CrossFit Guide for Beginners: What You Must Know Before You Start

CrossFit has HUGE potential for you in terms of becoming fitter, stronger, happier, healthier and becoming the best version of yourself you can be…

…IF CrossFit turns out to be a good fit for you. But how do you know if CrossFit is the best choice for you?

This beginner’s guide to CrossFit aims to answer ALL the questions folks usually have before they start, including the question above.

Listen, I get it!

I have been in your shoes. As a 42-year-old female CrossFit athlete, I know what it’s like to step into “the box” for the first time.

I admit it’s scary! I had a ton of questions, too.

This Guide will tell you what you must know before you start CrossFit, written by someone who has walked in your shoes.

Ready? Let’s do this!

Contents

man and woman doing clapping push-ups at crossfit gym

Super Short CrossFit Origin Story – Where did CrossFit Come From?

To be honest, CrossFit has a rich, interesting, controversial and frankly crazy history, and a very colorful founder, Greg Glassman.

However…

…knowing the history of CrossFit is not a requirement to start.

So, I will try to make a really long story, short.

In the early 70’s, Greg Glassman, a personal trainer and former gymnast thought there had to be a better way to train athletes to be ready for any physical challenge life could throw at his athletes.

Glassman believed that gyms were too regimented, and specializing in just one area of athletics limited athletes.

As an example, in his own experience Glassman discovered when he started lifting weights he became a better gymnast. Many gymnasts don’t lift weights, just like many weightlifters don’t practice gymnastics.

But…

If these athletes would branch out of their area of specialty, they may become better athletes in general, including the sport they specialized in.

With this mentality, Glassman created CrossFit to train on 10 key physical parameters.

I will get into the specifics of what CrossFit is, and what those 10 key physical parameters are, later.

In 1995 Glassman opened the first CrossFit gym in Santa Cruz and was awarded the task of training the Santa Cruz Police Department.

CrossFit took off from there. CrossFit was officially established in 2000, and the first affiliate was opened in Seattle, WA.

Today there are over 15,000 CrossFit affiliates in over 150 countries, and there is probably a box near you too!

Next, let’s get into the details and talk about what CrossFit is, specifically.

CrossFit Explained in Layman’s Terms

people working out on rowing machines in CrossFit gym

What is CrossFit?

In Greg Glassman’s own words:

CrossFit is a strength and conditioning system built on constantly varied, if not randomized, functional movements executed at high intensity.Greg Glassman

Who is CrossFit for?

The first CrossFit athletes Glassman trained were police, firefighters, military personnel and first responders.

These folks have physically demanding work and must be fit in all areas. It’s not enough to be strong if you have no cardiovascular endurance or vice versa.

What good is being strong and powerful, if you lack coordination and balance?

How useful is cardiovascular endurance and stamina if you are not strong enough to climb a fence in a pinch or carry someone in an emergency?

All these physical competencies are necessary if you are chasing bad guys, fighting in war, or saving people from burning buildings.

But…

These physical competencies are important for everyone and are useful for people from all walks of life, including YOU!

muscular man doing pull ups at CrossFit gym

Functional Fitness Explained

Functional fitness are movements that have the goal of developing your fitness level in a broad, general, and inclusive sense.

CrossFit’s specialty is not specializing. Functional fitness is a general fitness that is useful to you in your everyday life.

Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward the person who has well developed functional fitness.

Functional exercises advance the athlete’s fitness and skill by incorporating exercises from gymnastics, weightlifting, running, high-intensity work and other disciplines.

Functional Fitness Follows Natural Movements

It may seem intimidating as a newbie to learn exercises like the clean, jerk, snatch, overhead squat, muscle-up, and so on.

But all the movements incorporated into the CrossFit WOD simulate natural movements like throwing, carrying, pulling, climbing, running, hitting and more.

At some point, you will discover this training comes in handy in just about all areas of your life.

Thanks to CrossFit I can outrun my kids, hop a fence in a pinch and carry my husband if I need to (thanks to the Tire Flip) although I hope I never have to.

