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The ball is your friend

by Meghann on October 17, 2012

I had my butt handed to me at CrossFit this morning.


It doesn’t look like much, but trust me, this WOD was a killer.

Warm Up: 400 m run, 10 ball slams, 15 back extensions, 20 sit ups

I love warm ups that that start with a run. We did a lap around the parking lot, then came back to work on ball slams. When I first saw “ball slams” I thought we would be working with standard medicine balls. I thought wrong. I was sent to a rack that contained weighted balls that were 3x the size of my head.


These balls were soft and cushiony, but they were also heavy. I grabbed a 14 pounder then followed the instructor as he showed us how to do a proper ball slam. Basically, you jump up in the air and throw the ball down then try and get low to catch the ball as it bounces back up. This was my first time attempting this and it was a little awkward with that size of the ball.

The slams were followed by back extensions (lay on your stomach and lift your upper back up like a crunch) and sit ups.

Skill focus: review sit up form

Today was heavy on the sit ups and I made the epic mistake of wearing running shorts with a zipper pocket in the butt. Definitely learned my lesson on that one. After so many reps with the 14 lb ball (we had to tap the ball behind us, then tap the ball in front of us for a full sit up), I’m pretty sure I had a permanent zipper indention in my butt. Owie.

WOD: 400 m run w/ ball, 20 wall balls, 20 sit ups w/ ball, 5 RFT (rounds for time)

When we were introduced to this workout, we were told to make friends with the ball since it wouldn’t be leaving our side today.


(I had the 14, not the 16, and I would say we didn’t become friends so much as we learned to tolerate each other)

The large balls are just so awkward, especially for the 400 meter run. I tried holding it to my side, putting it on my shoulder, carrying on my back, etc. but the most comfortable I felt was when I carried it out front like a pregnant belly. I’m pretty sure that’s the closest I’ll come (at least for another couple of years) to knowing what it’s like to run with a belly of that size, and let me tell you, I was not a fan. More power to the pregnant gals who run for miles on end with the belly on front. You ladies rock.

Before the WOD even started I heard a couple of the guys griping about the 20 wall balls listed. I had no idea what a wall ball was, but I thought surely it couldn’t be that bad. Again, I thought wrong. It wasn’t until we got a quick demo before the WOD and our instructor started throwing his 20lb ball high up into the air and then catching it while going down into a squat position that I started to get worried.


(source: )

There was a paw on the wall that we had to aim to hit as we came up, then we had to go to a full squat before repeating the move. If done properly, it should all be one fluid move, at least that was the goal.

I started my first set with my 14 lb ball and was about in tears by the time I was close to 20.I felt like I was using every muscle in my body to get the ball in the air and my arms felt like jello. This was hard. Really, really hard.

Once the wall balls were done, I hopped on my mat for the full sit ups (touching the ball behind me, then sitting up and touching in front of me). Again, the awkward heavy ball made it that much more challenging. Burn baby, burn.

I took the WOD one round at a time and pushed through all 5 as quickly as I could without killing myself in the process. I’ll admit I did need to stop and rest during the wall balls on multiple occasions and there was some walking on the run portion. The instructor came over me for my final set of sit ups and started counting out loud as I tried to slam out the 20. Knowing he was counting pushed me to go faster and harder than I probably would have done without him hovering me.

I collapsed on the mat after my final round and refused to move for a full 5 minutes. I was done, beyond done, and all I wanted was a pillow and a place to nap.


RX = prescribed weight. I just did the recommended ball weight listed on the board, I didn’t realize I had a choice!

I know my arms are going to be feeling this one in the morning. Good thing I have swim practice tonight and not tomorrow.

After I finished my WOD, I drove home for breakfast.


  • plain Chobani
  • pear
  • trail mix
  • almond butter

A simple breakfast, but a good one. I love the crunch of the nuts and pear with the yogurt.

Now I need coffee. A big cup of coffee.

Have a great hump day everyone!

1 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats October 17, 2012 at 10:05 am

Oh gosh, that sounds painful! But awesome job pushing through, that’s definitely the kind of thing I’d wimp out on if I were doing it alone!
Katie @ Peace Love and Oats recently posted..WIAW–Class Free Monday

2 Sneakers2Sandals October 17, 2012 at 10:08 am

I’ve been doing wall balls for years and they still make me want to barf.
Sneakers2Sandals recently posted..Comment on Champagne Showers by Jessie

3 Mary @ food and fun on the run October 17, 2012 at 10:08 am

That workout sounds ridiculous! You are going to be in the best shape after 3 months of this! Great job pushing through the pain!
Mary @ food and fun on the run recently posted..Zooma Florida Kick-Off Training Run

4 NYC Fit Girl October 17, 2012 at 10:09 am

Looks like a fun workout! Are you enjoying crossfit?? By next week you will be even more comfortable with the moves. My box is in NYC so when we run we have to run on the sidewalk with about 900 other people.. Imagine how crazy we look running with a ball while dogging people in midtown. Kinda silly? People are always asking us what we are doing. Yesterday someone asked me if I was training for that race across the bridge (NYCM :-))
NYC Fit Girl recently posted..Herniated Disc + CrossFit

