Is starting CrossFit part of your 2019 New Year’s Resolutions?
Making CrossFit part of your weekly routine in 2019 is life changing. Not only can this amazing addition to your workout routine make you stronger and healthier, but it’s also incredible for emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing.
However, these benefits don’t come easily. CrossFit is a challenge! After all, as the great Napoleon Hill said, strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.
“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.”
– Napoleon Hill
Here are some tips we put together from experience and from talking with some of our top CrossFit athletes to help your 2019 CrossFit New Year’s Resolution be a successful one!
CrossFit New Year’s Resolution Tips
Before you jump right into your first CrossFit class, read this first!
1 – Don’t Go All Out — Just Yet
One of the reasons CrossFit works is because of the sense of competition that comes in PR-oriented group classes!
However, unless you’ve been performing similar exercises regularly for the past 3 months, don’t go all out right out of the gate.
Take time to learn how to perform the movements with proper form and let your body get used to the new movements before you slowly increase reps and weight.
This will help prevent injuries, will keep you from adopting bad habits, and will prevent crippling soreness that often causes new CrossFit athletes to give up.
2 – Expect to Be Sore…Really Sore
There’s no way around it–you’re going to be sore. Really sore for the first few weeks. It takes time for your body to get used to new exertion, and CrossFit is all about challenging a new muscle group every time you go in to your box.
Expect soreness. Knowing that you’re going to be sore for 3-4 days (or longer) after your workout can help you prepare mentally.
Stock up on a muscle rub before your first workout. Feeling way too sore after the first workout is one of the TOP reasons people give up on CrossFit. Rub an athletic muscle rub on right after your workout to speed up recovery, then use it as needed as soreness peaks. Here’s our favorite muscle rub.
*Muscle rub tip: don’t use Icy Hot or other common supermarket rubs that contain have methyl salicylate which can be toxic for your body to absorb regularly. Look for a high-impact rub with natural ingredients. People who are sensitive to heating/cooling rubs may like something of low-intensity like Deep Blue, but most CrossFit athletes like muscle rubs like WOD Relief since they have 8X more natural oils and much deeper penetration and long-lasting relief than competitors.
Know that it WILL get better. As your body adjusts to your new CrossFit resolution, your muscles repair after each new movement in a way that helps prevent soreness in subsequent workouts. While CrossFit is highly variable and you will almost always be sore after workouts, the degree of soreness will decrease after the first 3 weeks or so.
3 – Commit to 8 Weeks
We’re just going to lay it out for you—you’re probably going to want to quit on your CrossFit New Year’s Resolution after your second or third workout. You may have the thought “I shouldn’t be this sore…CrossFit clearly isn’t for me.”
Don’t give up! After your body starts adapting, you’re going to love CrossFit. Most people do! It just takes getting through those first few weeks of soreness for your body to adapt.
Most people will say to commit to at least 3 weeks, but we say you should commit to 8. After only 3 weeks your body will finally not be so sore, but after 8 weeks you’re going to feel like a real part of your box’s community and will be able to start hitting and maybe even beating some PRs. And that’s where the real magic of CrossFit begins!
After 8 weeks, if you’re like most people, you’ll find yourself addicted to CrossFit!
4 – Go at Regular Times Each Week
You may or not be in CrossFit to make friends, but the fact is if you feel a connection with your fellow athletes then you’re more likely to stick with your CrossFit New Year’s Resolution, less likely to skip workouts, more likely to complete your WODs (workout of the day), and will enjoy it more!
Going to classes at a consistent time (we recommend 3 classes a week starting out) can mean you’ll start seeing the same people at your workouts. It also makes it an easier routine for you to stick to.
5 – Hydrate!
Now’s not the time to stubbornly say “I don’t like water.” Suck it up and suck it down! Hydration is important not only for your muscles to recover after a hard workout; it’s also essential for you to perform at your best.
Drink 1 large glass of water 1-2 hours before your workout, then another small 8 oz glass 30 minutes before your workout. Make sure to rehydrate after your workout as well.
There are plenty of studies about athlete exertion diminishing even with mild dehydration. This is because your body intentionally makes you feel more tired and overworked than you actually are to prevent you from working to hard and diminishing your already low water stores. Give your body the water it needs and it’s more likely to play nice and let you reach your full potential.
6 – Compete Against Yourself
We’re competitive too, so we totally get it. It’s hard not to go in and try to beat out the competition. But our top athletes consistently tell us that you will have your best performance if you compete against yourself instead of others.
Your first focus should be on your form. This will help you prevent injuries now and in the future. After you’ve got the form down to habit, then it’s time to start trying to push yourself.
Comparing yourself only against yourself not only helps you prevent injury, but it also means you never have anyone holding you back except yourself. It means you can stay singular and focused during your movements, and it ultimately means you’ll enjoy your progress more.
CrossFit is an amazing, supportive, strong, never-give-up community. Keep your competition focused on “today you” vs. “yesterday you” instead of the guy next to you, and you’ll enjoy your community even more. It’s this support of each other’s journeys that truly makes CrossFit an incredible workout family!