Are you just beginning CrossFit? Are you feeling overwhelmed or frustrated with everything new in this wild yet amazing fitness phenomenon? Well I’ve got 10 CrossFit Beginner’s Tips for you!
- Don’t rush the process – be patient! Believe it or not, having a big ego can be one of the biggest detriments to your long term progress. Putting too much weight on the bar too soon or lifting with bad technique before you’ve mastered the basics is a great way to plateau and even injure yourself. Listen to your coach and get comfortable with using that PVC for awhile. We all have to start somewhere.
- Don’t overdo it! CrossFit can be a very addicting thing, and you may find yourself wanting to do more and more and more. It’s quality over quantity, not the other way around, that truly matters. As a beginner, 3 classes per week is enough to see good results. Another one of the easiest ways to plateau or injure yourself is to do too much volume too quickly. You may feel fine now, but down the line in a few months when you start to develop overuse injuries, you’ll be regretting your choice to do 3 metcons today.
- Keep up with your recovery. By this I mean your foam rolling and stretching that we prescribe every day after class. Similar to tip #2, you may feel fine for awhile by not doing any recovery work, but trust me, it will catch up to you. Again, another way to plateau or get injured.
- Eat enough. Specifically protein. I cannot stress this enough. Performing high intensity exercise produces a large amount of muscular damage (soreness), and the only way to repair and grow new muscle tissue is to consume protein on a regular basis. One or two servings per day isn’t enough either, you need protein every 2-4 hours to stay sufficiently fueled. If you want results, you will take this tip very seriously.
- Modify your workouts appropriately. If you didn’t notice already, there are many complex exercises in CrossFit, ones that beginners probably have never even heard of before. Until you become proficient, you need to scale down the complexity of the exercise or the weight you are using until you can comfortably and safely handle the prescribed variation.
- Ask questions if unclear. About anything. About everything. Whether it’s scaling options for the workout, what 5×3 means, or what the best time of day to have carbs is, your coach can give you an educated answer, or help you find one. There is a steep learning curve in CrossFit; lots of new terminology, acronyms, and lingo for you to catch onto, so if you are unclear on anything at all, your coach will help you.
- Make friends. One of the most attractive things about CrossFit is the community of people at the box. Everyone knows it’s more fun to workout with your friends while joking and competing for that top time on the whiteboard, so as soon as you can, meet as many people as possible. Get to know us because we would love to get to know you!
- Come to class early. Ask any coach on the planet and they will tell you one of their pet peeves is when people come in late to workouts. Skipping out on the warmup is not encouraged, preparing your body properly for exercise is essential to your progress and staying healthy. On top of that, you’ll be missing out on the question of the day, and who doesn’t love that? Coming early also gives you an opportunity to mobilize your tight spots for the upcoming workout so you can get ahead of the game.
- Get enough sleep. Along with eating enough, this is the most important element to your fitness progress and overall quality of life. Sleep is when your body recovers and repairs itself, so if you don’t sleep enough (8 hours is generally the recommendation, but the harder and longer your workout for, the more you’ll need), you won’t see results. Period.
- Keep a positive attitude. CrossFit is very challenging. Hard metcons hurt and are exhausting. Learning the Snatch and Clean and Jerk is frustrating and mentally draining. Finishing last in the class on a metcon can be emotionally tough too. The key to having long term success and achieving your goals in CrossFit and fitness in general is consistency and maintaining a positive attitude daily, no matter what’s on the whiteboard. Your coaches are here to help you; it’s our job. So when you are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated, just let us know!
I hope this list helps you out on your fitness journey and focuses your attention on the right things! Comment with any questions or ask me in person!