It Wasn’t Pretty, But It Counts: My Modified CrossFit Class

2 May

It’s been a slow recovery with my  low back injury. But after some great progress, I decided it was time to make it back to Sonjia’s CrossFit class (after nearly 4 months).  I almost didn’t want to write about this because what I actually did was VERY different than her prescribed workout (enter my pride).  But since I LOVE this kind of full body, compound workout, I thought I would share it. The other really great lesson about today is the reminder that ALL exercise is scalable and can be modified for every individual. I loved being able to go through the class, modify the CrossFit routine for my situation,  and feel proud about my progress.

Warm Up

We did gentle dynamic stretches and gentle bodyweight moves – but of course you can warm up any way you like.

Base Set

The way this works is that the base set is repeated 5 times with an extra exercise inserted in between each set. There will be 5 of these total; so being quick at math, I knew that  I needed to watch the total reps. (Unlike my old self, I’ve been a low weight and low rep girl lately.) I’ve been comfortably doing 3 sets of 10 for various exercises, so I decided to do 8 of each, giving me 40 reps total. And I reserved the right to modify at any time based on how my body/back was feeling.

  1. Assisted Pull Ups (8 reps)
  2. Deadlifts (I went uber light and used a 15 lb kettlebell) (I lowered this to 6 reps for 30 t0tal by the end)
  3. Push up to side plank (8 reps total pushups )
  4. Squat + Shoulder Press (with medicine ball) (8 reps)

Note: She had a WICKED hard multi move in the base set that I KNEW that I could not comfortably do, so I subbed #3 & #4 for that which did not really represent a great sub. But hey – I do NOT want to hurt my back again!

The Workout

I subbed a few of the moves because of the “impact” issue – but believe me, it was plenty challenging in terms of strength, stability, and endurance.

  1. Base set +30  Squat Jumps (I did mini ones)
  2. Base set +1000m Row
  3. Base set + 50 Jumping Jacks (I subbed the gentle jacks for jogging)
  4. Base set + 30 Walking Lunges (I subbed these for kettlebell swings – no swinging for me yet)
  5. Base set + 50 Pullover + Chest Press + Sit Up (with medicine ball)

Because I subbed the WICKED hard move, I still had some time and energy left. I threw in some more rowing, tricep dips, and rear delt rows on the rings for good measure.

What I love about her classes is that everyone works out to their own ability – I was able to sub stuff comfortably and unobtrusively without any hassle or interfering with the overall class.

And this is all SCALABLE!

To make it easier, do pushups without the side plank or modified pushups alone. Or you can drop the reps of any of it. Or. Or. Or….

To make it harder, add in burpees somewhere or kettlebell swings.  Or you can bump up the reps for the base set. Or. Or. Or….

I highly recommend this kind of workout for a cardio + strength training routine that also tests your stamina. If you like this, you might like an old workout swap I did with Suzanne from Workout Nirvana.

Or if you REALLY want to challenge yourself, check out Darryl at  from The Fitness Explorer – he is AMAZING!

So who wants to give this a try?


10 Responses to “It Wasn’t Pretty, But It Counts: My Modified CrossFit Class”

  1. Lisa May 2, 2011 at 2:49 pm #

    Awesome! I took a Crossfit class at my trainer’s new gym last month and my ass was thoroughly kicked! How sore are you? I’m looking forward to going back and doing it again. 🙂

    • Kris O'Connor @Krazy_Kris May 2, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

      That’s so fun! I’m actually not “that” sore cuz my back is my limiting factor – so I’m not going as hard or heavy or fast as the class would hope for – ha! But I’m still counting it as a killer workout – I’ll definitely be feeling it, but won’t be hobbled. So what kind of routine did you guys do? There are soooooo many different approaches!

  2. run4joy59 May 2, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    Whew…even with your modified workout, you’ve worn me out!! I’m so glad your back is slowly healing…you’ll get there!

    • Kris O'Connor @Krazy_Kris May 2, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

      Aw thanks! It feels soooooo good to be “almost” back – I’m slow grateful for the patience and tools to sloooooooooowly get stronger and heal 😀

  3. Brittany May 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    This is great! I’ve heard great things about CrossFit!

    • Kris O'Connor @Krazy_Kris May 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

      It’s seriously fun! Never a dull moment and something for everyone. I just lurve workouts with old fashioned pullups, pushups, squats & lunges – they’re so fun! (hehehe)

  4. Suzanne @WorkoutNirvana May 2, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    This looks like fun!! And it brings back memories of the fabulous workout swaps we did. I loved the base set idea, it went fast and was quite interesting. Typically you will need a cheat sheet LOL! Anyway, kudos for getting back into the swing slowly. And btw, 15 lbs ain’t “light” so nice job.

    • Kris O'Connor @Krazy_Kris May 2, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

      It is bringing back memories! Soon my friend – very soon we will swap again! You create the most amazing workouts! And thanks about the 15 lbs – it’s the first time I’ve done them with any weight – sigh…. Patience is NOT my virtue – but pain is the great motivator 😉


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