5 Sarah October 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

That sounds like a crazy WOD, the whole time I was reading this post I kept thinking “wow, she Rx’d the whole thing.” I am impressed, that means you were in beast mode, haha. Good job! πŸ™‚

6 Dori October 17, 2012 at 10:38 am

This workout sounds killer! Good job on getting through it, I am really impressed. And scared for the possibility of ever doing this myself.
Dori recently posted..Blue Cross Blue Shield365 Program + VISA $500 Gift Card Giveaway

7 colleen October 17, 2012 at 10:48 am

holy crap! you are going to be ripped in your wedding dress after 2.75 months of this. wow! Don’t know if I could do that many rounds…maybe one or two maybe.

8 Danielle @ Itsaharleyyylife October 17, 2012 at 10:53 am

great job on the WOD today. I haven’t had to do wall balls yet but they seem pretty awful! Great job RXing too I have yet to do that… one day!
Danielle @ Itsaharleyyylife recently posted..CrockPot Applesauce

9 Kathryn October 17, 2012 at 11:06 am

the lengthy CrossFit posts are pretty boring…

10 Patricia October 17, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I was just coming here to say the same thing.

If your blog is now going to turn into an Ode to CrossFit (a la Carrots-n-Cake) then I am done. I took Tina off my list of blogs when the word WOD started dominating

I don’t do CrossFit, I don’t know anyone who does CrossFit, and I certainly don’t want to spend my time reading about it on your blog. You may genuinely love it and be really excited about it, but please understand that to a non-CrossFit-er, it is the most boring thing in the world to read about.

11 Meghann October 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm

If you’ve read my blog long enough, then you would know my workout routine is constantly evolving. When I first started speed workouts with running, I went into crazy detail of the workouts because I wanted to share all the info I was learning. The same thing happened when I got into hot yoga, cycling, swimming, New Rules of Lifting for Women, half ironman training, etc. etc. I’m sharing because I find it fascinating and I know, as a newbie, it can be intimidating so I wanted to break it down so it wasn’t so intimidating. I’m not exclusively CrossFitting, yesterday I wrote about my swim practice, I’m swimming again tonight, tomorrow I’m running, etc. This is just something new I’m trying and I want to put my first timer experience out there. This blog is about my life and everything I do or attempt to do in the future (including CrossFit). I’m sorry these posts are not for you, but on the flipside I’ve also gotten feedback from readers who appreciate the detailed explanation since they didn’t get it before. I promise not every post will be CrossFit themed, but I can’t promise they’ll be going away completely.

12 Brittany @Berries and Barbells October 17, 2012 at 11:19 am

Wow! That workout looks intense. Way to push through the pain and finish strong.
Brittany @Berries and Barbells recently posted..What I Ate On Race Day

13 Leah @ Chocolate and Wild Air October 17, 2012 at 11:47 am

Whew, looks killer!! Anytime we use a medicine ball in a workout class at the gym, my arms are BURNING by the end. And my core. And my legs. Must be a great workout!
Leah @ Chocolate and Wild Air recently posted..Vlog #2: Decaf coffee + SweatPink

14 Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer October 17, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Wall Balls suck. I had 35 for today’s WOD, but I used a 10# ball since I’m recovering from a shoulder injury. Still a killer. Just wait until you meet “Karen” she is a dirty pirate woman…
Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer recently posted..WIAW #13 – KEEN-WAH Decadence Review

15 Belle @ Rebelle Fitness October 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Walls balls are the worst! Make sure to stretch out your quads – they are going to feel sore!
Belle @ Rebelle Fitness recently posted..How Belle Got Her Groove Back.

16 Amanda October 17, 2012 at 12:27 pm

I’m enjoying your cross fit posts. Thanks for explaining all the terms, etc.

17 Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride October 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Holy killer workout! Nice job!

Are there people of all fitness levels in your box? I honestly would love to try crossfit but I almost feel like I need to get in my best shape first in order to even try it. The people I do know who go are people who are already in fantastic shape but are using it to seriously push their bodies to the limit.
Caitlin @ This Bride’s Joyride recently posted..Wedding Wednesday: The final Flower verdict

18 Jamie October 17, 2012 at 12:50 pm

Hi Caitlin,

I can’t speak for Meghann’s box, but the one I go to in Orlando absolutely has people of ALL fitness levels. Really. Every move can be scaled to a level that’s right for you, and no one is judgmental or makes you feel uncomfortable – it’s all about pushing yourself and working out at a level that’s appropriate for you! Try it out, my only regret is not starting sooner πŸ™‚

19 Megan October 17, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I agree with Jamie’s reply. my gym [hate using the word Box] has a man that is pushing 300 pounds, and women in their 70s. I’m overweight and can barely run 1 mile without stopping but I still go to CF 4 days a week. it is definitly for all fitness levels. In the workout Meghann did above- you have the option to use lighter medicine balls or do normal situps.

