I was recently thinking about the first time I entered CrossFit. The memory is a little fuzzy but I will never forget “Angie”. She was the one that hooked me in. For those of you who haven’t met Angie yet, shes quite a girl. It was 100 Pull-up, Push-ups, Sit-ups and Air Squats for time. The Wod felt like it took a year to finish but I became determined. Even though I was intimidated my all the things I needed to learn and the amount of work I knew I needed to put in, the people were friendly so I said “why not”.
I have been seeing more and more new faces around the box and its so exciting to see. Its a great thing to see our community grow.
I tried to create a list of things I wish I knew when joining but I found this list from Rachel Boehm and she sums it up really well.
1. Frequency and Intensity are not the same thing. Welcome to the beauty that is CrossFit. You do not need to do it every day, nor should you, to get the results you are currently chasing. You do not need to go run after a WOD because the WOD was “only 7 or 15 minutes.” And, if you feel like you can run after a 7 or 15 minute WOD, you didn’t go heavy or fast enough.
2. Tell your coach(es) your goals. And tell them when they change. You don’t need to tell them your life story, but tell them why you’re there, what you’re chasing (e.g. aesthetics, performance goals, a more social gym hour). When your goals change, because over time they will, let your coaches know. This helps them coach you and helps you clarify why you’re there in the first place and why you keep coming back.
3. You fit in because you consistently show up, not because you can do butterfly pull-ups or a bodyweight squat. Don’t feel like you need to get push-ups or pull-ups or lift hundreds of pounds or do everything RX just to “fit in”. You showing up is enough and is more than most. This is also the beauty of CrossFit—the community. Your commitment is your invitation to this Cool Kids Club.
4. Don’t be intimidated by the new lingo. Instead of panicking about remember power this vs hang that vs American vs Russian vs Sumo this and snatch-balance-that…put it in the language you’re familiar with. Like dance, you’re learning patterns. You’re learning lines and curves. Watch the lines and curves being demoed and copy them. You’ve been doing that your whole life.
5. Don’t worry about the clock. Take the time to do it right, from the beginning. Even if it means you’re slower than everyone else, or seemingly progress at a slower rate than everyone else. For one, no one else cares (see number 3). Two, it’ll be ten-times harder to relearn it later and correct any imbalances (or worse injuries) that you’ve created because you didn’t check your ego at the door. And, I know you want a workout but don’t get annoyed when the coach stops you to correct you in the middle of the WOD. Your workout isn’t ruined. You’re a$$ has just been saved (what did I just say about imbalances and injuries from not doing it right?).
6. WODs with rest are worse. Anything that has you going hard for a short time and then gives you some “cushy rest” time before going again is going to be a lot harder than a longer workout with no rest—if you’re doing it right. If you see “rest” on the board…get your game face on.
7. Most people there are just like you. The average CrossFitter is just like you. Stop debating and making excuses. Walk in, check it out, try it out. You know you want to. Just do it. Start sooner.
8. Discomfort isn’t pain. Feeling uncomfortable? That’s most likely a good thing. Not definitely, but most likely. It means you’re working. It means you’re moving. It means muscles you didn’t know you had are firing. Pain is different. You’ll know pain. Listen to your body not your brain; put another way, tell your mind to get out of your body’s way.
9. Be proactive in your education. Learn about the sport, even if you’re “just there for a workout.” Learning as much as you can about the history, the culture, the movements and the sport will inform your workouts, recovery and growth. Don’t wait for the coaches to teach you everything. Look up videos on movements and learn which are good and not so great. Read articles, listen to podcasts. Question what you’re learning and hearing. Make use of additional resources and if you don’t know where to start, ask your fellow CF-ers.
On that note, below are some of my favorite info sources (in no particular order). You’ll notice I included some non-CrossFit sources. Why? Because they all inform on the other. Find the differences and similarities among the training methods out there. You’ll learn more that way. Learn from everything.
- Barbell Shrugged Podcast
- Girls Gone WOD Podcast
- The Movement Fix
- CF Invictus Blog
- CF Journal
- The FitCast
- The Performance Podcast
- CF Linchpin
- CF Endurance