What Every Newbie CrossFitter Should Know
One of the main reasons why so many people become inspired to start CrossFitting, but never take the next step, is probably due to the intimidation of it all. The controlled chaos for somebody who doesn’t know what it’s all about can be a little scary. Doubts creep in whether you are capable of doing what other people are doing and the fear of making a fool of yourself keeps you from trying in the first place.
Take comfort in the fact that everyone has to start somewhere and this article will make things a little easier for you. We’ll be looking at what you should know before you walk into a gym, but also your options if you prefer doing WODs by yourself.
Compete Against Yourself
One of the best ways I’ve heard somebody explain the basics of pacing yourself is to let the intensity find you. Don’t look at the mother of three who’s killing 20 rounds of Cindy without breaking a sweat while you’re still recovering from 10 pull-ups. You’re main competitor should always be the voice inside, challenging you to take it one step further.
This is where scaling works well, because it teaches you to listen to your body. Pushing yourself is definitely the way to go, but you should know how hard. Going through WODs and failing to reach an unrealistic goal won’t help you in any way. Understand your limits and respect them before you end up with serious injuries.
Your Diet is Important
There’s no better way of saying it – what you put in is what you get out. You can have amazing discipline when it comes to sticking to your workout schedule, but failing to eat right is going to mess it up. If you’re not sure about what diet to follow, the Paleo diet is very popular among CrossFit, because it’s clean and consists of necessary nutrients.
Don’t Assume – Ask
When you walk into a CrossFit gym for the first time you’re priority should be your health. This means asking for clarification when you don’t understand something. Everything has to be approached with a certain technique in order to avoid injury and to improve. When you don’t understand what your trainer is telling you then keep on asking until you have a clear idea. Remember that every step is a building block and if you don’t do it right from the start it’s going to affect your progress.
It doesn’t get Easier
If you haven’t heard the hard truth yet, CrossFit doesn’t get easier, it only sucks less. Of course you are going to get stronger, both mentally and physically, you’ll get closer to your target weight and you’ll sleep a lot better at night. But thanks to the principal of constantly pushing your level of comfort you are probably going to get addicted to the challenge of it all. No matter how strong you get, there will always be a higher level you’ll want to reach.
With this in mind it should also be noted that recovery is crucial. Respect your body when it tells you to slow down and maybe cut the intensity in half. Failing to rest and recover will ultimately cut your long-term plans very short. There is simply no point in literally burning yourself out before you even get started.
Hard Work vs Intensity
Don’t use intensity as your only motivation. So what if you know you’re not going to get an intense workout today? You can still workout and it will be beneficial. Once again scaling becomes a factor. It’s only natural that you won’t have the same intensity every day, but don’t let it stop you from going to a planned workout. You might not kill it today, but you’ll probably kill it tomorrow.
Have Fun and Enjoy the Community
If there is one thing that you’ll notice rather quickly it’s the sense of community among CrossFitters. The amount of support and encouragement you’ll receive won’t be like anything else you’ve experienced before. In other words, have fun. Frankly, most of the exercises are going to piss you off in some way or another. But once you get through them a great feeling of accomplishment is waiting on the other side. If you don’t create the fun or participate with fellow CrossFitters then expect to be angry from start to finish.
Creating a Box at Home
For those who feel they have all the necessary motivation to train at home then getting some equipment is important. However, I should point out that CrossFit can practically be done anywhere and with little equipment, but if you want to take it more seriously then consider this entry level package from Rogue.
The package includes:
– 160 LB Rogue Hi-Temp Bumper Set
With (2) 10LB, (2) 25LB, and (2) 45LB plates.
– Rogue Beater Bar
Even though it comes at a budget price, the extra thick barbell can easily handle high rep abuse.
– Pair of Spring Collars
– Set of Rogue Wood Rings
– Rogue Medicine Ball
You can choose anything between 4lb and 20lb.
– 53LB / 1.5 Pood Kettlebell
Remember to pay attention to the little things such as the shoes you are wearing and hand guards, because they will help to make WODs suck less.