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  • Terrified of CrossFit

    Hi Folks!

    I'm considering doing a month of CrossFit. however some of the stories are scaring the crap out of me. I'm not exactly in great shape, not at all...and then I hear about people wiping blood, sweat, tears, and vomit off the floor after their workout and I get kinda terrified.

    Any folks who started out in CrossFit as complete beginners who could share their experiences?

    Thank you so much!
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."-Winston Churchill

    "Keep Calm and Carry On"-British Wartime Poster

    "Don't Panic"
    -H2G2

  • #2
    I started a month ago and love it. I have yet to see anyone puke or bleed. I imagine if you push yourself to be competitive timewise that you may very well puke or bleed.

    The cross section of people at my box ranges from middle age women like me, out of shape to very fit men and women. When I do a WOD, I am not coming anywhere near the times that the fit people get, but no one cares or says anything and everyone is very nice. They do a good job helping with the movements and offer opportunities to scale back on the weights with no judgement. 90% of the time I am unaware of what other people are doing.

    As I do the WOD's I can see where an overzealous beginner could get hurt but at least at my box, no one wants you flailing around more weight than you can handle. Oh yes, they will let you take for ever to do a ton of push ups without telling you "it's OK, you can stop", but they are also quick to hand you a lighter weight if needed or direct you to ring rows if you can't do a pull up.

    We also do a lot of weightlifting that isn't WOD's and that instruction is good too. We do do some max effort lifts, but again, form is the focus and no one cares if the beginner can only shoulder press the bar or can't do an overhead squat and again, the fit people are either helpful or simply too absorbed in what they are doing to care that you don't lift as much as they do.

    http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
    Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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    • #3
      I started about 4 months ago and have never puked or bled nor have I seen anyone else do it. Everyone at the gym and especially the trainers are very positive and supportive. There have been (a lot of) times when I was the slowest but no one has ever made me feel like I didn't belong.

      The WODs are always scaled to your ability, there are only a handful of people that can do the rx (as prescribed) workout. The members range from 18 yr olds to people in their 50s and from overweight and out of shape to extremely fit athletes and everything in between.

      I was a little intimidated at first too but now I'm glad I did it anyway. Good luck!!
      F 45 5'5"
      SW 177
      CW 141

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      • #4
        I started two months ago. Although I've been lifting weights on my own for almost two years, I haven't been lifting with the proper form (and hence haven't been able to lift very heavily). My main motivation for starting CF was to learn how to lift properly, and so far it has worked very well. We get great coaching at my box. I have not seen anyone puke or bleed either. The workouts are hard but not impossibly so--they actually aren't nearly as insane as I had expected. Some days are worse than others, of course.

        No one will judge you or be mean to you because you can't lift as much weight as they can. No one will laugh at you for being the last one to finish a WOD. I'm often the last to finish, and it really doesn't bother me.

        When you first start, you'll start with either an on-ramp or fundamentals class (they call it different things at different boxes, but basically, a beginner's class) so that will get you acclimated. From what I've seen, the people who have a really hard time are ones with really poor cardio conditioning. This is because the weights can always be scaled down, but cardio is cardio. If you can't run 400 meters without feeling like you're going to die, then you're going to feel like you're going to die when the WOD includes 400-m runs. The same applies to jump rope, box jumps, and burpees. But conditioning improves more quickly than strength, so you'll be okay after a while. Just don't give up.

        Edited to add: I really think you should give it a shot. I think it's one of those things that people either love or don't. I really LOVE it--love it, love it, love it!! I'm excited to go to CF, even when I have to wake up at 5 AM to go. And I HATE waking up that early.

        Edited again to add: But you'll never know if you're going to love it or not unless you try it. So try it. It could be the love of your life.
        Last edited by diene; 05-15-2013, 09:03 AM.

        My journal

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        • #5
          I really LOVE it--love it, love it, love it!! I'm excited to go to CF
          That's how I feel about it. I look forward to each class.

          http://maggiesfeast.wordpress.com/
          Check out my blog. Hope to share lots of great recipes and ideas!

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          • #6
            Thank you so much, everyone!

            I think I'm gonna risk it.

