What is CrossFit really?CrossFit is a fitness program incorporating weightlifting, gymnastics and metabolic conditioning (cardio) exercises in a class setting led by a certified trainer or coach. The programming (what happens each day in our classes) is created by a certified CrossFit trainer who balances the weekly activities to promote strength, versatility, diversity and wellness. You don’t have to come everyday to receive the benefits, but you can come as many days as you want. The idea of CrossFit is about “functional fitness,” or doing movements that prepare us for better everyday living. The movements are geared towards making us stronger so when we do real life, we can lift, push, pull and flex easier and correctly to avoid injury or strain. Members often see a quick response in this area—you might find it easier to carry groceries or lift a child from the floor, etc.
TerminologyCrossFit has its own language including plenty of acronyms. You will soon hear and understand them all. Don’t worry about it—part of the fun is getting to know the IMCF terminology and all the different exercises.
ClassesAll new members (new to CrossFit) will take an “on ramp” class, which reviews movements used in CrossFit classes before coming to the regularly scheduled classes held each day. Classes are one hour in length. During that time, you will be guided through a warm-up, skill or strength session followed by the WOD (workout of the day), a typically short, sometimes timed, workout. Each section of the class will have specified movements that tailor to the workout and skills involved. The coach will review specific movements prior to beginning each section and will watch to ensure you are doing them with the proper form, providing more cues, training and scaling as needed. Proper form is the key to injury prevention in any type of fitness and CrossFit is no exception. Although a class setting, each individual performs the workout on their own, unless it’s a team workout or two or more people are sharing a barbell or piece of equipment. Each person goes at their own pace, doing the various exercises in whatever format has been deemed best for them at their level of fitness or need (we often scale due to existing injury, age or experience). This allows for an individual workout within a group setting and you will often hear encouragement from the coach and fellow members. Crossfitters are known for cheering on others once they have completed the workout and others are still finishing—it’s the spirit of nobody left behind embodied. We always suggest leaving your ego at the door. Don’t compare yourself to others and approach the workouts with an enthusiasm to do the best you can—you’re only competing with yourself. Keep track of the benchmark WODs and 1RM (one rep max) lifts and soon, you’ll be seeing your progress. Be prepared to be blown away!