Making the decision to get started is the hardest part of anything we do, but this is the best way to start CrossFit, and get the results you are after from the very beginning.
So you’ve been thinking about doing something toward improving your fitness and actually getting results this time, or you may be bored of the same old routine you have been following at your local Globo-Gym and are now ready to take the plunge and start CrossFit.
Well, in my opinion, its very simple. DO IT. I guarantee you will not regret it.
Do your research!
The best place to start in finding your new CrossFit Box is to head to the CrossFit HQ page and take a look at their Affiliate Finder Map. It will give you an idea of local boxes in your area, and also a link to their contact details and website.
Each box will offer their own unique CrossFit style. Unlike commercial chain gyms that are everywhere these days, each CrossFit affiliate is a separately owned gym to the next, meaning whilst you will be getting accredited and HQ endorsed CrossFit training, each experience can vary as does what is offered. Check out each boxes website and social media pages to find the one which best suits you. (don’t rely solely on their website and social media though!)
It is also extremely likely that a friend or family member does CrossFit, speak to them about their own personal experience, and the box they train in. They will no doubt be happy to talk about CrossFit!
Once you have found a box, I would recommend that you get in contact with them and speak to the coaches, and drop in to check the place out. At Furnace we offer a Free Trial class and Free Personal Training for those who are thinking of joining. Get to know us and see if we are the right fit for you.
A good box will make sure you take part in an “On Ramp” program, which will teach you the foundation movements and give you an idea of WOD’s (Workout of the day) prior to stepping into regular classes.
Aside from the points covered so far, during your research phase, these are things to look for:
- Is the box run by experienced coaches?
- Are classes capped in size? At CrossFit Furnace we cap classes at 14 people to provide the coaching and attention you need;
- Are there classes to suit your schedule, offered numerous times each week?
- Does the box use an app based booking system for your convenience? This will also help you attend classes frequently as you can book in advance.
- Does the box have a great community atmosphere? Community is one of the biggest parts of CrossFit, have a look at the box you are interested in and see how members and coaches all interact together, and are they having fun!
- Do they offer different types of membership options, including beginners programs to give you the best start possible?
- Do they provide one on one PT and Technique coaching?
What to expect in your first two weeks:
So you have decided on a box, what can you expect during your first two weeks? My biggest piece of advice for beginners, is that CrossFit is a marathon, and not a sprint.
You can expect noticeable results in the first few weeks, sure, but most newcomers to CrossFit will take some time to learn the basics of the Olympic Lifting and Gymnastics movements we use. Be mindful of this when you go into a regular class and see others who have been training for months or years. They were once a beginner as well, give yourself time.
Your coaches should scale workouts and movements for you where needed, and this wont change as you progress. Listen to their advice, and trust in it. It’s not the amount of weight you are lifting in a workout, but the technique and intensity level which is the most important factor.
In regards to intensity though, your first few workouts are going to make you question your own belief of just what “being fit” really is. Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Your ability to complete workouts more efficiently will improve each week.
You can expect to be sore, your body will adapt to this over time though. It is vital in the first week of training to establish a new routine. At Furnace we like to see beginners attend 3 classes each week, you may be incredibly sore after that first workout, but trust me, the best thing you can do is come back to train within 48 hours.
Your coaches should show you ways to “mobilise” and assist in your recovery, plus make sure you are adequately warmed up and ready to train again. Additionally there are numerous online resources for mobility and recovery like the Smashwerx and MobilityWOD Youtube Channels.
You should also expect to be included into your boxes community from the very beginning. Everyone has once been that new girl or guy, and know what its like. Your coaches should introduce you to other athletes at the box, but if the community is strong, they will introduce themselves without prompting.
You should also look for a beginners program that includes nutritional advice and ongoing support. Nutrition makes up 80% of the results, so this should be a big part of your introduction. Does the box provide you with goal setting sessions and a mentor coach to help show you the right path to take? Does the box provide you with check-ups to make sure you are on the right track? Are there Nutritionists on site?
A good CrossFit box will also keep a close eye on their beginners, and make sure you are settling in well. You should also be able to, (and should!) ask questions of your coaches, after all, you are paying for the service! Take the advice they give and put it into practice.
CrossFit really is achievable by everyone, whether you have never trained before or are coming from another sport or fitness discipline. Follow these pointers and you will be setting yourself up for success.
About the Author: Matt Whittemore has over 20 years experience in making people fitter, stronger and faster. He spent 16 years in the Australian Army, working in various training roles, including year as a recruit instructor, working with men and women of all background and ages to reach their full potential. Since retiring from the Defence Force, Matt has solely been working with athletes from different backgrounds to become fitter, stronger Faster and more powerful versions of themselves. Check out his qualifications and those of all our coaching staff today.