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The Beginner’s Guide to the CrossFit Galaxy

Everybody’s talking about CrossFit – your colleagues, your friends, even your sister. It sounds exciting, it sounds like something you would definitely try… The trouble is you either don’t know what in the world it is or you don’t know where to start.

Relax, we’ve all been there. This article will tackle the difficult situation of CrossFit beginners. Read on to find out more about the box, the equipment, the motivation, the WODs and the community!

The step between not knowing a thing and becoming an addict is sometimes very small. This is due to the fact that CrossFit is a training philosophy that can be adapted to anybody. No matter their physical fitness, age or previous experience. Another very important aspect is the community which is supportive and inclusive beyond measure – people doing CrossFit just help one another! Often the gyms are full of friends rather than strangers working out at the same place.

What exactly is CrossFit?

Let us quote

CrossFit is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide.

Our program delivers a fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and, on average, punish the specialist.

CrossFit contends that a person is as fit as they are proficient in each of ten general physical skills: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.

As you can see, there is no mention of being extremely fit to be able to do it – you can start where you left off with your previous fitness regime, or even from scratch. Then, as you work your way through the different types of exercises, you will learn and master technique and increase your strength proportionately to your devotion!

CrossFit is your choice if you’re beginner in weightlifting, want to exercise regularly surrounded by a great community. Even if you’re a masochist. Yes, sometimes it feels like utter annihilation of the body which, unsurprisingly, has amazing effects on the mind. There are people who swear by CrossFit as the best stress-reliever in the world.

Where to start?

Obviously, find a gym. Or as it is called in CrossFit speak – box. Ask your friends for a recommendation and don’t hesitate to go and just watch other people workout. This will help you understand what’s going on there and become aware of the community.

During your first visit, you will inevitably notice a few key differences between a regular gym and a box. There are no weight machines, ellipticals and yoga classes. There is only one WOD written on the whiteboard. Here’s why: CrossFit, as mentioned, is not a program which includes different exercises for different levels of fitness. Rather, you take the daily workout and scale it to your own form – if it says 40 reps and you can do only 10, this is no problem. Same with weights and seconds! With time and dedication you’ll be able to do the WODs just as prescribed.

To get you on the right track we asked three of CrossFit experts to share their tips about how to approach the box prepared!

  • Andre Crews: “when you first walk into a gym you might find people like me lifting weights and listening to gangsta rap music – don’t be intimidated”

His tips:

1. Don’t be intimidated! CrossFit encompasses all forms of fitness and there’s a lot of info to take in. Breathe. Relax. And take it one step at a time!
2. Master the air squat! Most movements in CrossFit revolve around squatting so if you can do this, everything will be easier!
3. Move well before adding load. Get good at moving a PVC pipe before moving onto the barbell! The same applies for all movements!
4. Have fun! We’re all in this together to get better and fitter! So smile, make some friends, enjoy yourself, and get after it!

  • Nikki Berger: “the essentials – a jump rope, some wrist wraps and you can even even get some tape in there, as well”

Watch Part 1 here:

And Part 2 here:

Can CrossFit be dangerous?

If you don’t sacrifice technique and form to complete the tasks – not really. The danger stems from the fact that you have to do a certain amount of reps for time or complete a number of endurance/strength exercises for time. You can see where the tricky part is, right? It’s always better to scale the WOD down to your current form and rely on a coach to point out any mistakes you might be making.

With that said, we wrap up this blog post – but more are on their way! Our CrossFit experts will be sharing tips regularly, so stay tuned. 🙂

We’d love to hear your opinion and tips in the comments section – don’t hesitate to ask questions, too!