CrossFit Prescribes Measurable, Repeatable Training

CrossFit emphasizes movements that are repeatable and have measurable results.

For example:

A CrossFit WOD will prescribe a specific weight be used so you can easily measure your progress each time you do that movement.

A CrossFit WOD will instruct you to run a specific distance so you can time yourself to see how you have improved over the last time you ran that distance.

CrossFit trains and tests you in all areas of fitness in a way you can measure and see so you will always know which areas you need to improve in.

You will always have a benchmark to work towards, there is always room to improve and you will always know where you stand in terms of your fitness level.

female crossfit athlete exercising with dumbbell

My Personal CrossFit Story – How it Changed My Life

I started CrossFit at the age of 38, and was a mother of 4 (now 5) children. I was overweight and out of shape back then.

I never could stick with exercise, I tried the gym, Zumba, running around the neighborhood, walking with a friend. Nothing stuck.

I was intimidated to try CrossFit to be honest. I had never, ever lifted a barbell. And jumping 24 inches onto a plywood box?! GAH! Forget it!

But I was attracted to it because it looked like fun, and I saw people having fun and making friends, and I wanted that. I work from home and am pretty busy with my kids, so making friends is not as easy as it was when I was in school, and staying fit seemed impossible.

All that changed after I tried CrossFit. It was hard. Really hard. But it was also great. The exercise was great, the people are awesome.

I felt a sense of accomplishment and was doing things I never thought I could, like jumping up onto that scary plywood box for the first time, and I was making real friends.

Nearly 5 years later and I can honestly say I love it and have no plans to stop.

It’s never boring. I get to see some of my closest friends several times a week. I am down to a healthy weight and feel good about my body.

I am in better shape than I was in my 20s and I feel great. I feel good about myself, my life, my fitness and I am proud of it.

Is CrossFit a Good Fit for You?

Only you can answer that question and all I can say is, maybe, maybe not.

I am not a zealot and am not going to insist CrossFit is the only or best way to get fit. But I do encourage you to give it a shot.

Give it a try!

You do not need to be happy, outgoing or social to join CrossFit.

Dan was a depressed, overweight, 38-year-old man who was prescribed 3 anti-depressant meds, along with meds for anxiety, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes when he started.

Dan was able to stop taking most of the medications and turned his life around with the help of CrossFit.

You Can Start CrossFit, Anyone Can

No matter your age, gender or how out of shape, or in shape you are, CrossFit is available to everyone and prides itself on being an inclusive program.

Athena was in her late 30s and morbidly obese when she started CrossFit. She learned how to overcome the mental chains and abuse that bind her to a lifestyle of obesity and changed her mentality to become the athlete she is today.

CrossFit is Modifiable or Scalable so Anyone Can Do it

A common objection beginners have to CrossFit is “I could never do it.”

This is simply not true since CrossFit is “universally scalable”, in both intensity, and equipment used.

What does “Universally Scalable” mean?

Scalable Workload

This means you can scale down a workout if you are not able to complete the task, or lift the prescribed weight.

In CrossFit the loads and intensity can be modified. Every WOD can be altered slightly to match the fitness level of any individual.

For example:

If the WOD calls for pull-ups, and you are not able to do pull-ups, you can use a resistance band, a plyo box, or a combo of both to assist you in completing the pull-up.

Scalable Equipment or “Substitutions”

CrossFit is scalable in terms of available equipment. This means if the equipment needed is not available to you, you can substitute.

With a bit of creativity, you can use what you have available to modify the WOD based on the equipment you have, which means you can do CrossFit from home.

Let me give you an example:

Let’s say the WOD calls for exercises that use gymnastics rings, but you do not have Gymnastics rings or have no place in your home to hang gym rings.

You can substitute some exercises using parallel bars, aka dip bars, often found in parks with fitness equipment and easily found online for purchase.

If you are curious, I have reviewed Gym Rings here and Dip Bars here.

What You Can Expect to Get Out of CrossFit

group of athletes in CrossFit gym

CrossFit will Improve Your Overall Level of Fitness

CrossFit is designed to build wide-ranging, overall, and comprehensive level of fitness in functional competence in all 10 key physical parameters.

