Disclaimer: I am not a CrossFit certified trainer. I am new to CrossFit and the following is only my suggestions. Please go to www.CrossFit.com for more information.
Yesterday I gave you an intro to CrossFit and why I’m so excited about it. Today I’ll take you a little further and give you some suggestions on how to get started. If you did what I suggested yesterday and checked out the CrossFit main site, www.Crossfit.com, then you already have a basic understanding of how CF works. If you didn’t follow my advice, go there now.
CF believes in three major training ideas:
Randomness of Workouts- CF completely throws out the idea that you can’t workout the same muscle in back to back days. Typically, someone who lifts weights works one or two muscle groups each day and they won’t hit that same muscle until the following week. CF does the exact opposite. Example: Does a swimmer only swim once a week? No, so why should you only squat or do pull-ups once a week?
Intensity– The beauty of CF is in the intensity but CF workouts are not to be taken lightly. At the end of a “Work Out of the Day” or simply a “WOD” you will be exhausted. Trust t me, you’ll hurt but the pain is worth it. The good thing is that most WOD’s are short, between 12-30 minutes. Meaning you’ll get a full days workout in with just 12-30 minutes of work.
Functional Movements- No more bicep curls, tricep extensions, bent over rows or leg extensions. Every movement you do with CF will be a “Functional Movement”. Basically, if you don’t need it to live your daily life, you won’t do it. We don’t have Back and Bicep day, we do Dead lift and Pull-ups. Instead of a leg extensions that serve no functional value, we do squats. The point is the workouts that you do at the gym only help you look better and make you a little stronger. They don’t emulate daily life. CF workouts however, make you better at life.
The days of going to the gym, not really knowing exactly what you’ll be doing, how hard you’ll lift, how long the workouts will last and if what you’re doing is actually working is over. Want to get started? Well you have two optoins
1. Workout on your own
2. Join a CF gym or “Affiliate”.
Let’s start with #1
A couple of thoughts
- You need to know your own limitations. Even the most in-shape person isn’t CrossFit. That may sound silly but it’s true. After my first WOD I understood this completely. FYI: Starting slow and easy is better than getting hurt.
- To start CF all by yourself you’ll need to be a self motivator. The workouts are intense and if you aren’t the type of person who can push harder and harder when you’re tired, this may not be the best option for you.
- You don’t have to have all the equipment to start (many of the exercises can be done with just your body weight). If you already have a gym membership I suggest keeping that membership and doing the WOD’s there until you get the hang of it or at least till you can buy enough equipment at your house.
To start by yourself follow this simple formula:
1. Spend 15 minutes warming up. Use your full body. Do pushups, pull ups, sit ups, air squats etc.
2. Do the WOD. (They have free apps for your phone to tell you the WOD)
3. Spend 15-30 minutes stretching or working on other skills. This one is optional and only done if you have energy left after the WOD.
It’s that simple.
Here’s the WOD posted this morning.
Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
5 Chest to bar Pull-ups
5 Ring dips
If the WOD seems too hard, you can go to CrossFit Brand X and get an easier version. Basically, they take the WOD posted on the main site and “scale” it down for those of us who are, well CF challenged. These guys have been great to me while I’ve been trying to get settled.
Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
3 Chest to bar Pull-ups
3 Ring dips
Complete as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of:
5 Pull-ups (Beginner or assisted okay)
5 Dips (Banded or assisted okay)
Every day a new WOD will appear and every day Brand X offers a scaled down version, FOR FREE. So if you’re someone like me who is a self motivator, has the equipment or gym membership then jump right it. You’ll love it.
#2 Join an Affiliate
OK maybe you’re a little intimidated by the thought of doing CF all by yourself or you’ll need that kick in the pants when times get tough. If so, then option #2 is for you. At an Affiliate you’ll get so freakin much it’s almost laughable.
- Personal Trainers to show you not just what to do, but how to do it, when to do it and help you stay motivated. This is almost priceless.
- All the equipment you’ll ever need.
- Motivation by fellow CrossFitters. This may be the best part. Typically, CF is done in groups. So you won’t be just working out all by yourself hoping that whatever you’re doing is being done right.
The one downside to joining an affiliate is the price. The one in my town is about $150 a month. Yes, that’s a lot of money but consider what all you get? I chose option #1 mainly cause I already had a home gym and had a good base but that’s not typical for everyone.
No matter which option you choose just be smart about it. Maybe it’s worth joining an affiliate for a month or two until you get the hang of it. Either way, CF is amazing. It will push you to extremes you’ve never been to before. You never get bored and you’ll never plateau. Yes, you will hurt a lot but anything worth doing should be painful in some way.
If you have any questions feel free to send them my way. I suggest though going to the Brand X website and asking those guys what to do.