Hundreds of boxes, including us, have written blog posts full of tips for new CrossFitters. Advice on how to pick a box, how to start training, what kit to buy and which to avoid. But what about the seasoned CrossFitters? Where is their advice? Here we have Coach Tim’s top tips for experienced CrossFitters:
Remember why you started – most of us got into CrossFit with the sole goal of getting a bit fitter. Very few of us entered the box with the dream of winning the CrossFit Games – most of us probably didn’t even realise you could compete in ‘working out’. So, whilst having aspirations to compete is great and fully supported, it’s not why you started. Focus on being as fit as you can be and those competitions will just become a part of training.
Don’t over train – it’s really easy to get sucked into over training with CrossFit, especially when you start adding more skills to your arsenal. Accessory work, skill practice, aerobic base work, ‘shit I havn’t done rope climbs in ages I’ll chuck some of them in too’, ‘maybe I’ll run 12 miles to and from class to get some extra work in’ – this all adds up to training hours and therefore strain on your body. ‘But Froning trains 9 times a day 400 days a year?’ He’s also a genetic freak, a highly experienced athlete and a fucking professional! By all means as you get more and more accustomed to the demands of CrossFit increase your class attendances, work some skills before or after class or follow a structured accessory program – but mindlessly throwing volume into your fitness routine will only lead to burn out, simple.
Plateaus – They suck but they happen. When most people start CrossFit they very quickly notice the numbers go up. They go from finding the barbell heavy to chucking some wheels on both ends in no time. ‘Fuck me, at this rate I’ll be clean and jerking treble body weight by Christmas’. Then Boom, you adapt. Your body changes in response to the stimulus you’ve been giving it, CrossFit, and suddenly the results slow down. But that’s just it, its slowed down, its not disappeared. Keep working hard, trust the process and the PB’s will still rain down on you.
The Basics – “Stick to the basics and when you feel you’ve mastered them it’s time to start all over again, begin anew – again with the basics – this time paying closer attention.” – Greg Glassman.
As we learn more and more skills in CrossFit we often forget to practice the basics. As you pick up those skills remember that it was the basics that got you there. Strict pull ups got you that muscle up, a solid air squat and deadlift lead to that clean and jerk PB and those rowing intervals earned you that 2k row PB. It’s cool to see where you’re going but don’t forget how you got there.
Be nice to new people – us CrossFitters can look like an intimidating bunch. Remember when you first walked into the box and everyone else knew each other, there were several muscly dudes cutting about topless and everyone was chatting about movements you’d never heard of? Remember to show everyone we’re super nice, we’re welcoming and we have an awesome and open community. Say hello to the person you don’t recognise, share your wisdom, help them understand the WOD, show them where the chalk is. They, your community and your coaches will love you for it!
And lastly – Enjoy it! CrossFit is fun, fact. I’ve been doing it for over 10 years and I still have fun every session. Enjoy your progress, enjoy learning, enjoy the company, enjoy the atmosphere and enjoy the results. As it becomes routine some of the magic might wear off but remember there are few opportunities as an adult where you can forget everything else for an hour and act like a kid, so embrace it.