They had rushed you to one of the hospitals in Provo after you collided with another player in a basketball game. The pain wasn’t immediate, but you were slowly feeling the numbing sensation as the game wore on. When you couldn’t move your leg, anxiety set in and thoughts of knee surgery came rushing into your head. Fortunately, it was nothing of the sort. They gave you some shots to ease the pain and recommended rest.
You’ve always been athletic and healthy, and you’re continually looking for new ways to be physically fit. You’re thinking of easing up a bit on basketball and focus on a new sports activity. You’ve heard people talking about CrossFit training. It got you to do some research to find out if it’s something for you. How does one enter into a CrossFit training regimen? What are the things that you should know first as a beginner?
An Overview of CrossFit
The count in 2016 was that there were about 13,000 gyms across the globe dedicated to doing CrossFit training. CrossFit is not only a training system. It’s a registered brand (as CrossFit, Inc.), a physical fitness philosophy, and a competitive sport. Greg Glassman founded CrossFit in 2000. At its core, CrossFit is a combination of strength and conditioning training routines. The fitness program combines aerobic, calisthenics, and weightlifting exercises.
You’ve probably done plenty of exercises in the gym. You do the usual sets for two muscle groups on one day and then another set of muscle groups on another day, plus cardio work out, like hitting the treadmill or riding the stationary bike. Get ready for something different and perhaps a little more intense than what you are used to. Here’s what to expect as a beginner in CrossFit training:
- Are you mirroring Bruce Lee’s philosophy? You will discover materials that say CrossFit does not specialize in anything because the workouts are very challenging and diverse. Bruce Lee’s own martial arts philosophy is not to confine the art within a particular system or technique. It’s about absorbing what is useful for a specific style (e.g., karate or Kung Fu), rejecting what is not helpful, and adding something of your own. Similarly, CrossFit takes something from different exercise routines.
- Get ready to lift weights. Are you familiar with clean & jerk or the snatch? These are the two main weightlifting events in the Olympics. You’re going to be doing some of these exercises, plus other weightlifting exercises at an intense level, while being incorporated with aerobic exercises to complete an entire routine.
- Ease in slowly. So you know that you’re going to lift weights and you’ve done some in the past. Take it slow, and do not carry massive weights when you’re starting. Start with something manageable and then work your way up to heavier loads. The same goes for the other exercises. Take it easy on the repetitions. The key is to be patient.
- Don’t forget nutrition and rest. It’s a combination of intense exercises, so you are going to be burning plenty of calories in the process. Doing CrossFit requires that you load up properly on your sources of energy: food! Proper protein intake helps in quicker muscle recovery. Sleep and rest are, of course, crucial in CrossFit training.
You might need a coach in the beginning, and communication with your coach and fellow CrossFit athlete will help you in your progress. Last but not least, have fun. It’s part of having a healthy lifestyle.