Are you a CrossFit beginner? Wondering what to expect? Here’s what you need to know

Are you unsure about what CrossFit is or what the workouts involve? Let me give you a quick overview – what is CrossFit, exactly?

CrossFit HQ confirms that CrossFit is a lifestyle which offers safe, efficient workouts and healthy eating habits. It can be used to reach any fitness aim, be it health related, weight loss or performance improvement. Regardless of fitness level - beginner or experienced - the program works for everyone.

Take a moment to consider the words above: "This program is suitable for everyone - newcomers and those who have been practicing for years."


Starting CrossFit Out Of Shape


No matter your background, CrossFit's got something for you - that's the beauty of it. You could have a pro athlete walk in alongside someone who's never even touched a barbell and they'll both be challenged in just the right way.

CrossFit workouts offer scalability to accommodate all athletes' abilities. Affiliated CrossFit Gyms typically have trained and certified coaches, who are well-versed in properly assisting athletes with scaling their movements as needed.

To explore this further, here is an illustration of how a coach may tailor a CrossFit routine for a newcomer:

Benchmark WOD Cindy:

20 minute AMRAP (as many rounds and reps as possible)

  • 5 pull-ups
  • 10 push ups
  • 15 air squats

For newcomers to CrossFit, it's totally okay if they can't execute the movements at the standard level when they begin. Depending on their proficiency, the coach might have them scale pull-ups to ring rows and switch push-ups to knee push-ups. If need be, they can even do air squats at a less profound depth.

When it comes to moving in different ways and degrees of difficulty, the options are limitless. Ultimately, what's important is that the athlete engages in physical activity and pushes their own boundaries.


What is a CrossFit Workout?

Don't worry if some of the terms from above have you scratching your head. The CrossFit world is full of abbreviations and acronyms when it comes to the exercises and types of workouts, but you'll learn them all soon enough.

Remember, we all start at CrossFit from the same place - having to get the hang of the new lingo. If you're having trouble understanding, just ask a coach or another member for help.

Here are a few common acronyms that you might see on the whiteboard:


WOD - Workout of the Day C&J - Clean and Jerk
AMRAP - As many rounds as possible HSPU - Handstand push-ups
EMOM - Every minute on the minute KB - Kettlebell
RX - Completion of the workout without scaling DB - Dumbbell
METCON - Metabolic conditioning (The sweaty part) C2B - Chest to bar (pull-up)
PR - Personal Record DU - Double unders
OHS - Overhead squat
TTB - Toes to bar


CrossFit For Beginners: What To Expect In Classes

If you're still feeling a bit overwhelmed, don't worry. The majority of gyms have special sessions designed for new CrossFit athletes called ‘Onramp’. At the very least, all coaches will know when you are new and require extra attention and support. You won't be thrown in without any guidance, expecting to know it all already!


Most classes are 60 minutes long, and will follow a flow something like this:

  • Introductions & Warm-up
  • Coach explains and demos the workout, as well as scaling options. 
  • Strength or skill work
  • The Metcon (workout)
  • Cool down/recovery


How many days per week should you go to CrossFit?

Listen to your body and do what feels right. If you're just getting started with CrossFit and want to see progress, going more than once a week is necessary.

It is quite tempting to join in with those who are more experienced than you. Don't be fooled though; your body may not be prepared for it. The best way to approach it is to stay consistent and focused on one goal.

Although you might not be able to do all of the movements right away, or keep up with the CrossFit pros, you are taking the first step to bettering your health: doing something! No matter the weather, try to stick with going 3 times a week until your body feels ready for more. You will eventually recognize when it is time to take it up a notch.

CrossFit For Beginners – Am I ready?

If you've read this far and are now asking yourself, “Alright, this makes sense...but am I prepared to begin CrossFit?”

You’re ready.

CrossFit is a community welcoming individuals of all ages, backgrounds and body types. The coaches are eager to collaborate with you to ensure you feel comfortable whlst making progress.

The takeaway? If you're committed to transforming your life, put in the effort and hard work - you're all set to start CrossFit!