Before I actually became a member of a CrossFit gym, I heard all the cautionary tales of injury, over-training, and the crazy way of training “THEY do over there.”
Was I apprehensive? Of course, but I approached this NEW experience as I have done others in the past and that was to find out what it was really about by seeing it with my own eyes and experiencing it for myself.
I’ve come away with three things that you can use for yourself and apply to ANY new (or old) fitness experience to keep yourself safe, too.
Know Your Body
You know your body better than anyone else, so if you are asking your body to do something it truly is incapable of, it will let you know. If you work your body into the ground over and over again, without giving it proper rest and nutrition, it will shut down. It doesn’t take a CrossFit class to do this; it can happen with Pilates, yoga, or even regular weight training.
Proper Form is Key
One thing that I always stress to my clients is maintaining proper form throughout the movement, from beginning to end. This rule rings true with body weight exercises, boxing, aerobics, Aqua class and running, to name a few. CrossFit is no different, FORM IS EVERYTHING, neglect it and you WILL regret it.
You are in Competition with ONLY YOU
The main thing I like about CrossFit is that it allows me to get better and better with every class. When I first started, I told my trainer, “I DON’T RUN!”. Apparently, he has a hearing problem because I recently ran my first 5k! How awesome is that? But the point is that to run that 5k, I had to get better at running. Going to class four times a week helped me do that.
Some people confuse the timed workouts in CrossFit as competition with other people. It’s really intended for you to be in competition with only yourself. If you look at it that way, you will improve as fast and as much as YOU need to. My trainer will tell you that the only numbers and times that I care about are my own. Focusing on me, my safety, and my form has helped me to NOT suffer any injuries, breaks, pops or dislocations during the time I’ve been doing CrossFit.
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