CrossFit athletes would have to be the masochists of the fitness world. The sport is designed to test and hurt, pure and simple.
The creators of CrossFit have a series of workouts that are used as benchmarks for fitness testing and ability, implemented regularly during training to assess levels of strength and fitness. They will push you mentally and physically and are a great way to expose an athlete's weaknesses and areas that require further attention in training.
"If I haven't been humbled in a while, I get anxious," said James Newbury, Australia's number-one ranked CrossFit athlete when talking to Men's Health. "I'm not satisfied unless I'm doing something that tests my ability to keep going."
Been a while since you last had your arse handed to you? It's probably time you got yourself to your nearest CrossFit Box and gave a session a go. In the wreckage of your ego, insists Newbury, you'll find the determination to get better.
On that score, MH tried the notorious Murph 'hero' workout.
The 'hero' workouts honour military, law enforcement, and fire fighters who have lost their lives in the line of duty, and get their names from inspirational figures in their field. Our particular workout, 'Murph', was Named for Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, a Medal of Honour winning Navy SEAL who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005.
Like all benchmark workouts, we expected to be pushed just as hard mentally and we were physically. This particular workout was for time, so we stuck with it and to get it done; 1.6km run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, and another 1.6km run. Oh did we forget to mention... in a 10kg weight vest.
Here are 25 thoughts that ran through our head, when we were had the cognitive strength to remember them.
- Literally everyone in this room is fitter than me.
- What is a BBJO? Can we do that instead?
- This warm up is massive. Surely normal push-ups are fine, why do they have to be handstand?
- That's meant to be 10 reps right, not 100?
- 120kgs? Or 120 pounds? Please be pounds.
- Oh we're starting the actual workout, just like that.
- This doesn't seem that bad, I only have to push through another 4 sets.
- Screw pacing myself, I recon I can pick up the pace and be OK.
- Oh, it's getting quite hard.
- I was wrong and I regret everything, ever. Where is the air?
- Dear God, if I get through this I promise to never swear ever again.
- F*ck, I take it back. Swearing is the only thing that will get me through this.
- Only 1.5 hours ago I was asleep. A simpler time.
- My hands definitely feel like they've been ripped open, let me check... nope still in tact.
- I'm going to get some more chalk on my hands. I don't need it, but that 5 second break will be worth it.
- Surely no one will notice if I skip a few reps.
- Nope I'll definitely get caught. Coach has his eye on me.
- You're an idiot, this is a 'hero' workout, you should be ashamed for thinking of cheating.
- Being unfit probably isn't that bad. Maybe I'll stop fitness-ing after this.
- I have 300 reps left. That's only 2 lots of 150 reps. Or only 10 rounds of 30 efforts. I basically only have to work for 10 reps, 30 times over.
- So are we all just taking our shirts off now?
- OK but my hands must surely be ripped open.
- How are they all still moving?
- Air! I need Air!
- OK that was actually a fun workout. What's the next?