The CrossFit craze is getting stronger and stronger by the day.
If you haven't already jumped on the bandwagon, you've probably at the very least considered it. CrossFit is a fun, albeit intense, way to get yourself in shape.
But, before you go diving headfirst, check out how to prepare for CrossFit with our beginner's guide below.
What is CrossFit?
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that, according to their official website, prides itself on being broad, general and inclusive.
CrossFit unapologetically works on making you proficient in ten general physical skills: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.
Is CrossFit for you?
Understand that CrossFit, like every other discipline, carries with it risks and rewards. Watching it looks like fun, but is it really for you?
If you answer yes to the below questions, then you can be confident that you’ll reap the most benefits from CrossFit.
Do you enjoy variety and get bored easily?
No two days or WODs (workout of the day) are likely to be the same in your progression through CrossFit training.
If the idea of hitting the same routine every session is enough to make you snooze, then you’ll be in your element here.
A dynamic mixture of weightlifting, cardio, calisthenics, strongman and whatever else your CrossFit coach wants to throw at you will keep you on your toes.
Do you enjoy leaving every last drop of energy at the gym?
Don’t kid yourself before your first session–CrossFit is intense.
If you haven't pushed yourself to the very edge of exhaustion before, prepare to be enlightened. There will be plenty of occasions where you’ve surpassed 100% effort, and the only thing pushing you further are fumes and the support of your fellow CrossFitters.
Speaking of which…
Do you enjoy training in a community environment?
You enjoy the supportive environment of fitness classes, but maybe you want a step-up intensity? CrossFit has got you covered.
Probably the most enticing aspect of CrossFit is the community bond and the inclusive atmosphere of their setups.
If being cheered on as you smash personal records sounds like the dream – CrossFit is that sport. It’s almost impossible to feel demotivated in that environment.
Are you a competitive gym rat who can’t get enough?
For some, it’s about cramming their workouts in three days a week.
For others, it’s almost therapy and the gym is their second home.
The comradery is awesome, but they need competition too.
If that’s you, welcome to CrossFit.
Why wouldn’t CrossFit be for you?
If you have a sport-specific athletic goal, then a CrossFit WOD that isn’t customized to your sport won’t be optimal. Don’t get it twisted; it’ll likely help in most aspects of your fitness, but it won’t be as tailored.
Similarly, if your goals are to have bigger biceps and pecs, you’ll not be hitting 20 sets of bench press and 15 sets of curls at your CrossFit box every week.
How can I prepare for CrossFit success?
- Research 'boxes' in your community to get a sense of which ones are top of the line with coaches who are certified.
- Introduce yourself to the coach on your first day and be completely honest about your level. Most CrossFit coaches will be friendly, thorough and professional to ensure your safety.
- Don’t be shy – say hello to all the other kids. Make some friends. That's what CrossFit is about
- It’s tempting to push yourself and get lost in the amazing hyped atmosphere, but be honest with yourself. Most coaches will see your form breaking down and advise you to stop, but if you can notice it yourself, or feel any pain – just stop. An injury will take the fun out of your experience really fast.
- Many WODs will include complex multi-joint movements. Your coach will take you through the technique, but if you’re struggling, be sure to get some one-on-one attention. Better to pester until you get it right than to do yourself harm.
- Enjoy yourself. Don’t be put off after your first session. You might even lose your lunch; persevere. You’ll get fit, fast.
Take these steps as a CrossFit rookie and you'll be on your way to maximizing the CrossFit experience, as well as your newfound fitness.