How to Get the Most Out of Your CrossFit Experience
By: Austin Moncivaez
Pictured: Austin Moncivaez
Whether you work in the fitness industry, simply enjoy exercising, or live in a town with a population above 500, chances are, someone you know is into CrossFit. The popular training methodology exploded onto the fitness scene in 2010, and has not slowed down since. With over 10,000 affiliates across the globe, it’s safe to say that CrossFit is here to stay. Maybe you’ve thought about trying it out for yourself but are a little intimidated. As with starting anything new, there are going to be some challenges, but we’ve got you covered. Here are our top 5 tips to get the most out of your CrossFit experience.
- Be realistic with yourself.
- Don’t start CrossFit with the goal of qualifying for Regionals or the Games. Unless you’re in the .1% of genetic freaks out there, it’s not going to happen for you— and that’s ok. Try to enjoy making progress, and learning the ins and outs of the sport before stepping into competition. And when you do decide you want to compete, find a well-established local competition to do, and sign up for it with low expectations. Competition can bring out the very best or the very worst in people. Don’t let unrealistic expectations get in the way of a great experience.
- Trust your coaches.
- They know more than you. Are there bad ones? Yes. Being CrossFit certified does not make you an expert. But the vast majority know more than you and you would be wise to take what they say seriously. If they tell you not to add more weight to your bar, it’s because they can see movement patterns that might cause you injury. If they tell you to scale a movement or even multiple movements in a workout, it’s because they know that you need to adjust something in order to get the intended stimulus from the workout. They are there for a reason and that reason is to help you progress. Be humble enough to let them do their job.
- Take rest days.
- This one should have been number 1. If I had a dollar for every athlete I’ve trained who refused to take days off because they thought they would lose progress, I’d be writing this article on a nicer laptop. I recommend athletes take two days off every week to let their body recover. In order to make progress, you have to train with intensity. And in order to train with intensity, you have to have recovery. Don’t skip out on your rest days because you think you’re losing chances to get better.
- Don’t program hop. Be consistent with your training.
- THERE IS NO MAGIC PROGRAM that will help you qualify for the Games. Buckle up because this might sting: 99.9% of people will never qualify for Regionals or the Games. And there’s nothing wrong with that. We live in the golden age of online fitness programs. Every regional and games athlete on Instagram has their own program that they are excited to sell to you. And they are all probably fine. Pick one and stick with it for several months before hoping to a different one because you think it will help be more competitive. Or better yet, just follow your gyms programming. You’ll do far better following a simple program in a class full of athletes to push you, and being coached by a certified trainer, than you will by following a competitive blog by yourself with no extra eyes to watch your technique.
- Make your fitness a priority.
- The best things about CrossFit gyms are the community and accountability that you get with your membership. Let’s be honest, nobody is paying $150 a month because they love flipping tires in an old warehouse. Make it a point to show up to class three or four times a week when you first start. Set yourself up in the best possible position to see the results that you want to see. Fitness can’t always be your top priority, nor should it be. Work and family and other parts of life have to come first sometimes. But when you can, make your fitness a priority. Make time in your day to improve your health. Carve out 60 minutes wherever you can to get to the gym, chat with your friends, maybe lift some weights, and sweat.