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If you’re like me, you’ve been trying to get in shape for the last five years with little success. I tried running and cycling but when it came time to do either of them again, my body would say “NOPE!” and I’d find myself doing something else instead. It wasn’t until a few months ago that someone told me about CrossFit…
I was initially skeptical because there were so many things going on at once: kettlebells, barbells, weight plates, jump ropes – how could this possibly be good for your fitness? But then I did some research and found out that CrossFit is actually really effective! With regular training sessions combined with healthy eating habits (like cutting back on sweets) I lost
Contrary to popular belief, CrossFit is totally beginner-friendly.
The cult-like following of CrossFit may be a little strange at times. People are strangely enamored with something that most people want to avoid at all costs: exercise. Exercising that is particularly strenuous and often unpleasant. But if you’re on the inside, like yours truly, you’ll understand why folks spend their days lugging sandbags around or doing a mile of burpees for joy.
CrossFit may be scary, regardless of whether you have previous fitness expertise or are a complete newcomer to working out.
PART 1: The Basics
It’s a good idea to brush up on your CrossFit terminology before getting started. When you’re new to CrossFit, the terminology and acronyms may seem foreign. Here are a few of the most popular terms you’ll see and hear the first time you walk into a CrossFit gym:
- WOD: Workout of the Day.
- AMRAP: As Many Rounds (or Reps) As Possible. Used when the workout is a circuit, and you’re supposed to do as many rounds as you can within the given time cap.
- EMOM: Every Minute On the Minute. Used for interval-style training.
- Box: Another term for gym. When people say, “I’ll see you at the box,” they mean the CrossFit gym.
- GPP: General Physical Preparedness, or the term CrossFitters use for overall fitness.
- Metcon: An abbreviation for “metabolic conditioning,” a type of training that improves endurance.
- The whiteboard: Where CrossFit gyms write the WOD and athletes’ scores.
PART 2: The Test
Nope! Not the test you’re thinking. You should get a fitness evaluation with a CrossFit coach before beginning CrossFit courses. Many CrossFit exercises contain motions that require a wide range of motion, ballistic or explosive movement patterns, and unfamiliar body postures. Your coach will want to observe how you squat, deadlift, and press overhead, as well as gauge your degree of cardiovascular endurance.
This information assists your coach in assisting you. It enables them to adjust exercises as needed and keep a close watch on you when you’re performing movements you’re having trouble with. The initial fitness evaluation also assists you in determining if CrossFit is the perfect fitness program for you, as well as providing you with information about the program.
PART 3: Take it slow
It’s better to resist the urge to increase the intensity while you’re new to CrossFit. CrossFitters are, for the most part, competitive individuals. It’s one of the reasons they’re there: the competitive nature of a high-intensity group session encourages people to dig deep and push their bodies to their limits.
If you’re competitive in any way, you might feel compelled to keep up with regular moviegoers. Fight the desire, because doing too much too fast as a novice in any fitness plan may lead to injuries or, at the very least, extreme pain that keeps you out of the gym for days.
PART 4: Customize your experience
You are not required to complete each CrossFit workout exactly as stated on the whiteboard. Because you can scale every CrossFit session to suit your current fitness ability and support your objectives, as well as accommodate for injuries or pain, the entire experience is totally adjustable.
If you’re injured, inform your coach and request a change. It’s possible that you’ll need to reduce the weight or altogether alter the action. If you’re pregnant or have a medical condition that prevents you from doing certain activities, you should also request changes.
If you have certain goals in mind, you may tailor the daily workouts to meet them. Check this list to see what “WODs” can help you achieve your goals.
PART 5: Celebrate Small Wins
Making fitness development is a big part of the fun of CrossFit. You can log anything is relevant to you, but there are a few crucial indicators you should keep track of, including:
- Your one-rep max for the big lifts: Squat, deadlift, overhead press, bench press, clean and jerk, snatch and overhead squat
- Your mile run time and 400-meter run time
- How many pull-ups you can do
- How many push-ups you can do
It’s also enjoyable to keep track of your “firsts.” In CrossFit, a select few moves are more sought than the others, and they deserve to be celebrated when accomplished. Keep note of your pull-ups, toes-to-bar, muscle-ups, handstand push-ups, and rope climbs so you can see how far you’ve progressed afterwards. You can use pen and paper to log your achievements, but you can also use apps like Beyond the Whiteboard, WodLog, WODbook or myWOD. Your new gym may use Wodify and offer it for free to members, so check with your coach about that.
Crossfit workouts are one of the most challenging and rewarding things you can do. They require dedication, drive, determination… But they also offer an amazing sense of community support. This is why I want to hear from newbies (or anyone who’s curious) about which WODs you’re taking! Let me know what workout routines have worked for you so far in your CrossFit journey or let me know if there’s a particular routine that has caught your eye but hasn’t tried yet. I’ll help answer any questions and provide tips on how to get started with these routines as well as share some more information on our favorite workouts here at the comment section!