Crossfit is considered by many, to not so much be a training principle, but rather a way of life, and when you consider just how far crossfit has come over such a short amount of time, well, the results basically speak for themselves. Less than six years ago, most people had no idea what crossfit was and why it could be so beneficial, yet nowadays we have crossfit gyms and athletic centres opening up all over the globe, and we even have an annual crossfit games event, that is now televised and is becoming more and more popular with each passing day. Just to give you an idea of how popular corssfit has become, currently, there are more than 9000 crossfit gyms, which by the way, are referred to as ‘boxes’ by crossfitters, whereas back in the year 2005, there were just 13. In just over a decade, these results in one single country, basically speak for themselves. Each year, the sport is growing by more than 160 percent, and it is seeing more and more members join up every single day. However, as more and more people are joining up, this means that many of them will obviously have no previous experience when it comes to crossfit, so mistakes will be made. If you’re new to crossfit and are looking to get the most out of your experience, take a look at the following, as we look at common mistakes that new crossfitters tend to make.
Focusing on reps instead of form
The great thing about a crossfit session is that you never know what is in store for that particular workout. You see, each crossfit workout is known as a WOD, or a ‘Workout of the day’ and every day an entirely different workout will be created. For those WODs that include Olympic lifts, or any other type of lift for that matter, a lot of new crossfitters will focus on how many reps they are able to get, rather than their form. When lifting, form is essential to not only see and feel the benefit of the lift, but to also keep yourself safe and well protected. If you are rocking back and forth, arching your back, leaning back, and generally cheating with your reps, even though you may perform 20 plus, of those 20 plus reps, only a few will actually prove to be of any use to you. Put simply, if you have to cheat, the weight is too heavy.
Failing to warm up
Warming up before exercise of any kind is absolutely essential, but when it comes to crossfit, warming up beforehand is absolutely essential. With crossfit, you are combining aerobic exercise with anaerobic exercise, as you perform cardio exercises, full body exercises, isolation exercises, compound exercises, strength exercises, and more, all in the same workout. This means that different muscle groups and bodyparts are recruited at different intensities, so you are constantly at risk of injury. By warming up, you help to reduce the risk of injury. Failing to warm up, then, is only asking for trouble. A simple warm up can be completed in around five minutes, so there really is no excuse for not warming up before you train.
Training too much
Many crossfitters are absolute machines in the gym, as crossfit improves your health and fitness in a variety of different ways. Crossfit creates athletes of the highest calibre, yet even the fittest and healthiest of people may still need a break from time to time. Some crossfitters actually form pretty unhealthy relationships with their chosen discipline as they may become obsessed and may think that they need to train every single day in order to benefit. In reality, when it comes to crossfit, getting enough rest is just as important as training, especially because you are giving your body such a battering. Ideally you should get at least two full days off from training, and you must ensure you are getting enough sleep. If you are feeling especially tired and sore, you could be overtraining, in which an entire week would prove especially beneficial.
Trying to do too much too soon
Seasoned crossfitters as mentioned, are absolute machines as they are incredibly fit and healthy, yet they have the stamina of a racehorse, and they are incredibly strong as well. Of course it is perfectly fine to strive for all of those things, but if you are new to crossfit, you shouldn’t even consider trying to hand with the seasoned veterans, as that is simply not feasible. Don’t even consider trying to lift the types of weights that they do, and don’t try to keep up with them in the endurance events either. Put simply, you should work within your means and limits, so if something is tough, there is no shame in making it a little easier.
Ignoring their diets
Whilst a typical crossfit WOD could burn upwards of 1000 calories in some cases, this does not give you the right to binge eat and to stuff your face with junk. Yes, providing you keep your calories below maintenance you will still lose weight, but there is more to nutrition than just weight loss. In order to get the most from your training and to look and feel your best, you will need to consume plenty of healthy, fresh, and nutritionally balanced foods that will help to boost your health and well-being. Sure, a nice meal out every Friday evening is perfectly fine, but if you are eating junk food every night that you train, not only will you not be getting enough nutrients, but on top of that, your health will suffer due to the fact that you are consuming so much junk.