Starting CrossFit will be the best decision you ever make…..as long as it’s done right. CrossFit will be the hardest workout you’ll ever do and making sure you do everything right in the beginning will set you up for success long term.
Even the littlest things can make the biggest difference.
WHAT IS CROSSFIT?
The best way to explain it is to take the best parts of weightlifting (deadlifts, squats, presses, cleans), the best parts of bodyweight movements (push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, lunges), and the best parts of cardio (run, row, bike, jump) and mix them together into different workouts every day. You will do it all!
WHAT TO EXPECT
We all want to know what we are getting into ahead of time, especially with CrossFit. These will vary from person to person but you can definitely plan to relate to a few of these.
- Expect to be sore. If you haven’t worked out in a while then simply doing 20 air squats will likely leave you sore. You will feel pretty rough the first week or so then you will start to feel a little better after each workout.
- Expect to be a little nervous and excited. You’re trying something new so mixed emotions are normal. You’ll pull into the parking lot and you may have some butterflies in your stomach but once you come in and get moving all of that nervousness will go away. But hey, you know you’ve found the only workout you will do the rest of your life and that is exciting stuff.
- Expect to workout 3-5 times a week. It may seem like a lot at first but there are a few reasons to work out this much.
- The more you do something the faster you get better at it. The better you get, the faster the results come.
- When you’re sore, constant movement is the best way to get through it faster. Once you get in and start warming up again, you’ll feel your muscles start to loosen back up.
- It creates good habits right out of the gate. Use the first couple of weeks to get in a routine of coming often.
BEFORE THE WORKOUT – COMING IN PREPARED
There are two things you should do before each workout and more so if you are brand new to CrossFit. You never want to come into the workout completely dark. The more you know beforehand the better.
- Read the workout 3 times before you come in. In SugarWOD we lay out all of the details of the workout including the warm-up, how to choose your weights and various scaling options, and a strategy of how to best approach the workout. You can also see a 20-second demo of each movement by clicking the text in blue.
- Show up early. This cannot be emphasized enough. Our workouts start exactly on time and by showing up early your coach can help you gather the equipment you need and go over what you can expect for the upcoming workout. Showing up late means you miss some of the warm-up and you’ll also have to do the walk of shame through the group to grab your equipment.
DURING THE WORKOUT
There are a lot of things you can be doing during the workout to make yourself better and feel more comfortable.
- Watch other people around you. See what they are doing and try to mimic that as best you can. See how they hold the bar for a lift or how they pull their feet in on a burpee or how they scale their push-ups. You can learn a lot by watching others.
- Keep the weights light and just keep moving. Think low risk, medium reward. By coming in and trying to do too much too quickly you set yourself up for a bad workout and possible injury. Spend your first 2-4 weeks in CrossFit working on your form with all of the different movements.
- Ask questions. You don’t get what you don’t ask for so don’t hesitate to grab your coach’s attention or even ask the person next to you if you need clarification on anything.
TERMS AND ACRONYMS
The names of all the different movements will take a while to learn but you can put your effort into learning and remembering some of the more common terms and acronyms you’ll see on a regular basis.
Here are 11 you’ll see most often.
- WOD – Workout Of the Day. Whatever is programming for the day will be the same for every class that day.
- AMRAP – As Many Rounds (or Reps) As Possible
- AMRAP 5: – The number after AMRAP indicates how long you will be working.
- EMOM – Every Minute On the Minute. In this scenario, the clock starts and you’ll have a certain amount of work to do. Once you’re done, you rest until the minute is over then start again.
- Every 5 Minutes x 4 Rounds – In this scenario, the clock starts and you’ll have a certain amount of work to do. Once you’re done, you rest until the 5 minutes is over then start again. In this example, you would repeat that 4 times.
- 95/65 – The first number represents the recommendation for guys and the second recommended for girls. You’ll see this with weights, distance, calories, heights, etc.
- Buy In – This is something you will do once. Let’s say your buy-in was a 400 meter run and with the time remaining you had to do 10 sit-ups and 10 deadlifts. Once you’re done with your deadlifts you go back to sit-ups and not the run.
- Strength/Skill – If it is a weightlifting movement veterans will work up in weight to get stronger while new people are working on technique (skill). Some days it is everyone practicing a skill like handstands or pull-ups or jumping rope.
- MetCon – Stands for Metabolic Conditioning. This is the high-intensity part of the workout that will leave you sweating and out of breath.
- Beg, Int, Adv – Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced. Underneath the workout you’ll see numbers with a slash like 95/65 next to each of these. Read more on how to determine if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced.
- Rx – This is a standard laid out for most intermediate and advanced athletes. You can read more about this here.
- It’s ok to be a little nervous when starting out but by looking at the workout ahead of time and showing up early you will have a much better experience.
- Expect the workouts to be hard but doable and to be pretty sore for your first week.
- The goal is always to keep moving and moving well. Getting here more often will help with that.
- Enjoy the process every day and the results will follow.