Hey, guess what? That guy over there snatching your bodyweight was in your shoes at one time, yes really, that athletic looking fella was you – oh and see that girl back squatting triple figures? She was you as well, oh and the coach who doesn’t look phased at what’s going on…
Don’t believe me? Go ask them, ask what their first experience of Crossfit was like, I could probably count of one hand the amount of people that I’ve seen take to this like a duck to water – I’ve seen physically fit people breathless in the warm up, have trouble with the technicalities of the Oly lifts and turn white when we’ve mentioned the ‘F’ word (and no not the one you’re thinking of right now!).
What they all have in common though is that they came back, the next day and then the day after that and so on so forth. The minimum three (but ideally 4-5) sessions a week we enforce at Adapt is to ensure you give yourself the chance to immerse yourself in our community, that you learn some of the more difficult movements through repetition and not once a week before giving up and of course for the body to adapt to a new level of stimulus you ideally need to experience it around that four times a week mark.
I tend to do most things the hard way and my first experience in a Crossfit box was no exception! I’d just qualified as a personal trainer and was training nearly every day. I had a decent level of fitness before then through triathlons but I was back playing with weights as well as cardio. I’d already booked myself on the Crossfit Level 1 coaching course before I had ever tried it, I’d be playing with my own WODs in a globo gym but had never been to a box, I was looking for something a bit different to triathlons though and this seemed like something I’d enjoy. So I rocked up to the box in Central London and was greeted by the sight of all these athletic, muscular guys and girls in fitted shirts/shorts all rocking different aggressive slogans warming up, I had a mixture of intimidation and awe! I was worried I’d look a right idiot when it was my turn to do something but I was already drawn in and had paid my money so although I stood at the back of the group I had to give it a go. I can’t remember exactly the order we did the movements but I’d never tried olympic lifting or a muscle up before, my pull ups were all strict but no more than about two and very dirty and all I had to my arsenal was endurance! After going through coaching cues for different movements we had a group WOD…… FRAN (see ‘F’ word above)! Bit like school, people were looking around to team up with those who looked like they did thrusters and pull ups for fun, or those they had travelled with. My team were made up of the four in the group who didn’t fit this criteria! We came in last, but were cheered on in typical Crossfit fashion to the end, my mind was officially blown! Coming from a team sport background where you’re used to group activities or loud atmospheres I was hooked – I immediately found the closest box to me and quit my other gym membership to join, the 25/30 minute journey compared to 10 at the globo gym was well worth it, I was taken through fundamentals by the owner Rob (Manlove) who will head to Regionals this year for the third time in succession and got amongst it.
If you haven’t already realised, this is different to a normal gym, I was hooked but equally frustrated at not yet being able to hit a workout at RX, so bands were used, lighter weights lifted and a scaled approach taken until I got my technique right (as well as leaving my ego at the door). I’ve introduced mates to the sport and seen each and everyone of them struggle either in the warm up or during the technical stuff, those who stuck at it though and bought into the community, work ethic and support structure are reaping the benefits, some have even gone onto be coaches themselves.
Three years on and I’m still learning and changing physically, even a year ago I was a lot smaller in frame – I’m on a journey, still finding new ways to do things, still surprising myself and still loving the community I am surrounded by. I no longer have to go to a gym and fight my way around classes or the weights room, hide behind my ipod and try to motivate myself for an hour when mostly I wasn’t training to max capacity.
Yes it’s intimidating, but only at the start because by the end of your first group class enough of our guys and girls would have looked you in the eye when introducing themselves and given you the ‘it’s alright, we’ve all been there’ expression!
The secret to changing yourself physically and mentally isn’t actually a secret, it’s an easy formula: Surround yourself with people who inspire you and support you. We really want you to succeed, just promise yourself to turn up 3 – 5 days a week and give this a real go, even when it seems you’re never getting it or you’re spent during the WOD, it gets better I promise!