Happy New Year! I don’t have anything terribly groundbreaking to elaborate on about these past couple of days-on New Year’s Eve my friend and I took a train to San Francisco, but I don’t have a lot of pictures from that.
I rung in the New Year with whole grain pancakes (there were a lot more than this), some topped with maple syrup and others with blueberries.
The day was spent watching football, which was really depressing because things did NOT go well for Stanford football, and it was frustrating to watch thanks to some questionable play calling. But back to today’s topic.
Tips for Trying Crossfit
I want to start out by saying that I know a lot of people are intimidated by Crossfit-the culture, the throwing heavy things around, the idea that you have to eat Paleo. As someone who fairly recently (6 months) started Crossfit, I assure you this is not the case. At my box, never once have I heard someone even mention Paleo. Heck, when you graduate intro classes, they make cookies-yes with real wheat and real sugar-and champagne! The culture is just really nice! Everyone is incredibly friendly and welcoming. That being said, the culture definitely does differ depending on the gym and its owner. At this point, I’ve worked out at 5 different Crossfits (3 in Maui), and I have had a little of a mixed experience. For example, the Crossfit I go to at school doesn’t have the traditional type of Crossfit community, probably because it’s student heavy-it’s just not as friendly. That’s not to say that it is intimidating-the people are still really nice-it just doesn’t have the same sense of community. So-tip #1:
1. Do your research. Every box is different, and they are everywhere. There are 2 just 2 miles from school for me. Look on Yelp, check out their website. If the box is super hardcore, their website is a decent indicator. Don’t discount the box just because of that though! Don’t be afraid to visit a few places and try it out-almost every Crossfit gym offers a free intro class to give you a taste of what Crossfit is all about.
2. Don’t be afraid. You DO NOT have to be super fit to try Crossfit. EVERYTHING is scalable to your level-most people in fact scale the workouts. And everyone has to start somewhere-other Crossfiters understand this.
3. Just get through the workout. If you’ve gotten through the initial intimidation phase and are there and working out, don’t be a hero. You’re new. You will not finish the workout first. If you come out balls to the wall, you’re going to a) burn out super quickly and it’s going to stink. A lot. b) injure yourself-if you’re new and aren’t used to these kinds of movements or this kind of exertion, you’re more likely to get hurt. Some people claim Crossfit to be super hardcore and that everyone pukes after the workouts. This is simply not the case. I’ve never seen this happen-you take the workouts at your own speed, and nobody should be pushing themselves to the point of vomiting.
4. Use the runs as recovery. Not all workouts involve running, but the ones that do, I don’t recommend sprinting the run. Running is a lot harder when supersetted with lifts-a lot of times I’m panting prior to the run. I often use the run as an opportunity to catch my breath and recover a little bit. I may get passed on the run at the beginning, but by the end of the workout I’m passing people because I didn’t burn out right away.
5. Ask for help. Not sure about a movement? Don’t know what weight you should scale to? ASK. The trainers are there to help you-don’t risk getting injured by lifting too heavy before you’re ready. Each workout is programmed in a particular way-no workouts should be at weights of your one repetition maximum, and some call for much lighter weights and a faster pace.
6. What do you need? Exercise shoes. That’s it. That being said, there are other things that may help you. I have special Crossfit shoes-the Nano 2.0s.
The purpose of these is that they have a flat bottom. Traditional running shoes tend to push you to move your weight to your toes, which makes weight lifting much more difficult. The nanos are better for running that straight weight lifting shoes.
I usually wear workout pants and a t-shirt. I’m not a fan of lifting in a tank top because I’m also worried the bar will scuff me up, but most people don’t have any issue. Some people have weight lifting gloves or belts. I never learned to lift with those, so it’s probably not something I would use, but some people love them.
Hopefully this was helpful-if you have any further questions, just let me know!
Would you ever try Crossfit? Why or why not?