Until recently I hadn't been a fan of Crossfit. For no other reason than I prefer to be outside playing some sort of high intensity game! After meeting with Sarge down at Longmont Crossfit I a few of his comments stuck with me: 1. Crossfit was originally started as a sort of not in the gym workout. 2. Family. The crossfit community is a close knit family. They work, compete and celebrate their accomplishments together! So it looks like I'll be heading to the gym, or thereabouts in the near future for a reintroduction to crossfit with a more open mind. But in doing so I'm doing so intelligently.
1. Start slow: Most people coming into Crossfit are looking for fast results for bikini season or even a wedding in few weeks so they try to go big early. This usually ends up with them on the couch with an ice pack or at the Chiropractors office (specifically Power Advanced Chiropractic) for a couple weeks and they never go back for fear of getting hurt again. Take it slow the first couple weeks people, the body needs time to adjust to the new stress and strain your new workout has on it.
2. Know my limits: Even after a few weeks or months nobody is setting new records for the WOD. When those other participants are doing the same workout in half the time, sometime even faster, it doesn't mean your slacking, not necessarily anyway. Just cause a girl is using more weight doesn't mean anything either, other than she might be BA!? You have no idea how long she's been working at it and if you just started it may take you a little while to catch up. Not to mention she may be a former olympic weight lifter, which means you're not the only guy in there she's out lifting!
3. Proper form is key: One of my initial problems with crossfit, good for my business, was people and gyms weren't bothering with proper form. This lead to injuries and time out of the gym for no good reason. If you play long enough you'll have enough injuries so why be lazy and invite even more injury! I see too many times where the competitive nature gets the better of an athlete, they ignore good form and spend the next couple weeks on the training table (again, good for my business but not them). You have to be aware of your form at all times or you wont be around long!
4. Ask questions: If you aren't sure about something ASK QUESTIONS! high intensity workouts aren't something to be "shooting from the hip" with. Serious injuries, both soft tissue and hard tissue injuries can be incurred with this stuff if you're not careful. If for some reason the trainers or participants make you feel uncomfortable asking questions about how to execute a particular movement your either at the wrong gym or in the wrong class. The instructors should be able to breakdown any movement clearly to keep you healthy and participating.
5. Have goals: Each person needs to know what they want out of the experience. For some its to lose a few pounds, others use it to start a healthier lifestyle and the more serious ones are competitors at the higher levels. You don't have to know day one but the sooner you figure it out the better. When the weekend warrior types try to keep up with the high end athletes they get hurt more times than not.
6. Nutrition: These workouts aren't easy on the body. If you choose not to hydrate, eat quality food and stay hydrated your workouts will suffer as will your times and eventually the body will fail and you'll be back in the chiropractor's office for a couple weeks. The nice thing is that you don't even have to go as far as eating all organic or vegan or vegetarian. Its more a simple decision to drink water instead of pop. Pasta instead of McDonalds. Get 7+ hours of sleep instead of your regular 3-5.
I'm looking forward to the new challenge and the new friends to come. I'm sure its nothing like playing rugby but it seems to be a pretty good group of people and who doesn't like a little competition amongst friends!