Three Cheers for Crossfit

Everyone seems to ring in the New Year with champagne toasts, midnight kisses, and resolutions to head to the gym. If you are one of the millions of Americans who are resolving to hit the gym more this year, consider an exercise routine that is a little different. Since nearly 50% of Americans ditch their gym memberships by February, finding a new sport or activity in place of the dreaded treadmill can lead to benefits further down the line. Enter Crossfit. Infamous for being a sport for the overly proud, Crossfit’s lousy rap indeed precedes it. Full of squats, lifting exercises, and running, Crossfit aims to tone your entire body, rather than to focus on any one area. Here are some things to consider before agreeing to do Crossfit with a friend, and some tips on how to sign up for yourself!

What to Look For in a “Box”

When considering a Crossfit gym (or “box,” as Crossfit enthusiasts like to call it), there are a few things to consider. Is the gym well organized and maintained? Does the class have a consistent structure? What’s the instructor’s expertise? What’s the community like? What time do you have to devote to Crossfit? Many boxes offer a trial class or a trial week to help you make your decision. With generally a few Crossfit-specific gyms in a town, shop around a little bit before putting down money anywhere. There’s no shame in deciding the community isn’t a good fit, or the gym doesn’t appear to be well-maintained.

Settling into a Box

Once you’ve tried a box you like and put down money, where do you go from there? There is a workout of the day (WOD) that is “prescribed” (generally written as Rx’d) to all the participants. Many Crossfit coaches advocate scaling the workout to your fitness level. If the WOD calls for ten squats at 150lbs each, and you can only squat with the bar, start with the bar. There’s no shame in beginning Crossfit at a different fitness level than anyone else.

Competing in the Sport

Although many market Crossfit as the sport of fitness, few opportunities exist for competition. The Crossfit Games, an annual competition sponsored by sports-gear giant Reebok, offers a chance for boxes and athletes to compete against each other. If you’re just starting out, the Crossfit Games are a bit far off, but they’re something to keep in mind while training!

Are you considering Crossfit this New Year? Do you have any tips for beginners to the sport? Let us know!

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