Thursday, November 19, 2009

A great workout in the dark. The importance of location for the best workouts

Last night I pulled my roomie out of the house and we headed on over to my old High School in MD for a great workout.  I have done a ton of workouts out there and really like the setting; and, after last night, I will be doing a lot more workouts over there.  We stopped over at my Dad's place and picked up a rusty old barbell and some plates to get a 95lbs bar with us, then we pulled out back and turned on floodlights on Ori's car.

My workout:
10 rounds for time of:
10 kipping pull ups
10 power snatches

Ori's workout:
10 rounds for time of:
5 back squats
10 knees to elbows
25 double unders

Ori finished his in 17:35 and I finished mine in 18:22, tough, tough workout but such a fun time.  It got us both to talking about the effects of proper setting in a workout.  This was something that the instructors grazed over briefly at the crossfit certification course and something that, as a sort of adventurer myself, I have always been intrigued by.

Everywhere you go, each location will have a certain feel about it.  It may be rugged, dirty, pristine, quite, claustrophobic, wild, etc. and when you find a location and spend your time there, you will automatically feed off that feeling it has.  I recalled session after session that I have had in different gyms, one up in a HUGE space in Western Massachusetts with only 4-5 people in it, one in a tiny box up in Kutztown, PA with blue collar bad asses banging out set after set of bench.  I remember a rainy beach in St. Lucia with honeymooners craning their necks out of curiosity, and the Dupont Circle metro escalator at the tail of rush hour with dynamax balls and a great group of enthusiastic fitness buffs.  Some of my favorites have been the lookout area just North of San Fran (check out the video here) where the only sounds were the seals at the bottom of the cliffs hidden by the fog and our heavy breathing.  The woods of Manasses, VA while I supported a friend during an ultra-marathon when I founds branches and rocks to throw around, and tried to play tag with a deer.  And this workout I did with Ori.

The cold silence of that night was the perfect combination of eerie and serene.  It was pitch black out there and just far enough off the main street that you could barely hear a thing.  The space was incredibly open, and the pull up bars stood alone in the corner of the large blacktop space in a mulch pit.  We both just got a wave of excited energy knowing that at that moment, we were the only people anywhere around who were outside, in the cold, gearing up for a high intensity workout.  It's just something that I love to be aware of; how the location adds to the excitement of the work.  I suggest to all that if you want to really enjoy your workouts, if you want to feel a deeper connection to each move and how it all effects your body, move around and try new places.  Go to other gyms, get outside, use houses and warehouses and even large closets.  Anywhere you go, you can use your surroundings, use basic and/or unconventional tools, anything will do.  I am sure you will see posts of some other locations I search out pleanty, but go ahead and try it out for yourself.  Everywhere feels so different.  And keeps your body guessing.

Never Stop, GET FIT.

Josh Courage

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