3.) What You Eat Is More Important Than What You Lift
To quote the late Jack Lalanne, “You put junk in, junk comes out. You put good in, good comes out.”Nutrition is the key to every aspect of your life. It affects your energy levels, your recovery, and your overall defense against disease. To quote the late Jack Lalanne, “You put junk in, junk comes out. You put good in, good comes out.” When you’re first starting out, the quality of your food is far more important than the quantity. Call it whatever you want: Paleo, Primal, Hunter-Gatherer, Pretentious D-Bag Diet; just eat clean. If you’re eating as clean as possible, you don’t even need to worry about the quantity. You are a Ferrari. You wouldn’t put regular unleaded fuel in a Ferrari, would you?
4.) Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Clarification, Over and Over and Over Again
It’s your time, money, and most importantly, health. If you don’t fully understand something, ask. If you still don’t get it, ask again. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t fully grasp the concept, or you think others in the class will get frustrated with you for taking up too much time. We were all newbies at one point. We’ve all been there. Learning the mechanics of certain movements like the kip, squat, deadlift, or any of the Olympic lifts takes lots of practice and critique from a trained eye. If you need help, just ask.
5.) CrossFit Isn’t Everything
CrossFit is not my life. I CrossFit so that I can have a life…and be awesome at it.CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program that focuses on building general physical preparedness (GPP). It is quickly evolving into a sport of its own, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be your sport or your lifeblood. I CrossFit so that I can do whatever I want: Go out, play sports, learn new things. Having that GPP allows me to take on new challenges. CrossFit is not my life. I CrossFit so that I can have a life…and be awesome at it.
6.) It Doesn’t Get Easier, It Just Sucks Less
The longer you immerse yourself in the suck, the less it sucks. You get stronger, build a greater aerobic capacity, and become mentally tough. All of these aspects, combined with experience, allow you to know when to push yourself and when to back off, so that you can attack each workout to the best of your ability. Soon, you’ll come to love the beatdowns. Much like Kevin Bacon in Animal House, you’ll be screaming, “Thank you sir! May I have another?” Well, maybe not. But you get the point.
7.) You Won’t PR Every Day
Don’t mistake intensity for hard work. Even if you’re having a bad day and the intensity just isn’t there, you can still get a lot out of your time in the gym through hard work. Intensity and hard work are not the same thing. Don’t skip a planned session just because you don’t think you’re going to kill it and leave everything out on the table. Not feeling too strong that day? That’s fine; scale the weights and/or rounds or time domain back. Something is better than nothing.
Last But Not Least…
And finally, for a lighthearted take on a few more tips, Erika from Patriot CrossFit lists her own top tips she wished she knew before starting CrossFit:
Once you start to care about what you put into your body, you’ll be surprised at how long you walked around feeling like crap all the time and didn’t realize it.1. Lululemon makes your ass look better. Lululemon + CrossFit makes your ass look fabulous. Fact.
2. Strong is good. Not only are “strong people harder to kill, and more useful in general” (thanks, Rip) but they are also often the hottest. Get strong so you can survive in the case of a zombie invasion, and look good doing it.
3. Food really does matter. Once you start to care about what you put into your body, you’ll be surprised at how long you walked around feeling like crap all the time and didn’t realize it.
4. You almost always have someone you chase and someone who chases you. Try not to lose sight of your rabbit – you’ll be better for it, and remember that there is someone else out there trying to keep up with you – make them work for it.
Read the rest of her top 10 tips here.
Please share your own tips for what you wished you knew when you started in the comments below!