Hey everyone. I've been reading up quite a bit on Crossfit as of late, and I am pretty sold on the idea. Problem is, although I look fit and have been pretty strictly paleo for the last 6 months or so, I'm still in questionable physical condition. I know Crossfit is supposed to be a supportive atmosphere of sorts, but I'm wondering if I should consider training on my own for a couple months before getting involved? Could anyone tell me what they ran into when they started with Crossfit from scratch, and what I should expect?
I'm wondering if I should consider training on my own for a couple months before getting involved?
I was in your position roughly 1.5-2 years ago, when I did train on my own, and I highly recommend NOT training on your own, for the following reasons:
1) Most people (myself included) lack the proper form for NUMEROUS movements.
In retrospect, my form was terrible for ALL my olympic lifts (even something as "easy" as the back squat), kettlebell work, pullups, etc. This is coming from someone who's been in the typical gym setting for 15 years or so with no formal training.
Anyway, bad form equates to high injury risk. And so I ended up injuring myself (shoulder) and had to sideline, and then rehab, myself over the next year or so.
2) You won't have access to as much equipment anywhere else vs Crossfit gym.
Bumper plates, kettlebells, medicine balls, rope climbs, rings, etc. You name it, they got it. No other gym in my area carries anything near this variety.
3) Knowledge base at CF
Trainers are helpful, members are helpful. Knowledge is not only restricted to weights and training (which, of course, is immense), but also nutrition and other aspects of life. Crossfit is the only place to date I heard somebody other than myself say (as in, actually spoken aloud) words such as "paleo", "intermittent fasting", etc.
Could anyone tell me what they ran into when they started with Crossfit from scratch, and what I should expect?
I joined CF in April of this year, and I can say it was humbling, at first, at least for me. When I realized how little I knew from all my previous years of training. Humbling, but challenging (read: fun).
I've been setting personal records on all my lifts (easy to do when you've never done them before!). No, but really, Since end of april (so, 4 months), the lifts that I DID do before changed as such:
Deadlift + 70 Power Clean + 40 Front Squat + 40
Then there's various skillwork/lifts I've been picking up as well that never did before:
Kipping pullup, double-unders, hand stand work, climbing a rope, ring dips/pullups, split jerks, snatches, overhead squats.
Can't say how much I've learned/grown in the past 4-5 months. Highly recommend joining.
You don't have to be fit AT ALL to do CrossFit. Be overweight and go do CrossFit, no problem, EVERYTHING in CrossFit is scalable. And if you find a proper coach he will tell you so and do so. In our box, we have people of 70 years old training, people who never practised ANY sport EVER. We're all training together and it's great. CrossFit is about not forging fitness, not making fit people more fit, CrossFit is for everyone.
I have not made it so my own box yet so take this with more then the RDA of Salt
One of the most bonding things you can do is ask people for help. If you go now you get lots of chances to ask for help and respect expertise.
Also early movements are important, you don't wanna get bad habits you just have to unlearn.
You should find a crossfit gym that you feel comfortable with. I was lucky, knowing nothing about crossfit I joined now paleo celebrity Rob Wolfs gym in Chico, ca and it turned out to be great place for me to learn about crossfit and paleo. The point is they were very supportive and personal there so it made me comfortable joining and staying. Crossfit is very different from your typical 24 hour fitness type gym. Its a community and a family. So i say look around, talk to a few gyms in your area and dive in when you click with how one place does things. I moved to santa barbara a few years ago and recently found a gym that is run by a former marine. Being former military myself i felt accepted and comfortable there. Just do your research and don't be afraid to do a few workouts with different places just to try them out. You should expect a rounded out experience, a warm up, skills session, a WOD and a cool down/ stretch session. You should also expect a hard but rewarding workout, and knowledgeble trainers that will push you and help you meet your personal goals! Good luck!
I dabbled in crossfit for awhile, and then did a month at my nearest affiliate (45 mins from my home) to re-up my motivation, check my form, and learn some new things- I wasn't comfortable teaching myself some movements. If you can start off by going to a good affiliate, I think that would be ideal; I would've done it that way if it were more convenient. Good luck! :)
I started from scratch at my box and wouldnt go any other way. They teach everything that you need to know and the correct form on the movements (which is essential). Everyone has to start from somewhere and we have a decent amount of new people that have never lifted a weight in their entire lives. They are doing great and going at their own pace. And I would like to think that our box, as a whole, is supportive to each and every one of them. The mentality that Crossfitters have is a good, positive one. They wont be anything but supportive. I have met a lot, and we all seem to be the same.. Good luck!!!
My opinion would be to just join a gym. Training on your own is never a bad idea, but all CrossFit gyms are filled with knowledgeable people that will help you through the whole process. Every coach knows how to access your physical abilities and scale all workouts towards that. After that it's up to you how hard you want to push yourself. The atmosphere will be great because everyone that has been to a box knows exactly the position that you are in. Don't waste any more time, jump all in and get to a box. Forging Elite Fitness!
I was already fairly athletic when I went into the box but all that did was keep me from throwing myself down on the mat in a heap. It's all going to be new to you and when you do your required Foundations class you will see that all are challenged. You're also going to make friends that will carry you through when you're done and move to On Ramp and regular workouts, which gives you people to talk and commiserate with.
What can you expect? Why, you're going to get your arse kicked sideways and back again! But you will love it.
Also, if you have a good coach, they're totally going to work with you at a level you can handle. Remember! YOU are paying them THEY are not paying you. Go and have fun, no waiting - get in there! :)
Your level of fitness and ability going into CrossFit is truly irrelevant. Like someone else mentioned, every workout is scalable and the coaches are prepared to work with you in figuring out the best way to do that. I go to classes where 50 year old women workout next to athletes that compete in the CrossFit games, and no one thinks twice about it. Go to CrossFit to get better, not get better to go to CrossFit.
I am new to crossfit and just finished their On Ramp program and let me tell you "Do it!" During high school I did Crew and Ran but over the past year (after getting married) I gained about 15 lbs. I am nowhere near the physical strength of some of the members but they really do teach you how to do everything safely and with good form. All of the trainers are fantastic and helpful, don't let the muscles intimidate you! I am doing it 3 days a week and look forward to each workout knowing it will be as intense as I make it! DOOOO IIITTTT:-)
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