Before the First CrossFit Class Begins
Upon entering the facility, make sure to introduce yourself to the head coach or owner. Get to know them and ask any questions you may have about the class. You will have to sign a waiver and/or complete any other paperwork requirements before you start your first WOD, so give yourself plenty of time before the class begins.
Once you’re in, go around and introduce yourself to other members. Often times, new members are scared and end up standing in a corner in the back of the room and don’t want to talk to anyone else. Don’t be one of those people! The other more experienced members are more than willing to step forward and help if needed. Plus, you can hear about why they first started CrossFit and get their first-hand experience, which can make the whole situation a lot less daunting. Connecting with other members at your first CrossFit class is a great opportunity to become a part of the community.
3 Tips for Your First WOD
#1: Be Open Minded
Once your first CrossFit class gets underway, the best thing you can do is be open minded. Don’t automatically stick to past information or techniques you received from former coaches, trainers, etc. The new facility may see an imbalance or improper movement and will want to elaborate on that or help you fix it. Be willing to just learn.
#2: Ask Lots of Questions
Don’t hesitate to ask questions just because everyone else in the class knows what they are doing. Once your first CrossFit class begins, everyone else is going to start grabbing what they need and preparing for the WOD. If you aren’t sure what you are supposed to be doing or if you don’t know where something is, just ask! CrossFit is a community that works together and is more than happy to help each other out.
#3: Remember That This is a Starting Point
Keep in mind that you may not be the fastest or the strongest at your first CrossFit class. You may not even be able to do one pullup to save your life, but you will get there. This first class is a starting block. It’s the foundation where your life is going to make a change. Remember that you are only going to progress from here!
Now that you have the first CrossFit class down, make sure to learn the words that you will be hearing around the box by checking out the “CrossFit Dictionary”.
WHAT TO EXPECT
1. It’s going to be hard. This probably goes without saying, but CrossFit workouts are no picnic. It’s not like jumping on the elliptical and doing some intervals. It is all-out effort, and you’ll probably be asked to do things you haven’t done since elementary school.
2. You should talk to a coach. Anyone new to the CrossFit scene should talk to the gym owner or a coach to learn how to best ease into the workouts. There are a lot of complicated moves in CrossFit, and you want to learn how to do them correctly. Like now. Also, modify what you need to and don’t be embarrassed about it. At the end of the day, it’s still YOUR workout.
3. There’s a lot of lingo. From WOD (workout of the day) to AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) to box (the gym), here’s a good guide to understanding the CrossFit lexicon. And don’t worry, after a few WODs, you’ll be using the lingo, too.
4. It’ll be unlike any workout you’ve probably done. Very rarely do you ever do the same WOD. And almost every WOD has its own flavor. It might be a circuit. It might be Tabata. It might be rounds. It might be team work. You just never know. And that’s what makes it great.
5. Most of the time, you’ll be timed or a score or rep/round count will be recorded. Don’t let this freak you out! Once you get the hang of things, this will be fuel for you to go harder and do more than you think you can. For now, don’t focus on anyone else but you. Run your own race.
6. EVERYONE will be there. CrossFit boxes, in my experience, can be a catch-all of everyone from people wanting to lose weight to former college athletes to seniors to teens. And there’s usually an even split of men to women, which is refreshing.
7. You’ll see people doing amazing, almost super-hero things. All of those people I just mentioned? Many of them have been doing CrossFit for years, and their hard work has paid off in super-fast times, muscles, six-packs and athleticism that’s just jaw-dropping. Again, don’t compare yourself to that. Instead, be inspired by it.
8. Everyone is going to root for you. CrossFit boxes (the good ones at least!) are known for having a strong and welcoming community. They’ll cheer for you. Give you pointers. And show you the ropes. Be friendly and get to know them — even the intimidating ones with all the muscles. Pretty soon, that same person will be your BFF, and you’ll be cheering them on, too.
9. You might feel like puking. Yeah, it’s true. I told you workouts were intense. Expect to work harder than you ever have. When you feel like you’d rather die than swing that kettlebell one more time, that’s pretty much when you’re doing it right.
10. You’ll be insanely sore the next day. Scratch that. For multiple days. Take the rest you need, eat protein and get good sleep. Get back to it when you can. And know that eventually you won’t be that sore every time. Promise. (But you still will some of the time.)
11. Stick with it, and you might get addicted. The feeling of accomplishment you get after a WOD is awesome. So awesome that you’ll want to do it again and again. You’ll even consider something like 100 burpees … fun. Yes, fun!
12. It’ll change your body — and your life. Besides burning fat, boosting your metabolism and building muscle, CrossFit has a way of showing you that you’re stronger than you ever realized — inside and out.
13. You’ll begin to think that tall socks are cool. And that lingo? You’ll be dropping it on the DAILY. Not to mention making CrossFit puns and WOD jokes. Oh, the jokes.