Whether you're eager to try your first class or just slightly Cross-curious, more information will help your first foray into the CrossFit world. As it turns out, there's a lot more to it than putting on long socks and doing weird pull-ups. If you're thinking about joining us, here are answers to some questions you might have.
IS CROSSFIT FOR ME?
The simple answer is, yes. CrossFit is for everyone. Everyone starts out as a beginner at many different levels. Some may not be able to do a push up, others may be able to do 20 push-ups. It truly doesn’t matter because CrossFit is about YOU. It is you against you. You will progress as you start to feel stronger and become more confident in your abilities. You will find that you are more capable than you think you are. The classes will have everyone in it with varying degrees of skill. We promise that after joining CrossFit you will look back at your first workout and think “Wow I cannot believe how far I have come!”.
DO I HAVE TO BE IN SHAPE BEFORE I CAN START CROSSFIT?
No. It will actually be more beneficial if you start CrossFit without any knowledge of how to exercise. You get to learn the important fundamentals right off the bat. This will allow you to develop a great base. Exercising without coaching can lead to improper form, muscular imbalances, and higher risk for injury. One of the best things about CrossFit is that it's almost infinitely scalable. If you can't do the workout as prescribed, then you do what you can. So, if you can't do bodyweight pull-ups, you can do ring rows, or use bands, or you can do jumping pull-ups. The same goes for almost every movement. If you're uncomfortable deadlifting 135 pounds, deadlift less. If you don't want to do box jumps on a 36-inch box, use 20 inches. Moreover, nobody is going to force you to do something you're completely unprepared to do. You'll go over how to do movements and lifts before you're ever asked to.
However, CrossFit is also good at challenging you to do more than you think you can. The line between giving up and truly failing because you're so fatigued you can't even lift your finger, might seem pretty thin. A tough CrossFit WOD can teach you the difference.
WILL I LOSE WEIGHT?
If you remain dedicated and maintain a healthy diet, weight loss is almost guaranteed. At first you might see a weight gain but not size, and then, all of a sudden, you will hit that tipping point where the muscle you've been adding is burning enough calories each night that you start to drop pounds. Then you will start to notice that you look better, feel better and have a lot more energy to do more of the things that will really help you lose the weight. That being said, CrossFit is not a "magic pill" and needs to be supplemented with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Here at Chinook CrossFit we offer nutritional counselling and can help put you on a program that works for you.
WHAT SHOULD I EXPECT DURING MY FIRST FEW WEEKS?
You can expect to be challenged. Many people go into CrossFit with expectations that turn out to be untrue. You'll do movements you've never heard of and new variations of challenging lifts. You'll exert more energy than you're accustomed to and you may feel a little lost. That's OK: there's a learning curve. Don't fear starting at the beginning. Learn the mechanics and try new things. You'll improve quicker than you think.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO SEE RESULTS?
This really depends on how hard YOU are willing to work. Someone that is dedicated and wants results instantly can achieve it fast. If you are willing to change your nutrition and start exercising immediately, then you could achieve results in a few weeks. The average person can start to see physical changes in 4-8 weeks. You will also experience more energy throughout the day, better sleep, better focus, and less stress after a few sessions.
WILL CROSSFIT HELP ME ACHIEVE MY FITNESS GOALS?
That depends upon your goals. If you would like to be fitter, stronger, more athletic, and more mobile, then CrossFit can help. However, the whole point of doing CrossFit is to become a "Jack of all trades," so if you want to specialize in something, then CrossFit programming may not be what you need.
This is particularly true if you're a bodybuilder or a strength athlete. CrossFit isn't going to make you huge, unless you dedicate extra time to improving your strength or size.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
You will first learn foundational functional movements then you will learn how to perform body-weight exercise and weight training. We use kettlebells, barbells, gymnastic movements, Olympic lifts, bands, rings, rowers, medicine balls, dumbbells, and more. When you take your first class, you'll do a workout of the day (WOD), which will more than likely include a met-con (metabolic conditioning session). In a met-con, you'll try to get as many rounds or reps as you can in a given amount of time. The movements, rounds, reps, and other details always vary, so you never know what to expect. One day you could run 400m and do pull-ups, and the next day you could be doing kettlebell swings, burpees, and box jumps. But CrossFit goes beyond that. Here at Chinook CrossFit we invest time to coach you how to do technical compound lifts and Olympic lifts, skills like double-unders and kipping pull-ups, and even running and rowing techniques.
