“I’m not fit enough for CrossFit”, “I wouldn’t survive the session!” & “I’ve seen CrossFit on YouTube and I definitely can’t do that!” are all things that we have heard people say or even thought ourselves before diving into the world of CrossFit. To the uninitiated, it can seem like an intimidating world of AMRAPs, EMOMs, heavy lifting, complex gymnastics and sweaty conditioning work full of supremely fit people. It’s too easy to forget that we all start somewhere and the beginning of that journey to health looks different for every single person, there is no such thing as being too unfit to start CrossFit. Throughout this blog I’ve spoken to two CFEN legends, Michael ‘Chunk’ Higham who first visited CFEN in June 2015 and Kirsty Hayhoe who has been a member since September 2016, both of whom were fed up with ‘traditional’ gyms and have flourished since joining CFEN!
I was worried about my level of fitness and ability and not being able to successfully join in and complete a session. For me I massively regret not joining CFEN earlier, putting it off because of my insecurities and worries about not being fit enough or able to join in with the classes.”
One of the great things that has given CrossFit publicity all over the world is its competitive side, the hunt to find the fittest men, women and teams on the planet culminating in the CrossFit Games and all the media coverage that surrounds it. The Games have given CrossFit huge exposure and made it extremely popular but on the down side it means that many people’s first impression of CrossFit is the 40 fittest people on the planet battling tooth and nail for every second in every workout. Competitive CrossFit gives many people at all levels the outlet that they need from their training and a great opportunity to gauge their progress. However competitive CrossFit is very, very different from the daily training methodology aimed at providing broad base of fitness to everybody. The fact that Mo Farah spends 6 months every year in Kenya training to be the best middle distance runner in the world doesn’t mean that the average person needs to get their passport out if they want to get fitter, an extreme example but you see my point
“I can understand that people feel that they’re not fit enough to start CrossFit, I know I did, but now I see that’s a bit like saying you need to be able to swim before you can start swimming lessons. I’ve found the only exercise that I’ve ever enjoyed, made lots of new friends and have the strength to carry out daily chores now without needing to collapse on the sofa afterwards! I’d say if you’ve tried other exercise or never tried exercise, give CrossFit a go. It definitely worked for me.”
The beauty of the way that CrossFit workouts are structured is that every movement can be scaled to an athlete’s individual ability, fitness levels, injuries or imbalances. It is possible to have someone who has never tried a CrossFit workout and the fittest athletes in the world side by side completing the same workout and they will get the same thing from it if scaled appropriately.
“Every single workout has scaled options that means every single person no matter what level of ability you are currently at will be able to complete a workout. I love the fact I can walk in to any class at CFEN and be completing the same workout as an elite athlete having both worked just as hard as each other.”
The balance between intensity and movement mechanics is the key to maximising sustainable improvements, this is where your coaches will help you maintain that balance. There is no such thing as a great racing driver who has never crashed or a great guitarist that has never made a mistake, to improve in any aspect, we must push outside our comfort zones slightly. However intensity means different things to different people, for one person intensity is running 400m in 1:05 and for another intensity is running 400m unbroken. Intensity is the good stuff, this is where we get the most benefit and can have the most positive impact on your health and fitness!
“I have tried other gyms but they can be intimidating, working in a team and knowing the group you’re with is a great antidote to this. I also love having a different routine every day so it’s always varied and interesting. The team element is a massive part of CrossFit and the friendliness and support gets you through the tougher workouts and pushes you more than you ever would on your own. I’m three months in and I still look at the board with the day’s routine on and wonder how on earth I’m going to do it but the coaches Jack and Ed are amazing at adapting and supporting so everything is challenging but possible.”
The CFEN ethos is that we have a big focus on constantly improving technique and making sure that our members move really well. Building the foundations of great movement not only maximises performance in the gym but also has huge benefits to long term health outside the gym!
I was so nervous when I first walked in and everyone else was clearly a million times fitter than me! But the group was so friendly and welcoming, I was soon at ease. I found no-one cares at all if you’re clumsy or the least fit, they just care that you’re giving it a go.”
For the majority of our members CFEN is their first exposure to CrossFit, which means that we all remember what it feels like being a new member, walking into the gym the first time not knowing what the movements are, what an AMRAP is or what WOD means. Our aim at CFEN is to make it as easy as possible for brand new members to walk in through the door and instantly get involved with the community and get the best out of CrossFit!
I was very nervous about attending my 1st session which was a Virtuosity classes held on Sundays (recommended to me by Coach Jack after enquiring about trying CrossFit). I was worried about my level of fitness and ability and not being able to successfully join in and complete a session.
I couldn’t have been more wrong in my pre-conceptions of how CrossFit would be. My very first impression could not have been better. Being warmly greeted by the owner and coach himself who showed us the gym before the session and introduced us to current members. Both Jack and the members could not have made me feel more welcome or at ease throughout. The encouragement and support throughout the sessions is second to none and you are always made to feel equal no matter what level of ability you are currently at. Everyone cheers each other on and it is much more about helping each other develop and progress than competing to beat one another and get ahead (although there is a really fun competitive edge at times).”
Whether you’re part of Team CFEN or train at another affiliate share this article along with your stories of when you first experienced CrossFit, there is no such thing as not fit enough to start CrossFit, spread the word!!!
Click below to come down and try a class for yourself and join the legends of Team CFEN!