slightly O/T but...terrified to try crossfit


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Having found the benefit of the whole30/paleo lifestyle, I feel like I should try crossfit too. My local box does a free one-to-one trial session. I keep going to book it but wimping out! Is it really as good as people say? I feel quite intimidated to try it.

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It sounds pretty low-risk to me, actually: free, one-on-one, check it out, what have you got to lose?

 

That said: be aware that not all crossfit are the same. Some may be great, some may be terrible...some may be great for a select group but not great for you. I would go in with a spirit of curiosity and see how it feels, just don't do anything that strikes you as too much, or dangerous or uncomfortable. If they can't accept you working at your own comfort level to start, I would consider that a bullet dodged and leave  :)

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  • Whole30 Certified Coach

Just go and and try it.  You will probably feel awkward and stupid and out of place.  Unless you are already (1) a gymnast (2) an olympic weight lifter (3) a powerlifter or (4) into Strongman you've probably never actually done 98% of what crossfit will ask you to do.  BUT except for the small % of people who are 1,2,3 or 4 that is how WE ALL STARTED :)  I felt uncomfortable there for my first 2-3 months - its frustrating not being able to do the workouts as written and being awkward at the movements.  Olympic lifting is hard.  Even wall balls are hard for a while.  It seems like everything but the running I just couldn't do.  But now here is my list of things I can do pretty darn well that are all ENTIRELY new skills:

 

1.  Squat clean my body weight (probably started at 55 lbs or so)

2.  Deadlift almost 2 x body weight (I still remember the day I DL 100 - I was super excited)

3.  Lift 110 lbs overhead (I could probably do more but I am kinda scared of heavy over head stuff)

4.  5 strict pullups in a row (took me almost a year to get 1)

5.  Hand stand push ups (NEVER thought I'd get these)

6.  50+ unbroken double unders (these took a year to get too)

7.  Weighted pistols (one legged squats) (love that I can do these - balance, strength, they are cool)

8.  Snatch - not super heavy but the movement itself is fairly natural to me now - and snatches are hard

 

As an adult (I started when I was 35) there has been no other "thing" that has allowed me to see such tremendous amounts of growth.  I'm not at all a social crossfit person.  I don't compete, the people at my gym are just people I talk to there, it isn't my life at all.  But I would still say 100% that I've "drank the Kool Aid".  Besides paleo eating there is nothing else that I would recommend to someone with the enthusiasm I would crossfit.  So just go and try it :)

 

PS - now I'm a nurse and the way that I've learned to use my body to move heavy and awkwardly shaped things has proven very valuable at the hospital.  On my old unit with lots of very obese people a lot of people came to me before some of the men to help them move patients :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I enjoyed your post littleg, I have just finished an introductory course at my local CrossFit and am now apparently ready to join the regular classes. Can't wait! I have enjoyed the fact that each session is so varied, and the supportive atmosphere. I was really nervous at my first class as I am overweight and unfit, but I was never made to feel like I shouldn't be there. I am looking forward to see how my body responds to regular classes.

 

Foursimplewords - I say give it a go!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Most CrossFit gyms are pretty genius at getting people "on ramped", i.e. introducing them to the concepts and movements in a progressive and attainable way.  Your success becomes their success and so coaches know how to balance performance goals with individual tolerances ... workouts are scaled, encouragement is common, help is tailored.

CrossFit is able to charge so much for membership compared to a 'regular' gym because it's like having a personal trainer.  The workouts may be more intense, but it's not like walking in to a regular gym and staring at the array of Nautilus machines with a rolled up Shape magazine in your hand, wondering where to begin --- the trainers and members will be with you every step of the way.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I was nervous to try Crossfit too...I'm 52 years old and I have a bad back, and though I swam competitively in high school and had done aerobic weightlifting I had never done anything heavy. i started Foundations in July 2012, and I have gone consistently now for over 2 years, typically 4-5 classes a week. I'll never be the elite athlete that some of my friends are, but I have doubled or even tripled most of my starting weights, and have gone from barely running 200 meters to running 5Ks, 10Ks, and most of a half-marathon in October. I love it; the individualized training and the community of the box are a perfect fit for me. I've never ever stuck to any exercise program for so long. 

 

That being said, there are really important things to have when you go:

 

First, be sure there is an on-ramp or Foundations program where you learn the techniques. Moves like snatches are incredibly complicated and not something you want to try without lots of instructions.

