July 12, 2013 by saltdogsducttape
I’ve been doing CrossFit for about six months now. It’s a little hard to believe because it’s such a common part of my lifestyle these days. For anyone interested in giving it a try, here is a quick and dirty guide of things that I think are important for anyone starting out. It can be kind of intimidating to walk into a box for the first time so take a friend if you need to. If you’re going on your own, I hope this helps!
1) Take it easy. You don’t have to go six days a week to get results. If you are anything like me the first couple weeks were a shock to my system. Recovery is as or more important that exercise, give your body time to adjust before ramping up. Be sure to take time to stretch and mobilize.
2) Scale if you need to. It’s ok if you aren’t doing every WOD RXd. Especially for the fist few months focus on form and efficiency more than the RX weight. You’ll get there but you don’t have to do it right away.
3) Get involved. Cheer for other people, go to the WOD-B-Q, sign up for the competition. I’ve always thought of our Box as a team. Everyone is training and we are all members of a team working toward a goal. It’s more fun if people buy in and enjoy each other.
4) Ask questions. Coaches are there to help and for the most part like talking about fitness and health. Other people in the Box are usually happy to share tips and insight. The important thing is to make sure you’re getting it right. Worse than thinking that your constant questions are annoying, is not asking a question and getting injured because of it.
5) Don’t worry about the things you can’t do. I can’t do double-unders. I keep working on them and I’m getting better but I still do singles in WODs. It took a while for me to be able to do strict pull-ups. Strength and conditioning gains will come eventually
6) Put good in, get good out. I’m sure I will never be a professional athlete, that train sailed a long time ago. That doesn’t mean that as an everyday athlete I don’t have to fuel my body the right way. Take a serious look at your nutrition, and watch your recovery and performance improve.
7) Do things besides CrossFit. Isn’t that the point of being fit in the first place? Play sports, hike, swim, bike, whatever it is you want. I like distance running and hiking with my dogs. Express your fitness!
8) Don’t buy new shoes. Yes, there are shoes that are better for CrossFit than others. Yes, at some point your may want Olympic lifting shoes. No, you don’t need them right now. Go in what you have until you’re comfortable with the movements, then worry about the other stuff.
9) Do research. This is sort of a thing with me, I like to do a lot of research. It’s important to know about a lot of the movements in CrossFit though because they can be complicated. Understanding the movements, the programing, and the risks will help you to train harder and smarter. Knowing more about the movements will also help you to identify areas that need improvement.
10) Just go! Don’t worry about not being in shape or think that you won’t be able to keep up. It’s going to be hard, but it’s hard for everyone. You will have to scale the WODs but that’s OK, everyone else started the same way.
Some more resources:
*I may have picked up some of these in conversation or reading. I claim no ownership over this list or ideas, just passing it along.*