Contrary to popular belief, CrossFit is totally beginner-friendly.
Read up on the basics
Before starting CrossFit, it’s helpful to study up on the lingo. When you’re new to CrossFit, the terms and abbreviations may seem like an entirely different language — when I first started CrossFit back in 2013, I was confused for weeks (and that’s totally normal, as it takes time to memorize everything).
Here are a few common terms you’ll likely see and hear the first time you set foot in a CrossFit gym:
WOD: Workout of the Day.
AMRAP: As Many Rounds (or Reps) As Possible. Used when the workout is a circuit, and you’re supposed to do as many rounds as you can within the given time cap.
EMOM: Every Minute On the Minute. Used for interval-style training.
Box: Another term for gym. When people say, “I’ll see you at the box,” they mean the CrossFit gym.
GPP: General Physical Preparedness, or the term CrossFitters use for overall fitness.
Metcon: An abbreviation for “metabolic conditioning,” a type of training that improves endurance.
The whiteboard: Where CrossFit gyms write the WOD and athletes’ scores.
You may also find it helpful to read about the methodology behind CrossFit and why CrossFitters do the types of workouts they do. You can find a massive library of information, as well as helpful video tutorials on common CrossFit movements, on the CrossFit website.
These are a few of the foundational CrossFit movements you’ll learn as you go through your new gym’s programming.
- Don’t let the stereotypes keep you from trying
Many people feel intimidated by CrossFit because they’ve only seen CrossFit Games athletes on ESPN throwing 300 pounds overhead and flipping massive tires. They haven’t seen the grandmas and grandpas, moms and moms-to-be, college students and young professionals who also do CrossFit.
“Most of our members are just your everyday people who value their fitness,” Davin Arkangel, head CrossFit coach and owner at CrossFit Camarillo tells CNET. “We have members of all ages, all professions, all backgrounds, and they just have one thing in common: They know they need physical movement to stay healthy.”
The majority of people who do CrossFit do not look or perform like the Games athletes. Those athletes are the elite few, and it took years of training four to six hours a day to get to that level. The rest of the CrossFit world consists of your average fitness enthusiast who works out for an hour and then gets on with the rest of their day.