10 Things to Keep in Mind Before Getting Started with Crossfit…With Canada’s only SEALFIT Coach, #YYC Crossfit Athlete/Coach Jeff Kubik.
Oh my god, this guy’s a crossfitter, he’s going to tell me about his workout today. Then how he’s paleo, before doing 100 fake pull-ups and taking his shirt off. Well, some of that is true. I’ve been involved in the crossfit ‘scene’ for about four years, I’ve gone from diehard decked with every item of clothing donning the ‘C’ word. To now considering my passion more on the end of sport specific and military strength and conditioning. All of this aside, if you’re interested in Crossfit, and don’t know how or where to start, here are a few things to know before you jump into it!
Here are 10 things you need to know about crossfit before getting started:
- It’s not as intimidating as you think.
- When compared to a cable bill… Membership costs aren’t that much.
- Not all gym’s (Boxes) are created equal, shop around.
- Not all coaches are created equal.
- You will not get “Bulky”.
- Not everyone you meet is a “Crossfit douchebag”.
- There are plenty of “Crossfit douchebags” so don’t turn into one.
- Be coachable and respectable to coaching staff.
Crossfit is not as intimidating as you think.
This is one misconception that I face all the time. Inviting friends down to come and train with me. All they see are instagram videos of people doing crazy maneuvers on rings, walking on their hands, or lifting massive amounts of weight above their heads and dropping it. Let me make this very clear, the ‘sport’ of crossfit, and the training methodology of crossfit are two entirely different things. In my 10 years involved in coaching sport and strength and conditioning, I have yet to see a training system that is as good for skill exposure, development, and general physical preparation than crossfit. When you enter the gym for the first time, its not going to be 30 people who look like Rich Froning working out shirtless and completely blow past you. You’re going to have people from all walks of life, school teachers, accountants, students, lawyers, who take an hour out of their day to try and become a better version of themselves. No one has headphones in, or their phones on the floor, and you will learn very quickly that you had nothing to be afraid of all along.
Why does it cost this much?!
When you’re used to paying $50-$75 for a gym membership, the jump to the average $100-$200 membership at a Crossfit gym may seem like a bit much. This may turn people away. To adapt from a coach of mine: Let me tell you this, did you know that the average cable bill is $103/Month ? I don’t say this to spite you in anyway, but you’re willing to invest over $100/Month in something. Make sure it doesn’t suck hours away from your life by sitting still and watching a screen on the wall or desk. Make sure you’re committed to investing in your long term health.”
I’m not here to tell you that this crossfit is cheap. However, having an educated coach to help you train is worth it. Crossfit provides coaches to lead workouts. Coaches give you feedback, help push you, and keep you moving safe. These coaches often program your workouts, so you don’t have to come into the gym and figure out what to do, we have that taken care of for you. All you need to do is show up with your gear, a good attitude, and I guarantee you that you will leave happy you came.
Not all gyms (boxes) are created equal, shop around.
This is a big one. Before you commit to a membership at your local crossfit gym, don’t be afraid to try some other gyms out. The leadership in a gym filters down, and you will find that certain gyms attract a very different crowd than others. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Calgary is a large city, you’re sure to find somewhere that you fit in and absolutely love. We literally have a gym across the street, and the clientele that we have are entirely different. What works for one, may not work for another.
Not all coaches are created equal.
One of the largest generalizations that we in the community hear is to ‘not start crossfit because you’ll get injured. In my mind, that injury comes from a combination of things. 1 – The individual not listening to their body, or refusing to humble themselves and pushing too hard too quickly, or ignoring pain. 2 – Poor coaching. 3 – Pre existing injuries or conditions that require special attention that the coach doesn’t have the base level of knowledge required to recognize that this is outside of their scope of practice.
To coach crossfit you need a weekend course. Is that okay? In my opinion, no. But there are plenty of personal trainers out there with the same if not less knowledge, and guess what? They charge way more. Most gyms have a variety of coaches, but know the difference between someone who coaches two hours a week to pay for their membership, or someone who is a true health professional. If you have the option of paying the same membership fee, would you prefer to attend a class ran by someone who has a weekend cert and 100 coaching hours under their belt, or someone who is a career coach with a sport science degree and YEARS of experience under their belt? You wouldn’t bring your car to someone who watched a video on youtube on how to fix it, so don’t trust your physical health with someone hasn’t put in the work to have your trust placed in them. Where I’m at, if you don’t have (or are in the process of) a sport science degree, you will not be a coach.
You will not get ‘bulky’.
Crossfit doesn’t make you bulky, cupcakes do. Next question.
Not everyone you will meet is a ‘crossfit douchebag’
We’ve all seen the youtube videos of these kinds of people. While we are a special breed, there is no doubt about that, when you get past all the acronyms and terminology that often overwhelms newcomers, you will guaranteed find people that you fit in with nicely at the gym (if you’re open to it!).
…but there are definitely plenty. So don’t turn into one!
When I’m between classes with my school schedule I find myself training at the gym at MRU, and I see these very individuals. I try to fit in, I understand that I am not training at a crossfit gym, and that the world doesn’t revolve around me. Don’t scoff at people who are on the elliptical, don’t drop metal plates from overhead, you represent the brand, do so with humility.
Be coachable and respect the coaching staff.
There will be different movements that are outside your comfort zone, your coach might ask (or in my case, tell) you to lower the weights to work on your form, as you’re moving in a potentially dangerous way. Rather than scoffing, have humility and seek to understand what the coach is trying to do here. Our primary goal is your safety, I have literally STOPPED athletes who were more obsessed with the outcome, rather then the process from attempting another lift with a given weight. This is a rare occurrence. Was that athlete happy at first? No. But when he took the time to understand that his position was putting him at unnecessary risk, he was thankful that I cared enough to step in.
Respect the gym.
Crossfit gyms are different. There is less equipment. There are no mirrors, and there are some unwritten rules that you will learn as you spend more time in one. Don’t be afraid to ask your classmates what standard is. Often, the owners of these gyms are present, and trust me, they aren’t rolling around in extra money from their gym. Treat the space with respect.
You get out what you put in.
Come in every day ready to learn, be consistent, and just show up! We’re here to make sure that you are safe, and move well.
About the Author:
Jeff Kubik is currently completing his Bachelor of Health and Physical Education, majoring in Athletic Therapy at Mount Royal University. Jeff is a Coach at Most Physical Preparation, and the only SEALFIT Coach in Canada. He is also employed part time in the Canadian Armed Forces as an Infanteer. He competes in Crossfit, and runs boot camps that will crush your soul.