Checking out a CrossFit gym can be nerve-wracking or intimidating, especially when you have no experience. Many people see the CrossFit Games online or on TV and they have a misconception of what CrossFit is. Those Games athletes are elite and represent less than 1% of the CrossFit community. Nonetheless, CrossFit’s training methodology can be used for anyone, at any fitness level, and provide some great benefits. Here are a few tips that you need to know before you begin your CrossFit journey.
Arrive 15 minutes early. This gives you time to fill out any necessary paperwork, tour the facility, and prepare your body for activity (stretch and foam roll).
Gearing up. Wear comfortable gym attire. Your clothes should allow you to move freely without any restrictions or distractions (compression or lightweight shorts, sports bra, tank top or Dry fit T-shirt, leggings, yoga pants etc.)
Wear the proper shoes. Cross training shoes should have a low profile to the ground so that you can feel the movement through your heels. Running shoes can be used for running workouts. Once you have learned the proper technique for Olympic lifting, there are specialized weightlifting shoes for lifting heavy loads.
Accessories. This would include any gear that you would need to support or protect your body and/or joints while performing CrossFit movements.
- Gloves: protects the hand from blisters or tears
- Wrist wraps: supports the wrist when lifting external loads
- Knee sleeves: provides additional compression and stabilization to the knee joint
- Chalk: helps to provide a better grip when performing movements. Mainly used for weightlifting and gymnastics.
- Weightlifting belt: provides support of the spine when lifting heavy external loads
- Tape: used for support of joints or gripping while performing Olympic lifts
- Head bands: helps to prevent sweat from getting in your eyes during exercise
*You do not necessarily have to have all of these accessories to get started with CrossFit. Over time you will learn your body and figure out what accessories work best for you and your training.
What to bring: Besides gear, there are a few other essentials you will need when going to the gym. A water bottle, towel, notebook for tracking progress, and a change of clothes are some of the basic items that you will need to bring with you daily.
Come in with an open mind: When you are joining a CrossFit gym, you are joining a close-knit community. Check your ego at the door; but bring the excitement, a positive attitude, and an eagerness to learn.
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While CrossFit can be intimidating, the first step is to make the commitment to yourself. Many people believe that they need to work out on their own in order to get into shape to start CrossFit. This is simply not true. Everyone has their own starting level, and a good coach will never have you do something that you are not capable of doing. There is no need to be ashamed if you cannot perform certain movements. Most people have to scale movements and weights when beginning CrossFit. Remember, the journey is yours. Focus on yourself and getting better everyday.
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