If you haven't heard about CrossFit, what treadmill have you been hiding under? It's the fitness craze that has members slamming heavy balls against the floor, scaling ropes, lifting, sprinting, squatting, pressing, pushing, and thrusting, sometimes crying, and then coming back, begging for more. (Is anyone else turned on right now?) It's maybe the only popular sport that has the audacity to say that marathon runners aren't fit because they train only "in one dimension." Check out reruns of this summer's CrossFit Games if you need to witness the torture firsthand. Or just walk into any one of South Florida's 50 CrossFit gyms.
Why would anybody inflict such pain on oneself? They say it's about true overall fitness, cardiovascular health, yadda yadda, but all we hear is "sex." They say CrossFit exercises increase endurance? We hear "sex." They say you become good at quickly shifting from one position and motion to the next? We hear "sex-sex-sex." And they say CrossFit involves bars, swings, ropes, and pressing your face into the bare, black, rubbery floor. We scream, "OK, do me now!"
Face down, ass up. That's the way CrossFitters like to exercise.
Enter the box (they really call their gyms boxes!) at CrossFit Miami Beach, and you'll find scores of sweaty hardbodies doing handstand pushups against the walls or writhing on the floor in pools of sweat and tears. Among the trainers directing these buff suckers for punishment are Jared Prudoff-Smith, Sadie Wells, and Jason Woolley (all featured in these photos).
Prudoff-Smith is a sought-after male model when he's not, uh, working the box, so he knows a little about sex and sex appeal. He had some pretty quick and ready answers to the question of how CrossFitting translates to better performance in the bedroom.
He said that squats, one of the most heavily prescribed CrossFit exercises, not only make legs look banging, but also mimic good sexual form for females.
"The funny thing about squats, when we teach them, the first part is that you push your hips back. Basically, you're backing your butt up. When we teach the squat in the 101 [beginners' class], we make an analogy to when you're out at the club and you see a girl backing her butt up onto a guy. It's pretty much the same thing.
"And from there, I guess you could say you drop it like it's hot. You drive your hips back, you're then dropping your butt down, keeping the weight in your heels. And then you're driving through your heels back up, driving your hips forward. So at the top of the squat you're going to squeeze your glutes and drive your hips forward again."
It's not uncommon for a CrossFit workout to include hundreds of these squats. Ladies dropping their butts to the floor and bounding back up again. Up and down. CrossFit women who like it on top are almost guaranteed to get bored before they get tired.
The hip drive used in squats is even more pronounced in another CrossFit favorite, the kettlebell swing. The CrossFitter grips the kettlebell handle and swings the weight from between his knees to straight out in front of him.
"A lot of the CrossFit lifts, kettlebell swings included, incorporate a very powerful hip drive," Prudoff-Smith said. "And I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to think about how a strong hip drive can be beneficial to bedroom activity."
Of course women like strong men in the sack. But equally important, women like men who feel strong in the sack. Sexy time with a timid guy is about as appealing as snacking on soggy pretzels.
"I gotta say, that as a guy, being able to power-clean like 225, so to get 225 pounds from the ground to your shoulder level, um... it gives you a little bit of confidence when you're dealing with a lady friend," Prudoff-Smith said. "I've definitely used the core strength that I've gained from CrossFit for personal pleasure -- and dispensing of pleasure."
Freddy Lopez, a lawyer who asked us to change his name, is a relative newcomer to CrossFit Miami Beach. Still, after just more than a month of training in "the box," he says he's gained some power between the sheets... and in other places.
"You know when you're having sex in the shower and you're both standing up?" he said. "When you're able to lift somebody's full weight on your legs... Yeah, that's impressive, when they're not tiny -- when it's a real-sized woman. That's when you kind of look at yourself and go, Wow, that's kind of interesting that I was able to do that for more than like ten seconds without falling on my ass. So one thing I definitely did notice is that clearly all that leg work, all those squats, it really does help."
He said that recently, without really meaning to, he made his lady friend "fly" as a result of his newly strengthened hip thrusts. And she liked it. A lot.
"It's hot as hell when a guy can pick you up and push you around. And that move felt amazing," she said. "As long as I don't fall on the floor."
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So after continuously pushing their muscles past the point of fatigue, all those episodes of collapsing in piles of rubbery limbs and sweat ultimately give CrossFitters the rewards of a scintillating hip thrust and ridiculous stamina.
"I would agree that the muscular endurance and the cardio-respiratory endurance that you gain from CrossFit will give anyone the endurance to get very creative and go for a very long time," Prudoff-Smith said. "You know, as you keep going, you start thinking, This would be cool," "Oh, that would be nice, or Oh, look at that chair, or Look at that table...