Just as trends with clothing styles and fad diets go in and out of style, so do popular workouts. We're sure that by now you've heard of crossfit. But crossfit isn't just a workout, it's also a mindset and way of life. Those who choose to do crossfit workouts are committed, mentally strong individuals. But don't be intimated! We're here to tell you what to expect if you decide to venture out of your gym and into a crossfit gym or “box.”
You'll be coached in a group - Unlike when you're in your regular gym or training space, you will not be alone. Rather than working on a one-on-one basis with your trainer, you will be sweating alongside others. Many crossfit boxes operate on a ten-to-one ratio of trainees to trainer. This helps to foster the social ties within the box. Whether you're in top shape or just getting started and terribly out of shape, crossfitters always unite for the greater good of the box. Most boxes operate on the mentality that “all can play.” In other words, no one is picked last for a team and when finishing a drill, the last person to complete a task is cheered on just as mightily as the first. The camaraderie is outstanding and well-needed to push people to their limits.
You'll need more rest in between workouts - Crossfit workouts are high intensity. This means that they get your heart rate soaring and your muscles working hard. That's a good thing, but unlike a lot of other workouts, they require rest. If you're just starting crossfit, we do not recommend working out 5 or 6 days a week as you normally would with other workouts. Give your body time to adjust to the workouts and rest more often between sessions at the box. If this means only doing crossfit 4, 3, or only 2 times a week, then that's okay. Pay special attention to your body and its needs during this time. Resting does not equate to weakness.
Nutrition is key for recovery and fuel - Just like you'll have to pay better attention to your rest time when first trying crossfit, you'll also have to pay close attention to your nutrition. Make sure to properly fuel before and after you hit the box. This means paying close attention to you your carbohydrate and protein intake. Remember: this does not only help to fuel you for your workouts but also aids in recovery between sweat sessions.
You will need to closely monitor form - If you've ever observed a crossfit workout, you'll notice a couple things right off the bat: weight and speed. Participants are handling a lot of weight at an increased speed, which in turn raises the heart rate. A high heart rate is great, but be careful to watch your form. One of the mistakes mainly new crossfit athletes make is to sacrifice quality of their form for speed of the movement. This often results in injury which can severely set back your progress. To prevent injuries from occurring, take the time with your coach to perfect movements of a drill before running through it. If you feel you're off center, then slow down.
So now what? No reason to psych yourself out. Now that you know a little bit more about what to expect when trying out crossfit, we have no doubt that you'll be a rock star. Like we said, the moral in the box is high and you'll be around a supportive group of people. Above all, listen to your body about what it tells you is needed regarding rest and fuel. Have fun!
If you have more questions about fitness and nutrition in the future, stop by our blog for more tips, tricks, and news.
Sources: http://www.muscleforlife.com/does-crossfit-work/ http://www.shape.com/fitness/workouts/12-biggest-myths-about-crossfit http://www.self.com/fitness/2014/02/what-to-know-before-starting-crossfit/ http://thereformedbroker.com/2012/10/21/the-ten-things-that-happen-when-you-begin-crossfit/