Angie and the 100 push-up reality

So, today we did 'Angie', one of the Crossfit 'Girls' workouts so named not because they are designed just for girls to do, but because, supposedly, the inventor once quipped that anything that left you on the floor gasping for breath had to be named after a girl.

When I saw it listed on the online whiteboard this morning, I initially thought it was an April Fool's joke after the murderous ab session we did yesterday (see Jui's Limpcore post for details). No such luck. It really was Angie today.  A half hour strength session of building to. 5rep Max bench presses first, then Angie:

100 pull-ups

100 push-ups

100 sit-ups

100 squats

All for time, so banging them out as fast as possible with correct form: ie. Arms locked out at the bottom of each pull-up, chin over bar at the top; chest to floor for the push-ups, hands touching floor behind head and in front of toes for sit-ups, and hip crease below knee for the squats. Coaches wander round checking and if you miss any of the above it counts as no rep and you have to repeat it.

There is a fairly healthy spirit of competition (read: teeth-gritting obsessive cut throat) during the timed workouts, so everyone was going for it at max effort.

Yes, I am, admittedly, a middle aged man who has only been doing exercise for 2 years (. 2 years today, in fact)' but in my group were also 2  semi-pro boxers who were literally half my age, a lady triathlete and a rugby club coach. Some fairly fit people, and of course I finished last, but, and this is the key point, no-one even attempted to do any of the exercises unbroken. Everyone broke the pullups and push-ups into sets of 20 and then 10s towards the end. Sets of 25 for the sit-ups ( I had to got to 10s and 5s given the horror of my abs after yesterday).  No one tried to do an unbroken set of 100 push-ups. 

The head coach at the box I go to is a former British Olympic athlete, a fitness model and one of the fittest people I know. He recently broke the UK record for 100km rowing. His pull-up record is 84 reps. 

I'm sure most of us could bang out 100 push-ups at a push (hah!), but it would be a real grind, and very hard to maintain form, and above all, pretty pointless.

the idea that you can go from zero to 100 in the space of 6 weeks is really absurd in my view.

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  • I think a lot of us struggle with strength.  It's clearly something to be practised regularly!  Worth doing though!  Every little helps.  You get much better at it for sticking with it. I do it on my own at home but as you keep chipping away you can see the changes and feel the benefit.  As you find it getting easier you know it's working, and then step up a notch.  We all have limitations though, and mine is I am a bit weak and stiff in my arms, elbows, so working at getting more flexibility so I can do CROW push ups (I think that's what they're called).  

    Are cross fitters runners etc or body builders?  I notice and read about strength etc and the writers/doers seem obsessed with nothing but their muscles, and don't push running as it makes us thinner.  I wondered if cross fit was different.