Is CrossFit for me?

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I've been that person on the treadmill, flipping through People magazine. I show up, “work out” and leave and nobody noticed if I’d skip a day. Looking back it’s no wonder that I never got the results I wanted. So I got brave and tried CrossFit and discovered that CrossFit is the Cheers of the work out world - where everyone knowns you name. A friendly and accepting place, where everyone is an athlete, and everyone’s attendance, participation and progress matters. Is it physically hard? Yes, and some days I am sore. What I would tell someone who is thinking about CrossFit is that it can change your life in amazing ways. I’m stronger and have better flexibility, but what I didn’t realize when I walked in the door is the friends I would make and how important our community is. I’ll never treadmill alone again. 

So imagine for a moment you took that first step and walked into Jet City? Then what???

  1. Don't worry about being the new kid. Someone will walk up to you and get the ball rolling. You are not alone.
  2. Say something to your coach.  If you don’t have your “A” game, or are feeling intimidated, let them know. There is always an alternative. 
  3. Stronger than yesterday. Really, each work out is an investment in yourself, your loved ones, and your community. Be healthy for the long hall. 
  4. Stretch it out. Dedicate some extra time in or out of the gym to stretch, your body will thank you.
  5. Celebrate every victory, reinforce the positive, and keep on keeping on because the CrossFit journey is worth it! 

Barbells are just equipment

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Barbells... If you haven't been into a gym (or even if you have) your exposure to them is probably pretty limited. Maybe you've seen videos of bros lifting them above their heads while making guttural noises that sound like they're dying. Or some big dude laying on his back, face bright red, struggling as hard as he can to get that thing up in the air. Nothing looks fun about that. They're loud, and heavy, and there's lots of math involved. PLUS they're not cardio and if your goal is to lose weight, you should be doing cardio, right? (more on that later) As someone who was so intimidated by the idea of CrossFit that it took me a year to come back after I first tried it, I get it.  

So why do we use barbells in CrossFit?

  1. Because building muscle burns calories faster (and for longer) than cardio. You can spend 45 minutes on a treadmill jamming out to your favorite tunes, or you can spend 20 minutes practicing lifts and have a very similar (if not better!) result.

  2. Because you aren't good at them right away. Barbell work requires practice and technique. CrossFit works your mind just as much as your body. Figuring out the right way to get that bar to your shoulders is one of the best challenges we offer. It's also something you can absolutely learn!

  3. Because they use your entire body. Getting a barbell up to your shoulders, even without much weight on it, requires your legs and hips to work together. Give me a short barbell workout over 45 minutes on the treadmill any day (are you sensing how I feel about the treadmill?).

  4. Because Functional Fitness! Seriously, strengthening your body won’t just help you at the gym. Lifting a 50lb bag of dog food into your shopping cart!? No problem after a little time spent with a barbell.

So why let fear of the unknown stop you? At the end of the day, they're just a piece of equipment - same as a kettlebell, or a jump rope. You don't just walk into a gym knowing how to use a kettlebell, right? Someone needs to show you how best to use it and help you figure out the best weight for you.

Could you get hurt using a barbell? Sure, but you can also get hurt walking down stairs. The point of CrossFit is that you have well trained coaches watching out for you and teaching you everything you need to know. Before we let you pick up a barbell, we're going to give you a PVC pipe, and then just a regular ol' pipe, then a barbell that weighs 15 pounds... and so on. You don't just walk into Jet City on day 1, get handed a barbell and thrown into a workout. Safety is the name of the game (and it's one we take very seriously).

As a theater person turned fitness nerd, my only exposure to barbells before CrossFit were those terrible videos on YouTube - so I get it. But I can tell you now that they're some of my favorite things to work with in the gym. My best moments have been finally getting the technique on a lift, or hitting a PR (Personal Record) - I usually dance around the gym when that happens. Do you ever dance around the gym in celebration after getting off the treadmill?

I'll say it again for those of you in the back of the room: don't let the fear of the unknown stop you. Barbells are just another piece of equipment and it's our job to show you how to use them and make them less scary. CrossFit is infinitely scalable and adaptable - so your aversion to barbells isn't as much of a deal breaker as you might think.

Have questions!? Book a No Sweat Intro and let's chat!

