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My Crossfit Baseline Assessment

furo

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I stopped by a crossfit gym last Friday just to see what was there. I'd never read much about Crossfit outside of casual web browsing. My normal gym is one of those LA Boxing style gyms where I do a lot of bag work with a mix of what I'd say are some crossfit elements.

But damn, this baseline assessment kicked my ass hard. The exercises were:

500m row on their rowing machine
40 air-squats (have to touch a 12" medicine ball when you squat down)
30 weird situps with no ankle support
20 burpees
10 pullups

I thought I was in pretty good shape going into this, with experience in all of the above exercises except the rowing machine

Well, that row machine destroyed me. After I got the machine to about 250-300 meters, I could feel most of my muscles starting to fatigue. And after I got up from the row machine, I felt flat-out weak and beaten.

The rest of the exercises I stumbled through to a finishing time of 7:15

I'm guessing I did poorly because I just don't have any experience on the rowing machine, but I was honestly surprised to see how beaten I was after finishing. After finishing, my lungs burned for about 30 minutes, and I could barely walk for the first 10 minutes. And I don't consider myself in poor cardio shape at all; I ran 4.2 miles two days ago at a 7:20/mile pace at 4,500 ft of elevation.

Oh well. Was an interesting experience.
 

rjmaiorano

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^^^ Doing all of that well is very dependent a strong core.
 

db_ggmm

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Sounds like you would do great fooling around with a row machine and can skip the xfit.
 

Tooch4321

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Originally Posted by furo
I stopped by a crossfit gym last Friday just to see what was there. I'd never read much about Crossfit outside of casual web browsing. My normal gym is one of those LA Boxing style gyms where I do a lot of bag work with a mix of what I'd say are some crossfit elements.

But damn, this baseline assessment kicked my ass hard. The exercises were:

500m row on their rowing machine
40 air-squats (have to touch a 12" medicine ball when you squat down)
30 weird situps with no ankle support
20 burpees
10 pullups

I thought I was in pretty good shape going into this, with experience in all of the above exercises except the rowing machine

Well, that row machine destroyed me. After I got the machine to about 250-300 meters, I could feel most of my muscles starting to fatigue. And after I got up from the row machine, I felt flat-out weak and beaten.

The rest of the exercises I stumbled through to a finishing time of 7:15

I'm guessing I did poorly because I just don't have any experience on the rowing machine, but I was honestly surprised to see how beaten I was after finishing. After finishing, my lungs burned for about 30 minutes, and I could barely walk for the first 10 minutes. And I don't consider myself in poor cardio shape at all; I ran 4.2 miles two days ago at a 7:20/mile pace at 4,500 ft of elevation.

Oh well. Was an interesting experience.


Depends on what and how you were training before you tried this assessment, I know I shocked the shit outta the instructors and so called "athletes" when I proceeded not only finish in just over 4 minutes, but I also demolished several of these "athletes" who have been doing CrossFit from 6 months to over 2 years. That was the proof I needed to show me that CrossFit wasn't for me...
 

Valor

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I can't do 10 pull ups =( I think 500m erg is pretty easy though, its just quads mostly.
 

LucasCLarson

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Originally Posted by Tooch4321
Depends on what and how you were training before you tried this assessment, I know I shocked the shit outta the instructors and so called "athletes" when I proceeded not only finish in just over 4 minutes, but I also demolished several of these "athletes" who have been doing CrossFit from 6 months to over 2 years. That was the proof I needed to show me that CrossFit wasn't for me...

Great story.

So, what's your secret?
 

Viktri

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Originally Posted by LucasCLarson
Great story. So, what's your secret?
Don't be a *****? Add some variety to your exercise? Warm-up with these exercises? For people who warm up with row, body-weight squats, push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups ... the test is a piece of cake. For people who aren't used to these body-weight exercises it'll be tougher.
 

db_ggmm

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Ya, definitely. The secret is:

#1 - be generally fit
#2 - be familiar with the tests used in the eval
 

furo

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Originally Posted by Valor
I can't do 10 pull ups =( I think 500m erg is pretty easy though, its just quads mostly.

I thought the row would be easy as well just from the instruction the guy gave me on it, and he had me do about 5 to 10 rows to write down what my row pace should be (1:29 for 500m). He then told me that during the assessment, he wanted me to shoot for that 1:29 pace the whole duration of the 500m, and not to go above 1:36. Well after about 350m, I was failing and pulling about 1:45 or so.

