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A Beginner’s Guide to CrossFit
(continued...)Before looking at these barriers and their solutionslet’s further set the stage for our discussion with threeancillary points, the first of which is important to allnew CrossFitters and the second and third importantfor veterans, many of whom we know have beenfrustrated by trying to introduce CrossFit to theirfriends, colleagues, or family.First, over the past three years thousands of peoplehave acquainted themselves with the CrossFit website,gotten the hang of our core theme of “functionality,intensity, and variance”, learned our basic exercises,acquired most of our equipment, and made amazingphysical gains. Included among these self-starters aremany who were initially challenged to participation byvarying combinations of advanced age, being self-taught,poverty, inexperience, disability, and fear.All of the strategies that we are offering this month havebeen fruitfully employed by a legion of CrossFitters leftto their own devices and common sense - proving ourstand on scaleability.Second, if you are a regular reader of the
it is more than likely that you are long pastthe 99th percentile for fitness even among those whoregularly exercise. Our typical reader is seen by hisfriends, acquaintances, and family members as, quitefrankly, a freak – a fitness freak, but still a freak. Yourendorsement may not carry the weight you would hopeor think it would.Your retching behind the garage after our workouts maynot hold the attraction for your wife that it does for you.When you tell your fat sergeant that these workoutswill bring him to his knees in five minutes, you may have just then vaccinated him for life against ever wanting toeven try your program. Ironically, your legendary fitnessstatus may render you bizarrely unqualified for lendingadvice to your mortal friends.Third, CrossFit presents a fitness model that is contraryto popular practice and is, therefore, for most people,scary. Nearly every aspect of our model is at odds withthe fitness magazines and programming in commercialfacilities. For too many people there is no greater fearthan being out of step with the rest of their community.The terrible pain of “looking funny” at Gold’s or 24-Hour Nautilus while “training like no one else” hasmade its way to our desk in dozens of emails.Doing CrossFit makes you a leader in the fitnesscommunity. You CrossFit veterans have scooped most of the world’s best-known trainers and coaches – be patientwith your friends, coworkers, family, and fellow athletes.For you beginners, unfamiliarity with our exercises,lack of equipment, or the blistering demands of theWOD are not the obstacles they might seem. Let’s giveperspective and then offer solutions to the problemswith movements, equipment, and intensity separately.CrossFit is based extensively, if not exclusively, onfunctional movements. (See
Issue 19,“What is CrossFit?” for our perspective on functionalexercise.) As daunting as learning to snatch, clean,overhead squat, jerk, and muscle-up, may be, especiallynever having heard of them, they, like the rest of theCrossFit exercises, are movements that largely mimicand reproduce natural efforts like standing, throwing,lifting, pulling, climbing, running, and punching.
What is CrossFit?
Lynne Pitts’s Official CrossFit FAQ
CrossFit Message Board
Power Ring Training
Outside Magazine July 2004