If you stick with CrossFit you can expect to see improvement in the following 10 areas:

  • cardiovascular/respiratory endurance
  • stamina
  • strength
  • flexibility
  • power
  • speed
  • coordination
  • agility
  • balance
  • accuracy

With CrossFit, you get to find out what you’re made of. CrossFit can be miserable, but it can also teach you how to push through mental barriers and build mental toughness.

CrossFit builds good muscular endurance and increases all-around fitness – your body is prepared for pretty much any athletic situation thanks to the thoughtful and systematic training of CrossFit programming.

CrossFit will Help You Build Muscle

CrossFit is an EXCELLENT intro to weight lifting and will help you build a solid foundational knowledge base you can take with you on your life outside the box.

Many women, including myself when I started CrossFit, have never touched a barbell before, and now LOVE weight training.

If you have spent your gym life on a treadmill or elliptical trainer trying to improve your figure, you will be happy to know that weight training is where it’s at if you want a shapely body, and CrossFit gives the perfect intro to teach you how to train properly and progress sustainably without injury, in a non-threatening environment.

You’ll learn how to do all of the Olympic lifts in a super supportive and nonjudgmental environment with coaches that know how to perform the lifts with proper form. You might even discover you love strength training!

Two young sportsmen training on rowing machines

Sense of Accomplishment

CrossFit is both humbling and inspiring. You will struggle through your first WOD, and you may always struggle to finish your WOD.

However…

The feeling of accomplishment when you complete a task faster than you did last time, or lifted more weight, or finally did an exercise you previously couldn’t, is miles above what you get out of pedaling away on an exercise bike for an hour.

CrossFit groups support each other and the jolt of energy you get from others cheering you on is something you have to experience to appreciate.

CrossFit both challenges athletic types and makes previously unathletic people feel like athletes-because they ARE!

CrossFit achievements increase your sense of self-esteem, which to be honest, is pretty addicting.

CrossFit just makes you feel good, which leads some Cross Fitters to become a little overzealous and try and convert anyone who will listen.

The enthusiasm is understandable, but probably annoying to people who do not know what CrossFit is or don’t want to hear it. If you want to know why some people call CrossFit a cult, fanatical CrossFit devotees certainly have something to do with it.

Community

Not gonna lie, the CrossFit community is probably my favorite thing about being a member.

For the most part, CrossFit groups and coaches are some of the most positive, inspiring friendly and supportive people I know. Who doesn’t need positive people in their life?

The nature of CrossFit encourages teamwork, fellowship and if I am being honest, a little bit of friendly competition. If you have ever spent time at a regular gym, you may find it’s hard to meet people there, and certainly not natural, unlike CrossFit where it’s totally normal to make friends.

CrossFit is like having a group discount for personal coaching.

The groups are so small that each member gets some one on one time with the coach during every session. Plus the coach is always there, available if you have questions.

This helps you learn, improve form and progress, all without having to pay a personal trainer.

Tracking Your CrossFit Progress is Easy

CrossFit is evidence-based fitness that is measurable, observable and repeatable. In other words, its data-driven.

Since you will be tracking how much weight you lift, how many reps and sets you complete, how long it takes to finish certain WODs and more, it is clear how much you are improving. You will always know where you stand fitness-wise.

Hot Tip: Pick up a blank notebook and bring it with you on your first day so you can record your stats from the start.

two people start a running in CrossFit gym

12 Foundational CrossFit Movements

Just to give you a glimpse of what to expect when you do CrossFit, I have listed below the 12 foundational CrossFit movements. You will notice several squats and can see the Olympic lifts are on the list too.

You can see CrossFit is big on strength training, but what this list does not demonstrate is that CrossFit also focuses on cardiovascular training, speed, and agility too.

Exercises such as Burpees, Plyo box jumps, battle ropes, agility ladder work, rowers, running, the air bike and more are just as much a part of CrossFit as the lifts and weight training.