So the row wasn't easy after all, at least not for me. It killed my chances of doing the rest of the exercises as quickly as I should have.
 

Grayland

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Originally Posted by furo
I thought the row would be easy as well just from the instruction the guy gave me on it, and he had me do about 5 to 10 rows to write down what my row pace should be (1:29 for 500m). He then told me that during the assessment, he wanted me to shoot for that 1:29 pace the whole duration of the 500m, and not to go above 1:36. Well after about 350m, I was failing and pulling about 1:45 or so.

So the row wasn't easy after all, at least not for me. It killed my chances of doing the rest of the exercises as quickly as I should have.


There is certainly a bit of technique involved with rowing. It's an ass-kicker anyway, but technique helps a lot and isn't difficult to learn.
 

CorneliusP

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Ugh the instructor was an asshole (or clueless about rowing). Someone who has never rowed before should not be told to maintain a fucking 1:29 for 500m, even if they can. That's like starting your first ever marathon, with no training, by sprinting as hard as you can for the first half mile. If you rowed a 2:00 you would have had plenty of fuel to do the rest and would have gotten a significantly "better time." Add 30sec to the row part, subtract minutes from the rest due to not being completely beat A lot of well conditioned amateurs can hardly pull 1:29, going balls out drain the tank Crossfit is cool and all for certain things, but don't drink the coolaid
Originally Posted by furo
I thought the row would be easy as well just from the instruction the guy gave me on it, and he had me do about 5 to 10 rows to write down what my row pace should be (1:29 for 500m). He then told me that during the assessment, he wanted me to shoot for that 1:29 pace the whole duration of the 500m, and not to go above 1:36. Well after about 350m, I was failing and pulling about 1:45 or so. So the row wasn't easy after all, at least not for me. It killed my chances of doing the rest of the exercises as quickly as I should have.
 

furo

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Originally Posted by CorneliusP
Ugh the instructor was an asshole (or clueless about rowing). Someone who has never rowed before should not be told to maintain a fucking 1:29 for 500m, even if they can. That's like starting your first ever marathon, with no training, by sprinting as hard as you can for the first half mile. If you rowed a 2:00 you would have had plenty of fuel to do the rest and would have gotten a significantly "better time." Add 30sec to the row part, subtract minutes from the rest due to not being completely beat

A lot of well conditioned amateurs can hardly pull 1:29, going balls out drain the tank

Crossfit is cool and all for certain things, but don't drink the coolaid


That's actually good to know. I have no concept of row times so when he said row at 1:29 I just figured it would be fine.

But here's the funny thing: when he was teaching me how to row, he said:

"okay now I want you to pull 5-10 times, and each time I say "pull" I want you to pull even harder, and when I say "GO!" I want you to pull as hard as you can..."

So, okay, I went ahead and did that... and after the 5-10 pulls, he said, "alright, I saw you pull a 1:29 there on your hardest pull..." and that's what he ended up writing down on the board and telling me to shoot for during the actual baseline assessment for 500m.
 

milosz

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I can only row about 500m before my shoulders start to hurt like a motherfucker.
 

rjmaiorano

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Originally Posted by furo
That's actually good to know. I have no concept of row times so when he said row at 1:29 I just figured it would be fine.

But here's the funny thing: when he was teaching me how to row, he said:

"okay now I want you to pull 5-10 times, and each time I say "pull" I want you to pull even harder, and when I say "GO!" I want you to pull as hard as you can..."

So, okay, I went ahead and did that... and after the 5-10 pulls, he said, "alright, I saw you pull a 1:29 there on your hardest pull..." and that's what he ended up writing down on the board and telling me to shoot for during the actual baseline assessment for 500m.


You're trainer is an absolute moron. The difference in pulling a 1:29 and a 1:45 is HUGE, especially for someone thats never rowed. If you are gunna perform the rest of the baseline test well then pacing is key on that row. Ba that trainer is a dumbass.

Aside from that, you can cheat their system and mess with the erg timing if you want... At the beginning of the row pull as hard as you can with an spm of like 50, the chain won't be able to keep up and you'll be doing a lot less work for the first ten strokes... its kind of like revving and engine if you can do it right. It gets the fans momentum up real quick and allows you to carry a real low split for a long time. I've gotten down to 1:04 with this questionable technique before.
 

db_ggmm

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Very interesting. Whole thing sounds like a scam to crush you for the eval.
 

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