Wednesday, February 6, 2013

WATERLOO: The WOD Nation Experience

Lately, my fitness had gone to the backseat for reasons excuses most corporate slaves can relate to. What makes me sweat were only limited to long walks and stairs action - all commute-related. Can you imagine? So when I heard about WOD Nation from my Church mates, I was easily convinced to give it a try. Yes, the idea that you don't know what high-intensity and body-conditioning sets of exercise await you can get daunting. But you know how I once confused my body with an episode of Muay Thai after interchanging gymming, badminton, swimming, yin yoga and dancing for the past few months (that unfortunately led to knee injury # 2) and how I interchanged badminton, yoga and boxing (but that's sooo July 2012)! The element of surprise was never an issue.

I've heard of short-time circuit training (7-minute daily workouts, the likes) from Rodel and our pastor/s before and had my sort-of introduction during this event. With my sedentary lifestyle for the past months, I could really use this free CrossFit class held last Monday (they have free classes every Mondays and Wednesdays from 19:30-21:00 until the end of February).

The trainers explained that WOD (stands for Workout of the Day) is a fitness program that employs functional or natural movements (sitting down, standing up, carrying stuff, etc) at high density and at fast pace. Still sounds vague? Then you might want to read Coach Kit's blog entry and attend their classes in Ayala Triangle. In that order.

I signed up for Level 1. Coach Ken thoroughly demonstrated how to execute my least favorite exercises: squats and push-ups. Squats can be really painful for the glutes and knees, making the chair pose as one of the most difficult yoga poses for me. Coach Ken was quick to explain that we must point our knees to our feet's direction to prevent them from locking. We must also hold our chin up and press our should blades together. Ouch!

Squats via

Push-ups, as I learned in yoga, is not about arm strength alone. It's about core activation. In my case, it's all about core, arms and knees. I recall how we utilized arm straps and how we were asked for our elbows to form 45 degrees in yoga. After a couple of attempts, I cheated. Coach Ken made it easy for us by making us holding our arms up then letting it down. Imagine how our arms look close to chest? That's how they should be when we do push-ups.

Before I assumed a prone position on the ground, I swallowed my fear and reminded myself again that my once injured knee doesn't own me. I own my knees! The coaches told me I can do knee push-ups instead of the usual. But, as always, I really found it hard to engage my core and carry myself. 

I was wrong to assume that Level 1 peeps would only do repetitive squats and push-ups all throughout the 12-minute timeframe. Very. We were asked to do a lot more exercises that felt like I signed up for Level 2! We're supposed to do as many reps as we could within a minute (yeah, felt like Minute to Win It!) and proceed to the  next. And count them. If I did 15 push-ups in a minute, we'll continue to crunches and start counting at 16 and so on.

So we started the challenge with push-ups. I can barely remember how many I did, but it felt like a weak start. In yoga, we were taught to be gentle to our bodies. That night, I was gentle for about 30 seconds then I pushed myself to my limits. I tried to strike a good balance between quality and quantity, but I've had poor pushes. 

Level 1

Butterfly crunches via

I like a good butterfly stretch, but doing crunches in a butterfly pose is a different story. Before the minute ended, I can barely lift myself off the ground. But I felt my hips open after this.

Good mornings via Wikipedia

I just discovered there are about a thousand variations of good mornings. We did the one without barbell. It felt like a good follow-up to butterfly crunches as it felt less painful. Since we're in standing position, I was immediately ready to race to my water bottle as soon as the 1-minute rest began.

Then, push-ups again. At this time, I momentarily forgot where my elbows should be. Luckily, one of the coaches reminded me to push it in. Wow, it pays to be in front!

Inch worms via

Inch worms had to be my favorite. Maybe because it reminded me of one of the coolest bands out there (haha) or maybe because it felt like a pre-sun salutation routine. It was a good stretch. Then, one of the coaches told me that my butt is still quite high before I crawl back to my toes and he waited until I did it right. Man, I felt my legs burn! 

Inch worms via

Then, we're back to squats again. Then rest again. Water time! I wanted to drink away, but I know it's best to hydrate myself enough. Else, I will feel bloated and I'd have a harder time during the routines.

And push-ups again. I was already tired and I found it harder to lift myself off the ground. I know I can do knee push-ups, but I somehow found myself doing full push-ups. I think I spent the last 15 seconds resting and panting away.

Burpees via

We did burpees sometime; I can't recall when anymore. The clap at the end felt like little triumphs I had no time to enjoy. It was intense!

Squat thrusts via

As the last routine, I felt myself dash in each squat thrust in hopes to reach beyond 120 (a good score for Level 1, according to one of the coaches). And I did! Yippee! Yahoo! Yehey!

Check out our scores!
Not bad for a first-timer! Yay!
Photo collage by Erika Cruz.

Class picture via WOD Nation's fanpage

Class picture via WOD Nation's fanpage

Moments after the workout, I already felt the shoulder pains and instantly I resolved to use my backpack to work the following day instead of the usual shoulder bags. I can imagine myself rolling over in bed just so I could undress myself (just like the last time when Rodel made me do bench press, shoulder press, bicep and tricep curls, lateral raises and sit-ups). My joints were in pain, but I know I did them a favor. And I enjoyed it!

Cold compress for my knees and 2 days after my first WOD experience, I still feel every inch of my body crying in pain. Bus drivers and commuters confuse me as pregnant and my colleagues had to walk slower so I can catch up with them. As they say, pain is weakness leaving the body. This weakness, too, shall pass.

So why I am typing away tonight instead of attending Operation ENDURING FREEDOM? Well, for reasons that most corporate slaves can sadly relate to. 


  1. Glad you enjoyed the WOD! I'm very happy that we were able to transfer knowledge successfully. Those functional movements will definitely go a long long way with any challenge you'll face in life.

    Nahihirapan sa trabaho? Mas mahirap ang WOD na yan :))

    1. Hi, Kyle! Thanks for dropping by! It was painful yet fun. Looking forward to my next WOD experience. :)

      Where can I see our "class pictures" pala? I'd like to include them in this entry. Thanks in advance!