You will get results if you come to class, spend an hour with us and then leave giving no more thought to your fitness, however there are a few additional things that will help you to maximize the results you achieve from our program. The following recommendations will ensure that you get into the best shape of your life!
1) Focus on technique – You will get more out of workouts if you improve your technique. You will be able to move through the workouts faster, with more weight and stay injury free. Listen to your coaches when they tell you to back off on the weight as they have your best interests in mind. In addition, take advantage of the specialty classes (Gymnastics, Yoga, Olympic Weightlifting etc.). These classes are fun, they will refine your technique and they will help you to get more out of your workouts.
2) Listen to your body– You will get more out of a workout if you come in fresh and operate near 100% intensity level rather than coming in and operating at 80% effort/intensity. If you are worn down you also increase your risk of injury. If a movement is bothering you then communicate it with the coach and they will provide you with a different modification. You should not push through pain or injury.
3) Keep track of your results– CrossFit is an evidenced based program. It is impossible to meaningfully evaluate the effectiveness of your fitness program if you are not keeping track of your results. If you are not improving/reaching goals then the program needs to be modified to help you do so. If you keep track of your results you will also get more out of workouts because you will have an idea of what weights/modifications etc. you used last time and you will have a better idea of what to use this time (you will not waste a set or two going too heavy or too light as you try to work out what weight you should be performing a movement at). Tracking results will also keep you competing against yourself or others. When you compete you will push yourself a little bit harder and you will reach a higher intensity level and we all know that is where the magic happens (it may or may not involve unicorns). It also helps keep you motivated because you can see how far you have come.
4) Focus on Nutrition– Your diet is the foundation of how you perform in life. If your nutrition sucks then everything else in your life will not be where it could be. It does not matter how hard you work in the gym if you are not looking after yourself outside the gym. Some basic guidelines for everyone (not just those trying to lose weight) are: 1) Eat whole foods- not concentrated or processed foods. 2) There is no one correct diet and diversity is the key. Eat diets that have high species diversity. 3) Eat fresh foods that are in season and ripe (avoid foods with preservatives).
5) Modify workouts appropriately– Just because everyone else in a class is doing something one way doesn’t mean you have to. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is doing as long as you are getting a great workout. Communicate with the coach and ask them about modifications if you ever have any questions. Choosing a poor modification will mean that you do not work the correct muscle groups and/or the correct energy system.
6) Make friends and have fun– One of the reasons why CrossFit is effective is that people make friends and they look forward to going into the gym to catch up with friends just as much as they look forward to working out. Having a friend to workout with will help you to choose to come in on those days when you just want to push the snooze button or sit on the couch and relax after work. Working out is something that should be fun and you should look forward to doing it. Your fitness program will fail if working out is a chore.
7) Put in some additional time– Utilize time before and after classes to work on mobility/skills/injury prevention. We will provide you with a lot of tools for you to become more mobile and for you to strengthen problem areas that are prone to injury. We will warm you up for the class but if you have particular exercises that you find particularly useful then come in before and after class to work on these.
8) Work out with intensity and step outside your comfort zone– the more intensity you are able to achieve in your workouts the better the results you will achieve. Your intensity is relative and is different from everyone else. Find a level of intensity that challenges you. Intensity can be achieved by moving faster, increasing your weights or focusing on virtuosity of movement.
There are going to be some movements and some workouts that really challenge you and you do not feel comfortable with. Try to step outside your comfort zone and attempt these workouts. The greatest gains and achievements will happen when you challenge yourself to do something hard. Think back to almost everything that you were proud of in your life and I can almost guarantee that you needed to step outside your comfort zone a little bit for you to achieve it.
9) Be ready for the long road– Diet pills, fad diets, muscle gainers etc. are not sustainable and do not work long term. Be very wary of anything or anyone that tells you that you can achieve health and fitness overnight! You may lose weight or gain muscle with these options but it will not stay that way. They are not healthy and as soon as you go off them your body will return to its previous state.
You probably will see some immediate results from doing CrossFit but it is not a quick fix. The goal of CrossFit is to improve your fitness for life. If you gradually exceed what you have done before and don’t neglect your nutrition then you will see long term sustainable improvements.
10) Don’t pick and choose workouts– For you to get as healthy as possible you should avoid picking and choosing workouts. We want you to be as well rounded as possible. Normally the workouts that you look at and feel like you don’t want to do are the workouts that are going to be most beneficial to you. I have a rule that when I look online at the next day’s workout I must have already decided whether I can make it to the gym or not. Checking the workout online and then deciding if you are going to come in is a recipe for trouble :)! Also the more regular you are with your attendance the better results you will achieve, the quicker your technique will improve and your body will adapt and stay injury free.