CrossFit athletes are known for their intensity, along with being in incredible physical shape. If you’ve taken time to look into crossfit training, you’ll have figured out that that CrossFit enthusiasts are like an exclusive club. They speak their own language and follow a set of strange rules. So no one would blame you if you felt a little intimidated.
However, the CrossFit community generally are a more receptive and encouraging than you may think. Regardless of your fitness level, CrossFit becomes less intimidating when you look through the negative press and experience it for yourself. Take a look this CrossFit for beginners guide and take a leap into this intense but rewarding sport.
1.Taking an Introductory Class
Visit several gyms. Every CrossFit affiliate is going to be unique. Prior to getting started, take time to visit several gyms in your area. Check out the workouts and try to speak to the coaches at each location.
- Live in a larger city? Then chances are you have the option of dozens of CrossFit gyms. Visit their websites so you can narrow down the list to five or six you may want to get involved in.
- Visit a few before you commit yourself to a particular location, particularly if you’re overwhelmed by the CrossFit experience. Take the chance to get comfortable in the location so you can watch the workouts and the athletes interactions without much intimidation.
- Recall another time where you’ve felt intimidated or worried by the unfamiliar, such as starting a new job or a school. You probably found that once things became familiar, you no longer felt intimidated. Keep this n mind as you evaluate different crossfit gyms.
Crossfit Workout For Beginners
2. Choose a CrossFit gym that meets your needs.
One of the the most important thing is to know, when accessing a crossfit gym, is whether the coaching styles match your fitness goals and fitness level. Take time to talk to the coaches and other staff members, so you get a clear picture about what’s on offer.
- If, after looking at several gyms, you haven’t found the one for you, spend more time to go to some other places. If possible see i you can get some recommendations via word of mouth.
3. Start with a cardio class.
A lot of CrossFit gyms have cardio classes, these use body-weight exercises instead of incorporating heavy weightlifting. So, no need for any training on CrossFit form and technique. This makes it an ideal introduction to CrossFit.
- Cardio classes are primarily focused on muscle tone and fat burning. If you’re someone who is concerned with your fitness level or want to lose some weight before you fully get into CrossFit, these classes can be a good introduction.
- Bear in mind that you will still be challenged in these classes – there’s just less focus on strength-training. If you’ve never lifted weights before, not being zoned on that aspect of CrossFit training may help with making the experience less intimidating.
4. Find a crossfit workout program that suits your current capabilities.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned athlete, or a newcomer on the CrossFit scene, CrossFit workouts are challenging – they’re designed that way. Make sure you don’t do more than you’re capable of handling to avoid injury.
- In CrossFit lingo, you may come across coaches or athletes talking about “scaling” a workout. In introductory classes, the coaches will be able to help you scale the workout to better match your fitness level.
- As you get fitter, you’ll be able to increase the resistance and speed with which you perform the workouts. Keep a realistic assessment of your capabilities, and don’t be tempted to push yourself too hard – particularly if you’re just starting out.
- Keep in mind that even the most hard-core CrossFit athlete was a beginner at one point. They will know what you’re going through and won’t expect you to immediately be competitive on your first round.
5. Complete a CrossFit Elements or Foundations clinic.
CrossFit Elements clinics are not workouts. Instead, they are hands-on clinics that show you the right form and technique for performing CrossFit workouts. Strong form is vital to prevent injury.
- Typically these classes will start with a warm up, then move to a specific skill or movement. Your coach will demonstrate proper technique, after this you’ll get an opportunity to perform the movement yourself.
- In most gyms, you can take these classes as long as you need to, until you feel comfortable with the movements and can do them with perfect form. There are some gyms where you need permission from a coach before you can advance to the “on ramp” classes, this further prepare you for the intensity of CrossFit.
- As with most crossfit beginner classes, you typically can stay in the “on ramp” level as long as you need, until you feel comfortable or your coach has given you clearance to progress.
6. Increase your intensity gradually.
Most CrossFit workouts are literally a race against the clock, so the intensity of those workouts – and the athletes attacking them – can be very intimidating when you first get involved.
- Only come out of the introductory classes when you are completely ready. Count on your coach to give you the all clear when it’s time to advance.
- Do not compare yourself to other athletes who are more advanced and experienced. Focus instead on your coaches, and compete with others who are at your own fitness level.
- The fact is, you will experience intense muscle soreness for weeks after you start doing CrossFit regularly. Find out good recovery techniques from the get go to reduce strain and injury later on.
7. Getting Involved in the CrossFit Community
- Get to know the people in your class. CrossFit gyms, in many ways, are small communities unto themselves. By encouraging a spirit of camaraderie, every gym builds a supportive network that can help you achieve new heights in strength and endurance.
- In your early Foundations or Elements clinics, it’s likely the coach will include a series of icebreaker exercises that are meant to allow the participants in the class to get to know each other.
- Ask questions, both of your coach and of other participants. If you get a chance to hang out with any of the participants socially, like a trip to the smoothie bar after the clinic, take advantage of it. These people may not become your best friends, but you’ll be more supportive of people with whom you’re familiar with. The first step to encouragement is understanding someone’s struggles.
