5 Tips for the Crossfit Beginner

April 13, 2017

Photocredit: Lisa Haefner Photo

For those contemplating starting Crossfit, the hardest part is taking that first step into the gym. It can be intimidating, especially if you do not have much experience working out. Keep reading from someone who was once a beginner to someone who's been Crossfitting and coaching for 10 years.

Crossfit Isn't ESPN

I believe many people, that are not crossfitters, have a biased opinion of what Crossfitters really do because of the media coverage on ESPN, and videos they see on youtube.

You have to realize that this is not what you will be doing in a Crossfit gym. That is something the top .2% of Crossfit athletes do to prove they are the fittest on earth.

Honestly, the amount of work they do is way past healthy, and if you actually listen to some of their interviews, you will see that they are almost always a little banged up.

In most Crossfit gyms, you will become part of the local community, if you stick with it. You'll get to do some lifting, some gymnastics, and little of everything else.  It should be fun, and I bet if you give it a few weeks you will find yourself rushing to the gym after work to hang with your friends while getting in a good workout.


Everyone Has Felt How You Feel

It's important to realize that the nervousness you feel is a normal thing.  Often times it's the fear of the unknown that most bothers us.  We don't know what to expect, and often times we feel like others will judge us because we are out of shape.

I can tell you that most crossfitters tend not to judge other's because they understand what it's like to be new, and secondly, they also feel insecure about certain aspects of their own performance.  It's hard to judge someone when you regularly get passed on running workouts by pregnant women!

The First 3 Weeks are the Hardest

I tell my new athletes that if they can stick it out for three weeks it starts to feel better.  In these initial weeks, your body will not be used to the difficult workouts, and as a consequence, you will be very sore.

Likewise, you will not really understand how to do the more complex movements, and the terminology will be a mystery to you. These things aren't important.

You will learn the terms, and your body will adapt. The important thing is that you show up ready to work.  Don't be afraid to fail, because we all will at some point in our Crossfit careers.

Consistency is Key

I know many folks start Crossfit because they want to lose weight and get into shape. These are admirable goals, but the key is to have a long view of this process.  Any trainer can restrict your calories and make you plod on a treadmill for hours, and you will lose weight, but this is not sustainable.

The only way for you to achieve your weight loss and fitness goals is to consistently come to class, and work as hard as you can.  The main limiting factor for new folks is always their mind.  You have no idea what your body is capable of, and the only way for you to find out is to keep showing up to push yourself.

Don't Weigh Yourself

My biggest pet peeve with new folks, is they want to drop weight way to soon. This isn't really what you want to do. You want to loose fat and add muscle, which is completely doable for a beginner athlete.

Think about it this way. If you gain 10lbs of muscle and lose 10 lbs of fat the scale says you did nothing, but I promise that you will look and feel completely different.

If you want to track your progress, I recommend tapping your waist. It's very simple, and it shows that you are losing body fat, which is great for your health, and great for your confidence. 

Still on the fence? Just remember what Nike says, "Just Do It." Don't be afraid to take a chance and take that first step inside the gym. We are nice folks, and I promise that after the first workout you will know if Crossfit is the right thing for you. 

This post was from guest author Jake Jackson, the owner of Tier Three Tactical.  He writes about Crossfit, fitness, as well as a variety of topics for the law enforcement, military, and tactical community.  He maintains that the mullet hair cut was originally designed to keep the back of your neck from getting sunburned. You can follow Jake on Facebook, or Twitter.





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