 

Start Where You Are

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We hear it all the time: “I want to try CrossFit, but I think I need to get in shape before I can do that” or “I’ll start CrossFit after I’ve gone to the gym on my own for a while” or “I’m too out of shape for CrossFit.”

Now imagine someone who can’t cook at all; that person who burns water and microwaves every meal. Let’s call him Bob. Bob signs up for a 6-week cooking bootcamp where he’ll learn the basics: chopping, making sauces, roasting meats. He’s worried that he’s not ready for cooking class, so he decides to see what he can learn about cooking on his own before it starts. He spends hours online watching cooking videos, he buys a fancy knife set and practices chopping vegetables. By the time his first class rolls around, he’s got cuts on his fingers and a sore elbow from all of the chopping, and he’s so overwhelmed with trying to figure out how to cook on his own that he’s not even sure why he signed up anymore.

Would Bob have needed a cooking class if he’d already known how to cook? No, he signed up so that someone with experience could teach him the basics. He recognized that what he’d been trying on his own for years wasn’t working and it was time to make a change. If he’d known how to turn his culinary life around on his own, he would have already done it.

It’s the same with CrossFit. If you’re already a workout machine, you may not need us (we’d disagree, because there’s always room for improvement... but that’s another blog post). If you’re new to all of this why would you try to figure it out on your own? The wonderful thing about classes at Jet City is that you’re never alone and you don't have to figure things out by yourself. They're designed to meet you at your level, and adjust with you as you grow. You don’t have to know everything, and you don't have to be fit to walk in the door. In fact, that’s the entire point. CrossFit really is for everyone at any level: 65-year old retiree, stay at home Mom, adaptive athlete, you.

Don’t know how to lift weights!? We’d love to teach you (and have lots of experience and training)! Can’t jump!? We have boxes you can step onto instead. Don’t know when to do a sit up vs a push up? That’s what we’re here for.

Look, no one is born knowing how to do any of this - it’s something you learn over time (while improving your flexibility, health, and learning about yourself in the process). We were all new once: the people you see on TV with the crazy muscles, the coaches and staff at Jet City, the other folks you’ll meet around the gym. You don’t have to do this on your own, and you don’t have to be fit to walk in the door. Start where you are.

You can do this. We’re waiting for you.

Do I need lifting shoes?

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They’re not required, but depending on your goals and your body, they might really help. There’s no rule: some people prefer Converse for squatting, some deadlift barefoot. It’s mostly a matter of personal preference.

Crossfit shoes are squishy (for good reason) but squishy doesn’t help you with lifting. You want a solid base from which to push off of the ground. Lifters can help stay more upright in squats by increasing your ankle range of motion.

Do you need to wear them every time you lift?
No. Depends on what you’re doing. They’re great for squats, cleans, and snatches, but you can also use them for things like wall balls. One option is to assess the movements and determine if the cost will outweigh the benefit. For example, if the workout has snatches, wall balls, and box jumps you might decide to wear lifters because they’ll help you with the snatches and wall balls, even though they might be a little bit of a challenge for the box jumps. Again, it’s all a matter of knowing your body and figuring out what works best for you. 

So how do you decide your preference!? Try them! We have a few pairs of lifters to try at the gym. Next time we lift, give them a shot. You can also talk to your coach about your particular challenges and goals - they’ll have plenty of good ideas.

Want to know more? Read more or talk to a coach! 

How am I going to keep up with everyone else?

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We hear this question often. Here’s the answer: You aren’t. You are going to do your version of the workout, not theirs.

Think of it like a car: Cars are tools designed to be customized to the driver. You adjust the seat, the mirrors, the radio. You decide how fast, what lane, etc. A car’s job is to get you from point A to B.

Crossfit is the same: workouts are a tool to get you to health & fitness. You can adjust weight, speed, movements, etc. The goal isn’t to do it just like someone else, it’s to get the work done in a way that works for you. All workouts are adjustable to your specific level and ability - we’ll help you figure out how. That’s what we’re here for! That’s actually one of the benefits of CrossFit over a typical gym membership: a supportive coach will guide you through the class and help you find the best way to do the movement.

Would you be upset if you got to the end of a trip and didn’t drive your car the exact same way someone else did, with the exact same settings? We hope not. Youshouldn’t be upset if something similar happened in CrossFit.

The point isn’t to drive someone else’s car - it’s to drive yours