Every year, many people make a resolution to lose weight and take better care of their bodies. You get into a routine for usually about the first month of the year until you give up, or you go on a crazy and unrealistic diet that ultimately ends in failure. You don’t see the results that you were looking for, so you just get back into your old routine of unhealthy living which makes you simply feel bad about yourself. So, why not try something a bit different?
CrossFit has become somewhat of a phenomenon in the fitness world, and for good reason. You are able to take your body to new levels and the improvements will keep you motivated to push forward. It is an intensive strength and conditioning program that combines aspects of weight lifting, gymnastics, cardio, core strength and more to prepare the body for just about anything.
While CrossFit might be the solution to your personal fitness woes, you should definitely be prepared for what you are about to go through. Here is a list of the different steps and stages you will encounter along the way, so you’re not surprised throughout your journey.
1. You realize that it’s time to make a change.
So, here you are. You have decided that you want to make a change in your life to either lose weight or increase your physical fitness level. During this stage you will do a lot of research on what exactly CrossFit is and what to expect. There are a lot of online resources for you to look at in order to become acquainted with the program. After even just a small amount of research you will probably be afraid to give it a try, especially if you are normally a sedentary person.
Fear not! Everyone who has ever begun a regimen like this one had to start somewhere, just like you. Find an affiliate gym, get yourself signed up, mentally prepare yourself and simply show up on your first day.
2. You will be intimidated and feel like giving up.
Day one is upon you. You walk through the doors and take a step back, questioning if this was the right choice. True, a CrossFit gym looks nothing like an expensive luxury rehab center where you can partake in a relaxing session of aquatic therapy, but you already knew that from doing your research. Just take a breath and get going!
Even in the very beginning of your first workout you will want to give up. Seriously, it is hard and you will feel just how difficult it is from the start, but you will be fine. Your first few sessions will ease you into the regimen. You’ll have someone showing you the ropes and cheering you on the entire time.
Once you are acclimated you will feel a real sense of accomplishment and feel glad that you stuck with it.
3. You will be sore…EVERYDAY!
Just because you kept pushing on through the workouts does not mean that you will stop feeling it. You will constantly be sore, but in a good way. It is your body’s way of telling you that it is changing and adapting. When you are consistently changing up the exercises that you’re doing as you do in a CrossFit regimen, you keep your body guessing. It will continue to improve.
You can combat your sore muscles by taking supplements such as fish oil and stretching thoroughly, which can help to keep your body working at its best while helping to prevent injury. Ultimately, be smart about your work out and after care!
4. You will pick up the CrossFit vocabulary.
It can be a bit confusing at first, but after a while you will understand the CrossFit vocabulary that is being thrown around at your local club. You will probably already know that you are working out in a “box”, not a “gym”, but what other lingo will you have picked up?
• WOD: Workout of the Day
• AMRAP: As Many Reps (or Rounds) As Possible
• RX or RX’s: Completed workout as prescribed
These are just a few of the most common terms that you will hear and the rest will come naturally after hearing them over time. If you are unsure of what something means, simply ask!
5. You will get calluses.
After a while, your hands will begin to look as though you have been working on a farm for years and years. Calluses from CrossFit are completely normal and will happen to everyone. Your skin will thicken from the friction that it encounters on a daily basis, which serves as a form of protection. Do not pick at them!
You can tape your hands to prevent calluses from blistering and tearing, but if they do open, be sure to care for them. Simple first aid can go a long way and will keep infection from developing. Otherwise, view your calluses as a sign of hard work and dedication – use them as motivation!
6. You will talk about CrossFit and try to convert your friends.
Once your body starts to change from a disciplined CrossFit program, you will share your story with your friends and family. You will be so proud of what you have accomplished.
They will most likely be reluctant to join you because they’ve done a bit of research just like you did. This is your chance to set them straight and tell them about your journey through the program. Remember how you felt before your first workout? You should to give them a few tips or even bring them with you for a trial workout.
7. You will give clean eating a try.
As with any workout routine, you will most likely hit a plateau in terms of your physical appearance. Your strength will continue to develop, but you may need to change up other aspects of your life to see a continued change.
Clean eating is something that you have probably heard about from fellow CrossFit members, and it is something that you will most likely try out at some point. The form of clean eating that many of your acquaintances will follow is referred to as the paleo diet. This meal plan consists of foods such as meats, vegetables and nuts, and is said to be reflective of what hunter-gatherers consumed.
This “diet” not only aids in weight loss, but it also helps your body to perform at its best so that you can continue to improve your CrossFit lifestyle. Also, a few other benefits will be clearer skin, lower blood pressure and an overall better well being.