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Staffers Spill: What We Learned From CrossFit

There's nothing like fitting in a hardcore workout at lunch!

This week the FITNESS crew took a little midday field trip. In lieu of a lunch break, we headed over to Reebok on 5th Ave to hit up their CrossFit box!

By now, many of you know about CrossFit and how it works - or you've at least heard about it. And like you, many of the staffers had learned about the craze that has taken the world by storm, but hadn't tried it for themselves. Since that just isn't acceptable, we banded together to get down and dirty with those who know the sport like the back of their hand.

After a refresher crash course on how to properly perform an air squat, box jump, burpee and ring row, it was time to move! Our trainers, Megan and Bobby, split our crew of 15 into five teams of three and asked us to create names. The winners?

  • Blue-Eyed B*tches
  • Team ACK
  • Fit Wits
  • Brunette Bruisers
  • Blonde Ambition

Before we knew it, the clock was running and as a team we all worked to complete 1 minute each of:

  • Box Jumps
  • Ring Rows & Planks (one teammate rows for 20 seconds while the other two plank, then switch!)
  • Sit-ups (high-five your teammates at the top!)
  • Burpees & Ball Slams (one teammate performs a ball slam while the other two burpee, then switch!)
  • Air Squats

Repeat 3 times for a total of 15 minutes, squeezing in as many reps as you possibly can while maintaining proper form. Talk about a speedy workout! Each team kept track of their reps throughout the circuit, and then added the scores after three rounds for the grand total to determine the winner. With 613 reps, Blue-Eyed B*tches came out on top!

Keep reading to find out what the staffers learned about their hardcore quickie workout!

FITNESS staffers dominate planks and ring rows!

After, we couldn't stop chatting about what a great sweat session we had in a short amount of time. The secrets to CrossFit? We're about to spill them all:

"I learned that I shouldn't be scared to try something new. Just because I haven't done something doesn't mean I am going to fail at it. I definitely surprised myself! I'm a lot stronger, mentally and physically, than I sometimes give myself credit for! -Kim Berry, group senior promotion manager

"CrossFit definitely opened my eyes to how important muscle confusion is. The short but intense circuits full of functional movements targeted muscle groups I put on the back burner in my typical cardio-heavy routine. Our group competition made me dig deep to push out reps I didn't know I had in me." -Lauren Cardarelli, freelance editorial assistant

"I love how quick the workout was. We only worked out for 15 minutes, but the moves were so challenging (Box jumps! Burpees!) that I am still feeling it three days later. But it's a good sore - I feel strong." -Bethany Gumper, senior editor

"I learned that I'm terrified of box jumps! But also that I can get past my fears. After a few false starts, I managed to get both feet on top of that damn 20-inch platform." -Juno DeMelo, nutrition editor

"I loved the camaraderie of it. I'm not usually someone who is fired up by competition, but being part of a team meant cheering on my partners and feeling like I was doing something for more than just myself." -Alyssa Shaffer, freelance deputy editor

Our Editor-in-Chief, Betty Wong, even learned three big things from our sweaty adventure. What she has to say:

  • Doing as many crunches as possible in one minute for three rounds is more fun than hard...that is, until two days after your workout when it hurts to even cough or sneeze!
  • Box jumping builds power in your legs and makes you feel like a superhero.
  • It's not as scary as I thought it would be. CrossFit is intense, but more because you're doing the classic moves you already know at a very high speed and volume. It's a great way to get in your cardio while building your strength.

Now you tell us: Have you tried CrossFit? What lessons did you learn?


Samantha Lefave

Samantha is a writer who is living, eating and sweating her way through NYC. You can find her running half-marathons like it's her job, Instagramming her favorite food and fitness finds or, let's be honest, eating peanut butter straight from the jar.

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