It was stocked with the basics: dumbells, Olympic weights, medicine balls, kettlebells, jump ropes, pull up bars, etc. There were no fancy machines with ten different points of adjustment. It was all simple workout apparatuses that I have seen before nothing intimidating by itself. When our instructor Jon introduced himself and seemed like a nice enough guy… Not the type that would intentionally try to make you vomit. In hindsight, I had no idea how brutal nice guys could be. It all seemed so easy when Jon was giving us the layout of our WOD. A filthy fifty modified down to a dirty thirty. If people do fifty of all of these and we only need to do thirty then it should be a piece of cake right? I think you can see where this is headed…

What I liked the Most: Box Jumps… I love box jumps. I might be part kangaroo.

What I liked the Least: Burpees… They got the better of me. A love/hate relationship.

It Was…. A dirty thirty indeed! For the most part I made it through the workout without a hitch. It doesn’t mean it was easy though. I did have an overwhelming urge to vomit halfway through the burpees, but that quickly subsided when I realized how close I was to being finished. I completed my work out sometime after Kory (who flew through like a champ) and before Sara (who was writhing in pain as she had just gotten over the stomach flu). Everything else was a bit of a haze. One of the greatest takeaways I have from the experience is that If you are a beginner it is important that you have good form, so I would recommend going to an actual CrossFit facility for instruction. Push yourself, but always be aware of your body… for a workout that seems so minimalist it packs a big punch. That being said, I would recommend CrossFit for anyone from beginners looking to get a full scale workout done in half the time to well-conditioned competitive athletes. Or, incorporate CrossFit into your already established routine to mix things up a bit and add variety. I personally felt like a badass after finishing my CrossFit workout. If you want to leave the gym with a sense of accomplishment, then CrossFit is the workout for you. I can’t blame Jon too much for the rough workout, as in reality it is not the instructor that drives people to vomiting but rather the determination to feel the sense of accomplishment of finishing the WOD.

That kicked my ass: I’m probably not going to be able to move tomorrow.

Will I ever do it again? Absolutely

Overall I think: I’m not in love, but I loved it.


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.


Kory’s Review

First Impression: I was excited about this one. WOD (Workout of the Day) Dirty 30s. 10 exercises, in order, 30xs each with good form, for time. Box Jumps, Pullups, Good Mornings, Kettlebell Swings, Hanging Knee Raises, Wall Ball, Walking Lunges, Push Presses, Burpees and 100 Jump Ropes. Sounds like fun huh?

What I liked the Most: There is no doubt that this form of exercise will “stress” your entire body. I have read that crossfit may induce a calorie burn of 13-15cal/min for women and 15-18cal/min for men, when in comparison, a traditional strength program may only demand 9 calories for women and 11 calories for men per minute. I felt that extra burn stinging my lungs, my legs, my arms and everything else, and I liked it! It only took a little over 15 minutes, but it felt like I completed an hour worth of strength and cardio training.

It was… Awesome! We were fortunate to have John as our trainer, who showed proper technique and made sure that we followed suit. As a trainer myself, that is so important. Crossfit should be taken seriously. A lot of the lifts and moves are complex and if you don’t know what you are doing, you are going to get injured. Even if you know what you are doing, you can get hurt. In a typical crossfit class, you will do a lot of hard work, in a lot less time.  Working out doesn’t mean that you have to spend hours in the gym. Crossfit is about quality versus quantity while continuing to accelerate your performance gains. Good stuff.