CrossFit has quite the reputation for being extreme, causing injuries and making women “buff”. However, it is also described as friends, fitness and fun, like when you were a kid, “running around, jumping, playing.”
So, what is the reality? As a proven awkward klutz, I am a walking testimony that CrossFit isn’t just for the “athletic types”. For those of us out there who have never run a marathon or touched a barbell, CrossFit has something for each one of us.
The First Step
Typically, the first step to joining a CrossFit gym is Boot Camp. This series of classes (often spread out over 1-2 weeks) is geared towards introducing you to CrossFit movements and getting you motivated. At the end of the first class, you will pretty much know whether you have the guts to keep going or throw in the towel.
What To Look For|
When choosing a CrossFit gym, look for trainers who are willing to work with you on your level, but who will also challenge you to exceed your perceived potential. CrossFit is tough enough without having to work out with a bunch of competitive people. When you’re feeling like you can’t go another step, you will be grateful for people cheering you on!
When deciding how often to work out, start out at a pace that works for your physical level and schedule, and set a goal to increase your pace.
The most foundational CrossFit movements are squats, pull-ups, pushups, ball throws and kettle ball swings. Most of the more complicated movements are just an extension of these. Some classes will also incorporate cardio, like running, machine rowing and stationary biking. These movements mimic “play” stuff we did as kids: swinging on monkey bars, dodgeball, riding bikes, etc.
The challenge comes with the timed workouts, the number or reps and the addition of weight. Through these challenges, you will find that your strength, endurance and recovery increase at a rapid rate. Within a few weeks, you will see and feel a significant difference.
Good trainers will always be willing to assist you with form and new movements, as well as help you adapt any workout to your individual capabilities. When first starting out, learning and maintaining good form is vital to avoiding injury and progressing at a healthy rate. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or be the last to finish. Take time to make sure you are doing each movement correctly – form is more important than speed!
CrossFit promotes the Paleolithic (Paleo) Diet. Simply put, this diet eliminates the major digestive disruptors and possible allergen foods: grains, legumes, sugar and dairy. What you can eat: vegetables, fruit, meat, nuts, seeds and oils. Some common exceptions are whey protein (typically processed to remove lactose) and raw honey or agave (naturally-occurring sugars).
For many, this lifestyle change can be difficult. However, there is a vast network of recipes and blogs dedicated to making the Paleo diet easy and delicious. Regardless of how you feel about changing your diet, give Paleo a try! You will recover better, build muscle more efficiently, and have a clearer mind and body. You may even discover a world of scrumptious foods that you may have never known existed!
Where to Get CrossFit
CrossFit Spokane Valley
CrossFit Coeur d’Alene