If you’ve just joined us at The Foundry, you’ve probably noticed that CrossFit can look, well, kind of intimidating. Sweaty bodies, barbells flying around, beeping clocks, loud music, cheering and yelling – it’s a workout that may not make much sense to the casual observer.  In reality, it’s an exercise program and a recognized sport that is carefully planned and executed.

Dat Beard!

Lucas Parker, Games Athlete (source: games.crossfit.com)

If you’ve taken the plunge, welcome!  Take a few minutes to read our brief primer on CrossFit for the new athlete.

  • Take the warm-up seriously.

The warm-up for the daily workout is important – it gets your mind & body prepared for the work you’re about to do and primes your muscles and tissues for what’s ahead. Failure to properly warm-up can not only lead to injury, but result in lowered performance during movements. Please be on time to class and get the warm-up done! If you’re someone that needs more stretching or mobility, you are free to come early or stay late!

  • If you don’t know what something is, ask.

Don’t know the difference between a clean and a snatch? Don’t feel confident that you’re exactly sure what a burpee wall ball is? Do not be afraid to ask what a movement is – that’s why we have coaches! Any one of them is happy to demonstrate a movement and clear up any confusion you have. We want you to be able to do movements correctly and safely. At the beginning of each class, or before a section of the class, the coach will explain what you are going to do and what is expected of you. This is the best time to ask for more information if you don’t understand a movement or what weight you should be using. Many others probably have the same question as you, so please speak up so everyone can get the best workout possible! If you have a concern, please talk to the coaching staff at any time.

  • Scaling is not for the weak – it’s for the smart.

Most of the workouts written on the whiteboard have “prescribed” weights (noted with an “Rx”) for both men and women – however, you should do a weight that is comfortable, yet challenging, for where you are currently at fitness-wise. That goes for not just weights, but movements as well. If you’re recovering from injury, feeling more fatigued than usual, or just not comfortable with high reps of a bodyweight movement, consider scaling to a progression until you’re ready to perform as Rx. As with everything, if you have doubts then talk to a coach! They can help you establish the best way to scale a weight or movement.

  • Don’t get discouraged.

Work is work – do not get discouraged if you don’t PR a lift when we test it, or if your time on a workout isn’t what you expected it to be. As long as you come into the gym to give it your best and put in the hard work, you will get the most out of your time here. The intensity may not always be there, but your work ethic will get you through the “bad days” when things aren’t going exactly as you planned.

  • Mind what you eat.

What you put into your body is just as important as what you do with it. Proper nutrition will fuel your body for workouts and help you recovery faster. Clean eating will produce measurable results faster than eating fast food will.  At The Foundry, we recommend the Paleo diet – eating meat, vegetables, fats, fruits, and nuts.  No calorie counting, no weighing food, just eating what your body needs for fuel.  We have nutrition guides available to get you started.

  • Sometimes, you need to rest.

When you can’t walk up the subway staircase or you need help rolling out of bed in the morning – it’s probably a sign that you need a break! Your body needs days off to recover and rebuild.  As much as you may love doing daily workouts, every athlete needs time off to recuperate.  Listen to your body!

  • Mobility is not negotiable.

Yes, those pieces of foam in the corner of the gym are useful for something. Mobility is one of the most important things you can do to help yourself recover from CrossFit workouts, and can even help you improve your range of motion! If you’re someone that struggles with flexibility, muscle soreness, or joint pain, there is a mobility drill for you! We’ve posted mobility exercises on the walls of the gym for all of the lifts we do in CrossFit, and any coach can give you additional mobility drills to do before and after class to help you improve.

  • Enjoy Yourself!

Exercise should be fun and help you enjoy your life – that’s our philosophy! We’re going to challenge you but we also want you to have fun in the process. Cheer on your fellow teammates, come to one of our many social events that we plan throughout the year, and get involved with our amazing community!

Those Abs!

Have fun while getting in shape! (source: Reebok)

  • CrossFit is not your life.

CrossFit is an amazing strength and conditioning program, and while it has evolved into a sport all its own, that doesn’t mean your life must revolve around it. Get out and enjoy the things you like – whether that’s a Spartan Race, hiking in the mountains, snowboarding, or simply spending more active time with your friends and family. Many of our members have also found that CrossFit gives them more mental endurance which translates to improved careers, relationships, and lower levels of stress.  CrossFit not only helps you get in shape, but helps you enjoy a more awesome life.