1. Don’t believe the stereotypes.
Not all CrossFit gyms are dark, dingy rooms with super-chiseled athletes grunting and yelling. You’ll likely find people just like you; regular people looking for a fun and challenging way to get into better shape.
2. Confidence is key.
The relative intensity of CrossFit can shock you and make you believe that you can’t do it, or that it’s too hard. But everyone starts somewhere and you need to hush that self-doubt in the back of your head. Know that you’ve accomplished so much already from just your willingness to do the workout.
3. But make sure to keep your ego in check.
Leave any previous athletic accomplishments at the door: No matter your past athletic achievements, you’ve got to have a beginner mindset. Trust the coaches, trust the process. Move well, work hard, and be happy. You will see the results that you are looking for.
4. Every workout is customizable.
You don’t need to be elite status to jump right in once you’ve completed your foundation coursework. All of the movements are scalable, so even someone just starting out can work out alongside someone who has done it for years…and both people will get an awesome workout. Your entire CrossFit experience can be adjusted to whatever fitness level you’re currently at — no judgments.
5. Prioritize mobility before every WOD.
Don’t shirk the dynamic warm-up at the top of each workout. In fact, your performance depends on it: Many of the foundational movements in CrossFit, like squats and pull-ups, require good form, which in turn requires superior ankle, hips and shoulder mobility.
6. Track your progress.
Because when you’re tracking, you can reflect on your accomplishments — giving you that extra oomph if you’re feeling discouraged. And, you want to know that the programming you are doing is actually working. Done correctly, CrossFit works. If you are training consistently, eating well, and sleeping well, then things should be changing for the better. Is your back squat improving? Can you do more push ups and chin ups than when you started? If you are not getting better, then something needs to change. Goal setting sessions with a coach are a great way to figure out where you want to go and how to get there.
7. There will be major running gainz.
If you’re a casual (or more serious) runner who’s looking to run your first or fastest half marathon, CrossFit could help you get there — fewer tedious long runs necessary. Anaerobic work will help to improve your endurance and speed even though you’re not logging as many miles as you used to.
8. After your initial inquiry, there will be an opportunity for you to discuss your goals with a member of the coaching team.
Before you do any training, you’ll start with a No-Sweat Intro. We’ll show you the facility and ask questions: Why are you here? What do you want to achieve? How will you know when you have achieved it? More importantly, we’ll do a lot of listening. Together, we’ll come up with the best plan to help you reach your goals.
9. Movement Quality
How is your movement? Our coaches will continually assess your movement for any flexibility or motor control issues. They want to know about any pain you experience. Progressions and scaling options for different movements will always be given, as well as the next steps to achieve the full movement.
10. Beginners Program
Gone are the days when beginners were thrown into a regular class (not that we ever did that.) Not only was that dangerous, but it demonstrated a lack of care for new client safety and for the quality of service to existing clientele. Our On-Ramp program is carefully designed to make sure that you understand how to move well and are familiar with the movements done in class. And, it gives us the opportunity to know your limitations and strengths in order to maximize your safety and efficiency. We want you to succeed in your journey. We want you to Realize Your Potential.
11. Structured and Varied Programming
Our gym recognizes the value in structured programming with an objective. And there needs to be a reason behind the workout. Your program will be varied, yet goal driven with a focus on continual skill development.
12. A System for Dealing with Injury
Injuries happen. What separates the good from the ugly is how injuries are dealt with. We have physical therapists that can address injuries and they can work with our coaches to help modify workouts as necessary in order to get you back.
13. Regular Contact
A quality CrossFit gym doesn’t operate a revolving-door business model with long-term contracts and quick turnarounds like conventional globo-gyms. CrossFit is about building relationships with athletes and checking in with them regularly.
I’m not talking about Disney World fun, but if are not enjoying your training, then what’s the point? Training in a group with other like-minded people helps motivate you. Focus on your WHY and use that to keep you motivated. The experience of a gym should be challenging, yet enjoyable. What separates CrossFit from other fitness methods is that it opens the door to learning new things. You’re exposed to different sports like Olympic lifting and gymnastics, which really appeals to people who want variety in their fitness routine.
Your training should be about longevity. Being able to train regularly needs to be a part of your lifestyle in order to remain happy and healthy.
16. Not all Sneakers are the Same
When it comes to footwear, wearing sneakers to a CrossFit class seems like the obvious choice. Not so obvious: You’ll want to wear a training sneaker, not a running shoe. Many first-timers don’t know the difference, but after working out in a training shoe, you’ll sure feel that difference on your feet. Think of it this way: If you were preparing to take on a marathon, you’d buy a running shoe, so if you’re preparing to take on CrossFit, buy a training shoe that is specifically designed to help your feet through box jumps, squats, lunges, and lifts. Our coaches can help you with picking the right gear to maximize your performance.
17. Fuel up before you train
A little bit of protein, a little bit of carbs, nothing too crazy—just a small meal. As you start to take classes more regularly, you’ll naturally learn which foods stick with you and leave you feeling your best mid-workout.
18. Newbie Status Lasts a While
A big part of CrossFit’s motto is “constantly varied” movement. That means one day you could be lifting barbells and swinging kettlebells, while the next you’re throwing medicine balls and running. While this is the foundation for variety, it also means that every day you step in the gym you could be doing something you’ve never done before. And, you will likely get sore. The more you come, the more you’ll adjust to the movements and the less sore you’ll feel. Walking, swimming, biking, and other light aerobic work can be a great way to get the blood flowing and reduce naturally occurring post-workout soreness.
19. Surrounded by Supporters
While CrossFit isn’t traditionally a team sport, the camaraderie is essential. Expect class participants to stick around until everyone completes the workout. If you finish before others, give encouragement to those still moving to help them end strong. Expect a lot of cheering and high-fives.
20. Eat Up Post-Workout
Lean proteins, healthy fats, and glycogen-restoring carbs make up good post-CrossFit workout nutrition. However, different WODs may deplete your body in different ways. Check in with your coach after your workout for food recommendations specific to the exercises you did. And remember: Hydrating shouldn’t stop when the workout does. Keep drinking fluids the rest of the day so you’re well hydrated and recovered come time for the next day’s workout.