Home > Uncategorized > 10 Tips For Success For The Crossfit Newbie – Part 1

10 Tips For Success For The Crossfit Newbie – Part 1

October 23, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Skill building is inherently satisfying – why else would you keep on WOD’ing once you knew how to do the basic squat or do a pull up? It’s the continual challenge to gain strength or gain speed or improve a skill that can keep you coming back and knowing that each WOD provides fresh opportunities to master new things. Whether it’s self-correction or being coached, confronting your own self perceived limits or capabilities – with CrossFit, there’s always something to learn or work on.

In reading this article from Larry Palazzolo from CrossFit Delware Valley, found myself thinking that any CrossFitter (newbie or not) could find something, no matter where you are on your fitness journey. And if you’re the master of CrossFit, it might be the article that could take the fear out of getting a friend or family member to try it – so why not share it with them? This week, the first five tips, next week, the rest!

Stepping into a CrossFit gym for the first time can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming. You might see a bunch of half-naked hard bodies showing off their ink and abs, ripping out butterfly kip after butterfly kip. You might ask yourself, “Is that person having a seizure or doing pull-ups? What’s with all the Chuck Taylors? Do they get a group rate? What’s with the guy in the corner wearing only sweatpants, shirt off, all tatted up and muttering to himself? Is he on a work-release program?” Fear not newbie; these people won’t bite. They’re actually pretty darn friendly and overly supportive once you get to know them. It can be a lot to take in at first glance, especially if you’ve had limited exposure to CrossFit prior to stepping into a box. But don’t worry; we’ve got your back. The following are 10 things to keep in mind as you begin your CrossFit journey.


1.) You’re Competing Against Yourself, Not Others

When it comes time to throw down in a WOD, don’t feel like you have to do everything RX’d or be able to complete 20 rounds of Cindy right off the bat. Go at your own pace. Let the intensity find you. You need a solid foundation of strength and flexibility in order to progress into more demanding workouts.  Start light, get your form down, and don’t worry about the mother of three who is deadlifting 250 as you struggle with the bar. Chase your own capacity before chasing the person next to you. Which brings me to my next point…


2.) Don’t Be Too Proud To Scale

Sing it with me now:

Ain’t too proud to scale, sweet darling.
Please don’t leave the WOD. Don’t you go.
Ain’t too proud to scale, baby baby.
Please don’t leave the WOD. Don’t you go.

Tony Budding (of CrossFit HQ) describes scaling as another form of programming. Scaling is such an individualized topic that it’s hard to make sweeping generalized statements. You have to know your own body and its limits. But most importantly, there’s no substitute for common sense.


3.) What You Eat Is More Important Than What You Lift

Nutrition is the key to every aspect of your life. It affects your energy levels, your recovery, and your overall defense against disease. To quote the late Jack Lalanne, “You put junk in, junk comes out. You put good in, good comes out.” When you’re first starting out, the quality of your food is far more important than the quantity. Call it whatever you want: Paleo, Primal, Hunter-Gatherer, Pretentious D-Bag Diet; just eat clean. If you’re eating as clean as possible, you don’t even need to worry about the quantity. You are a Ferrari. You wouldn’t put regular unleaded fuel in a Ferrari, would you?


4.) Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Clarification, Over and Over and Over Again
It’s your time, money, and most importantly, health. If you don’t fully understand something, ask. If you still don’t get it, ask again. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t fully grasp the concept, or you think others in the class will get frustrated with you for taking up too much time. We were all newbies at one point. We’ve all been there. Learning the mechanics of certain movements like the kip, squat, deadlift, or any of the olympic lifts takes lots of practice and critique from a trained eye. If you need help, just ask.


5.) CrossFit Isn’t Everything
CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that focuses on building general physical preparedness (GPP). It is quickly evolving into a sport of its own, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be your sport or your lifeblood. I CrossFit so that I can do whatever I want: Go out, play sports, learn new things. Having that GPP allows me to take on new challenges. CrossFit is not my life. I CrossFit so that I can have a life…and be awesome at it.

 

Check in next week, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel for part 2!

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