            ...If I end up puking or bleeding, I will blame it all on you guys.
            "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts."-Winston Churchill

            "Keep Calm and Carry On"-British Wartime Poster

            "Don't Panic"
            -H2G2

            Comment


            • #7
              I started last year June with very minimal previous experience in anything fitness-related (some aerobics and yoga classes, plus some time on the treadmills here and there). I was the last person in on-ramp to graduate from the training bar to a real barbell (15lb to a 35lb). I was always the slowest person at any sort of cardio. Had to scale or modify every single WOD. But it was fun! You can't beat the variety, and a good box will have great trainers that want you to do well, not push you till you puke. For the record, I still have to modify more WODs that I would like, but I am getting faster and stronger every day. And now that I have shoulders my bra straps never slip down my arms anymore.

              As an added benefit, the community is generally awesome. I had a group of 10 in my on-ramp class. Of those, 6 of us remain good friends to this day. We all still attend classes, together when schedules allow. We hang out together outside the box, doing group dinners, movies, and birthday/Christmas gift exchanges. My box also does group events once a month, the most recent was a scavenger hunt that sent teams all over the Vegas Strip (I was out of town, so bummed I missed it!)

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              • #8
                I started CF recently (I did my 5th WOD earlier this week, which was Murph; my 4th was Fran!). As people have said, a lot depends on the box you go to. So speaking purely from my experience of the one box I've been to:

                1) The only blood you will see is a tiny bit on shins when it's a deadlift day and hands on high-rep pull-up days (both of these can be avoided with proper technique and hand care)

                2) No vomit seen thus far (although the 2nd mile run of Murph on Monday had me close!)

                3) Any pressure you experience is almost always self generated. Encouragement and support is what you tend to get from others.

                4) This sounds a bit odd, but not being in great shape will actually help you when starting out, as you will be scaling (making them easier) all the WODs. This removes an element of pressure I think and mitigates against doing more than you can handle. I had done a lot of strength work prior to CF, so can Rx pretty much everything (the endurance aspect kills me though!). As a consequence, I feel more pressure from myself and others to really push for time/reps.

                5) I really enjoy it, but I only go twice a week and I only go to WODs I think are worthwhile.

                Again, as everyone has said above, give it a go, don't feel pressured into overreaching and you'll be fine.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Badkty22 View Post
                  And now that I have shoulders my bra straps never slip down my arms anymore.
                  I'm looking forward to that perk! I'm surprised how much shoulder work we do. I don't think I was aware of the existence of shoulder muscles prior to CF.

                  My journal

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                  • #10
                    I went to a free class today and was very nervous because I am overweight and not in the best shape. Everyone was really nice and the coach of the "box" made the workout suitable to my needs. Very encouraging and positive atmosphere.

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                    • #11
                      It depends somewhat on the box (if it is a box where the majority of patrons are already high-performing athletes then that can be awkward). But keep in mind that the WODs are usually pretty difficult at most boxes, most of the time. Another reply mentioned that people who struggle the most are those with poor cardio and I agree wholeheartedly with that. In my case, I stuck it out for almost 6 months at my crossfit box, but my cardio level never got better. And when you're huffing and puffing at the end of the warmup, and your heart rate is already through the roof, then that makes the actual WOD not very helpful.

                      In my case, I never really improved after the first few weeks - my cardio capacity never got better, and my weightlifting never got better because of the speed at which it is expected to be performed during the timed WODs.

                      Once I finally quit crossfit and focused on doing the olympic lifting on my own, with proper form and for heavy weights (versus the lower/scaled weights 'for time' that crossfit promotes) I really improved. Also, my cardio has improved greatly from working out on my own. To the point where I am considering buying a 10-class pass to my local crossfit box again just to walk in there and kick their asses : )

                      Bottom line: if you're the type who cares what others think, and you're not in shape, then crossfit may not be for you. Put a timer or scoreboard in front of me and I'll literally kill myself during the WOD, which in my case is not good for my health...others don't give a hoot and have no problem doing a bar-only snatch while everyone else is doing Rx. YMMV.

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                      • #12
                        Terrified? Settle down; it's a workout, not a battle to the death with a grizzly bear.

