One of the hallmarks of CrossFit training is preparation for the “unknown and unknowable”. Not only does this training style prepare you for real-life situations, it also keeps you highly interested and coming back for more. While you will find the workouts (WODs) differ from day to day, here are 5 things you can expect when entering ANY CrossFit gym:
1. People of all shapes and sizes
If your idea of a “crossfitter” is based only on watching the CrossFit Games or from pictures in magazines, it may seem like only chiseled athletes have what it takes to participate. In reality, your local box (a.k.a. gym) is filled with regular people, young and old, who aspire to be a better physical version of themselves. It’s that diversity that will inspire you to reach deeper inside and push yourself to get stronger, faster, and better. The ability to scale the workouts to meet the needs and abilities of each individual is one of the mainstays of every CrossFit box. Beginner or “on-ramp” training is available at every box and gets you up to speed and comfortable with the various movements and techniques.
2. The Whiteboard (Competition and Collaboration)
Walk into any CrossFit gym and there will invariably be a large board on the wall with the warm-Up, WOD (Workout of the day), and the times or scores from each class. At first it might seem intimidating but it is a system driven by both competition and collaboration. Seeing how other’s did on a particular workout can “set the pace” and push you to dig deeper than you thought you could. It’s a cliche to say that you are only competing against yourself, but when working with weights and speed the most important person in the room is YOU and how well you know YOUR body. With that in mind, the ultimate goal of any exercise is to get healthier and stronger – always go at a pace that allows you to maintain proper form.
3. Bodyweight Movements
Functional movement is at the very heart of every CrossFit workout. Bodyweight movements will be included in one form or another during every WOD… from push-ups, to pull-ups to air squats and Burpees (we all love to hate Burpees). Often undervalued, the ability to push and pull your own bodyweight in different directions is one of the most efficient ways of gaining functional strength, increasing mobility, and preventing injury.
Olympic Lifts! You won’t find yourself doing bicep curls in the mirror at your CrossFit box. That’s because the weight-bearing foundation of CrossFit is built on major lifts that are a must for any strength athlete: The squat, the deadlift, bench press and the overhead press. When they are complimented by the two Olympic lifts (The Snatch and the Clean and Jerk) you are guaranteed to train every muscle group in the body in strength, power, and endurance.
You will work hard. By the end of the WOD your muscles will burn and your T-shirt will be soaked. CrossFit’s formula of functional (full body) movements performed at a high intensity ensures that you will push your body and mind to it’s limits. The key is to turn that pain into progress by treating your body well before and after. Eat properly and drink plenty of water before and after you train to hydrate and cool your system.
The results you achieve in CrossFit will depend on your hard work and dedication but the motivation and support of your fellow crossfitters will help get you there. When you join a Box you join a team of like-minded individuals who are coming together to improve themselves, and they genuinely want you to improve too. Having a community behind you is one of the best ways to stay committed and keep moving forward with your fitness goals. By pushing past what you thought yourself capable of day in and day out you will expand your body’s capacity to perform and stretch what you think yourself capable of. You will find that this quickly carries over into every aspect of your daily life.
What are some of the mainstays at your box? What helps you the most and what keeps you motivated?