Back at the beginning of July 2006, I signed up at a new gym called Crossfit here in Vancouver. I heard about them from a friend of mine who is in the emergency response team in a municipal police force and he had recommended them based on some information he had read. As you’ll see from my previous post, it wasn’t a good start. I didn’t even make it through their assessment and was out for the count for five days.

But this was something that seemed like it was a good fit. It is designed to be useful in every day life. It had lots of variety. And it was a cross between Olympic lifting, gymnastics, and sprinting / rowing. I thought…any gym that has rings and bars and ropes hanging from the ceiling and lets you play like a kid is my kind of gym.

Well, I promised them and myself I would do a six-month review and here it is. Crossfit Vancouver rocks! The owner Craig Patterson and his excellent team are a blast to work with and are obviously really excited to be doing what they’re doing and it shows. I had a great time, suffering alongside my fellow Crossfitters this past six months and here are some of the results so far:

July 1, 2006:

Weight: 147 pounds (same weight I had been for almost fifteen years of various sports training)
Bodyfat: Approx 11%
Pullups: 4 max
Deadlift: 135 pounds
Push-press: 55 pounds
Front squat: 135 pounds
L-Sit: 4 seconds before collapsing
Frog-Leg situps: NONE
Bar Dips: 3

Dec 2006 (six months later):

Weight: 160 pounds
Bodyfat: Approx 9%
Pullups: 15 continuous
Deadlift: 255 lbs
Push-press: 135 pounds
Front squat: 177 pounds
L-Sit: 25 seconds!
Frog-Leg situps: 70 in 3 min

When I did my assessment at the beginning of July, I pulled a neck muscle trying to do my fifth pullup onto the bar and had to quit for a week. Six months later, I did a Murph (1 mile run, 300 squats, 200 pushups, 100 pullups, and 1 mile run) in 48 minutes! And for another workout, I managed 60 ring dips and 60 pullups in 30 minutes. There is no way I would have been able to do any of this six months ago. So…does it work? Yep. But I would say that it requires consistency, close attention to diet, and LOTS of sleep.  I CAN’T WAIT to see what we can do together this year! I’ll be sure to file another update at the end of June 2007 to let you know how it’s going.

The best part about this gym is the people. The trainers are focussed on our success. Everybody who shows up is there to push themselves hard and to support each other. We workout together in groups so there’s accountability. And what other gym gets you to climb ropes, flip tractor tires in the snow, play on Olympic rings, learn how walk like a bear or a duck, and make you workout so hard you’re not sure if you should pass out or throw up? What’s not to like?

If anybody else wants to suffer have fun with us, email me at troy at troyangrignon dot com and I’ll introduce you to the Crossfit team.

Happy New Year everyone and best wishes for happy and healthy 2007!