CrossFit: what you can expect at your first class

Alison Paton / Sep 8, 2015

If you still don’t know what Crossfit is then firstly ‘Where have you been hiding?' But don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place. We're going to give you the run-down of what Crossfit is, why it’s so special, how to find a good box (studio) and what you might expect to come across in a WoD (workout of the day).

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Don’t be scared by the Crossfit language, heavy weights and super strong women, it’s actually one of the most community led sports out there and you will immediately be accepted into the pack.

So, what is Crossfit?

Crossfit is advertised as the sport of fitness and it’s just that.  A strength and conditioning programme of constantly varied, functional movements, worked at to a high intensity.  Crossfit seeks to give you a broad fitness making you ready for any physical challenge that may be thrown your way.  

How to find a good box?

The Crossfit phenomenon has swooped over to the UK from the States with boxes popping up left right and centre so picking the right one is nearly as important as picking the right home (seeing as though it’ll probably become your second home).  So what should you look out for?

1. Most boxes offer a free trial class so go to as many as possible.  

2. Look at class scheduling and then depending on how important extras are, whether they offer Olympic lifting classes, gymnastics, team training and possibly even yoga.  

3. What qualifications do the coaching staff have?  You need someone that is at least Crossfit Level 1 Certified, but in my opinion you’ll want someone with additional qualifications or a particularly strong sporting background.

4. Community – are the coaches & athletes friendly?  Is there a good buzz about the place?  Are people keen to help you learn? These are all important soft factors that will help keep you motivated.

How is the class structured?

1. Warm up - row, run or skip to get your heart rate up followed by some bodyweight movements and dynamic stretches.  

2. The skill – this could be some Olympic lifting, tempo/pause squats, a 1-rep max or even a mini WoD to work on some gymnastics technique.  

3. The WoD!  

What does a WoD look like?  

No two WoDs are the same in Crossfit and they can involve anything from Olympic lifting to powerlifting, kettlebell work, bodyweight exercises and gymnastics - meaning you will never get bored.

For example:  

21-15-9 reps of Box Jumps, KB swings and cleans

Or

Five rounds of a 400m run and 15 x Overhead squats

What to wear?

To start with your normal workout gear is perfectly fine, however as your Crossfit career progresses you may end up investing in some extras such as lifting shoes, wrist wraps and a team tank top.  

If you want to go all out and be a badass Crossfitter wear neon, neon and more neon, also don’t forget the knee socks, booty shorts and Nano’s!

Is Crossfit right for me?  

Without a doubt.  It will give you an all-round physical fitness; equipping you with a multitude of skills including cardiovascular endurance, speed, power, strength, flexibility and stamina to name a few.  More importantly, it’s totally scalable - whether you’re a professional footballer or play 5-a-side once a week; an accomplished Olympic lifter or have never lifted more than a finger – everyone will be able to do some form of each movement.

So what are you waiting for?  Get yourself down to your local CrossFit for a trial session… Have fun and train hard!