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CrossFit has a cult-like following and that may be a bit intimidating to most. However, once you get on the CrossFit routine, you can’t help but love the painful and highly intense workout sessions. Let’s figure out how you can get started with CrossFit:
- Get acquainted with the jargon - CrossFit has a whole list of terms and abbreviations that may seem like a new language. You may be confused for days or weeks if you aren’t familiar with the basic lingo. Here are a few terms commonly used in CrossFit gyms:
- WOD - Workout of the day
- EMOM - Every Minute on the Minute for interval training that requires you to do a certain number of reps of an exercise within 60 seconds
- AMRAP - As Many Rounds As Possible. It involves a workout circuit and you need to do as many rounds or reps of the included exercises within a given period.
- GPP - General Physical Awareness, a term used for overall fitness
- Box - It refers to a CrossFit gym. If you become friends with trainees at the CrossFit gym don’t be confused when they say, “I’ll see you at the box at 7”.
- The Whiteboard - Board for tracking scores of athletes and for writing the workout of the day (WOD).
- Metcon - Short for metabolic training that improves your endurance.
- Don’t allow stereotypes to discourage you - You may have seen jacked athletes on ESPN throwing hundreds of pounds of weight and flipping massive truck tires. Like any other sport, pro-athletes are on a different level. Instead, you would come across many young university students, moms, grandmas, and young workers in a CrossFit gym.
CrossFit is versatile and that’s why it has people from all demographics with different backgrounds in terms of age, gender, profession, and fitness levels. Unless you want to go pro, your goal isn’t to spend several hours at the “box” and get hyper-athletic. Spending an hour at the CrossFit gym can help you achieve your fitness goals.
- Visit the nearest CrossFit gyms - There are thousands of CrossFit gyms across the country and you shouldn’t settle for the one that’s closest to your home or work. Instead, try out all the CrossFit gyms in your area to figure out which one is the right fit for you. Check for:
- Culture - Everyone wants something different from their CrossFit gym. If you are very competitive you may enjoy the culture of a gym that mostly has advanced athletes. Everyone is constantly working with and against each other to improve themselves. If you are just looking for a good workout to get in shape or run a marathon, that environment may not be suitable for you.
- Coaching quality - The right coach can be the defining line between wasted hours and a fit body. Your coach should be actively monitoring you and correcting your mistakes. He should be patient enough to answer all your queries and should be able to come up with modifications whenever necessary.
- Safety - You should also stay away from coaches and gyms who don’t prioritize your safety. Your coach should be able to assess your limits and come up with circuits and workouts that are challenging yet achievable. You don’t want to injure yourself due to heavier weights and bad form just because your coach didn’t pay enough attention to your limits and safety.
- Initial Fitness Assessment - Good CrossFit gyms would ask for an initial fitness assessment so that your instructor or coach can figure out where you stand on the fitness curve. The test should include a wide range of motions with explosive and ballistic patterns that are new to you. This allows your coach to gauge your capabilities and modify your workout for sustainable and safe improvements.
- Sign up for a trial - Like other businesses, CrossFit gyms offer trial classes that may last from a few days to a full week. Take advantage of these free trials to know about the gym, your coach, and the people at the gym. Pay close attention to the safety, culture, and other aspects that may be a deal-breaker for you.
When you finally decide on a gym and have workouts planned by your coach remember to take things one step at a time. Even if you aren’t competitive, CrossFit gyms tend to light the competitive spark in you and you may be tempted to dial up the intensity drastically. However, that may lead to overexertion that keeps you out of the gym for a few days or injure you to put you in the hospital for weeks. Take things slow and steady.