Coach Claire’s “Top Tips” for starting CrossFit

You’ve seen Crossfit all over the internet, you fancy a bit of the action but haven’t taken the leap yet, or you’ve already joined Crossfit Schaffhausen, but you still have some questions you want answering.  Well you’re in luck because it wasn’t long ago that I was a beginner too, and I remember my first months at CrossFit.  I also see lots of new people in the gym every week, and as a Coach, I have the pleasure of answering a lot of questions.  I have included a few here so that I might clarify to any beginner what we are all about.

Will crossfit help me lose weight ? 
This is such a popular question that it has to go first.  Many people join CFS looking for a solution to their weight.  With any new exercise program, weight loss is something you might expect at the start when you increase the amount of energy you expend compared to that you consume.  If you increase the calories you eat however, to compensate for something else like fatigue after your workouts for example, you might not see the results on the scales that you expect.  What I think works the best though is to not concentrate on those pesky scales. Instead, concentrate on how much better you feel as a result of working out more, and how much stronger you are as a result. If you put in the work, you will get more muscle tone and many other health indicators will also start to improve.  If you haven’t done already, check out our body composition scales and discover some better metrics to focus on other than weight.
How many times a week should I attend?
Your age, gender, exercise history and genetics all play a direct part in your ability to recover from strenuous exercise. You are a unique individual, and you will have unique goals for yourself.  I would say  though, as a general rule, 3 times a week is a really good start.  Listen to your body and after a few months decide yourself if this is working for you.  Maybe 4 times a week will be too often, maybe you prefer twice a week mixed in with a sport you love doing on a weekend, and maybe 3 times is perfect for you because of your schedule.  Just make sure you’re enjoying every moment – that´s the key to sticking with it for the long haul.
It seems pretty expensive.  Will it be worth it?
It´s actually very competitively priced.  At CFS you are getting quality training with professional coaches.  Every single class.  We are there to improve your fitness and help you have a better day in general.  If you are ready to commit to your health and fitness, there is no better way than to trust a system that works, become a part of the community, and take the blah out of physical exercise. So yes it is worth it.  It´s worth the financial cost, and it´s worth the physical demands, because you will feel better than you even thought was possible.
What special skills do I need to practice?
Crossfit is ALL about general physical preparedness.  We specialise in not specialising.  This means you will be asked to perform many different skills over different time periods and intensities.  We want you to be great at any physical challenge that life can throw at you.  You will practice balance, flexibility, coordination and accuracy. You´ll be learning how get faster and stronger for longer.  The rule I like to use for focusing in on a particular skill is that if you’re bad at it or you hate it, then practice it until you aren’t any more. Something else will then take its place as your least favourite and you can focus on that until you don’t hate that anymore, and so on and so forth. Trust me, it works!
Is there an easier way to get…(insert a particular skill here) ..?
The answer is NO.  You will get out of CrossFit exactly what you put in.  Consistency and hard work pays off, looking for ways to cheat your way to success is just a waste of time.  If you want a pull up, arrive early and work on pull up drills until you can do them.  It´s literally the only way.  You can book a personal training session to set goals or learn progressions to suit your current level in a particular skill. Other than that its a case of showing up and doing the work.
Will I ever be as strong as …insert name here…?
 First of all, nobody ever walked into a CrossFit gym already kicking ass.  Your favourite cross fitter was also once a beginner and more than likely came from a very different background to yours.  Just focus on your own consistency and you’ll get the results you want. Your journey is unique and your story is only as amazing as you want it to be. Log your results for your own use and work on getting better each day. Oh and don’t be afraid to talk to and ask questions of your favourite member.  Cross fitters look all mean and moody when they’re working out, but once they’ve finished focusing on the task at hand, they’re a supportive bunch and very friendly and helpful.
It´s meant to be fun, you’re meant to start off where you are and if you pay attention to everything your coach is teaching in class, you will feel more confident in no time.
About the author:
Claire “not-so” Bland is a CrossFit L2 Coach, Yoga Instructor, and busy Mom.  Her sense of fun and enthusiasm (and fashion) is widely claireappreciated by everyone who attends her classes.