In my quest to become stronger, faster and more flexible, I signed up for a trial class at Crossfit Hub. This is one of the six CrossFit gyms in Singapore and I chose this one because it was the most reasonably priced. I went there for the 11am Sunday introduction class.
This is the entrance of the “gym.” It was just a medium-sized space with barbells, rings and tyres for exercise. There were no machines because it is believed that your body weight is the best resistance. I like this philosophy; the machines at my gym intimidate me!
Crossfit, in the words of the trainer, is essentially a strength and conditioning workout class (I forgot to ask for her name). When I arrived, I was put in a group of four other beginners. I was the only girl. There was little in way of assessing our fitness level or any prep talk. We were shown how to do a proper squat then paired up for warm-up.
The warm-up consisted of 10-1 push-ups and sit-ups. This meant that we were to complete 10 push-ups, then 10 sit-ups, then 9 push-ups, then 9 sit-ups, and all the way down to zero. By the time we were halfway through, I was so weak I couldn’t do a sit-up without cheating. When the warm-up was over, I felt like I had completed the entire training.
This wasn’t the case. We took a sip of water before continuing with the main workout.
This was the same 10-1 format but this time, our exercises were:
- Squats with barbell (15kg for me)
- Burpees (no weights)
- Shoulder presses with barbell (couldn’t lift the 15kg, so was told to downgrade to the “baby weight” – the lightest at 7.5kg)
Here I put some pictures to help me remember what I did at CrossFit. Before this, I didn’t even know what a barbell was.
The trainer (I’m so annoyed I didn’t ask for her name) was very encouraging throughout the exercises. She corrected my form and counted the sets for us to let us know that we were finishing soon. In total, we did 55 squats, 55 burpees and 55 shoulder presses.
Incredibly, I was the first to finish among the other guys in our intro class. I think it was because I was using the “baby weight” and I cheated on the burpees; I didn’t hop backwards after a while and just stepped back into a push-up position.
CrossFit is known to be hardcore and not for the faint of heart. It was so tough that someone in our intro class stopped halfway and didn’t complete the workout. Another was wheezing and bent over in exhaustion. Once again, I was fine not because I was fit, but because I used baby weights.
Following the workout, we gathered together for a quick talk by the coach, who explained that CrossFit was a physical training programme designed for functional fitness, i.e. being able to lift heavy objects and your own body weight.
What we did for our introduction workout was only a small sliver of the kinds of exercises done. If you look at this board, for example, you will see that the more seasoned members perform pull-ups as well as clean and jerks.
When I got home, I had a massive lunch consisting of roasted duck, roasted pork belly and beef curry. I fell asleep with my whole body burning up and woke up two hours later feeling hungry. I had a post-lunch omelette with salmon and cream cheese.
What I love about Crossfit Hub: The exercise was torturous but once we completed it, I felt very good. It was fulfilling and satisfied my desire for fitness training. I liked that I received personal attention from the coach, who corrected my form and was encouraging.
In terms of cost, I found that Crossfit Hub was the most affordable among the other gyms. At $25 per session, we didn’t have to break the bank to get fit. Also, we didn’t have to pay $250 for a three-day introduction class like most other Crossfit gyms. This money is quite significant for someone who just wants to try it out to see if it’s suitable.
What can be improved: I felt that more personal attention could have been given. I was given weights without any assessment of what I can lift. There was no cool down or stretching. There was no explanation about nutrition, which I read was a very important aspect of CrossFit (they follow the paleo diet, in any case). Perhaps if I had paid for a $250 introduction class, all these things would have been included.
Would I return? Yes. It’s more fun than my Les Mills Body Pump classes.