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I hate Barbara!

February 3, 2011

This morning at CrossFit we were introduced to “Barbara”.   You should know that Barbara isn’t a person (although I wish she was).  Barbara is a workout.  Yes, the CrossFit program likes to attach innocent female names to their worst workouts.  These names are universally understood across all CrossFit locations and members; the workout is the same whether you’re working out in Toronto or Timbuktu (if a CrossFit gym ever pops up there).  

As I learned today, Barbara isn’t as friendly as she sounds.  She’s evil and happens to be one of the more dreadful workouts in my books. 

Meet “Barbara” and you’ll see why.


Complete 5 rounds of the following 4 exercises (with a 3 minute rest in between each round):

  • 20 pull-ups (100 in total)
  • 30 push-ups (150 in total)
  • 40 sit ups (200 in total)
  • 50 squats (250 in total)

Now can you understand why Barbara doesn’t  have many friends?   If you want to see how it’s done, check out this video of a few CrossFitters suffering through the workout. 

How did I do?  

It took me 41 minutes to complete all 5 rounds including the 12 minutes of rest (3 minutes after each round).   Otherwise it would be 29 minutes of pure activity…and pure hell.  By the time I reached round 4, then nausea kicked in and I debated whether I wanted to continue.   I reluctantly pushed through the last round.    This proves that working out in a group setting  (and with a trainer) gives you just enough motivation to persevere through the pain.   Had I been alone, I would have called it a day and went home.  

Our CrossFit trainer took no pity on us or myself, yelling “chest to the ground!” (during the push-ups), “all the way down” (during the pull-ups), etc.   I wanted things to get easier, not harder, but as they say – no pain, no gain.  

The last round took a toll on me.   After my last squat, I headed in the direction of the bathroom wondering how my body was going to respond to the queasiness.  But with a few deep breaths and some fresh air, I recovered. 

Now that it’s all said and done, I’m not sure whether Barbara is the enemy or my friend.

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