Later I will do a deep dive on what you can expect from your first CrossFit class.

  • Air Squat
  • Front Squat
  • Overhead Squat
  • Shoulder Press
  • Push Press
  • Push Jerk
  • Deadlift
  • Sumo Deadlift High Pull
  • Medicine Ball Clean
  • Thruster
  • Wall Ball
  • Pull Up

Tell Me the Truth About CrossFit – What do People Hate About it?

group of people exercising together in CrossFit gym

Pukie the CrossFit Mascot

Pukie the mascot is a depiction of a phenomenon known to many CrossFitters called exercise-induced vomiting. Exercise-induced vomiting is not exclusive to CrossFit, it happens to athletes of all kinds who push themselves past their limit.

Some folks are more prone to it than others. NOT eating before your workout and a proper warm-up can go a long way towards avoiding this unpleasant phenomenon, but also being sensitive of your limits and knowing when your body needs to stop is important.

Along with exercise-induced vomiting, ripped hands, scraped shins and Ab-Mat arse burn from too many sit-ups on the mat are common CrossFit complaints.

The Price of a Membership for CrossFit is Higher than a Commercial Gym

CrossFit Boxes, in general, are more expensive than commercial gyms. They do have less clients and the classes are small and offer partial one on one training, but some folks find the fee objectionable.

This is one reason many CrossFit enthusiasts chose to set up camp in their own house or garage.

I am going to get into how YOU can CrossFit from home later.

But for now, take a look at these 9 CrossFit Home gym packages to get your CrossFit garage box up and running.

A Bad Coach can Really Cause Problems

Olympic lifts take time, patience, dedication and proper training to be done right. If your Coach lacks the skills to help you get your form right, teach you to scale the exercise, or pushes you too hard, it could lead to injury.

Bottom line:

Find a good CrossFit coach, it’s essential to your success. More on how to find a good CrossFit box and a good CrossFit coach later.

With CrossFit it’s Hard to Focus on Just One Skill

If your deadlift game needs work, or you have crap endurance, or you want to build your arms more, complete your first strict push-up or handstand pushup or whatever fitness deficiency you find in yourself, it’s hard to work on that one area in CrossFit.

Because the WOD is pre-set, and always focused on a different skill each day, it’s hard to work on just one.

This is a pretty common and legitimate criticism of CrossFit.

This criticism leads some CrossFitters to build their own home gym, or even just pick up a few pieces of equipment so they can practice the skill they need outside of the box.

Stay tuned! More on CrossFit Garage gyms coming up.

Some Folks Who do CrossFit can be Elitists, Fanatics or Zealots

Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit has been known to come off as a jerk at times. But let’s be real here, all sports have their problems and criticisms. If you only look at the bad side of whatever workout style you choose, you will never get off the couch.

Some CrossFit athletes are so in love with the sport they spend a lot of time and energy trying to evangelize everyone they meet and make new CrossFit converts.

Personally, I get that CrossFit is not for everyone, and not everyone wants to hear about how great it is. And that’s OK.

There are many roads that lead to Rome when it comes to getting fit, and what works for some may not work for others.

Want to learn more about the Great CrossFit debate? Read my article Love to Hate here.

What Real-Life CrossFit Athletes Wish They Knew Before Starting CrossFit

woman doing cardio workout on rowing machine

As you embark on your new CrossFit journey, here are some words of wisdom from those who have gone before you.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others – You are Only Competing With Yourself

Don’t compare yourself to everyone else. All you have to do is make it hard for you. Doesn’t matter if what’s hard for you is way easy for someone else in the class. What’s that saying… Your only goal is to be better than you were last time.

You do NOT Need to be Fit, in Shape or Athletic to Start CrossFit

At its basic level, anybody can do CrossFit. Even if you’re rowing, biking, doing air squats, box step-ups, lunges and knee-pushups for the first month… you’re doing something.

You’re making progress and that’s what matters… We all have to start somewhere and CrossFit is as good a place as any for that.

