Crossfit: Working it out

Train hard, compete hard, win hard. This is what goes through senior Jassi Dhillon’s mind when he trains in CrossFit.

Dhillon participates in CrossFit, a core and strength conditioning program featuring short, intense cardiovascular workouts. After both his cousins and brother’s coworkers tried out the program, Dhillon’s dad signed the family up. Dhillon started in January 2014 and now competes in Mud Races, Spartan Races, the Next Level Invitational (NLI) and other competitions and challenges.

“Crossfit [consists of] mostly functional movements to help you with your daily life, which I like because it helps me a lot with ordinary and Mixed Martial Arts training,” Dhillon said. “Our goal is to always become stronger while becoming faster, which was my goal from the beginning—becoming stronger.”

Before joining CrossFit, Dhillon went to the Arcadia 24 Hour Fitness four days a week and spent three hours lifting with his father and brother.

“I didn’t really like the gym so I decided to try something new, something different, something I’m good at,” Dhillon said. “At CrossFit, we’re all friends and everyone pushes you. People actually know who you are, especially the coaches. They’ll spend their own time to help you out.

Dhillon trains approximately two and a half hours a day, six days a week. A typical workout includes one to two barbell lifts, body weight movements (pushups, pullups, squats and ring dips) and a short or long run based on the Workout of the Day (WOD).

“I just [think] about finishing the workout, so I ignore the pain and focus on what I want to do. I complete the goal I set for myself and then go above and beyond,” Dhillon said.

Occassionaly, there are hero WODs that are done to honor those who have died in the armed forces. The Murph Challenge, in honor of Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael Murphy, consists of running a mile, doing 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 squats and then running another mile.

“I give respect where respect is due. And these men deserve every ounce of respect I have, so I feel great doing these hero WODs. Doing these workouts and doing the best I can is a way of showing my thanks of what they have done for us,” Dhillon said.

During the Isabel hero WOD, Dhillon tore his hand two-thirds through and callouses began to bleed.

“I didn’t stop. In my mind, I thought that these men and women have been through worse and still keep on going. Why should I stop because of a big tear in my hand?” Dhillon said.

Dhillon prepares for competitions through Burner workouts of short sprints. He placed fourth overall at the Nov. 4, 2015 NLI, a national competition held at the Orange County fairgrounds.

“I was disappointed because the people I talked to about NLI talked it all up,” Dhillon said. “The judges were inconsistent and not informed properly of what is going on. Overall, it was still a great experience with very intense Workouts of the Day.”

Another competition he has completed is the Spartan Race in which Dhillon runs ten miles and goes through 30 or more obstacles. These obstacles range from climbing walls, crossing mud pools, crawling under barbed wire, throwing spears, climbing ropes, carrying sand bags, carrying buckets of rocks and crossing through a field of mud and clay material.

“To be mentally prepared is not that hard. You just can’t give up. It’s how obsessed you are to do it. The more you want it, the more you will do to get it done. It’s the same as running a marathon. Find a pace and keep it through the race,” Dhillon said. “Go quickly through obstacles that are easy to them and carefully on the one that are not. It’s the fun of doing them with friends and knowing you accomplished something.”

This summer, he plans to do another competition. Dhillon will be continuing the CrossFit program for as long as he can.

“It’s something I love doing. The high you get after because of all the support, the adrenaline rush you get from the community…I just love it,” Dhillon said. “It’s what works best for my body type, and it’s what I love doing, with the people I love doing it with.”

By Phillip Leung, Staff writer
Photo courtesy of Jassi Dhillon