CrossFit Tips for Beginners

11 weeks ago I walked into the ‘box’ and thought to myself, ‘I will never, ever be able to do this!’ Walking out an hour later I thought, ‘I can not WAIT to go back!’ CrossFit is highly addictive, at least for me, and I threw myself into it and have not regretted it for a moment. Just over 2 months in I see the difference in my body, the improvement in my energy and the enhancement to my mood. My kids have noticed a difference as well and when I hear people say, WOW!, Did you lose weight? I am even more motivated.

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I will say though, I was intimidated for a while before I tried CrossFit. In fact, I came up with every excuse in the world not to try it. Everything I read on the internet was so negative. That it was full of major injuries, that only the alpha most people could benefit from it, that you had to eat Paleo for it to show any results. Any negative thought I had about CrossFit was solidified by article after article about the cult like atmosphere and the muscle heads that would look down on a fluffy mom like me trying to lift a weight.

I have to say. All of those articles could not be more WRONG! I have never experienced the encouragement and support I receive in the box, even from people who don’t even know my name. And I have never felt a single moment of feeling like I did not belong because I am not a hardbody! With the negativity out there, I thought I would share some tips for beginners in CrossFit that might help you succeed in this sport, from a beginner herself.

CrossFit Tips for Beginners

Be Honest About Your Body: Sure, you can get injured doing CrossFit. You can also get injured in any other sport out there. Years ago, when I was an avid runner, I tripped and cracked my kneecap. In tennis, I have suffered tennis elbow. It happens. Now I deal with sciatic nerve pain on a daily basis that can lead to injury in any sport. When I started, the first thing my coaches asked me is if I had any injury, surgery or issue that they needed to know about. Not to stop me from doing CrossFit but to help me modify the workouts so that I could still get maximum reward without an injury at all. I almost brushed off the sciatic nerve pain and sharing that with them but by doing so, they were able to help me succeed in any workout without tweaking it. I have dealt with it a few times, and it hurts like crazy, but my coaches are aware of it and help me work through it. Even if I spend 30 minutes on the floor stretching to relieve the pressure. So be honest. Mention those little things that don’t seem like much so that your coaches can help you be the best you can be!

Be consistent: We have all heard the stat that when you do something 21 times it becomes a habit. So when you join a ‘box’, as they are called, make sure you can consistently get there at least through the first month. I did and then on my 5th week had to be out almost a total week due to travel. But when I got home, my first stop was back at the box. I had trained my brain and body to want to work out. It has become a habit that I love having!

Drink Lots of Water: I am not a water drinking girl. I drink tea all day after my coffee. But with CrossFit I actually need clean water. I take a 30 ounce Yeti cup full of ice water to the gym. While I am there, I try to drink most of it. I finish it on the way home and then I make sure I drink another one within the hour of being home. I have found that this has been a huge help in keeping my muscles and my body from being sore from my work out. After that, I go back to my tea. Make it a point to drink your water. It really does help with the soreness!

Stretch After your Workout: The first few weeks I would come home, shower and then sit at my desk to work. I would stand up an hour later and the lactic acid around my muscles would have set in. I would be so sore! Even just the ride home from the box would cause my muscles to be sore. So, I decided that, at least in the beginning, while my body was adjusting, I would stretch when I got home for just a few minutes. I would also stretch at my desk and even take a moment to do so whenever I got up. It really made a huge difference in the soreness between the first few weeks and after! Now I drink my water and stretch and as long as I am consistent, I feel little soreness at all.

CrossFit Tips for Beginners

Food, Glorious Food: I do not do the Paleo diet. I do not ‘diet’ at all. The only change I have made in my food choices is to eat more often. Especially about an hour before my workout and an hour after. I also eat breakfast which has always been a struggle for me. I joke to people that I can eat what I want because ‘I work out.’ and the truth is, I can. But in the interest of this being a lifestyle changing event for me I have tried to make better choices! Two months in I am down a dress size so I must be doing something right!

Stay off the Scale: If you are doing CrossFit on a regular basis, expect not to lose pounds. Expect to lose inches! As you build muscle, your body will change but the scale may not. So stay off the scale to keep your mental conversation positive!

Get Your Sleep: If you are in any sport sleep is generally not an issue. I have never slept better than I have the last 2 months. But in the beginning I had to change my habits. I now get up earlier in the morning and go to bed earlier at night. Your muscles grow at night so sleep is essential for your energy level and your body’s maintenance.  So turn everything off and let yourself sleep. It will change your whole day!

There you have it. Some honest tips from a fluffy girl taking the plunge into CrossFit who is thrilled that the internet was wrong about the sport! You CAN do it! I promise!