Many individuals go through the same thought process when they consider going to their first CrossFit workout. From wondering what to wear to worrying that they’ll be injured, the moments before taking a Crossfit class can be particularly nerve-wracking.
However, the most important thing to realize is that a CrossFit workout is just that: an opportunity to work out and build your strength.
What You Need to Know for Your Crossfit Workout
While CrossFit is different than anything you’ve likely experienced before, there’s a reason it’s so beloved around the world. However, because CrossFit is its own kind of workout, it’s important that you’re properly prepared to take on your first class. Yes, anyone can do CrossFit, but you’re more likely to enjoy the experience if you come to class with the right mindset and are prepared to put in the work.
As you contemplate taking your first CrossFit class, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Injuries Happen, Though They are Rare
If you’re interested in Crossfit, you’ve likely made it past the negative opinions of others warning you to stay away. Most people’s introduction to Crossfit involves a viral video that happened to capture someone injuring themselves during Crossfit.
If you’re worried that a CrossFit workout might be dangerous, understand that injuries, while they happen, are quite rare.
When looking into Crossfit, you needn’t worry about getting injured. With the right coach, dedicated effort, and a clear understanding of what you’re doing, you will be able to navigate all the exercises with no injuries.
The right coach is key when taking on CrossFit. Good coaches know how and when to take their clients to the next level. This type of coach will never recommend a routine that you aren’t prepared for.
Additionally, you will play an instrumental role in determining whether or not you’ll be injured. When training in Crossfit, you always have to listen to your body. While these workouts are tough, you need to be able to determine what you can handle and when to avoid continuing through with a risky exercise.
If you feel resistance, excessive strain, or nausea, it’s important for you to stop and take a break. With Crossfit, workouts are a marathon, not a sprint. You must build up the strength that will allow you to complete the more intense workouts in the future.
2. Crossfit Can Get Pretty Pricey
Whether you’re used to workout classes or you like to workout mostly on your own, you may be caught off guard by how expensive Crossfit workouts can be.
When compared to a gym membership, Crossfit often seems rather expensive. However, cross-fitters get what they pay for. Most CrossFit classes range from $100 – $300 a month, which is worth the price if you connect with the right coach.
While a gym membership would offer access to a gym’s amenities, taking a CrossFit class will give you an experience with an expert coach that affords you the one-on-one attention to help you excel in the CrossFit workouts.
3. Anyone Can Do Crossfit, but Crossfit Isn’t for Everyone
One of the best things about Crossfit is that anyone can complete a Crossfit workout. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned gym-goer, there’s a Crossfit class and workout available for you out there.
However, there’s no getting around the fact that Crossfit is hard work. This high-intensity workout isn’t the best option for everyone. Ultimately, the people that benefit the most from CrossFit are those that enjoy it. After you try a class for the first time, determine whether or not if it’s right for you.
While many people go into a workout with the “keep pushing through” mindset, this isn’t the best option for Crossfit. No one should ever force themselves to keep going in a Crossfit workout if they don’t enjoy it.
4. Understand the Crossfit Lingo
Crossfit often seems like a workout cult with the amount of Crossfit-obsessed members and the lingo they use. As with joining any new community, you’ll want to read up on the vocabulary and what it means.
The following are the most popular CrossFit words:
Box: A box is a Crossfit gym.
WOD: Crossfit daily workouts are known as the “Workout of the Day”. These can be found on a box’s website and the board before class.
AMRAP: This means “as many rounds as possible”. This workout style means that one should complete as many series of exercises during an allotted time.
5. Don’t Expect Intensity at the Start
Despite what you’ll hear about CrossFit being incredibly intense, it won’t start out that way for you in your first CrossFit workout. As most of the injuries that do occur in CrossFit happen because newbies do too much too fast, you should be sure to take it slow during your first few workouts.
During your first Crossfit session, don’t go into it with intensity in mind. Most gyms will focus on mechanics and fundamentals so that new members are able to understand these exercises as thoroughly as possible.
While every home is different, your first CrossFit sessions should act as introductory classes. No coach should introduce any sort of intensity to the workout at the very beginning. Keep this in mind as you’re tempted to push yourself in the class.
When you’re in your very first CrossFit session only do 50% of what the coach tells the other students to do. This way, you’ll be able to better understand what each workout entails without injuring yourself.
6. There Are Nine Basic Movements
Prepare yourself for your first class by reviewing the nine basic movements used in CrossFit. While you don’t need to perform these prior to your first class and shouldn’t attempt to do so during your first class, these foundational movements are the structure of most of the exercises used in the class.
These nine moves are air squats, front squats, overhead squats, a shoulder press, push jerk, deadlift, push press, medicine ball clean, and sumo deadlift pull. While you shouldn’t expect to perform all this in the first class, reviewing what they look like ahead of your first class will help you to become more familiar with what you should expect in a CrossFit session.
The reason these exercises are fundamental to Crossfit is that they are based on movements used in everyday life. Whether you’re picking something up off the floor or you’re getting up from sitting down, these actions mirror deadlifts and squats. By utilizing these basic moves, CrossFit makes it easy for anyone to start training.
7. You’ll Want to Dress Comfortably
If you’re new to workout classes in general, you may be unsure of what to wear. While your outfit will be pretty simple, you should choose the right clothing options that will make it easy for you to complete your workout.
The best clothing choices to wear are the proper shoes, a breathable shirt or tank top, shorts or tights, a sports bra, and wicking socks. Each of these pieces of clothing will help wick away sweat, allow you to move as freely as possible, and provide you with the support that you need when completing these intense workouts.
When looking at shoes to wear to CrossFit, most experts suggest that you wear a flatter sneaker. As big cushiony heels will likely throw you off balance, the flatter sneakers are the best for performing your CrossFit exercises properly.
8. Bulking Up Isn’t a Guarantee
When it comes to all the various misgivings people have about CrossFit, one of the more common is that CrossFit will make anyone look bulky over time. Some people will even tell others to avoid CrossFit because they will make them too bulky. However, this isn’t the case.
The only CrossFitters that become bulky are the ones that are actively trying to do so. Even though you’ve likely seen countless Instagrammers flexing their Crossfit muscles, this isn’t going to happen to you if you don’t want it to.
This type of training requires a dedicated effort and diet, something that won’t happen by accident. With regular Crossfitting, you’ll definitely get stronger but won’t bulk up if you aren’t working towards that goal.
9. You Don’t Need to Be Fit to CrossFit
While it is true that many people that start CrossFit are already into fitness on their own, this isn’t a rule. You don’t need to be fit to start.
Since anyone can join CrossFit and start working out, many people that do start CrossFit are taking their first serious workout class. While CrossFit can seem intimidating with its own vocabulary, seriously fit gym-goers, and high-intensity workouts, it’ s a class that welcomes anyone.
If you want to join CrossFit, remember that everyone has to start somewhere. Regardless of your level of fitness experience, if you want to make Crossfit work for you it will.
Final Thoughts on Crossfit Workout Tips
CrossFit workouts will change your life. As you gear up to see if CrossFit is the right decision for you, be sure to do the research and properly prepare for your first class.
As you begin to learn more about CrossFit, you’ll see it as less of a fitness cult and more as the effective workout that it is. Keep these tips in mind when you decide to take your first CrossFit class.