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Well, I did it. I joined the plethora of healthy-living bloggers out there who swear by it and went to my first CrossFit class.

It was all thanks to a Living Social deal I purchased awhile back. They were offering 5 classes for only $15. With regular monthly memberships over $100 this was a deal I couldn’t pass up. Especially due to the fact that many of the bloggers I follow (ex. Carrots ‘n’ Cake, Blonde Ponytail, The Lean Green Bean) all participate in CrossFit and love it.

I decided this deal was a great opportunity to try something new!

CrossFit Harbor East


CrossFit Harbor East is owned and operated by former collegiate athletes, 2012 CrossFit Games competitors, and all around fitness enthusiasts Catherine Chasen, Paul Davis, and Brandon Chasen. Our well rounded coaches, “practice what they preach” and it shows from their many accomplishments. We know how to get you to your fitness goals AND achieve things that you never thought were possible because we have done it ourselves! (source)

The gym is a new addition to the neighborhood, located right on the border between Fells Point and Harbor East. I have to say, the location was another selling point for me…practically in my own back yard.


Each student is required to take an intro class before beginning the regular workouts. The purpose of the intro class is to introduce you to the coaches, explain what CrossFit is all about, and take you through a typical workout.

We arrived at “The Box” (as CrossFit gyms are called) ten minutes before our class along with hoards of other people who realized that their Living Social deal was expiring as well.

The owner, Brandon Chasen, started off the class with an overview of what CrossFit was. Essentially it’s philosophy is to make you into a well-rounded athlete by combining functional skills (lifting, squatting, all things people normally do) with a high intensity.

By employing a constantly-varied approach to training, these functional movements at maximum intensity (relative to the physical and psychological tolerances of the participant), lead to dramatic gains in fitness. Intensity is essential for results and is measurable as work/time. The more work you do in less time, the more intense the effort. (source)

First on the agenda was a warm-up. We were divided into three teams and in relay-race fashion completed the following:


  • Four lateral burpees (our bar was resting on the floor). Once the person in front of you finished their last one you could begin.
Lateral Burpees
  • Ten push-ups
  • Ten V-ups
V-Up Core Exercise

Return to the start and complete two more times.

After the warm-up my heart rate was definitely up. Push-ups have never been my strong suite so thirty push-ups right off the bat was tough.

Skill Assessment

After the warm-up and some light stretching the Coaches went over proper form for squats.

Proper technique for air squats.

Once our form was checked with did a 4-round tabata (20 seconds work/10 seconds rest) of as many squats as possible, all while keeping the proper form in mind.


It was then time for our first WOD, or Workout of the Day. Each WOD is designed to be between 5-20 minutes long consisting of high intensity, fast-paced movement.

PicMonkey Collage- crossfit WOD

Sounds simple enough, right? First time through do 21 of each, next 15, then 9. Yeeeeah, simple? Not so much…we were only given 10 minutes to complete it.

During the start of class the Coach talked about the “Oh sh—“ moment that every CrossFitter has. That moment where they feel like there’s no way they can possibly finish what they are doing. That moment came to me during 21 fast-paced burpees. I somehow managed to push through (it wasn’t pretty) and finished the entire workout in 7:51.

Once completed we got to write our name and time on the front board. Although it’s easy to compare yourself to others when you’re in a room full of people, CrossFit encourages you to compete with only yourself. By recording your completion times for each workout you are able to track your progress over the course of your CrossFit career to see how far you’ve come.

A First Timer’s Thoughts

I did it. I survived. Sure it’s two days later and my arms are still feeling the effects from those push-ups and burpees, but in the end I got a better full body workout in 7:51 than I have in most of the 20-30 minute workouts I do at home. It was intense, it kicked my butt, but it was fun to mix up our workout routine and try something new.

Z and I still have four classes left on our Living Social deal that we have to use by the end of January. Once my arms return to normal functioning we’ll see what round two brings…

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Have you ever tried Crossfit? If so, what were your thoughts?