So you want to try CrossFit?January 18, 2018
It only takes a phone call, an email, or a visit to our nearest CrossFit gym. The rest falls into place.
For those of us who hesitate, weigh the pros and cons, or wish to know more before making the switch with their old gyms, here are is an introductory guide to CrossFit.
What is it exactly?
It is a combination of weightlifting, gymnastics, and cardio exercises. The official definition is ‘constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity’.
How does it work?
A coach directs a group of 10 to 15 people through the WOD (workout of the day). It is usually comprised of a strength part and a metcon (conditioning). From the moment the class starts, members have a programme to follow and are never left alone figuring out exercises alone.
How many times a week do I have to come?
At first, newcomers are advised to come twice to three times a week. They attend fundamental classes during which basic movements of CrossFit are learned, corrected and perfected. Depending on the gym, after a couple of weeks, members are ready to take a class.
How long does it last?
The class is an hour long.
How much is it?
There is not a monthly set price for all the CrossFit gyms in the world as they do not operate as franchises. Some of them will offer memberships for 3 or 4 classes per week in addition to a classic unlimited fee.
What about nutrition?
Members are concerned about modifying their nutrition before even starting CrossFit. Of course, feeding our bodies is essential especially if the goal is to lose weight.
Usually, food intake naturally falls into place once members attend classes 4 times a week. They become conscious that having a big meal before a workout will not help performing better, or drinking heavily during the weekend will only make Monday at the gym harder.
However, there is always the possibility to ask immediately for professional guidance (clink the link to learn more).
I am not 100% fit, can I still try?
A knee, shoulder, hip problem that might have occurred in the past, if it’s been resolved should not stop a member to sign up for CrossFit. On the contrary, this is the chance to learn how to execute a simple movement properly under the supervision of a professional coach.
All the classes no exception are scalable. This means that there is always another way to perform an exercise even if we are beginners.
Do I need special equipment?
It is not rare to see CrossFit members who have already been coming for months to use belts, knee sleeves, wrist wraps and other accessories. As a beginner, we do not need anything apart from a flat pair of trainers and a workout outfit.
What newcomers might not ask but which they absolutely should know
The number one reason why CrossFit is appealing to so many people is because of its strong community.
Although the workouts are done in a class setting, it cannot compare to a global gym or a private studio atmosphere where no one talks to each other.
Newcomers are greeted and welcomed by the entire class. Members who finish they workouts first cheer on the ones still working. If a member experiences difficulty during a lift for instance, everyone shout encouragements in his/her direction.
Most CrossFit gyms organise social events to get their members together and encourage friendships.
If we are a beginner to CrossFit, it is important that we inquire about the best time to come try a class. If we happen to be in a class where snatches are programmed for instance, we might leave discouraged.
Some of the movements can appear impressive and out of reach but that is why fundamentals classes have been setup.
We have all been there
We have to remember that no one took a barbell one day and snatched 50kgs. The process takes time and starting with a PVC pipe or an empty barbell is normal.
It will suck
Sometimes we will feel extremely satisfied of our performance and at other times we will feel discouraged. When we feel this way, we have to take a look around: other members are going through the same emotions. Are they quitting? No, so shouldn’t we.
Keep coming back
We are challenging our limits in a cool environment with like-minded people, great music, and fantastic coaches!
Keep coming back. So far, anyone who started CrossFit has not regretted it!
Photo Credits: Charlotte Milesy, London Throwdown