This 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 classes are 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 CrossFit training guide below.
WHAT IS CROSSFIT?
CrossFit workouts are a high-intensity strength and conditioning program that, according to their official website, prides itself on being broad, general and inclusive.
This workout unapologetically works on making you proficient in ten general physical skills: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.
HOW TO START CROSSFIT AND IS IT 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 this workout.
DO YOU ENJOY VARIETY AND GET BORED EASILY?
When trying to become the newest CrossFit athlete, you’ll notice that 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 coach wants to throw at you will keep you on your toes.
DO YOU ENJOY LEAVING EVERY LAST DROP OF ENERGY AT THE CROSSFIT GYM?
Don’t kid yourself before your first session–it’s 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? This workout 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 camaraderie is awesome, but they need competition too.
If that’s you, welcome to CrossFit.
WHY WOULDN’T CROSSFIT BE FOR YOU?
There are two potential drawbacks when it comes to CrossFit: you prefer to train alone, and you have a very specific physique and/or performance goal in mind.
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 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.
Here is an example of three popular CrossFit workouts (WODs):
21-15-9 reps of:
- Thrusters (95 pounds for men, 65 pounds for women)
The goal of Fran is to complete the 21 thrusters and 21 pull-ups, then the 15 thrusters and 15 pull-ups, and finally the 9 thrusters and 9 pull-ups as quickly as possible.
- 1 mile run
- 100 pull-ups
- 200 push-ups
- 300 air squats
- 1 mile run
The goal of Murph is to complete all exercises as quickly as possible, with a focus on endurance and stamina.
20-minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of:
- 5 pull-ups
- 10 push-ups
- 15 air squats
The goal of Cindy is to complete as many rounds as possible within the 20-minute time limit, with a focus on upper body and lower body strength as well as endurance.
These WODs are popular among CrossFit athletes because they are challenging and require a mix of strength, endurance, and conditioning. However, it's important to note that these workouts can be modified to fit individual fitness levels and abilities.
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