Happy holidays! If you celebrate Christmas, I hope it was wonderful. If you don't, I hope you had a great Friday.
I've never been a big Christmas person (another unpopular opinion but it's my truth) but the one Christmas tradition I love is a 12 Days of CrossFit workout. If you're unfamiliar, the workout is structured exactly like the song - with each number indicating the reps and then paired with a movement - the workout builds on itself (like the song) until you do every movement, following reps 12 through 1, for the final round.
I first learned about it way before I started CrossFit - I specifically remember being in the lululemon showroom in Richmond back before lululemon had a real store in Richmond - so this must've been 2009 or 2010? This was also back when lululemon was just clothes for actual working out and the entire point was buying pants specifically for your certain type of workout - before athleisure became the fashion behemoth that it is today. I was a dedicated runner and college personal trainer lifting 15 pound dumbbells MAX at the time. It was my first time buying lululemon leggings so this was a big day. One of the women working at the showroom was a member of what had to be CrossFit RVA when it first opened. It was the week before Christmas and I was home from Charlottesville visiting my mom during winter break. The woman and I talked about our workouts and she told me her plan to do this 12 Days of CrossFit workout at her gym. She explained it and might have even shown me the workout on her phone? A cute little iPhone 3? At the time, my idea of fun was running for 3+ hours so this long grind of a workout sounded great to me.
I tested it out myself (using movements I knew since I'm 100% sure I had no idea what a barbell hang clean was at the time), then on my personal training clients, and in my group exercise classes for years before actually joining CrossFit and doing the "real" workout at a "real" CrossFit gym. I usually had people do the workouts in December and July for a fun Christmas in July spin. People loved it so I have lots of happy memories of the workout from those personal training days. And I remember the first time Patrick and I did the real workout at Trident CrossFit our first year in Alexandria and the first time I attempted bar muscle-ups as the "partridge in a pear tree" at the end of each round. I didn't get one during that workout but I'm pretty sure I made 12 valiant oh-so-close attempts. I also have an extremely happy memory of doing the workout at CrossFit South Brooklyn during our first year in New York. Trident was always closed on Christmas Day so we would all do the workout on the 24th. But CFSBK is open 365 days a year so the workout was run on actual Christmas Day, by the owner himself. In my eyes, that is leadership personified - keeping your business open every day AND running the holiday yourself so your staff could take off and enjoy the holiday? More amazing than the workout itself, during which I think I used a 95 pound barbell and was very proud of myself.
This year looked a little different but supplied a happy memory all the same. I modified the workout from CompTrain Home Gym's posted workout so that I could incorporate pull-ups and ring dips AND not have to do broad jumps in my apartment (Merry Christmas to you, Apt 3C!). I pumped a playlist from a dear friend (aptly titled F2020) and kissed Rex at the end of each set of sit-ups as he sat watching me from his favorite armchair.
No matter what your holidays look like this year (and how shitty 2020 has been), I hope you're safe and happy.
"12 Days of CrossFit" - Elly's home version
1 - DB thruster, 35#s
2 - DB hang power cleans, 35#s
3 - DB deadlifts, 35#s
4 - burpees
5 - pull-ups
6 - ring dips
7 - hand release push-ups
8 - reverse lunges (4/leg)
9 - Russian KB swings, 53#
10 - sit-ups
11 - DB front squats, 35#s
12 - DB push presses, 35#s