This article is written by Megan Thompson as part of The Barbell Spin’s Contributor Network. To learn more about the Contributor Network, go here.
CrossFit isn’t just a highly popular fitness trend – it’s also a lifestyle philosophy, with its followers fully dedicated to pushing both body and mind to their limits. CrossFit combines a variety of challenging physical exercises, aiming to train a range of muscle groups and provide you with an intense cardio workout. As with any fitness program, it’s important to start slow and play it safe – easing your body into the stresses and pressures of the new activity.
Here are ten tips on how to have a successful start in this exciting training methodology:
1) Take it slow to begin with, don’t demand too much from yourself too soon. CrossFit is a challenging and intense discipline and beginners are at high risk of injuries and burn-outs. Start with easier, more comfortable exercises and move towards more complicated ones. Be patient with yourself and your body will reward you.
2) Go social. Join a club or CrossFit group to find mentors and coaches who ‘ll help you learn about the sport and how to train correctly. Most sports clubs these days host CrossFit classes and there are also specialized CrossFit gyms that offer classes suitable for various levels of experience.
3) Take your nutrition seriously. Something as challenging as CrossFit requires proper nutrition to help your body recover after training. Choose a balanced diet, rich in micronutrients, and consume a combination of protein and carbohydrate immediately after your workout. Depending on the duration of your workout, you might also want to consider high-carbohydrate snacks. Bananas or muesli bars are perfect for this.
4) Remember to hydrate. it’s very easy to get dehydrated after an intense workout session. Use electrolyte tablets to replenish any lost salts.
5) Always warm-up. Before your CrossFit routine always do a proper warm-up, such as a light cardio exercise to get your muscles moving. This will help you avoid nasty injuries.
6) Don’t compare your own results with others. CrossFit is a competition with yourself, so don’t worry if you’re out of shape when you start off. Keep on training, stay focused, and watch your performance skyrocket!
7) Keep challenging yourself. When you start finding the exercises easy, make them harder. CrossFit is a continuous battle with your own limits, so always carry on pushing yourself.
8) Remember that every training regime involves ups and downs. Don’t get upset if your performance drops on some days – as long as you are strategic and clever about your training, you’ll see growth in the long run.
9) Don’t over-train. It’s easy to get carried away and demand too much from yourself, so remember that your body needs rest. During your rest periods, your body is rebuilding your muscles and growing stronger.
10) Help your body recover. Use rollers to massage tense muscles to avoid injury, treat yourself with an occasional massage or just take a relaxing bath with some therapeutic additions, such as Epsom salts.
We hope these tips help you while you’re getting started with CrossFit. It’s a very exciting sport and movement, so be prepared for a challenging and inspiring ride. Have fun!
Megan Thompson is a DIY health & beauty addict. She’s committed to making her itsy-bitsy apartment chemical free and her diet as unprocessed as possible. You can find her work at Gold Mountain Beauty where she is responsible for the blog, Instagram and Pinterest.
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