There’s no question that CrossFit works. A recent study completed by a team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s exercise physiology program monitored 16 healthy and fit volunteers as they burpee-ed and thrusted their way through 2 CrossFit workouts. The men burned nearly 21 calories a minute, while the women burned just over 12. Each routine took varying amounts of time to completed but all participants maintained an elevated heart rate (of 90 percent of their heart-rate max) throughout the entire workout, thus meeting the fitness industry guidelines which suggest maintaining a training range of 64 percent to 94 percent of HRmax to improve cardio endurance. The researchers also noted, anecdotally, that all participants were all capable of doing the movement (or scaled version of the movement). While the study was conducted to see if CrossFit works (and it does) the researchers also realized that CrossFit really is for everyone.
However, whether you’re CrossFit convinced, CrossFit still on the fence, or CrossFit clueless (but intrigued), that doesn’t mean that walking through the doors of a box is not scary; trying any new fitness class or regime can be intimidating.
To help ease some of those first-CrossFit-class nerves, I asked 8 of the ICE NYC CrossFit coaches for the ONE piece of advice they have for someone preparing for their first CrossFit class.
1. Ask Questions
“Be open minded... It’s like going to a new school, you have to learn new things and meet new friends, but as long as you’re willing to learn and put yourself out there, you will have a great time and get a kick ass workout. Also, ASK QUESTIONS!”-Deanna Gibaldi, CrossFit Coach and Regional CrossFit Athlete
“Remember to breath. Breathing will help you calm down. And when you’re calm you can focus on what you need to do to get stronger. You will only get stronger! (You will not die!)!”-Nihan Nelkin, CrossFit Coach
3. Just Show up
“Any move done in CrossFit can be scaled to any level, so you do not need to “prepare” for you first class. Just show up. When you are there, don't worry about what others in the class are doing. Your biggest competition is yourself.”-Jenn Kang, CrossFit Kids Coach
4. Don’t Be Scared
“I have two pieces of advice. Number 1: don't be scared to try something new. Number 2: CrossFit is scalable, which means that anyone can do it, including you”.-Liz Adams, ICE NYC Head CrossFit Coach and Regional CrossFit Athlete
5. Have Fun
“Your only goals for your first class should be to have fun and not to be afraid. Everybody can CrossFit because CrossFit is scalable, and the Coach will be there to help. The community, support-system, and the ICE NYC family will become important to you both inside and outside the gym”.-Nicolas Dromard, CrossFit Coach
6. Never Forget That Everything Is Scalable
“The piece of advice I give people who has never tried CrossFit is to admit it can be very scary... IF you do not understand that all that high intensity is RELATIVE TO YOU. If you have ever watched a CrossFit class, you might not have been able to see that people have a different amount of weight on the bar relative to their current ability, and are doing movements scaled by their current fitness level”-CJ Maldonado, CrossFit Coach
7. Take The Leap
“Everyone is scared before they try their first CrossFit class. That's okay! It's natural and it's healthy. One hour later that fear turns into elation. There's no better feeling than facing your fears and coming out victorious. The one piece of advice I would give to someone who has never tried CrossFit before is to know that it's okay to be scared, but take that leap because it changed my life, and it could change yours too!”.-Izzy Levy, ICE NYC Owner
8. Be Open-Minded
“Be humble. Leave your ego at the door and don’t come in with any preconceived notions of what Crossfit is and what the workout is going to be like. Have an open mind”.-Ian Berger, CrossFit Coach