A Beginner's Journey to Class at CFSL – Part 2: The First Session

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unnamedWho remembers their first session at CFSL? The anticipation and excitement? The unexpected introduction of not one, but two different parts of a workout? Or the realisation that, if your chest hits the ground, press ups become a lot more difficult than they have ever been?

For Part 2 of his blog series, our new starter Rob talks about his first session and his transition from a relaxing lunch in the Shard to being that sweaty guy on the Victoria line…

So enthusiastic were we to get started on our ten sessions that we booked our first one for Ozzie’s next available slot, not realising how ambitious it was to get across town to CFSL for 6 pm on a Tuesday. Luckily I was able to make an early exit from afternoon tea up the Shard.  Stepping into the heavy weight-slamming box was a world away from the miniature sandwiches and pregnancy chat that had dominated the day.

Changed out of office clothes, we got cracking.  Session one: squats. After warming up, we went through the steps of the perfect squat in detail, before taking it in turns to demonstrate what we had learned, with careful tweaks throughout. We began to add weight. And then some more weight. And then some more still. It slowly dawned on me we were actually going to establish our 1RM, which took a while to get my head around as I had for some reason been expecting a steady hour of air squats and little else.

Having always trained alone, I had never dared to find out how much I could do. I can also freely confess I probably hadn’t been going past horizontal as my weights went up. Leaving the maths of adding up the bar’s weights to Ozzie, we found our limits. I admit to being slightly terrified, having never pushed myself this far. I had images of myself tumbling to the floor pathetically, but once loaded, my concern shifted to finding the medicine ball beneath me we were using to mark the correct position, resulting in me demanding ‘where’s my ball?!’ before each set. As the weight went up, each rep got slower and tougher but each move was being examined carefully, and at least I knew my form was spot on.

We also tackled overhead squats, which were a unique challenge in themselves.

Thinking ourselves done for the day, Ozzie then revealed it was time for the workout.  I somehow hoped this might have been forgotten. We built on our introduction session by adding some serious weight, or at least weight that seemed serious to us as beginners…  Then it was flat out for a good six or seven minutes, goblet squats, press ups and medicine ball slams in decreasing sets of 21, 15 and 9, with 200m rowing after each section.  Halfway through, I began to question what on earth I was doing, but extra energy seemed to come from somewhere and I settled into the final burst.

For the first thirty seconds after finishing, I thought I was going to explode, but then I wanted to do it all over again. And more than that, I felt really good.  I had done circuits before, but never with weights like that. It was definitely different to what I was used to. I might have been the sweatiest person on the Victoria line that night, but bring on Session Two!

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