I have been there. Almost one year and a half ago I was walking into Crossfit Clusone for the first time and that was my very first time at trying Crossfit. I felt intimidated and worried, I did not know how much it would hurt. Yet, to this day never have I regretted the moment I faced all of my fears and decided to enter a box. However, I am willing to tell you everything you should expect and do before trying crossfit.
How used to weights are you?
There might be some differences of opinion on this first issue, but I stand by my position and I am willing to tell you why it is important to have a bit of background of weightlifting before joining Crossfit. First of all, CrossFit is fast. Of course you have time to adapt, try all the beginners’ introduction classes etc but once you do an actual WOD you are surely going to give your form way less attention and this can result in minor or major injuries.
I was lucky enough to have about 1 year and a half of weightlifting before entering the box, which meant I knew the basic moves everything starts with. Once you have a great form for squat, deadlift, power clean, as well as some more advanced moves like the push jerk or clean and jerk, you will be more in control of your form even when asked to perform many reps at a faster pace. Of course, you should be sure to learn them from a professional to be sure that the technique is fine.
Many boxes call their beginners’ classes like this. I highly suggest you to go to them as long as needed. I did not do any of these as I was already familiar with about 80% of the moves used in WODs, so my coaches sent me straight to the hardcore classes, but, if they don’t, be sure to go to at least 6-10 classes. And ask as many questions as you need, I still ask questions about moves I haven’t mastered. We are all here to learn.
You are not competing
I want to stress this as much as needed. YOU ARE NOT COMPETING. You all checked out the Crossfit Games (if not, go and do it ASAP) and I’m sorry if I kick down your ego, but you are not Matthew Fraser, you are not Katrin Davidsdottir. You are not competing. No one cares if you are using a 10kg bar empty or a 20kg bar with god knows how many weight on it. Just be sure, but really, be sure the weight you are using feels okay. One thing is having pain from the fact you are doing a deadlift + burpees AMRAP, another is to feel pain because you are curving your back while deadlifting. Ask the coach to check your form if needed (and even if not) and avoid using more weight than you are comfortable with. Coaches will push you to use higher weight but they do not usually have right about this. Yes, you are supposed to improve and gradually increase the weight you are using, but refuse to at any time you are uncomfortable. Plus, when in doubt use the lower weight.
It’s okay to rest
AMRAP does not mean you should not take any break if you are collapsing. I do not deny that there is nothing better than being able to go as close as throwing up during a WOD because you know you are giving your 100%, but you cannot give your 100% every single day. The sooner you accept it, the better. Just be okay with this.
How hard is it going to be?
I do not deny it is going to be hard. The first time I met my first Crossfit coach, he told me: get ready to sweat and curse a lot. we have had professional soccer players and other athletes struggling with this sport despite all their training. Yes, it is hard. You are going to regret the moment you decided to sign up for the daily WOD sooner or later, but the pain is temporary, right? Just try. You will leave the box feeling proud of yourself for your hard work, your dedication, your determination.
But that should never stop you from trying. At your own pace. At your own time and using the weight you are comfortable lifting it. Be sure to ask when in doubt, be sure to rest when you feel like, be sure to take a day or few days off if needed.
Last, YOU ARE GONNA ROCK IT! And I cannot wait to hear everything about it!
Have A Safe Journey!