What to Expect at your First CrossFit class

Starting a CrossFit training program may seem intimidating—especially if you are a complete newbie. But don’t let that deter you.

What al Crossfitters have in common is a beginning. Nobody is born knowing exactly how to do a barbell thruster or the meaning of AMRAP. We all have to learn at some point.

Without further ado, here are a few things to expect on your first day in a “box.”

Get the lingo

Here is a short guide to CrossFit lexicon:

  • The box: CrossFit training spaces are not called gyms; they are known as “boxes.” They look like a box made of cement walls that include weights, bars, and ropes. No TV screens, no mirrors, and no distractions.
  • The WOD: short for Workout Of the Day, and they tend to vary from one day to the next.
  • AMRAP: short for as many rounds (or reps) as possible. For example, 20 minutes AMRAP of 15 push-ups, 15 sit-ups, and 15 air squats. When the 20 minutes is up, record your total rounds completed.

1. The Basic Movements

Like any other training program, CrossFit has some basic movements you would need to master first.

There are nine fundamental movements to master to become a fluent CrossFitter.

The moves are:

  • Deadlift,
  • Sumo deadlift,
  • High pull,
  • Shoulder press,
  • Push press,
  • Push jerk,
  • Air squat (or bodyweight squat),
  • Front squat,
  • Overhead squat, and
  • Medicine ball clean.

As you get stronger, you’ll be performing other exercises as well. The list is long and includes moves like:

  • Sprints,
  • Pull-ups,
  • Burpees,
  • Sit-ups,
  • Box jumps,
  • Rowing,
  • gymnastics ring work

2. Get a Coach

Taking up CrossFit solo can be risky as you run a high risk of injury or burnout when you do the exercises wrong or do too much too soon because you felt excited.

For these reasons, I’d urge you to start under the guidance of a coach. All CrossFit beginners should spend time with a coach and get proper instructions to learn proper techniques as well as how to best ease into the workouts.

Your typical WOD may consist of a lot of complicated exercises, and you’ll want to do them with proper form. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself for injury and failure. And you don’t want that.

Don’t waste your time and money doing CrossFit wrong and getting hurt. Instead, ask for advice and exercise instructions. If you still feeling unsure or fuzzy on how to do a specific lift or WOD, ask again. Don’t let your ego stand in the way of your success.

3. Intensity is Key

Well, not from the get-go.

Don’t expect to be thrown into the abyss of CrossFit intensity from day one. Doing so actually defeats the purpose of training? A lot of injuries can be blamed on doing too much too soon. Classic beginner’s mistake. Don’t fall into that trap.

However, as time passes and you get your grasps around the basic moves, expect things to get tough.

“CrossFit is going to be hard” is something probably that goes without saying. The WODS are no picnic. They are there to push you, and hard work is what gets results.