Category Archives: Stories From the Gym

That Was Unexpected

That was Unexpected.

Charlie Sims

I walked into my office to find an actual newspaper sitting on my desk yesterday. I don’t know who left it there, but it was a section of the Wall Street Journal called “What Your Workout Says About You”, by Rachel Bachman. I found it online as well.  You can read it HERE.

I found myself reading through it expecting to see something about how the traditional “Globo Gyms” are struggling due to the growth of small community clubs and gyms like ours. I was wrong. It is true that these small gyms are growing in popularity, but my assumption wasn’t.

“Boutique fitness has made huge gains in recent years as people seek out more specialized, personalized workouts. Despite that popularity, though, many people keep joining traditional health clubs. Gym-goers represent 88% of new fitness-center members in the Cardlytics sample, up from 86% a year earlier.” – Rachel Bachman

Granted, her article was an observation on spending habits of people involved in differing fitness traditions, but I found it very noteworthy. Here’s my interpretation of her conclusions.

We’re winning.

More people are doing some kind of exercise. The arrow is pointing up. Health is on the rise.

I opened a CrossFit gym because I truly believe that CrossFit is the most effective, and most fun way to get fit and stay healthy. I wanted to help people. I still do. I’m not necessarily on any kind of vendetta against Globo Gym. I just want more people to be fit, healthy, and happy. If they choose to go to Spin class, that’s their call. I think it’s boring, but Spin class is substantially better than the couch.

CrossFitters are notorious for “Sneezing” to use Seth Godin’s term for people who spread the “idea-virus” to others. We can’t shut up about CrossFit. I don’t really see this with other fitness traditions. It may be that I don’t run in those circles anymore, so I don’t see it, or it may be that it’s really not there. Similar to how I don’t know more than a handful of people who see Donald Trump as a legitimate option for President. Apparently, they’re out there, I just don’t know them…

Here’s what I do know: CrossFit is expensive and Globo Gym isn’t.

If most people are like me, they think they can figure it out on their own, so they’ll piddle around in a less-than-ideal environment until they realize that they want the real thing.

More people are interested in getting in shape than last year. This is good news. Perhaps it is a shift in our culture. I like to think that I had something to do with this. Who knows for sure? I just hope that they don’t waste too much time piddling.

Lunges!

Lunges

Charlie Sims

A story of love and loss, and the benefits of addressing weaknesses.

Last summer, I caught a jerk funny, and because my lower traps are weak, I caught the injury bug. It hurt to put any kind of weight on my shoulders, so no weightlifting at all. It even hurt to pull from the floor. So I put the barbell on the wall, and did one of the only things I could do without pain.

Lunges.

Lunges were my first ever CrossFit Workout.

It was a 400 meter walking lunge for time, and since that day, that single exercise has been in my head more than any other. I was so sore after 12 minutes and a quarter mile, that I swore I’d never do them again!

But that little injury and the nervous energy of wanting to keep up my training shook me out of my fear of lunges. I decided to lunge a quarter mile every day until my back was better.

At first it was pretty brutal, but after only 3 days, my soreness was substantially less. I was able to add running afterward and was feeling pretty awesome… Aside from the pain in my back…

I started adding distance after the first week.

Have you ever made friends with someone who you thought was a jerk until you got to know them? That’s me and lunges.

I lunged exclusively for three weeks while my back healed, and once I could hold a barbell on my back again, I was able to hit a new Back Squat PR.

Immediately after this, I was so convinced of the benefits of lunges that they started making a weekly appearance in our class programming. We did every kind of lunges: distance, overhead, front rack, back rack, front and rear leg elevated, etc.

Everybody complained.

Until Thursday night.

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I didn’t know that lunges would be in the Open. In fact, I didn’t think they would, especially like they did, but there they were. My new friend.

And my gym was well prepared.