How to Prepare & What Should Know Before Starting CrossFit?

Garagegympower is reader-supported. When you purchase through links in our articles, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

How to Prepare & What You Should Know Before Starting CrossFit?

The things that I have heard about CrossFit are that it’s very, very difficult, that even in shape people pass out in the routines, and that you throw up a lot and you feel as if you are going to die.DoBoy

Could it be true? Is CrossFit really that brutal??

functional fitness exercise farmer walks

OK, I am going to tell you the truth.

Sometimes, yes. But only sometimes. The CrossFit Program is designed to be used by anyone at any fitness level. There are even teens and kids classes.

The Philosophy of CrossFit

CrossFit’s Specialty is not specializing in anything. It is designed to include a wide variety of workouts, improve general fitness, and have a broad application in all walks of life.

Think of firefighters, police officers, military who need to be in tip top shape over all.

Even teachers, postmen and parents benefit from general fitness. I mean, if you can think of a better way than CrossFit for preparing you to chase after a run-away 4 year old, teach a 6 year old to do cartwheels in the lawn, and keep up with an 11 year old’s parkour class-let me know.

Check out our complete CrossFit guides:

What CrossFitters wish they knew BEFORE they began CrossFit:

Crossfit Beginner | 5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting Crossfit

This video from Constantly Varied Fitness offers a ton of great tips. He talks about eating healthy carbs as fuel, tracking progress, not using too much weight, dropping your pride at the door and more. A highly recommended video.

Common CrossFit Questions for Beginners

Sean and Scoot sit down and talk about questions beginners to CrossFit commonly have. They cover what makes CrossFit different from other sports.

They also discuss what the fitness level of a beginner should be and what are the goals for a CrossFit beginner. Some really good stuff here.

CrossFit – “I Feel Like I just Started My Life”

Christine shares her heartfelt story about how she went from an out of shape woman of 270 lbs to a dedicated Crossfitter.

If you have any concerns that you need to already be in shape to start CrossFit, watch this video!

What Equipment do I need?

crossfit gym

CrossFit Shoes

Shoes should be the 1st accessory you buy on your CrossFit journey, and believe me it has nothing to do with fashion, fitting in or looking cool.

CrossFit shoes are a functional tool, and a necessity.

Running shoes will not work. They are designed for running which means they have flexible softer soles, cushion to absorb shock, and have light fabric on the top, which is not durable enough for CrossFit.

Running shoes also have a higher heel to toe raise, which propels you forward. Great for running, bad while lifting.

What to look for in a good CrossFit shoe:

  • Solid durable shoe- this is what you want while lifting, a solid sole is stable, distributes weight evenly and won’t move on you while you are under the bar.
  • Not too much cushion, you will be doing agility movements and the cushioning makes your heel, ankle unstable.
  • The shoe should have durable sole, material, with traction on the sides and upper.
  • The sole should have some flex in the toe while still being solid and thin otherwise.

Check out our CrossFit shoes guides:

Comfertable workout pants and top

For an example of what not to wear for CrossFit and why, refer to the DoBoy Video I quoted at the top of the page.

In the video you can see they are uncomfortable while exercising, the pants are not staying in place, they are doing a lot of adjusting, and they talk about how uncomfortable they are.

Compression Gear

If you are overweight, invest in compression wear, you will thank me later.

It is uncomfortable and inconvenient to have extra skin moving around, and can detract from your focus. You will feel so much more secure with the right clothes.

Compression gear will keep everything in place, if you know what I am saying. This goes for busty ladies as well. It’s just awkward and even uncomfortable to do a box jump without good support up top.

Compression gear can be worn under gym shorts and t-shirts or tanks too, if you don’t like the silhouette that compression wear makes.

couple is working out with medicine ball in gym

Gloves and/or wrist wraps

OK, this one is somewhat controversial, but I will just tell you what I know from my perspective.

I am female, average build, and lifting weights make my wrists hurt and any bar work gives me calluses. I don’t like calluses, they are ugly. So I wear gloves.

I know there are guys out there who say gloves are for wimps- OK, they use worse names than that, but you get the idea.


I think gloves and wrist wraps are so useful, I have included them on the list. So there!

See our guide for CrossFit gloves and WOD grips here.

CrossFit Terminology

WOD – Workout of the day, CrossFit assigns one workout every day and it is posted at and should also be written on the board at your box.

NOTE: for a list of WOD acronyms that relate to specific exercises, head to the FAQ section on the CrossFit site.

AMRAP – As many Reps as possible. At times the WOD will assign a set of exercises to rotate through, performing each exercise the prescribed amount of times, for a set amount of times.

The goal for these is to perform as many of these rotations, AMRAP.

MetCon – Metabolic Conditioning Workout

BOX – Your CrossFit gym, affectionately known as your Box, due the utilitarian feel and simplicity. Boxes are more bare bones than fancy gyms and do not have complicated weight machines.

Scaling – this is when a workout is modified to suit a range of fitness levels. One way to scale a push up- as an example is to perform the push up on your knees.

If you are a beginner, take heart, you can scale many of the WOD exercises.

We hope you have gathered a few ideas on How to prepare for CrossFit. Drop us a line in the comments below and let us know how your first WOD goes!