20 Meghann October 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Yes, there are people of all levels. Also, all workouts can be modified. There was a guy in my group who was unable to run the 400 m, so he did a certain amount of steps on the VC machine instead. There was another guy who struggling with the wall balls, so the instructor brought him a lighter ball and he pounded out the rest of his sets with improved form and restored energy.

21 Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride October 17, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Awesome, thank you all for the honest replies!
Caitlin @ This Bride’s Joyride recently posted..Wedding Wednesday: The final Flower verdict

22 Annette @FitnessPerks October 17, 2012 at 12:37 pm

NICE work on the WOD, lady! Wall balls do looks intense. It’s a full-body move, so it works pretty much everything πŸ™‚
Annette @FitnessPerks recently posted..Stick To A Plan/ANY Plan!

23 Ashley October 17, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Haha I think running with that giant ball might be more awkward than a pregnant belly. But I’m only 22 weeks so I’ll get back to you if I’m still running in another 10 or so. The belly complicates things, but it really isn’t all that terrible. Kinda… Hopefully I can make it 13.1 this weekend, got a half on the schedule!

Good job with crossfit. I hope to get into once I pop this kid out.
Ashley recently posted..a day in the life – laura

24 Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed October 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I’ve been really considering CrossFit, but the price still has me hesitating. Do you think its worth it?
Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed recently posted..10K Training: Weeks 5, 6, & 7

25 Meghann October 17, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Personally, I think it’s outrageously priced, just as most workout boutique gyms are ( 1 month of unlimited CorssFit is the same as an unlimited month of yoga, pilates, spinning as a special studio, etc.). I signed up with the new student deal of buy one month, get one free and am still unsure if I will continue going after my wedding. I think the classes are great, but worth the high price? I’ll have to let you know when my BOGO runs out.

26 Christina October 17, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I really want to try Crossfit but am so scared of not being able to do it!! I have never been able to climb ropes or do pull ups!!!

27 Megan October 17, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Don’t be scared! I’ve been crossfitting for almost a year and can’t do a strict pullup. They have lots of these elastic bands you put your feet in to hoist you up. A substitute for rope climbs is ring dips. I promise- every workout has an alternate that people of all abilities can do. Try it!!

28 deva by definition October 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm

That sounds like an awesome workout! Granted, if I did it, I probably wouldn’t be able to dry my hair the next day, but it sounds pretty amazing.
deva by definition recently posted..Simple Crock Pot Pulled Pork or Crock Pot Pulled Chicken

29 Megan October 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Oh my god Meghann!! You Rx’d your first workout!! That is a HUGE deal! I usually only do a 1o 0r 12 pound wall ball!! Congrats!! It takes most people a long time before they really Rx a workout! woohoo!

30 Meghann October 17, 2012 at 1:08 pm

Thank you! I promise it was an accident, I thought it was just assumed everyone would be doing the weight given on the board. I didn’t realize what a RX was until the girl below me wrote her time down and put an RX. After she explained it, I was like wait a minute, I did that too. πŸ™‚

31 ct cupcake October 17, 2012 at 1:19 pm

I’m not necessarily into reading of all the cross fitting talk but could you do a Crossfit glossary( I apologize if you already have and I missed it.) What does Rx mean? Why do they call it a Box? Why are the workouts women’s names? To me, Crossfit seems a bit cult-y and like I might get hurt but people I know who do it sure do love it.
ct cupcake recently posted..Up all night

32 Meghann October 18, 2012 at 9:08 am

I have not written a specific CrossFit term post (I’ve sort of been explaining as I go), but I did google and found a very informative post here And Rx means prescribed weight, as in the weight recommended on the white board. Hope that helps! And it’s really not cult-y, or not more so than any other workout craze out there. See my post here: πŸ™‚

33 Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction October 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm

That WOD looks like fun! I love running warmups too…I’ve really got to try to get into cross-fit! Also , your yogurt bowl looks fantastic! πŸ™‚
Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction recently posted..Amica Half-Marathon Recap #2

34 Lynda October 17, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I want to try this whole crossfit thing one day. I can tell it’ll be hard but I like that it’s different from what I’m used to.
Lynda recently posted..Marathon Training Day 1 Recap

35 Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut October 17, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Oh girl, you killed it! Those wall balls sound brutal. Yikes!
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36 jennyv October 17, 2012 at 4:18 pm

wall balls are my least favorite skill in crossfit! they are so hard for me! it’s an overall body killer w/ a squat and an overhead throw and catch. 5 rounds!?

37 Courtney October 18, 2012 at 8:15 am

Hmmm… I find your crossfit posts interesting! As another commenter mentioned, I have also stopped reading Tina at Carrots & Cake since she became all about crossfit. She talks about the workouts with an air of superiority and a very condescending tone. It made me never want to try it! Your posts however are so much more understandable, that I actually feel like not only do I *want* to try Crossfit, but that I actually could! Thanks for always being so real Meghann!

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