Coach James and Nanook have fun during a CrossFit summer running workout.
Myth: I Need to Get In Shape Before I Start CrossFit
If I had a dollar for every time I've heard this I could take my dream trip to the Seychelles tomorrow. In fact, this was the very excuse my husband, Coach James, used for 6 months before finally doing his first CrossFit workout. He, like many others, thought that getting in shape meant improving his "cardio."
Cardio endurance is absolutely one of the physical fitness skills we aim to improve through CrossFit cross-training, however, it's not the only one. We seek to improve and increase 10 physical fitness skills: Cardio, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility, Power, Speed, Agility, Balance, Coordination, and Accuracy. For most people, James included, getting in shape means solely improving cardio endurance and the most common method to improve cardio is though long runs and long bike rides. Neither of these cardio training pursuits will prepare you for CrossFit.
CrossFit is a constantly varied cross training strength and conditioning program. That means that we do lots of different things, including long runs, rows and bike rides, to get us in really, really good shape. We also do sprints, jumping rope, hauling, carrying, and pushing weighted objects, throwing weighted objects, pulling ourselves up over something or up from the ground. We occasionally carry our gym buddies and we always work hard, have fun and work up a "make-me-forget-all-my-problems" sweat. There's not much you can do to get you ready for this kind of training.
The great thing about how we do CrossFit at True Spirit is that we modify and personalize every single workout so that our 10 year CrossFit veterans can workout side by side with our 10 day CrossFit novices. Everything we do can be adjusted to fit each individuals' need and all of our Coaches have gone through extensive training and continuing education to develop their ability to improvise and adapt every workout for anyone.
What I find most interesting about the myth that you need to get in shape before you start CrossFit is that it doesn't exist for any other physical fitness program. I've never heard anyone say they need to get in shape before they start Zumba, barre, spin classes, or HIIT programs. Yet, these physical fitness programs have complex choreography and specific movements unique to them that certainly require an initial learning period.
No matter, whatever exercise program you decide to pursue, there is no need to get in shape before you start. The sole point of starting an exercise program is to GET YOU IN SHAPE! Why else would you be considering it?
So, what do you need to do before you start CrossFit? Nothing, you just need to start.
If you're a nerd like me and you want to know exactly how CrossFit's cross-training program improves your cardio, read the article below.
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