CrossFit has become one of the biggest workout regimen programs in the world over the last few years. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the following statistics below:
STATISTICS ON THE GROWTH OF CROSSFIT
10,000 affiliate gyms worldwide, up from just 13 in 2005.
209,585 participants registered for the 2014 CrossFit Games Open.
2% estimated failure rate of opening up a CrossFit gym.
2 billion dollar estimated net of just the CrossFit affiliates in 2013.
I am going to state the obvious: I am a fan and currently train in CrossFit. I have now been doing for the past 2 years. I wanted to add to my martial arts training by doing a workout that allows me to use weights and develop my overall strength. CrossFit has motivated me into having a passion for weight training again, and feel great about what I have accomplished at this time. I know CrossFit is something that I will continue to do.
However, it is important to know that if you are going to do CrossFit (or any training for that matter), that you do your full research and go into it with realistic expectations. This means not only mastering the basics of all CrossFit skills and movements; also training smart and safely as well.
Here are 8 tips to keep in mind before and after beginning CrossFit, which will make you a smarter and better CrossFitter as well as keep you safe long-term:
NOTE: I am not a professional trainer or coach. These are my recommendations. Before starting any program, consult with any fitness physician and expert.
Tip#1: Don’t just train in CrossFit to just compete in the CrossFit Games. 0.6% of individuals who register for the CrossFit Games Open make it to the finals in Carson, California. Rich Froning, Jason Khalipa, Annie Thorisdottir, Camille Leblanc-Bazinet are the best of the best when it comes to CrossFit. If you are going to do CrossFit to compete and try to beat these guys, stop right there. Each of these athletes mentioned have been in the CrossFit world for 5+ years, as well as come from athletic activities such as football, weightlifting, gymnastics, and swimming. Which leads me to Tip#2:
Tip#2: Train in CrossFit to be the best you. I see it at my gym and other CrossFit boxes all the time. When people do WODs= workout of the day (where you do exercises as fast as you can for time), they always try to beat everyone else and score the best time in their gyms. This is where I will always have challenges with CrossFit. When you go to train or workout, you are only competing against one person: YOURSELF. As long as you’re improving and giving your best, that’s all that matters. Becoming the best version of yourself is the only thing you go for whether it is CrossFit, boxing, or anything in life.
Tip#3: Don’t automatically jump on the Paleo Diet. The Paleo diet in many ways has become the thing to do, especially in the CrossFit community. Before you consider going on this diet, make sure to consult your physician or nutritionist on this. Your body and what you put into it is very important. If you are not properly fueling your body and deprive it from your requirements, you will run into some serious health risks. I never started the Paleo Diet. Not because I didn’t want to. It was because it would not provide all the health requirements my body needs. Really, really do your homework on the Paleo Diet and make sure it is right for you.
Tip#4: Listen to your body and rest when you need to. According to some reports, 1 in 5 people who do CrossFit gets injured. I believe it happens a lot because people go for it all the time in CrossFit classes and just don’t know how to step back for a moment and let their bodies recover during and after a workout. As one coach best put it: Don’t ignore your body when it tells you it needs rest. If you ignore the times to rest, your body will gladly humble you when you suffer a minor or major injury. The recovery time then could be as low as a few days, to as high as a few months to year off. Be nice, be respectful and listen to your body. If it even requires you to take an extra day or two off, do it.
Tip#5: Master and practice the basics. CrossFit has individuals doing various exercises such as snatches, clean and jerks, push presses and overhead squats to name a few. This is why before you attempt to lift heavy weight, make sure you understand and practice exercises that will help you develop the movements and start slowly. Even when you are doing WODs, having good form and basics allows you to complete it safely. This is where also asking coaches for help is very important. There are many good coaches in CrossFit, and they will gladly take some time with you before and after class to help you achieve your goals.
Tip#6: Patience, patience and more patience. If you think you will be a pro at CrossFit in all parts of it in a month, think again. Olympic movements such as snatches and clean and jerks take a lot of time and practice to become good at them. These movements require not only practice; patience as well. This is the most challenging part of CrossFit and any other training you may encounter. Becoming good at CrossFit will require you to be more patient than you ever expected. You’re going to have a lot of bad days learning the Olympic movements and other exercises. Don’t get frustrated. Practice and be patient. Improvements will come.
Tip#7: Ensure you train at the right gym and have the right coaches. As I stated earlier, there are over 10,000 CrossFit affiliates worldwide. With that in mind, not all gyms will provide the same level of teaching. Before you join a CrossFit box/gym, really do your homework here. Ensure you train at a gym with good energy, and coaches that have a good background and foundation on CrossFit. Most important, be at a gym that allows you to feel good about yourself. Having these things will ensure that your CrossFit experience will be the best that it can be.
Tip#8: Help out people when you can. One of the best things you can do when doing CrossFit is to be helpful. Everyone who does any form of training can be of great help to others. It doesn’t have to be big. It can be as simple as saying hello, helping someone set up or put anyway their equipment, to showing someone how to do an exercise that they are having challenges with. Whether you are doing CrossFit or any other forms of training, take a moment to figure out a way to help and inspire others to be better. It is also a great way to show what you have learned, and a great way to give back as well.
CrossFit is a great way to get physically fit and has evolved as one of the most popular workout regimens in the world. However, remember that just like any workout program, CrossFit can be dangerous and you can seriously get injured from it if you are not careful. I have given you 8 recommendations to keep in mind while you are training in CrossFit. Make sure to always train the smartest way possible when doing CrossFit or any fitness exercise period.
To find out more information about CrossFit, go to http://www.crossfit.com
“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” Napolean Hill