Myths about CrossFit & beginners


  • Myth # 1 : CrossFit makes beginners  injured
Blair Morrison: “False.  Bad coaching makes beginners injured. In every training program.  In every sport.”
Morten Sværke: “False. Any training program can injure beginners who push themselves too hard, do not take care of themselves or know the difference between “good” pain (the kind that will make you stronger) and “bad” pain (the kind that will result in injury). CrossFit is neither better nor worse than most sports. If you have good instructors and your ego allows you to scale workouts, the risk of injury should be very low.”
Thor Larsen: “False! Unless they start raping their shoulders by doing insane amounts of kipping pull ups with bad form before having the strenght to do a decent amount of strict pull ups. Or try to lift too heavy too fast with bad form.”
Jason Mulligan: “False. Good initial instruction will emphasize mechanics”
Liz Gunner: ” False.  CrossFit can cause injuries at any level, just like any other sport. It is often, however, the individual’s fault for either not knowing their limits, using poor technique, not allowing enough time for recovery, etc.”
Kyle Raymond: “Fit as F*ck recently (October 22nd) posted an article by Fabio Comana, M.S., M.A..  In that article he discusses the risk of injury in CrossFit for beginners as well as experienced CrossFitters.  It’s definitely worth a read.   Without any empirical evidence either way I would imagine the risk of injury is higher for beginner crossfitters.  Anon crossfit example would be the first time I saw someone jump on a swiss ball.   I thought it looked pretty cool so I immediately had to try it.  Needless to say I landed pretty hard on my back and managed to hit the elderly women beside me with the ball.  The morale of the store is sometimes taking your time and progressing only when you are ready is the best way to go.  For jumping on the swiss ball that meant first being able to stand up from kneeling on it, then just stepping up on it, to finally jumping on it.  ” 
  • Myth # 2: Beginners should train 5- 6 times a week to get better, faster.
Blair Morrison: “False. A beginner needs to rest a lot early on to allow his/her body to adapt to the new stress being placed upon it. “
Morten Sværke: ” False. According to my experience, there’s no set rule as to how often you should train. It all depends on your general fitness level, your recovery rate, your quality of rest and the quality of your diet. According to these factors, you need to set your own schedule and review it once in a while to account for any changes. If you come from high performance in another sport with similar attributes to CrossFit, you may be able to start with such a schedule as the one mentioned.
Most beginners, however, would be better off starting with 1-3 WODs a week and slowly build up.
Your best bet is to talk to an instructor and have him/her help you out with your schedule. Take notice of how your body feels and scale down/up accordingly, preferably while in dialogue with your instructor.
You have to be able to recover properly (though not always fully) between work-outs. If you do not recover enough, your body will grow weaker instead of stronger and injuries will be more likely to occur. On the other hand, if you recover fully too long before your next workout, you will quickly reach a plateau and your development will seize. Always look for the perfect balance, and don’t be afraid to shake it up once in a while.
Thor Larsen: ” False! Depending on your athletic background 2 – 3 times a week will be enough the first 4-6 weeks. The new movements, exercises, heavy weights and high intensity require alot of adaptation – especially if you haven’t done any training for a while.”

Average Joe: ” True. I did it once, and it was a really good week.”
Liz Gunner: “Training volume is completely dependent on the person. There are so many variables (athletic background, current shape, goals, etc.) which go in to determining the best schedule that it has to be done individually. The fastest route to getting better is not necessarily a high volume of workouts.”  
Kyle Raymond: “This depends on your training background.  If you’re a complete novice (someone who has never followed a training program or participated in a competitive sport) then you might want to start off a little slower, perhaps 3 times a week to allow your body time to adapt.  The same advice would apply to someone who hasn’t been physically active for quite some time (you tend to detrain as quickly as you progressed).  Otherwise, jump right in and start showing up the more experienced CrossFitters.”
  • Myth # 3: Beginners should keep to themselves to awoid “distracting” the better athletes  
Blair Morrison: “FALSE.  How else are they going to get better unless they see those better than them?” 
Morten Sværke: “False. Absolutely, truly and utterly false. If the better athletes make you feel as if they’re more important than you, talk to an instructor about it. If it’s a general vibe in your gym, go find another one. 
CrossFit is a fitness program, but more importantly (to my mind), it should be a gathering point. Your CrossFit gym should quickly start to feel like your home away  from home—the other athletes your extended family. If it does not, I personally would not want to train there.
The better athletes is probably willing to share their knowledge and help you out with whatever you’re struggling with right now. They’ve probably struggled with the same stuff. Who knows, they might still be struggling with it. We all have weaknesses.
That being said, try to not distract people in the middle of a WOD. Wether they’re completely new or one of the top firebreathers in your gym, no one wants to discuss the weather while working their ass off :)”

Jason Mulligan: “False. Consult with as many athletes as you can, and learn what improves your performance.”

Liz Gunner: ” The community aspect of CrossFit is the foundation for many CrossFitters. Whether it is your first day or your 500th, you will be able to relate to someone. The discussions on the WOD, technique, PRs, new skills and daily life which take place every day at a box are what make CrossFit great.”   

Kyle Raymond: “False.  As a beginner you can learn a lot from befriending experienced crossfitters, especially when it comes to strategies for WOD’s and technique. ”   

Whats your opinion? Feel free to post your thougths to comments!


2 thoughts on “Myths about CrossFit & beginners

  1. Great read. More of this please!

  2. I couldn’t agree with you more about #2. Each person is so different, so you can’t really put an exact number of days beginners should train. Some more athletically sound people can recover a lot faster than others so they can do more WODs in a given week. Others that are really deconditioned should take a few days in the week for their bodies to heel. Thanks for the post! -Luke

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