Thursday, January 08, 2009

B is for . . . Box Jumps

Today tastes like bananas and butterscotch, beef and bilirubin.

New year, new slant on the workout. I still am athletically declined, but having been given notice by the doctor that I will lose weight or suffer the consequences (and what vey ugly consequences they are, m'dear) I am ramping it up a touch by incorporating a cash-out.

See, Crossfit incorporates a warmup into its workout. Or rather, "a workout before the workout," as one member refers to it. Three rounds as quick as you can--leg stretches (15 seconds per leg), 15 squats (I use a 25 pound dumbell and do goblet squats, I feel silly doing air squats), 15 sit-ups (on an incline board), 15 back extensions, 15 pull-ups, 15 dips.

Now you're ready for the workout.

So I've been warming up and working out for a year (and a third, come Sunday). I know where the holes in my armor are, and this year I've decided to get out the brazer and go to work mending them.

Unfortunately, the only way to improve a physical skill is to do more of that skill. Over and over and over. Which leads us to box jumps.

I hate box jumps.

To perform a box jump, you set up an object that will support your weight in front of you. Squat down, feet together. Now jump up onto that object, both feet at the same time--otherwise you're doing step-ups. There's a balance component to getting your body settled upon landing on the box or on the floor as you hop down again. You need explosive strength in your hips and thighs to get enough air to land on the box instead of tripping over it.

As your box gets taller, there's an abdominal element since you have to haul your trailing legs up to get your feet on top of the box.

Yup, this is an example of Prime Suckitude. So of course, this is now the cash-out for the workout. 20 box jumps.

So I'm hanging with some pals, and we get to talking about chick stuff--bodies and maintenance of same, and how we wish things were different, and one notices that I've lost a bunch of weight. How'd I do it?

So I explain the workout, starting with the warm-up, and then go into the workout of the day--three rounds of 45 pound thrusters and pull-ups. The first round you do 21 of each, then 15 of each, then 9 of each. That doesn't sound so bad, she said. The kicker is, done right, you complete the workout in under five minutes. Done well, you complete it in under three minutes.

You could hear crickets chirping.

And a moment later, the group was back into bemoaning how hard it is to get fit, how hard it is to lose weight, how hard it is blah blah blah let's go get pastry.

Excuse me? Pastry? Weren't you just talking about . . . and now you want pastry?

Ok, I get it. Pastry is easy. Talking is easy. Wishing is easy.

But easy doesn't get'r done. Easy doesn't get the bar up over your head. Easy doesn't own your desire.

If you have a desire, then it only seems right to determine the cost of that desire and then decide whether or not you're willing and able to pay that price. The cost of a fancy vehicle is money, money, money; for the payments, the insurance, and the gas. The cost of six-pack abs is a strict diet and exercise routine.

Now, being unable to pony up is one thing. (Although one might want to consider what stands in the way and work on that, if one desires the object sufficiently. There are ways to make more money, more time, and exercises are almost infinitely modifiable to suit innate [or inert] athletic ability.) But it seems that most who claim to be unable are just unwilling.

I can't because I don't have enough money. Couldn't you take in a roommate, get a second part-time job, cut back on expenses? Instead of cable TV, go to the library? Well, yes, but . . .

There is a yes-but for everything. I have my own yes-buts. And the only one that trumps the others is "Yes, but THIS is what I really want."

And I really really want to be able to do box jumps at 36 inches. (Hell, just to be able to do them reasonably well and not internally whine all the way to the gym on a jump-centric day.)

And so, the cash-out. Four inches at a time, up and down, forward and back. Working my way through the yes-buts.

1 comment:

Luann Udell said...

WOW!! I've been looking for a way to workout (to replace Tae Kwon Do) that wouldn't mean spending hours a day, and I'm intrigued with CrossFit. Thanks so much for the pointer--and the kick in the pants!