WHAT DOES CHINOOK CROSSFIT OFFER THAT A COMMERCIAL GYM DOESN'T?
The most important part is coaching. Having a knowledgeable coach with you during your WOD will reduce the risk of injury, improve your fitness faster, and fix bad mechanics. You can’t see yourself while you train. This leads to bad form and bad habits. These problems will actually be harder to correct in the future. When working out on your own you are missing the warm-up, cool down, and fun time. We focus on warm-up, skills and cool-down daily. We also work a lot on mobility and stretching for injury prevention. Instead of a maze of exercise machines and dumbbell racks, you'll find a smaller array of barbells, bumper plates, lifting platforms, climbing ropes, rings, medicine balls, kettlebells, and a whole lot of pull-up bars at your local box. You'll also get more personal training and a freedom to lift how you want. Here, you don't have to worry about dropping your heavy deadlift, getting yelled at for grunting, or being kicked out for being too awesome. The next best part about being a member with Chinook CrossFit is that you become a big part of a new community, another family, and enjoy the camaraderie. Having a good base of positive people around you is the best environment to train in. Not only will you be pushed harder because of the support from everyone, but you will have a great time doing it. Take a look at your chain gym. When you walk in, you will see a bunch of people with an IPod. Everyone is secluded and not interacting with anyone else. This leads to boring workouts that have no intensity (which means ineffective) and eventually pushes people to quit exercising. If you go to any CrossFit gym, you will see that the energy is high, everyone is encouraging, and everyone really cares about each other.
WHAT IS THE CLASS STRUCTURE LIKE?
Classes are approximately 1 hour. The first 10-15 minutes are dedicated to warm-up time, and mobility work. We then go over the WOD, cover movements and help you scale (if needed). Finally, the group WOD is performed (this lasts between 5-30 min depending on the WOD). The remainder of the time is left for cool-down or skill work.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD I DO CROSSFIT?
We program WODs Monday-Sunday at Chinook CrossFit. That doesn’t mean you need to work-out 7 days per week. For newcomers, we recommend two days on, followed by one-two days off. Once you are acclimated to the training we encourage 5-6 days per week with one-two days off for best results. Two days off don't have to be in a row, make it work with your schedule. You will see results if you can commit to a minimum of 4 classes per week.
WILL I GET BULKY DOING CROSSFIT?
This is the biggest fear that most women have when exercising. That is why you mainly see women on the cardio machines in the gym and not in the weight room. Women need to incorporate strength training more than men because they are at higher risk for osteoporosis. Your bones are not going to get stronger by hitting the elliptical every day. Also, testosterone is required for a person to develop large muscles. Women have 1/10 the testosterone as men which makes it impossible to develop huge muscles naturally. The huge and buff women you see in body building magazines are taking testosterone injections, eating a diet geared towards “bulking”, and working very differently than we do here at Chinook CrossFit. Have no fear of getting bulky, I promise you it won’t happen. CrossFit will actually give women the look they are after. Our program will help you burn fat and increase lean muscle mass. This results in a lean and “toned” body much like a dancer, and not like a bodybuilder.
I’M REALLY FIT AND WOULD LIKE TO SKIP THE CROSSFIT FUNDAMENTALS PROGRAM AND COME TO DO THE WOD, CAN I DO THAT?
You can, if you are an experienced CrossFitter. If you don't have any experience with CrossFit, then you will be doing a modified version of the WOD designed specifically for people new to CrossFit. Then if you like our CrossFit classes, gym and atmosphere in the gym and would like to sign up for a membership, you must complete Fundamentals Program.
I’M JUST VISITING CALGARY, BUT I’VE BEEN CROSSFITTING FOR SO LONG THAT I DO KIPPING PULL-UPS IN MY SLEEP. CAN I JOIN A CLASS?
We welcome experienced CrossFiter’s from all over the world. You must check our class schedule AND email us to come in for a class. We cap our classes, so mandatory reservation is necessary. You will need to sign a waiver once you arrive so please come early. Be sure to let your coach know your level of experience with CrossFit style training, if you have any limitations or are still at a beginner level.