                        Sent via A-10 Warthog

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KotikBegemotik View Post
                          Hi Folks!

                          I'm considering doing a month of CrossFit. however some of the stories are scaring the crap out of me. I'm not exactly in great shape, not at all...and then I hear about people wiping blood, sweat, tears, and vomit off the floor after their workout and I get kinda terrified.

                          Any folks who started out in CrossFit as complete beginners who could share their experiences?

                          Thank you so much!
                          I think you have answered it yourself with your signature!

                          For a moment I thought that was a reply posted by somebody to your question!!
                          Few but ripe.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            So how did it go?

                            FWIW, I started crossfit back on October 2012.

                            Although in my younger years I had spent quite a bit of time in the gym, I was now a 56 your old, fat bald dude.
                            400m run?
                            Please! I walked it and was still out of breath.

                            I was 250+, and probably in the worst cardiovascular condition of my life.
                            I was ready to puke during the warm up, and had it not been pre-breakfast, I might have been successful.(lol).

                            I was fortunate to have a great lady for a coach.
                            I wasn't all that impressed with the approach of the male coaches, but the lady that I got hooked up with was great!!

                            I'll skip all the details, but suffice to say that she knew what she was doing, and had my best interest in mind.

                            I did an on-ramp style program with her, followed by 3-4 weeks of personal training.
                            I also learned to leave my ego at the door!!

                            I handled the weight I could handle, took whatever time I needed to complete the WOD's, did rowing instead of running (due to severe shin spints), and used the rings instead of a pull up bar.

                            The cost was stupid, but for the results, I found it $$$ well spent.
                            I loved CF and looked forward to the WOD's and the "family" I had joined.

                            Unfortunately, an old military knee injury took me down, accompanied by a "newly" torn rotator cuff
                            So for the time being, I'm back in a conventional gym doing lower body weight work, and body weight work for reps.
                            No upper body weight work for now, other than the rehab workouts that my PT gave me.

                            Not sure if I'll go back to FT crossfit, but I will always make WOD work a part of my gym routine, and will always be thankful for the gains (and losses) that crossfit brought.

                            When I stopped, I was 200 (196 now), and down from a 44 (tight) pant, to a 36, and seeing cuts, mass and definition, that I haven't seen since I was in my late 20's early/mid 30's!!!

                            Blood?
                            Yes, there was blood.
                            As previously mentioned, there are the bloody hands.
                            It seems some of these knuckleheads think bloody/torn hands are somehow a "badge of honor," and that anyone wearing gloves (*Gasp!*) is somehow inferior .

                            There is also the occasional missed box jump.
                            We had two that I saw personally, that required stitches to close the wounds on their shin(s) when they missed a box jump.
                            The key to preventing these sort of injuries, is wearing the proper gear (gloves for instance), and allowing your hands to properly get used to the added impact of crossfit, and concentration!
                            As soon as you lose your focus on the box jumps, that's about the time you'll scrape the first few layers of epidermis off the front of your legs!

                            With all that said, I would still recommend crossfit for those that want to get in overall great shape.
                            You won't develop a body builders physique, but you WILL develop muscle and stamina that will assist you in daily life.

                            There are those who, as a previous post mentioned, may not gain a benefit from CF, but the vast majority will.
                            Especially if the box has a proper intro or "on ramp" program, and you stick to proper form over Rx.

                            Check the ego, go in there and be the best "you" can be, and the hell with what anyone else thinks, and you'll do fine.

                            Good luck with it.
                            "Live Primally, Train Practically, Prepare Tactically..."

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                            • #15
                              Bleeding is kinda accident related, but puking is completely up to you. I dry heave (the fasted workout equivalent of puking ) doing my personal non-cf workouts if I want to... i.e. if I've deemed the intensity should be that high.

                              All you can do is give it a try. If your not comfortable with something (exercise, weight, spandex, or whatever) don't let anyone make you feel inadequate for not wanting to risk it. I prefer a BBS style workout for life long strength and health, but crossfit looks like a blast in terms of athletic competition. Guess it depends on your goals.
                              Last edited by Neckhammer; 06-16-2013, 06:34 AM.

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