- Learn the language. CrossFit has its own lingo, and one of the aspects of acclimatizing yourself with Crossfit training is learning the correct terminology and using it naturally and appropriately. If you don’t understand something, rather than assuming just ask.
- One of the first things you’ll learn is “WOD,” which stands for “workout of the day.” Some workouts have unique names that you’ll also learn with time. For example, there some of WODs that have each been given a girl’s name. After awhile, you’ll see one of these names you’ll immediately know what your daily training regimen will be.
- Another acronym you’ll come across is “AMRAP,” which stands for “as many reps as possible.” Many WODs include exercises done this way. Instead of racing the clock, you’ll be focused on doing as many reps of the given exercise as you can within a specified amount of time.
- Many CrossFit athletes also follow the Paleo diet, which consists of eating as cavemen from the Paleolithic period – which would mainly be meat and vegetables. Followers of the Paleo diet have their own lingo as well, which may overlap with CrossFit lingo.
8.Support other athletes.
Although CrossFit is by definition competitive, the CrossFit community is very supportive and encouraging. Foster a healthy spirit of competition by congratulating your fellow CrossFitters for achieving personal bests or meeting their own goals.
- Part of this sport culture includes being willing to check your ego. If you get ocky about your performance you can be sure this will slack on your form and end with injury.
- Keep your perspective and understand that one athlete who beats you in one skill may have difficulties in another. Be willing to help out and avoid resentment and negative feelings that may turn from healthy competition into a bitter rivalry.
- Chat to coaches and more experienced athletes. At first, CrossFit athletes may seem intense and overwhelming, and it may be hard to imagine them as warm and welcoming to a CrossFit beginner like you. But most CrossFitters are encouraging to new members and are happy to welcome you into their fold.
- CrossFit gyms often have community events. Most also have a presence on social media. Use these to ask advice from coaches and experienced athletes, especially when you’re just starting out.
- When you enter a CrossFit box for the first time, there may be occasions where you find particular individuals intimidating – perhaps because they look particularly strong, because they are incredibly intense, or they seem to know everybody. How to overcome this? Walk up to the most intimidating person in the gym and ask them a question. The more you get to know them, the less intimidating they will be.
9. Cutting Through the Negativity
Even if you’re somewhat interested in CrossFit, try and find CrossFit-friendly media sources. When you read about articles about the dangers of participation, the pain, and the freak injuries CrossFitters experience, this only fans the flames of fear.
You can find websites online designed for CrossFitters, and you also can find information on the websites and social media pages of CrossFit gyms.
- Talk to people locally who do CrossFit and get recommendations from them for where you can go for more information.
- When you’re first learning about CrossFit, you typically will see videos and images of athletes performing amazing feats of strength and endurance. You may think that those feats are well beyond your capabilities, or that you need to be more in shape before you can even start CrossFit. Looking at real images and videos from regular gyms, and talking to actual CrossFitters, can help you overcome that intimidating image.
- Be patient. You won’t be going in on your first day and doing the same things the most experienced athletes can do. Gradually, over time, you will improve your fitness in a supportive and accepting environment.
- Keep in mind that any type of vigorous exercise is potentially dangerous if not done properly. Because of the intense focus on form and technique, injuries are no more common in CrossFit than in any other similarly vigorous activity.
- Your CrossFit coaches won’t allow you to progress to the next level unless they feel your form and technique are correct. Listen to them and be patient. Understand that it will take time to reach the level where you want to be.
One of the best ways to make CrossFit less intimidating is to start with someone else. Get together with someone you know who also is interested in CrossFit and is at a similar fitness level to you.
- If you have a friend already involved in CrossFit, make t less intimidating on yourself and go with them. Even so, make sure you evaluate the gym for your own purposes – don’t go to a CrossFit gym that makes you feel intimidated or uncomfortable just because your friend is a member.
- Even if you end up going to a different gym to your friend, if they are more experienced, you can still ask questions and become more familiar with the CrossFit world.
11. Give it 30 days
- It’s a given that the first week or so of CrossFit going to be difficult and challenging. Still, even if you’ve had a rough couple of sessions, be willing to give it a little more time and allow it to become a part of your regular routine
- It can take around 30 days to become comfortable with the movements and start to feel like you know what you’re doing. Even the act of just showing up for that time will give you more confidence.
- If after a month you decide CrossFit isn’t for you, at least you can make an informed decision at that point, and you won’t wonder if you’ve missed out on something because you were too afraid to give it a shot.
Cross Training WOD Bible: 555 Workouts from Beginner to Ballistic
Cross Training WOD Bible is a must have if you can’t make class and want to workout at home. Packed full of WODs from intro to full on living the cross training life. What this book will give you is some of the basics while also providing the lo down on what to expect when you enter into the cross training arena. Cross Training WOD Bible is easy to read and gets straight to the point, so you can get on with increasing your cross fit training skills. Very addictive.