In the past few weeks, I have successfully not keeled over in my first Crossfit taster class and completed the Crossfit Fundamentals course at my local ‘box’, and today in my newbie state I wanted to share what I have experienced in the Crossfit classes that I have gone to. It can look intimidating looking in, but trust me I could not walk up the stairs without being breathless before going and now make sure I always take the stairs in work.
This has to be mentioned first, the people at the Crossfit gym I go to are just hands down awesome. I had read about this sense of community online but to be honest I thought that they were just over-hyping it or it was just another bit of marketing. But I’ll be honest – the people in my classes are just awesome. Everyone is friendly and many have given me tips as well to improve my form.
And what you will also notice that people stay around after the workout to catch up. When was the last time that you saw that happen at your local gym!
Not since school have I been somewhere where I am constantly learning! Whether it be the stance I am taking, to keeping my back straight right through to how I am skipping! It is actually good though, it feels like you won’t get injured as people are constantly helping you and the coaches at the gym are always watching to make sure that you are doing it correctly.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – Crossfit is hard work. REALLY hard work. You will sweat and feel like you have worked out in the following days. If you have not worked out recently, then expect to feel muscle soreness in places where you didn’t know you could. If you can really feel it then I have tried Epsom salts and found them great.
And look it’s not all great, I HATE doing any sort of workout on the floor. I do not like getting grubby and since the gym is pretty much in a warehouse you get covered in chalk and I don’t like that at all! And being the slightly jumpy person that I am I am still jumping a mile when someone drops a weight on the floor. It also hurts – I nearly had to avoid the stairs in my house after a couple of sessions as literally, my quads were quite intensely sore! But for some reason, I keep coming back 🙂
You will be in a Warehouse
Don’t be shocked when you walk in and the facility (‘box’) is going to be pretty much a warehouse with equipment. I was a little taken back but you know what it strips away the aesthetic and focuses just on the exercise. Oh and no TVs apart from the screen to check into and see the workout of the day on. And to be honest, with the motivational sayings on the wall and the great people I don’t really mind that it is a warehouse. And on sayings – Crossfitters have their own language – more on that in a later post.
The importance of the right coach
This is really important. When I tried Crossfit before, my coach was bloody awesome but didn’t understand that I didn’t want to be front and centre trying to finish a workout. At Limitless, I feel that they get that I still find some of this intimidating and secondly I am coming from a super, super low baseline of fitness and they accommodate that. The scaled workouts are set at a level where I am definitely working my ass off but am also able to complete the workout. They do this for everyone also not just with me – very few people are doing the exact same weight level in the gym which is great as well.
And on that point, when you visit a Crossfit gym – take note if the coaches are watching those working out. Are they helping the people working out? Do they care? It is important that you can trust your coach to look after you. In any sport, you can get injured and Crossfit is not an exception.
The class structure
Most classes start with a dynamic warm up to get the muscles warm and moving. And by the way – this will not be your jogging on the spot style warm up – expect jump rope, lunges, etc. or movements to warm up set muscles that you will be using later in the class.
Then there will be work done on a skill or else strength building. I quite like this and probably my favourite part of the class. You may be doing deadlifts or pull-ups or anything really!
Then comes the Workout of the Day (WOD). This is normally a certain number of reps of certain exercises for time. You can then track your progress on Wodify to see how you are getting on.
Our box is not big on a cooldown section after class, but I do stretch on my own and asked for what I should be doing. I have also started doing ROMWOD and am loving it!
All of the Counting
You will become an expert at counting reps, sets and so much more. Everything has sets and numbers of reps to do so you will learn very quickly how to (hopefully) keep your form and also make sure you are doing enough and not too many of the exercise! The last thing you want is to be doing sets of 10 and you are accidentally doing sets of 20!
All sorts of folk
When people say that anyone can do Crossfit they are not kidding. There are certainly the guys who are lifting the insane weights and do a pull up like they are doing a simple stretch but what everyone has in common is their want to improve and get better. I am probably at the moment the most unfit person in the gym but everyone there is at a different level and all of us want to work hard and get better.
Overall, I am happy that I started and intend to keep going. I can feel my body getting stronger and changing, but I think my mindset has been the biggest change. Has anyone else had this happen with Crossfit or any classes that you have taken?