Cindy Tuffton isn’t usually one to complain, but the 36-year-old athlete says a recent parter workout at her gym was “straight JV programming.”
Tuffton’s gym typically holds team and partner workouts on Saturday mornings, something she usually looks forward to. “I’ve lost 30 pounds since I started, and the team workouts are a big part of that. They are really fun and motivating,” she explained.
That all changed when Tuffton found herself in a partner workout with an unusual format. Athletes were paired up and asked to complete a 400 meter partner run, followed by 150 burpees. Only one athlete was permitted to perform burpees at a time, each performing 5 reps while the other rested.
Looking around the room for a friend of a similar fitness level, Tuffton found herself the odd woman out. “I realized I was about to become somebody’s dead weight, and I broke out in a cold sweat,” Tuffton recalled. Her worst fears were confirmed when her coach instructed her to partner with athlete Carrie Smith, a 2018 Regional hopeful.
“My partner was a 22 year-old girl with washboard abs,” Tuffton explained. “The stupid burpees were killing me, and I knew she wasn’t even getting a workout. Thanks coach.”
Smith confirmed Tuffton’s report. “Those were the slowest, ugliest, most fragmented, burpees I’ve ever seen.”
The pair finished the workout in last place, and Smith stayed after class to do “a quick metcon.”
Tuffton says the experience has caused her to think more deeply about programming, and has actually made her consider getting her CF-L1.
“I’m no CrossFit expert, but I’m pretty sure there are ways to design partner workouts so that nobody has to stand around for five minutes while I’m slowly peeling my body off the floor to complete a handful of burpees. Unless of course the goal is to crush the self-esteem of the weakest person on the team.”
Tuffton says she is no longer frustrated, but does plan to send a few dozen spurious emails to her coach as payback, each inquiring about billing and scheduling information readily available online.