Man is a social creature and we’re masters of mob mentality. Take an exercise class, for instance… Show me a man who doesn’t cheat occasionally on a difficult move when the instructor isn’t looking and I’ll show you a liar.
We all, when presented with an opportunity on an off day, hide in a crowd. It’s the way we were hard-wired. Like avoiding your ex in a shopping mall or blaming the fart smell on the dog, man was designed to dodge attention.
But then comes that fateful day when you pitch up at training on a damp Friday night, and no-one else is there. It’s you and the trainer and the gym-owner (your trainer’s boss) and the instruction is AMRAP.
In crossfit terms, AMRAP means As Many Reps As Possible, but for the purposes of my bodyweight training you can replace “reps” with “rounds”.
You see, my training works on a monthly cycle of exercises: Today (first Monday in April) I’ll do a new set (different from last month) of six exercises which will make up one round; you start on level one (simple base moves) and progress through level three (more complex variations of the base move) by month end. On Friday, I had 12 minutes to push out as many rounds (each move in succession) as possible.
Oh, and there was another rule: rest = doing more extra reps of the “easier” moves.
It was like playing rugby against myself in front of a capacity Loftus crowd. Not even the half-naked photoshoot – which you’ll see when this feature is published in the magazine – left me feeling more exposed.
But you know what was most surprising? I didn’t hate it. Not one bit. I was, instead, quite surprised with myself. I probably put in a solid seven or eight rounds and used the more challenging moves for rest.
I’m feeling pretty good about myself going in to the last month of the challenge and my -15kg goal is well in sight. Hopefully there are no setbacks in the coming four weeks.