 

Second, if you are not already fit, BE SURE THE COACH HAS THE KNOWLEDGE AND THE WILLINGNESS TO SCALE. People get hurt at Crossfit when they take risks they shouldn't or when their coach isn't knowledgeable enough to guide them when to push themselves and when to back off. I would not go somewhere that is not a Crossfit affiliate. It's more expensive, but it's worth every single penny, in my opinion. One of the central tenets of Crossfit is that it is infinitely adaptable - that's how Rich Froning and an 80-year-old grandmother can do the same workout.

 

Third, be sure it's an environment where you feel supported, no matter your size, fitness level, weights you lift, speed, etc. My box-mates are amazing - most of them can overhead squat 95 pounds with ease, but celebrated with me when I hit a 70 pound thruster the other day. It doesn't matter to us what the victory is - we just cheer each other on. That is SO important - next to a good coach, your community is THE central thing that will keep you coming back.

 

Fourth, check your ego at the door. If you get hung up on looking good or being the best or the fastest, you'll get discouraged. Just focus on getting a good workout. Like I said, I probably lift less than anyone else at my gym. I am a little faster than some, LOL. But I don't care. All I care about is getting my WOD in. 

 

Finally, if you walk in and you hate it, that's okay. It isn't for everybody. Find fitness that works for you and you'll stick with it. 

 

Oh, and don't worry about being fit before you go. Like I said, when I first started, I could barely lift anything. It was a thrill for me when I hit my bodyweight deadlift and a 100# backsquat. 

 

Good luck - let us know what happens!

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I went to a Crossfit intro session (one on one personal training).  It was awkward & I hated it... but guess what?  I survived ;).   It's not a big deal even if the trainer is a terrible fit for you, as this one was for me.  No amount of yelling at me to try harder is going to magically make my weak shoulders more able to do more pushups.  I put enough pressure on myself - I just need a trainer who instructs me on the correct movements.

 

I just wanted to add this experience because the fear of a bad fit with a trainer shouldn't be what keeps you out of the gym.

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For me, CrossFit has been a life changer.  I was never one to go to the gym or work out, though I've been somewhat active most of my life with horseback riding and hiking/walking.  I was nervous about going, as I've had body image issues most of my life.  However, I started at a small box back in '09 and it has become like a family to me.  It's a great atmosphere of supportive people from all backgrounds and at all fitness levels.

 

What missmary and littleg said pretty much sum it up.  It's a good experience, if you can find the right fit.  And it may bring out sides of you that you never knew were there.

 

Plus, once you start getting the hang of it, it's like going to the playground to play with your friends.   :D

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  • Whole30 Certified Coach

 

 

Plus, once you start getting the hang of it, it's like going to the playground to play with your friends.   :D

 

So true!  Especially on days when people are practicing handstand walks and bar muscle ups.  That IS what we did on the playground in grade school :)

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I never thought I'd like or be able to do Crossfit, but after three months I finally feel like I'm making progress. I'm 42, 60lbs overweight, have a bad back and can't do a proper pushup. But, with on-ramp classes and an amazing box and coach, it's the first time I've ever been able to get motivated to exercise. If I can do it, anyone can. 

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Ah Crossfit. Lots of love in this forum for it. I put in about 2 months but I didn't stick with it for a few reasons: 

1) At the end of the day, I am a solo practitioner when it comes to exercise and Crossfit was just too communal for me. 

2) I already had major reconstructive surgery due to pelvic organ prolapse thanks to my craptastic genetics, a couple of big babies and years of heavy lifting and they didn't seem to care that for me, progressively more weight and more weight and more weight isn't better, but flat out stupid unless I want to end up on the surgery table again.  But then again, what do guys in the 20s understand about prolapse.

3) I will never be in favor of lifting heavy weight for speed.  The trainers' eyes cannot be on everyone at once, form will falter, injuries will happen.   

4) Crazy stupid expensive

 

HOWEVER, I did learn some really cool ways to amp up workouts and still incorporate them into my workouts today. 

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I am 52 and joined a CrossFit box back in early November.  I love the workout and I love the people.  I am very clear with each coaches that I have not worked out in 20-years and although I may look fit (thank you Whole30 x4), I am far from it.  They've provided the right amount of guidance and direction so that I don't get hurt, they work with me to scale exercises where necessary and they do NOT push me to do crazy amounts of weight.

 

I find this type workout to be incredibly motivating. It is working for me where other things have failed.

