CrossFit 101: FAQ’s About Getting Started with CrossFit

Crossfit Class
Photo: Rose Physical Therapy via CC

The world of CrossFit may seem to be daunting for the uninitiated. But as they say, knowing is half the battle. Luckily, we’ve compiled a primer on getting started with CrossFit and some FAQs to prepare you for the exciting journey ahead.

Ready to do some serious CrossFit training? Here’s some things you’ll need to understand first:

CrossFit? What’s That?

Simply put, CrossFit is somewhat like the jack of all trades of fitness sports programs. It was designed by Greg Glassman, and the concept revolves around developing a physique that can do a wide variety of physical challenges.

It’s not uncommon for CrossFit trainers to gain a sense of strength, skill, and aptitude across various disciplines. Over time, you’ll also learn the more complex exercises such as kipping pull-ups, double under, Olympic lifts and other similar compound exercises. You could even get into rowing movements or dabble in different running techniques.

Is CrossFit Better Than Commercial Gyms?

CrossFit is totally unlike traditional gyms. You’ll find plenty of pull-up bars, kettlebells, medicine balls, climbing ropes, lifting platforms, bumper plates and barbells instead of dumbbells and exercise machines. You won’t follow a strict lifting schedule- instead, you get a more personal approach and the freedom to do exercise as you see fit.

What Should Be My Fitness Goal in CrossFit?

It’s all about developing a physique that can handle a lot of disciplines. This means your fitness goals should be to become faster, stronger, and fitter, and not just focusing on one or the other. If your dream is to become a bodybuilder and come away with huge guns, then CrossFit isn’t likely to get you there. You’ll need a separate training program for getting bigger and stronger.

Can I Really Do It?

The reason why CrossFit is such a popular sport is that it adapts a scalable workout program. If one can’t complete the recommended workout, then he or she is free to make as many reps as they can within the allotted time. You may not be able to do the pull-ups right away, but you’re welcome to do jump pull-ups, bands or ring rows. There’s no pressure.

It’s practical and efficient. If you can’t perform a deadlift at 135 then it’s acceptable to deadlift less. The coaches won’t force you to do impossible tasks and they won’t throw you to the deepest end of the pool. All the lifts and movements will be taught first.

CrossFit coaches are great because they challenge you to perform at 100 percent each time you visit the box. They also reveal your weakest link so you can work on it and become a well-rounded CrossFit athlete in the long run.

What Can I Expect from CrossFit?

Plenty of challenges. Expect a workout like you never experienced before. You’ll be doing movements that you didn’t know until now. You’ll do challenging variations of lifts. You’ll expend a lot of energy, even on your first try. But much like any fitness sport or program, you get the rewards only if you don’t give up. Learn the mechanics and get through the learning curve. You’ll get better over time.

And if you like it, then great. But if not, there’s no pressure. You can continue and find one that’s right for you.

Are CrossFit Coaches Great?

That will depend on the coaches themselves. Some are good while others are legendary. The best thing you can do is to start by going with different CrossFit boxes and coaches. Ask for certifications and backgrounds, or check online and see what others are saying about a particular CrossFit coach.

Isn’t CrossFit Risky?

All physical activities come with certain risks. You could get hurt doing contact sports, baseline jumping, or mountain biking. If you exercise caution, follow directions, practice the patterns, and know your limits, you should be fine.

Is CrossFit Worth the Price?

While it’s certainly true that CrossFit memberships are more expensive than regular gym memberships, the reason behind it is that gyms sell memberships by the hundreds but hope for fewer people to show up in a day. CrossFit boxes enlist fewer people but hope that all of them show up.

If you’re feeling something special about doing CrossFit training than workouts in a regular gym, then continue with the CrossFit sport. Get the most out of the membership by going as much as you can.

Is Paleo Diet a Strict Requirement?

The short answer is no!

Do I Really Need to Wear Long Socks And Special Shoes?

The special shoes and long socks are there for a reason. Long socks help when you’re doing deadlifts, box jumps or when you’re on rope ascents, but if you can’t be seen with them, then that’s fine. While others like to prepare as much as possible by wearing Reebok Nanos or Olympic lifting shoes, you can just wear shorts and a good pair of sneakers. If you want to get the most out of CrossFit, then you can invest in some quality gear.

Is CrossFit a Cult?

CrossFit is the same as with bodybuilding, strongman, yoga, running and all other sports disciplines in that it generates a lot of followers, diehard fans, and notable personalities. CrossFit has become a huge sport, and as a result, gained a lot of spectators and competitors at different levels.

CrossFit is meant to be an inclusive training program. Everyone is truly welcome. You are not expected to be the next Rich Froning; just do what you can and constantly challenge yourself to new heights. That’s it.

Why Is CrossFit So Controversial?

There’s plenty of dislike happening in the world of CrossFit, but no one’s sure how and when it started. Yes, CrossFit has its own set of flaws much like any other sport or training program. The business model may be more focused on churning out coaches in quantity, some of the programs might come off as silly, and some athletes may be too hardcore for the public, but in the end, it’s all about discovering something you love and doing it. The bottom line is to get fit!

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