CrossFit For Beginners: How To Step Into The Box And Start CrossFit

CrossFit class can be a scary place, especially when you’re a beginner and just starting out. It can be intimidating to see someone jump on a rope and climb 20 feet, with ease, or knock out a set of 100 unbroken double-unders like they’re a professional boxer. The important thing to remember, is that we’re all at different places in our fitness journey. And as intimidating as it may be, you’re not expected to know how to do the hundreds of functional fitness movements in CrossFit when you’re a beginner.

What Is CrossFit 

CrossFit is more than a workout and training program. It’s also a great place to find community. I recently moved to Durango, Colorado, and to the surprise of many, I had never really participated in a CrossFit class or been part of a CrossFit gym.

Not knowing anyone, I knew that joining a CrossFit box would be a great way to meet people and get integrated into a community of like-minded people who loved fitness and wanted to get into better shape. So I stepped into Catacombs Fitness, immediately fell in love with the space and was welcomed by an amazing coach. I signed up for a free class and an onboarding foundations course, after my initial consult. After my first class, that next Sunday, I was hooked. 

I’ve lifted for years, but there are a ton of movements, I can’t do like, double-unders, rope climbs, and butterfly pull ups. But just like anything else, when you’re a beginner, it just takes practice.

Those who participate in CrossFit, typically join a class, and perform a workout of the day or (WOD). The workouts can also be done solo or with a trainer, instead of in a group class. Most workouts start with a warm-up, followed by a high-intensity functional workout, and wrapped up with a cool-down consisting of mobility movements.

The workouts are arranged into what’s called the programming. If you find that your programming is lacking in certain movements, you can use different programming methodologies. For example, at Swolverine we individual functional fitness programming, under our brand Train TSK. If you have training weaknesses, or find that you need a more competitive program, this is where we come in.

The great thing about CrossFit, is that it does not matter what fitness level you're at. The key to CrossFit is scaling and pacing the workout to your fitness level. Whether you're a Games athlete or someone who has never even stepped foot into a gym, let alone lifted a dumbbell, you're going to get a kick ass workout. 

What Is A CrossFit Workout

CrossFit workouts normally consist of a high-intensity interval arranged into specific time arrangements, that include constantly varied movements, using a variety of training implements, such as kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells, plyo-boxes, and med balls. What’s great about CrossFit, is that it’s challenging and fun. Training to be proficient at so many different movements keeps things fresh and interesting every time you walk into class.

Now that you have a general idea of what CrossFit is and what the workouts look like, your experience can really depend on the environment, members, coaches, and class structure.

Think of CrossFit like a job. To really love your job, you need to love your co-workers, have a great and understanding boss, and be in a creative and fun space. This is essentially the same with your CrossFit box.

If you don’t get along with your coach, or can’t seem to get along with the members, don’t just quit CrossFit all together. Just go find a different box. My recommendation is to maybe ask for a free week at each gym or box you’re considering, so you can get a feel for the community and culture before you sign up.

Additionally, the class schedule has to work with your schedule. If you find that there are not enough class options and coach availability, you should consider looking for a different box.

How Often Should I Go To CrossFit As A Beginner 

Ideally, you should try and go as often as possible. Practice makes perfect and with so many functional strength training and Olympic movements to master, it’s going to take a while. Remaining consistent is the most important and crucial aspect to seeing results, no matter the goal. Try and get at least 3 classes in per week to start. You’re going to be sore, really sore. There will be days, where you’ll need to rest, or do a light feeder workout or have an active recovery day, between classes to give your body a break.

CrossFit For Beginners: Takeaway

What’s great about CrossFit, is that it can be scaled and paced to your ability. You don’t have to be in killer shape to step into a box and join a CrossFit class. Everyone is at a different level of fitness and community is what’s it’s all about. It may be intimidating at first, but after a few classes, you’ll start to feel more comfortable and really find that, CrossFit is a great place to get an amazing workout and meet some lifelong friends!

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