Before I started never realized that the real CrossFit class was going to be predominantly filled with people looking to get into better shape rather than a bunch of superfit 24-year-olds doing 500 lb deadlifts.

I was surprised by how genuinely accessible it is. You don’t need any skill, strength, or endurance to start. All you need is a desire to attain these things.

I wish I knew I’d never be ‘ready’, and would have started sooner. I held off for too long thinking I had to be fitter to start…should have just started.

The Motivation the CrossFit Community Provides is a Surprise for Most Beginners

I was surprised that I (introverted engineer) need a little community of people I only see for an hour a day a few times a week to stay motivated to get after some real fitness week after week, year after year… some of us need that community aspect to stay consistent, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that.

The people are so nice. I’m a terribly shy person and it took me a long time to make friends at the gym because of this. It turns out everyone at the gym is their own brand of shy, weird, quirky, and kind. There was really no reason for me to be scared.

Practice Mobility, Stretching, Recovery

Focus on mobility and form/technique. Get plenty of rest and sleep.

Never take it for granted, stretch after all of your workouts and work on your mobility as it greatly reduces the chances of getting injured.

If you don’t know much about mobility, do some research. Thoracic spine mobility, shoulder mobility, hip mobility, ankle mobility, the list goes on and on. Lookup people like Kelly Starrett, Eric Cressey, Matthew Ibraham, and others. They all have YouTube channels and their attention to detail in regards to range of motion, stability, and mobility are some of the most useful and eye-opening pieces of information you can find.

Get Your Diet on Point

Get the nutrition dialed in immediately!

It’ll keep you from “wasting” a year of working out with little improvement. For me, this meant eating paleo and upping my protein intake (like, by a LOT).

When my nutrition was dialed in, I was such a BEAST! When I ate whatever…I got fat/bulked and performance suffered.

Need some help eating right for CrossFit? I have a list of the 7 most popular food plans used by CrossFit athletes.

Get Good CrossFit Shoes

Performing squats in running shoes, is like squatting on a mattress.

I stubbornly used regular runners until a WOD involving rope climbs destroyed my shoes in one workout. CF shoes usually stand up a bit better.

When lifting heavy, I could feel other athletic shoes get crushed. One pair had arch support built-in and when lifting heavy that support dug into my foot.

When wearing my Nanos, I just feel more grounded and solid. I feel like I won’t slip when I jump on a box because the bottoms are rigid.

Bottom Line: You NEED good CrossFit shoes and I have a list of the best CrossFit shoes for men and best CrossFit shoes for women.

It’s OK to Scale the WOD to Your Fitness Level

I’ve seen others “RX” to say they RX only to stand around hitting 1 pull-up or TTB per minute but their ego is too big to want to scale.

Trust the process, scale when needed and understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to ask for the ‘why’, either!

Make Extra Time to Practice Technique and Form

Lighter weights with proper form beats out heavy weights with bad form every day.

Just because your numbers are going up doesn’t mean you’re doing the exercise right.

I remember hitting plenty of milestones in regards to benching, squatting, and deadlifting. However, I would later find out little things I was doing wrong that could have led to injury.

Fixing these minor tweaks made the exercises much harder, but I felt much stronger and safer because of them.

people in CrossFit gym

Anatomy of a CrossFit Class – What You Can Expect From Your 1st CrossFit Class

It’s your first time, maybe you are a little nervous.

Don’t worry!

I will let you in on what you can expect from your first few classes.

Intro Class

Some boxes have a free intro class, while others will let you try a regular class for free so you can get a feel for the box, the coaches and the environment, to see if it’s a good fit.

It’s always a good idea to give the box a call and let them know you are coming in so they can direct you to an intro class, if they have one, or they can be prepared for you when you arrive.

Foundations or On-Ramp Classes

Many CrossFit boxes have a special class for beginners. These are called “Elements”, “Foundations” or the “On-Ramp” class. They can vary in how long they last, generally 4 days to 2 weeks is the norm.

These classes are highly recommended for beginners because they:

  • introduce you to the basic and foundational CrossFit movements,
  • cover theory and methodology,
  • teach students how to scale workouts,
  • how to properly use equipment,
  • give students an intro to CrossFit terminology,
  • show students how to stretch,
  • go over basic mobility exercises.

