Intense workout class available soon
Airmen practice a CrossFit exercise, tire flipping. (Courtesy photo)
Posted 12/8/2010 Updated 12/8/2010
Commentary by Air Force Capt. Peter Wingerter
12/8/2010 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- I was told about CrossFit about a year and a half ago and though I thought it
sounded interesting, I was happy with my workout routine - the typical Monday,
Wednesday, Friday weight lifting, and Tuesday, Thursday cardio.
I had been working out for the last 15 plus years and thought I was in good
I would change up my workouts fairly often to avoid the dreaded "plateaus"
that can result from a lack of variation in any workout routine and so I didn't
see a need to try anything else.
Sure, it would sometimes get boring at the gym, but I am one of those people
who actually likes to exercise.
As a matter of fact, I thrive on it.
If I missed more than a day or two of my routine I would start to go stir
crazy. I can still go stir-crazy, but I really can't use the word routine when
it comes to a CrossFit workout.
At one point, however, my curiosity was piqued by the results people were
getting from what I considered a fad, because I still did not want to give up
my own exercise regimen.
One day, a coworker had gone to Hangar 5 and came back and told me about his
workout and this thing called a "muscle up" (a combination of a pull up and
I thought, "That sounds interesting . I wonder if I can do one."
As I said, I had been consistently working out for years and the thought of a
challenge provoked my competitive nature.
I did some research on YouTube concerning a few of the CrossFit exercises
(primarily the muscle up), found out where the CrossFit gym was located, and
then picked a time when a trainer would be at the gym to answer some of my
questions. Next thing I know I was headed over to the gym to knock out a few
Well, the workout did not go as planned. I failed miserably at muscle ups,
couldn't do a full handstand pushup to save my life and my right knee, which
has caused me problems for years, was screaming at me while I attempted some
air squats and wall balls.
A bit discouraged, but really more determined, I knew I had to figure this
whole thing out.
One of my biggest fears with CrossFit exercises was that I wouldn't be able
to use weights.
I have never been one who got into aerobics and that's how I viewed CrossFit
and other programs like it.
After a few workouts at Hangar 5, I knew I could put those fears to rest.
Although the workouts are highly aerobic in nature, I still get to use
Another reason I was wary of CrossFit was, I did a decent amount of running
during my regular routines and CrossFit workouts rarely have a day dedicated
to a good run.
For the first few weeks, I thought I would do the Crossfit workouts and
maintain a running program. The flaw in that plan became pretty apparent as I
had zero energy for anything else.
The CrossFit workouts were more challenging than I had originally thought and
the variety introduced was mind boggling.
I eventually had to get to a point where I was either going to stick with this
"fad" and give it a fair chance or call it quits and go back to my normal
Not only was I not willing to give up but I was really enjoying the crazy
workouts CrossFit offered.
This program was incredible as I was facing a new challenge every single day
of every week and I was starting to trim up.
I was not expecting this since I thought I was in good physical condition
prior to all of this. I was feeling great.
However, above everything else, the best benefit I have received from CrossFit
is its efficiency.
I would say my average workout is around 25 minutes. To date, my longest
session has been around 45 minutes (that happened once) and I have had several
very challenging workouts that are complete in less than 12 minutes.
As I said earlier, I like working out but I definitely enjoy spending time
with my family more.
It is a load off my mind that I do not spend long periods of time at the gym
away from my wife and three children.
I also want to report my trick knee is doing amazingly well.
I can only guess that a lot of the exercises have built up the muscles around
my knee and have made it stronger . a side effect I was not expecting at all.
Finally, I have to admit that I was concerned how I would do on the PT test if
I stopped the workouts that had served me so well in the past.
Up to this point, I had been scoring very well and was hesitant to believe
that CrossFit routines would yield the same results.
I am happy to report that I took my test in November and knocked it out of the
So here is what I want to do.
I am a regular over at Hangar 5 and have first hand experienced the
overwhelming benefits of CrossFit.
I want to extend an invitation to all military members, their dependents and
civilians to come and try a CrossFit workout.
We will hold two workout sessions on Dec. 14 at noon and 5 p.m. for anyone
interested in learning more about CrossFit and how it works.
We will teach fundamentals and several people will be on hand after the
workouts to answer any questions.
All are invited regardless of fitness level!
CrossFit is universally scalable, i.e. it doesn't matter if you're an Olympian
or a grandmother, this program can be scaled to challenge and increase the
fitness level of any individual with an open mind and a work ethic.
You do not have to be in great, or even decent shape to start doing CrossFit.
If you would like to sign up for one of the classes send an email to
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 552-4802.