Having just completed the Helen workout this morning, whilst staring at my bloated forearms, a smile came across my face as I remembered the first time I did this workout over 8 years ago…
I was into my second year of CrossFit and the only place I did all of my daily workouts was the gym I also worked in as a Personal Trainer.
There were no kettlebells at all in the gym so over the past 3 years or so I had gradually acquired my own personal collection of kettlebells of all the various weights that I needed to train myself and anything up to 5 people.
The gym, much like any regular GloboGym had the cardio area with a row of treadmills, elliptical strider things, and some rowing machines. In a completely different room, with 6 steps that you had to negotiate to get there, was the free weights room. Half of this room was actually filled with machines and it didn’t have any dedicated pullup rig that could accommodate more than one person. There was only a cable machine with a curved, foam grip pullup thing in the middle of it and an interesting elbow padded knee raise/dipping/pullup thing that wasn’t bolted to the ground which served as an alternate when the cable machine was being used by Billy Big Balls and his cable push down tricep extensions. Everything was mirrored, of course, so you could see for yourself how poor your form was and how good your orgasm face was, when you pumped out those last extra reps.
When I did the Helen workout, the 400m runs were done on a treadmill of course. It took a good 20 seconds at least for you to get the damn thing going by frantically pressing the speed increase button and you had to dismount it by jumping off in a splits maneuver whilst it was still going at full speed then press the emergency stop to get off it.
I had to run across as he gym to the free weights room to grab my Kettlebell, which I hoped would still be there, unless someone had moved it or was using it to do bicep curls in the squat rack (you can make the best sex faces in the mirrored squat rack with Kettlebell curls, by the way). Assuming the Kettlebell was still there, swinging it was a whole new challenge in itself. Most of the gym members hadn’t seen swings before so the would either walk directly in front or behind me mid-swing.
The pullups were the best part as I must have looked like a spastic monkey, kipping the 12 reps away every round before running back out to the cardio area, jumping down the steps, hoping that a treadmill would be free. I even printed an “Out of Order” sign once to keep the masses off a treadmill I was using.
Aaahhhh the good ole days…
I thank the heavens above every day for my gym CrossFit Brit.