One segment of this blog would be me going around Manila trying out different types of gyms and studios. Now before anything else, I’d like to make it clear that yes, I will be biased. I own a gym don’t I? But still, I will be fair and not compare anything to 360 (because, of course to me, 360 is the best, hehe). However there are a lot of great groups and centers out there that are worth a look and try and can really help you.
So each week, I will try something new out and report it here for you guys. I’ve always felt that there should be a healthy level of respect among gyms especially non-traditional gyms. Our industry has been booming and if we pull each other down then we’re effectively pulling the whole industry down We all have one goal don’t we? Get EVERYBODY better.
Of course when I see something wrong, I will not mince words. The last thing I want is for anyone to get injured, that sends you back a lot and it shouldn’t happen.
If you have any suggestions for activities you want to be reviewed or if you want your center or gym reviewed, just email me.
So here goes.
Last Thursday, I tried some guerrilla training with the great people of WOD Nation. Now, I’ve done Crossfit before at 360, following the more popular online WODs with the coaches. I admit in the past (and up to now) I am a harsh critic of Crossfit mainly because I don’t like the elitist approach and I’m wary of their manner of progression or “scaling”. But when I heard that a friend of mine, Joaquin Valdez along with some of the more experienced Pinoy crossfit coaches were setting up their own box, I decided it was time to try the workouts direct from the source and see how it is. I also liked how this new group was angling themselves. Gone was the elitist mentality and it was all just stripped down to the only pure advocacy of all fitness professionals: Getting you, the client, better. That was refreshing.
First of all, some background on Crossfit. According to their site: “Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.” So what they do is what is called General Physical Preparedness. Crossfit is supposed to train you to be able to do daily tasks with ease and be competitive in your respective arenas in life. Basically functional training (more on that in the coming weeks).
The coaches of WOD Nation for that night were Ferdi, Rj and Aaron. They took us through each exercise of the WOD (workout of the day, for those who don’t know), breaking each skill down and letting us practice. Then they showed us the WOD and how it will be done. It was a 3 exercise AMRAP, a crossfit term which means “as many reps as possible”. We were broken down into groups of 3, with each of us doing a different exercise at a time. One person would sprint 100m while the other two do push ups and push presses. They keep going until the sprinter runs back to tag his team mate and everyone circles. We count the total repetitions of the push ups and the push presses, doing as many as we can in 12 minutes (for beginners, it was 6 minutes, Joaquin made me do 12. What did I ever do to you man?).
We ended up with 375. Sore is an understatement.
The WOD was great. To say it was challenging is not enough. Of course it wasn’t perfect (but which exercise program is?) It was all push and no pull (That’s why I’ve been telling BGC to help me build that adult playground so people can workout outside, but that’s a different topic.), but it’s hard to do pulls in the outdoors with no horizontal poles. I suggested a few exercises to them and it was cool for them to listen. I think they did the best with what was available in the area.
My recommendation? Crossfit has so much potential to be an awesome program but there are times when it gets a bad rep because of the things I mentioned before about their culture, technique, etc. For sure you will be entering a competitive culture and you might get turned off if you aren’t the competitive type. But when choosing crossift, please remember: It is important, vital, essential to go with a Crossfit group that 1) Knows their stuff (anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, etc) 2) Has the experience and most importantly 3) Knows proper PROGRESSION. I believe from what I experienced that WOD Nation is on it’s way there.
I’m still a little bit hesitant to recommend crossfit to beginners. But hopefully when WOD nation opens their doors later this year, they will have a complete and adequate foundations class that not only scales the workouts but also teaches clients proper movement mechanics and prepares their body for the rigors of the activity.
One thing’s for sure, for all things crossfit, go to WOD Nation. You can check their schedules there. Thanks to Waks and all the coaches!