I have been doing CrossFit for about five months now. Here are 10 things that I have learned.
1.) It is not as intimidating as it looks.
I remember walking into the gym (it’s actually called a box in CrossFit, but for some reason I just can’t get down with that) and seeing the fittest humans I had ever been in the same room with. They were finishing up the workout that I was supposed to be doing in the next class, and I remember thinking there was no way on earth I could do the same things they were doing. It turns out, however, that I was able to do that workout, and all of the others that have followed. Everything is done at your pace with any necessary modifications.
2.) Everything can be scaled
Every aspect of every workout can be scaled to your level. At the beginning this might mean doing less reps of something or using lighter weights. You will be able to tell when you are ready to complete the workout in its entirety, and when you are ready to use heavier weights. If you’re not sure the coaches will be able to help you.
3.) The coaches have your best interest in mind.
I can not speak for every CrossFit gym, but at the one I go to the coaches are amazing. They are kind, supportive, and extremely knowledgeable. Their main goal is to keep everyone safe while pushing you to do your best. They will help you with anything that you ask of them and they will also make you work slightly harder than you think you can.
4.) You will do things you never thought you were capable of.
CrossFit will require you to do the same weight lifting moves as Olympic lifters, gymnastics moves you may not have done since you were a kid, and many other movements as well. Although some of these moves will seem impossible at the beginning they will become easier the more you work at them. You will be surprised how quickly you see yourself improving.
5.) You will notice changes in your body.
Not only will you notice changes in your ability to do the movements in class, but you will notice changes in your body relatively quickly. I should mention that I go to class 5 times a week so my experience may be different from someone else who goes less or more than me, but I think everyone will see at least some changes because you are requiring your body to work muscles that you may not have worked in forever.
6.) It is a supportive community.
Crossfitters are actually really nice and supportive. If they see that you’re working your hardest they will gladly give you tips, offer support, and give you all the fist bumps you could ever want. If you were to walk in at the end of a workout it is not uncommon to see people cheering on the last person still working, and then congratulating that person when they finish. Everyone was a beginner at one point and they remember how that felt so they will do what they can to help make you believe in yourself.
7.) Lifting heavy is awesome, but not necessary.
I have heard many people (mostly women) comment that they do not want to become extremely muscley (that’s a word, right?). Nobody is going to force you to work up to heavy weights, but I promise you that there is no feeling quite as satisfying as pushing around weight that you didn’t think you could move.
8.) It’s slightly addicting.
I have gotten to a point where I crave time at the gym. I even get up at 4:30 in the morning most days to ensure that I can get a workout in. With that being said, balance is necessary. You will need to listen to your body and do what feels right for you.
9.) Your mind will thank you just as much as your body.
I think CrossFit is so addicting because it requires you to completely throw yourself into the workout, and this helps you to forget everything else that is happening for a little while. I like to say that I push my body so hard that the physical pain doesn’t allow me to think about anything else. You will definitely leave with a better mindset than when you walked through the door.
10.) It is hard as hell.
One of our coaches always says, “if it were easy, everybody would be doing it,” and he’s right. CrossFit is hard. You will want to scream, cry, and swear. You will also quickly learn that burpees are basically a method of torture. Some of the workouts will literally feel impossible, and you will have to gather every ounce of drive you have in you to make it through. With all of that being said, it is all so worth it (even the burpees). You will develop a stronger body and mind, and in the end isn’t that what we’re all striving for?
If you have ever thought about trying CrossFit, but weren’t quite sure if you could handle it, consider this your aha moment. Try it in the new year. I have a feeling that you’ll love it!