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Crossfit Beginner’s Guide

February 27, 2019

I started Crossfit about 6 months ago.  Here’s what “Me Now” would tell “Me Then” – but since I can’t, here’s my suggestions to help you.  This is the short-cut list:

rxdthewarmupblackmens_photoFrequency:  Slow is fast when starting.  Start out 3x a week, build a base, and advance to 5+ workouts a week.  It’s easy to get intense and overdo it in the beginning.  I had to dial back.  Even if you’ve been a gym rat for years.  Good at bench press?  Cool, bro.  Can you run like a bear, row 1000m, pull a sled, and do 30 double unders for 5 rounds, for time, next to someone you thought for sure you were faster than who’s kicking your ass?  Say after me:  Crossfit is different.  Build the unused ancillary muscles, and pretty soon that warm up that killed you will be actually feel like a warmup – and you’ll be (safely) rocking 5+ workouts a week and wanting more.

Social:  Make friends, talk shit, have fun.  One of the *top* reasons crossfit is so successful is the sense of community.  And this is coming from someone who mostly works alone, has always worked out alone, and generally did solo sports in school.  The community / relationships increase how often you go, it improves your intensity while you’re there, increases the fun – and all of this increases results.  Which makes you want to do it more.  If you choose to isolate yourself in this environment you’re a fucking idiot.

Coaches:  In my business experience, lots of  “coaches” get paid well to talk good game but don’t know much.  I was cautiously skeptical of crossfit coaching advice.  It took me a bit (read: loooong bit) to fully appreciate how much crossfit coaches know.  That interesting question you just thought of?  They’ve thought about it from 6 angles, experimented with it maybe a year or two, and can give you all their experience – for free, in minutes.  For the love of God, take it.  Life is too short to do things the hard way.  Ask questions.  If something doesn’t feel right, ask.  Form? Attack strategy? Diet? Gear?  Ask ask ask.  And then ask.

Equipment:  Seems eventually everyone generally ends up with core “crossfit” equipment.  For a reason: generally, the sooner you get it, the more you’ll enjoy life (roughly in order of importance).

Shin guards:  The first time you avoid hitting your shins on a box and don’t end up leaving chunks of your skin all over that box, buy me dinner.  I was recommended and love Rock Guards.  They also help with deadlifts (keep the bar close to body and avoid dragging the bar up your shins).

Notebook:  The first thing I bought was what I felt was an overpriced exercise tracking notebook sold at the gym.  And it was worth it.  It gives you a record of each days’ workouts, weights, times, maxes, notes to yourself for next time.  If you’re going to invest the time and money and energy in crossfit, for heaven’s sake get a notebook.

Shoes:  Seems like everyone ends up with one of 3 shoes:  No Bull, Nike Metcons, or Rebook Nanos.  Coach told me to buy all three, put them on at home, try air squats, and see which one naturally feel right, return the others.  On point advice.  The ones most people like (Nanos) didn’t fit right, but Metcons I instantly loved.  You really feel a difference in squats and deadlifts and general stability with crossfit-specific shoes.

Jump Rope:  I finally decided I wanted to stop sucking at double unders and whipping myself.  This is hard to do without a good jump rope.  After spending over $100 trying different jope ropes (lengths and weights), my favorite ended up being this inexpensive $20 adjustable version from amazon.

Foam roller:  The thing you love to hate.  If it didn’t work so damn well you’d never use it because it hurts so damn bad.  It helps with recover and flexibility and muscle health, which reduces injury and increases performance.  I got two sizes (one for travel and one for home).

Optional/MiscThe 5″ rolling ball, Hookgrip tape.

That’s it.  Short and simple.  The things I now know, I wish I’d known sooner.


From → Body Hacking

One Comment
  1. Teri Curtis permalink

    Thank you. I always love your emails. Very helpful.
    Funny I start when we get back from vacation. And now I have some pointers. Thank you

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