 

Yes, it is quite expensive . . . $165/month for unlimited.

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thanks everyone :) would I be able to start this after having 4 months off the gym after illness and injury (when I get the green light, obviously!!) or should I go back to the gym for a while first?

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Foursimplewords

Don't go back to the gym first! The only thing that can prepare you for crossfit is crossfit itself. It sounds like the box you're planning on trying is on the right track. If they're a decent box, they will use that first session to get to know you, assess where you're at currently and figure out where to go from there. Don't waste any more time! It will be the best decision you ever make (:

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I'm just here to reiterate what a lot of folks are saying - pick your box carefully!!

I have a few friends who think I'm nuts for doing Crossfit and insist that I am going to hurt myself because Crossfit has a bad reputation.  Well, guess what, you can get hurt in just about any exercise you choose to do.  If something doesn't feel right, don't do it.  And if you have a coach who insists on you doing something you don't feel safe doing, find a different gym.  

Thankfully I found a Crossfit gym that is run by people who are really serious about seeing me succeed, and making sure I do so properly and on a scale that works for me.  I was terrified when I started but now I walk in and everyone says hi to me.  

I can't do a pull up to save my life.  No one has forced me to do a pull up.  Instead, I do things like ring rows that will help make my muscles stronger so that one day I WILL do a pull up. Each and every coach I have knows where I'm at and no one has made me do anything outside of my ability. They definitely push me to try harder and do better, but NOT in a way that will hurt me. 

 

I'm pretty passionate about this topic because I've finally found an exercise that I love doing and I've had to defend myself a lot lately for it.  I'm starting my next Whole30 on 1/11/15.  I can't wait to hear what these friends have to say then!  Sigh.

 

Best of luck to you!

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I'm going to jump on the "Yay Crossfit" bandwagon. I'm in my 8th month of CrossFit. Sometimes I feel like a newbie and sometimes I feel like a rockstar. For me it is the most spectacular workout because I am competing against myself. I am a very competitive person and doing a workout (WOD) for time next to other people of my same capabilities pushes me harder than I would on my own. You track your own progress and you push yourself. I've only been to the one I go to but I've heard a lot of stories from other boxes so I can confirm what I already knew, I have AWESOME coaches. The people make it for me. Each coach is different but they work well together. Some push for strict form, some push you to try a little more weight, some push you to go faster ... so depending on the variation of days you're just going to naturally get better. There are a lot of strong muscly grunty people that do CrossFit and can make it intimidating. You just need to stick up for yourself, make yourself heard: if your wrist hurts, don't do push-ups, talk to the coach, make sure they know you've got something going on. In NO situation should a coach ever push you to do something you physically can't do b/c of surgery or an injury. Any good coach will know that. You do not need to prep for CrossFit, everything is scalable. EVERYTHING! And its so much fun! I love the community, the variety, and the amazing things I never thought I'd be able to do.

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I'm 68 and started my Whole 30 on Jan 3 and had an into class at Crossfit ont day 3.  I'm in process to see if it is "right" for me. I have a knee issue and have a doctor who says do what I can.  The Crossfit coach has worked with me on that.  My back is sore from swinging a kettle bell and the coach showed me how to "message" out the tightness in my muscles.  I do feel a bit intimidated and am learning some body mechanics that I've never learned before.  Are there any other 60 somethings out there doing Crossfit and Whole 30?  I'd love to hear from you.

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My back is sore from swinging a kettle bell

 

Oh honey, this is not good not good not good. Get someone to show you swing technique asap. Doing a kettle bell swing properly should make your GLUTES sore.  (and maybe hamstrings and possibly abs, but never back and not elbows or shoulders or arms either)

 

Force should be coming from your posterior chain below the belt, stabilization from your abs. If you are using your back you can really get injured.

 

Bravo for trying something new, just take care with form and technique. Its particularly important with kettle bells and olympic lifts.

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Okay!

I am half in and half out on crossfit. I love to do crossfit inspired workouts but to get my body to where it is at I think that I need to get into a box and get the real deal workouts. I loveeee to run and would like to run a marathon eventually but would also like to increase my strength. Right now I feel a little bored with my workouts by myself and know that I need to either attend more group classes (spin, kick boxing etc) or start crossfit. I am relatively fit, young, healthy, and strong (I played college basketball at a very high level)

 

So honestly: Is it worth it?? or....should I save my money and keep doing the inspired ones??

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