25 Tips for CrossFit Beginners

1. Check your ego at the door! 30 seconds after I yell “Go!” no one is gonna know anyone else is in the room. We are all charging through this together.

2. Take it slow at first. Learn the movements, master the mechanics, THEN worry about weight and speed. Form-Consistency-Intensity

3. There is NO magic number of visits per week. Everyone is different. 3-5 seems to do the trick for most.

4. More is not better. Better is better. The WODS are designed to be the effective minimum dose. Doubling the dosage will not extrapolate the results.

5. Take Back Off or Recovery weeks. Your body will thank you. You tear yourself down in the gym. You heal and get stronger during recovery. DO NOT NEGLECT IT!

6. Be on time for your training and get a good warm-up

7. If nothing else, maintain the 80/20 rule. When it comes to bad meals, no more than 2-3 per week.

8. Look to your peers and training partners for inspiration. You’ll find that they are there for you as much as they are for themselves. CrossFit is all about community.

9. Don’t be discouraged by scaling your workouts. The best of us have scaled, once upon a time, not too long ago.

10. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Clarification, Over and Over and Over Again.  It’s your time, money, and most importantly, your health we’re talking about here. If you don’t fully understand something during class, ask. If you still don’t get it, ask again. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t fully grasp the concept, or you think others in the class will get frustrated with you for taking up too much time… they probably have the same exact question. We were all newbies at one point. We’ve all been there. Learning the mechanics of certain movements like the squat, deadlift, or any of the Olympic lifts takes lots of practice and critique from a trained eye. If you need help, just ask.

11. CrossFit Isn’t Everything.  CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that focuses on building general physical preparedness (GPP). It is quickly evolving into a sport of its own, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be your sport or your lifeblood. A majority of people CrossFit so that they can do whatever they want: Go out, play sports, learn new things, etc. Having that GPP allows you to take on new challenges. CrossFit doesn’t have to be your life. Many people CrossFit so they can have a life… and be awesome at it.

12. It Doesn’t Get Easier, It Just Sucks Less.  The longer you immerse yourself in the suck, the less it sucks. You get stronger, build a greater aerobic capacity, and become mentally tough. All of these aspects, combined with experience, allow you to know when to push yourself and when to back off, so that you can attack each workout to the best of your ability.

13. You Won’t PR Every Day.  Don’t mistake intensity for hard work. Even if you’re having a bad day and the intensity just isn’t there, you can still get a lot out of your time in the gym through hard work. Intensity and hard work are not the same thing. Don’t skip a planned session just because you don’t think you’re going to kill it and leave everything out on the table. Not feeling too strong that day? Something is always better than nothing.

14. Have Fun.  Let’s face it, some of the workouts are not fun. Frankly, some of them just plain suck. I’m looking at you, Hero WODs. But when it’s over, you feel a sense of accomplishment

15. Don’t listen to the haters!  People will start pulling you back into the bucket when they start to see you succeed. “Aren’t you afraid of getting hurt?” “Aren’t you afraid of getting too big?” …

16. Introduce yourself to others in the class.  How will this help you ask?  When you introduce yourself to someone you’ll feel more comfortable in the class and realize that you’re not the only one that’s new to CrossFit.  So instead of feeling totally nervous and awkward holding a PVC pipe overhead, you feel a little bit more at ease and focus more on what you’re doing.

17. Keep a journal.  Write down the warm-up, the skill, the WOD, and your results.  This will greatly accelerate your progress. We often do workouts and lifts based on weights and reps that we have previously done.  If you don’t know which kettlebell to use because you never recorded the weight you used last week, then you end up picking the wrong weight.  Write stuff down and be able to reference it.

18. Listen to the Coach. He/she is there for a reason. They spent time studying the subject matter. They have coached hundreds to thousands of people on these movements. Your buddy that watched a couple of Youtube videos is not lateral to that.

19. Firebreather. Beast. Rock star. You’ll hear a lot of different terminology used to describe those athletes who kill every workout, and blow everyone else away. Here in our gym, we consider every one of our athletes a rock star. Hey, it takes huge cojones just to show up and do these insane WODs. Be proud of yourself and what you accomplish here. We sure as hell are.

20. If a movement is bothering you. Speak up. If it hurts…don’t do it. No pain No gain is a lie. 21. NO you will not get too big and bulky….NO you will not get too small….No you will not get too weak

22. You can not out train a crappy diet. Eat foods that have ingredients like “Ingredients: Meat, Vegetables”

23. Yes this is cardio. Yes this is strength training. Yes we are doing them at the same time. Efficient, right?

24. Don’t worry about needing to get in shape to try it out. Everything is scaleable to different ability levels.

25. Just keep walking in the door. 21 days to start a new habit. Give it a month and see if you dig it. While CrossFit can be for everyone after 30 days if you don’t want to walk back in or feel guilty for skipping…don’t hate yourself…BUT find another door to walk in.

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