How to get started on CrossFit –

Lots of trepidation about getting started on a program where intensity, sweat, vomit, blood, and callouses are prized above visible abs, mirror muscles, and the scale. Lots. Lots and lots.

I get that. I totally get it.
I totally understand the emails I get asking if a class can be watched prior to participation (yes), or if the program is as scalable as purported (double yes), or if age or weight is a limiting factor (only in scaling).

There are a few things to consider when deciding which fitness regimen to tackle. Hopefully, the following list will help in the decision making process:
1. Define your goals. Think deeper than “get toned” or “get fit”. What does that mean to you? What does being “toned” or “fit” mean? I’m not going to knock any of your goals, but HAVING a goal is important. Maybe it’s physical. Maybe it’s vanity. Define it, so I can address it and coach you to reach it. Without a destination, we’ve only got a journey, and don’t get me wrong, the journey is pretty fantastic, but having an idea of where we’re going makes the trip smoother.

2. Come in. Take part in a class and get the experience down. Some people take part in one class and simply KNOW it’s right for them. Others need to take part and then think about it. I’m fine either way. But come in. Meet me, meet John (maybe meet John first, he’s less scary.), get an idea for what we’re both like on a personal basis. Trainers and their personalities are important, but more important is the trainer’s willingness to listen and take your health into their consideration when making decisions about your training regimen. I hope that John and I do a better than good job at this, but you have to form your own conclusion, so COME IN.

3. Acknowledge the suck, then embrace it. There are days you’re not going to want to come in. You’ll have a bad day at work, you’ll see the WOD and either not come in, or really really REALLY not WANT to come in. I understand. This is hard stuff. And it never gets easier. Just about the time it gets easier, I’m going to add weight to your WOD, or distance, or reps, or SOMETHING, and we’re going to keep pushing you. As long as you’re being pushed, it’s never going to get easy. Accept that.

4. Check your ego. There are going to be LOTS of things that you take to like a duck to water. Other things are going to be sucky elusive difficult, and you’re going to have to WORK for them. Double unders are a perfect example. Some people get the high slow jump fast wrist flick really naturally. Other people? It takes WORK. Same with flexibility and stamina. Don’t shy from a task just because you’re going to have to work on it.

5. Get in the spirit. CrossFitters are strong minded, close knit, welcoming, and cultish. As long as you’re the first three, the last isn’t required. They’re also incredibly tough minded, and not at all afraid to fall on their ass. Go with it. Ask questions, get to know people, and build some incredible relationships.

6. Recognize that everyone starts somewhere. Every athlete starts at his or her square one. The bad ass sweating next to you had his or her own set of issues to work through. That’s just the way it is. Don’t feel sorry for yourself because you think your issues are worse than anyone else’s. They’re not. They’re just your issues.

Keep all this in mind, and getting started on CrossFit is a WOD in the park. Promise.


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