Again…

Call the box and let them know you are new to CrossFit and they will be able to get you properly set up.

Standard CrossFit Class

This is the basic, everyday CrossFit class everyone attends after the on-ramp period. I will go over the structure of this class next.

4 Parts of a CrossFit Class

Warm-up and Mobility Work

Every class starts with a warm-up, mobility work and stretching. The movements are different every day. The coach will explain the movements of the warm-up and then your group will get to it.

Remember!

The Coach is always there through the entire workout, explaining things, giving tips, correcting form and encouraging the members.

Skill Training and Strength Exercises

The workout has two sections – strength training and metcon. Metcon means metabolic conditioning and I will get into that in a minute.

For the strength training part of the workout the coach will cover the proper technique for the exercises planned that day and scaling of the movements.

Scaling movements to your fitness level and using proper form help you prevent injury and get the most from your workout.

It’s the coach’s job to make sure you are pushing yourself, but not overdoing it. The coach is also there to offer encouragement and make sure the exercise is done right.

The Metcon or Metabolic Conditioning

For the Metcon section, the coach will explain the movements and demonstrate proper form.

The coach will be there for the entire workout and don’t be shy! If you have a question just ask, that’s what they are there for.

The Metcon is different every day. It could be a rower and air squats, a 400-meter run, riding the air bike, who knows? It’s a surprise every day.

The Cool Down

Once the Metcon is finished, the coach will lead the group in a cool down, and that’s it!

CrossFit may seem intimidating, but once you are in there you see it’s just regular people like you doing their thing and getting better every day.

“The Box” – The CrossFit Gym in a Nutshell

Fit people standing at barbells before exercise

How to Find a CrossFit Gym

I bet doughnuts to dollars you already have a CrossFit box in mind if you are thinking of starting CrossFit.

But…

If you do not have a box all picked out, here is how you find the best CrossFit box for you. Go to the CrossFit locator map. Zoom in on your home or work address and find the closest CrossFit location.

It’s really that easy.

Now…

If you visit the box and the staff or facility are not a good fit for you, go back to the map and try a different box nearby.

Here is how to tell if your box is a good one.

Tips to Help You Know if Your Box is a Good One

The Coach

  • The coach cares about your wellbeing and it shows.
  • The coach takes the time to show you how to perform movements correctly.
  • The coach offers you at least someone on one instruction each workout.
  • The coach shows you how to scale a workout if needed.
  • The coach pushes you to do your best, without overdoing it or making you feel crappy.
  • The coach is focused on the group during the workout – not on their phone or chatting up select members only.
  • The coach is enthusiastic and positive.

The Community

  • The people are friendly and encouraging, not judgmental buttheads.
  • You like the people and the vibe and feel comfortable there.
  • The people seem happy, well-adjusted and inclusive.

The Box

  • The programming is a good mix of strength training and metabolic conditioning.
  • Olympic lifts are performed regularly.
  • The bathrooms clean! Greg Glassman says this is a good indicator of gym-quality.
  • Their schedule jive with yours, the class times work for you.

CrossFit at Home – Everything You Need to Know

Did you know that CrossFit publishes the WOD online, every day? Check it out here.

That means you can get incredibly fit from your garage or home gym with minimal equipment. Or you can build a proper box. Either way, it’s totally possible to do CrossFit at home.

Pros and Cons of doing CrossFit at Home

Pros

  • Workout anytime.
  • Go at your own pace.
  • Listen to your own music.
  • Not constantly comparing yourself to others or ripping yourself for not being as good as the guy next to you.
  • Spend all the time you need to focus on your weaker areas and practice them without an audience.

Cons

  • Lack of Camaraderie because you are working out alone.
  • No accountability from coaches or fellow members.
  • Form check and training from coaches – but you can learn from online resources and film yourself to get feedback.
  • Lack of competition style motivation.

