Things I wish I knew about CrossFit when I started… By Coach Gemma

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Things I wish I knew about CrossFit when I started…

1> Define your goals: Figure out what your personal goals are. Why have you joined CrossFit? Have you just moved to a new City and wanting to make friends? Are you looking to lose weight? Are you a former athlete looking to starting training again? CrossFit can be whatever you want it to be.

2> There’s always room to improve: When you first start your CrossFit journey, everything is new. Whether you’ve come from a sporting background or not – there’ll always be things you need to improve on. As you start to see improvements, most CrossFitters figure out the things they LOVE and the things they do not love so much. They miss days when these WOD’s are on, whether that’s running, rowing or certain Olympic Lifts. Then you quickly learn these are movements of CrossFit and will keep showing up and the only way to get better is to tackle your weakness head on! Seeing improvements in yourself will only make you better to achieve more.

3> Some things take longer to figure out than others: Everyone has to start to somewhere and some will excel in certain movements that others will find really tough. You may remember at your CrossFit Intro at CFD your coach will have said ‘We aren’t training to be Olympic Lifter’s, we are training to be an all-round athlete, for life to get easier, to get fitter, faster and strong. The Snatch is a movement the majority will struggle with, this is after all an Olympic Lift which most Olympic Lifters have trained for 5+ years, concentrating on the same movement day in, day out.

4> I don’t need to be able to RX everything: Everyone competing in the Open will be able to see where they are at in relation to around the world. Rich Froning and Samantha Briggs are completing the same workouts as us, but this is really the only time that would be the case. At CrossFit Dublin, we program for the best and scale for the rest. Learning to more efficiently and learning to move around the bar with confidence will have a longer term benefit than just learning to lift heavy weights.

Your goals and achievements should be the focus on how you tackle each day’s training. If you are monitoring your performance, the coach will be able to support you in where you are at. If you are a LV1, LV2 or Advance – scale accordingly for that workout so you can achieve the intensity the workout was designed for. Set your goals and focus on building your strength, the strength in the daily workout will benefit your far beyond RX’ing a WOD.

How do you know if you are a Level 1 athlete or a Level 4 athlete? CrossFit defines fitness & skill levels that are designed to help you measure your strengths, find your weaknesses, and improve all aspects of fitness. They will test your proficiency in each of the ten generally recognised components of physical skills:

• cardio respiratory endurance
• strength
• stamina
• flexibility
• coordination
• agility
• balance
• accuracy
• power
• speed

The levels of CrossFit will be posted on the CFD website / Facebook, this will help you workout how to plan your goals for the up and coming months and start to achieve progressions.

And remember if you are ever unsure if to scale or not.. If ‘Fran’ takes you 15 minutes RX’d, you should have scaled.

5> It doesn’t need to be the only thing you do, but it can be…

Greg Glassman said “We encourage and expect our athletes to engage in regular sports efforts in addition to all their strength and conditioning work”.

When I found CrossFit, coming from a singular sporting background (Sprinting) – I realised that CrossFit was my sport. But it doesn’t have to be that way for everyone. If you love running, run and CrossFit, continue to play your team sports that you love and use CrossFit to support and strength the other sporting areas of your life.

6> It’s ok to be aggressive: Sure, we all have a little giggle inside when we hear someone roar and scream through a lift and a WOD. For someone people, it isn’t normal to throw weights, drop the bar and be assertive in movements. But most lifts are missed due to confidence, you question if you can lift the bar, you think ‘I best ask someone to spot me’. These are already preparing the mind for failure, sometimes having a little aggression and getting mean with a lift or WOD can build your confidence. Approach the bar with confidence, be confident in your training and what you’ve been learning. Get a coach to watch your lift if you are worried about your technique but be confident when you go to lift that bar.


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