WODs You Can do From Home

I am not going to reinvent the wheel here. I have already collected the 21 BEST CrossFit workouts you can do from home right here.

The list I mentioned above includes 7 WOD CrossFit workouts you can do, even if you have no equipment.

If the idea of building your own CrossFit box at home appeals to you, you are not alone. Up next I have some tips for setting up your own CrossFit gym from home.

How to Set Up a CrossFit Gym at Home

Setting up a CrossFit gym at home can be as simple as investing in a barbell and a few weights, to ordering a CrossFit package, to outfitting an entire gym from scratch.

CrossFit Packages

If you would like to get an all in one package because it’s convenient and saves money, I have the best deals on from the top CrossFit equipment maker’s right here.

Build a CrossFit Gym from Scratch

If you are the type who loves to hand-select each piece of equipment for your CrossFit gym, I have a list of 13 CrossFit gym equipment essentials right here. This list will give you all the ideas you need to get started.

Garage Gym Planner

If you are struggling to put all the pieces together, these handy, free garage gym planners will help you layout your garage gym allowing you to place each piece to perfection so you can visualize your gym.

CrossFit FAQs

young woman using air resistance bike at the gym

Is CrossFit Dangerous?

CrossFit is safe, if you do things right.

CrossFit always recommends moving efficiently before moving with intensity. Meaning you should prioritize proper form over moving fast and lifting heavy.

It is the coach’s responsibility to make sure members are lifting properly and that they know how to scale the workout to the member’s fitness level.

You also must use common sense. If it feels like you are pushing too hard listen to your gut.

You can injure yourself doing CrossFit, but that’s true of many sports and should not be a reason to avoid sports and exercise.

Will CrossFit Help Me Lose Weight?

Of course, it can!

But here is the catch.

Exercise is one part of the picture, but what you eat is even more important.

The CrossFit website has an “At home section” dedicated to learning functional movement and simple nourishment at home. There are lots of great recipes and info there.

Plus, the following question will show you what to eat, so keep reading.

How Should I Eat when I Start CrossFit?

CrossFit looks at the total picture when building a fitness program. A huge part of someone’s weight loss and fitness journey is what type of fuel or food the athlete is putting in their body.

CrossFit recommends starting with the zone diet and tailoring you’re eating as you learn what works best for you.

This article lists several great eating plans for CrossFit and explains what each is.

Find a diet that works for you and stay consistent with your eating and training and you will see great results.

What do I Wear to a CrossFit Class?

I recommend wearing clothing that will not impede your range of movement and keep you cool and dry. If you are female, you might choose shorts, because they stay out of the way as you move and keep you cool.

I have a list of the best CrossFit shorts for women (CrossFit shorts for men) and squatting shorts here.

I also like tank tops, again, because they keep you cool and allow you to move freely. Here is my lineup of the best CrossFit shirts for women.

And of course, you NEED good shoes. Here are the best CrossFit shoes for women, and the best CrossFit shoes for men.

How Long are CrossFit Workouts?

About an hour, including the warm-up, the strength section, the Metcon, and the cool down. See anatomy of a CrossFit class discussed earlier to get the details.

How Many Days Should I Train CrossFit?

If you are new, take it easy.

2 days working out and one day rest should be OK.

More experienced athletes may workout 5 days a week, with weekends off.

However, a good schedule to follow is two to three days on and one rest day to allow enough time to recover in-between workouts.

Wrapping it Up

With the right box and the right attitude, and knowing what to expect at your first CrossFit class you are already on the road to success.

CrossFit is fun, never boring, you will make friends and it will benefit other areas of your life, in addition to your fitness.

Don’t wait, just give it a go!

One last thing before you go. If you are a gadget geek like I am, you will love these CrossFit fitness trackers. They also make a great gift!

If you like gear reviews and guides like these, sign up for the Garage Gym Power newsletter and never miss another review.

Katie

Katie

Katie is a busy wife and mother of four. She is a freelance writer and frequent contributor on Garage Gym Power. She guards her gym time jealously, and would rather miss a PTA meeting or get takeout for dinner than miss a workout.