10 Lessons for Box Newbies
If you've been training at your box for a while, you'll probably already know most of what I'm about to tell you. However, for those new to your box, there are some key lessons that can make WODs more beneficial and enjoyable! Here are our top 10:
1. Everyone Starts Somewhere
Walking into a box for the first time is intimidating: there are abs and barbells everywhere, and someone's inevitably knocking out unbroken muscle-ups in the corner.
For those new to the sport, it can be easy to assume you're in the wrong place. You're not. Everyone starts somewhere and, with a little commitment, it won't be long until you're the one showing off your skills on the rings.
2. There's No Shame in Scaling
We've said it before, but this is one of the most important lessons to learn when you first join a box. Even if you already consider yourself to be fit and strong, you'll probably need to scale to start off with.
WODs are short and intense. If you're capable of lifting the weight in a normal training environment, you're going to need some time to adapt to the intensity.
Start small, and work your way up. If you scale appropriately, you'll get the maximum benefit from each WOD, whilst keeping form and safety your top priority.
3. What You Eat Matters
What happens in the box is important, but your results are determined by what happens when you're not there. Make sure you're well fuelled for each class, and focus on eating high-quality food to enhance your recovery.
To get the most from your time in the box, you should also make sure you're getting enough sleep, keep your stress to a minimum, and supplement where appropriate.
4. Don't Be Afraid to Try New Things
According to Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, this is what it's all about:
Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast.
Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense.
Regularly learn and play new sports.
5. Common Sense Prevents Most Injuries
Despite what you might hear from your friends and family, WODs aren't dangerous. If you've found yourself a decent box, the coaches will take pride in ensuring all workouts are safe for their members to complete.
That said, if you don't use your common sense from time to time, you're likely to end up with an injury at some point.
6. Rest Days Are Important Too
Rest days are so important, both for injury prevention and maximising your gains. If you don't give your body enough time to recover, you'll limit your progress.
If you feel tired all the time, it's a sign you need to rest more. Everyone's different, so it's impossible to tell you how many rest days you'll need each week. Listen to your body - if you think it's time to rest, you're probably right.
7. Ask Questions
There's no such thing as a stupid question.
Actually, if you've ever listened to an athlete briefing before a competition, you'll know that's a lie - but it's still important to ask questions, no matter how ridiculous they seem!
If you're unsure about a movement or WOD, need help choosing the best scaling option, or just want your coaches opinion about something, just ask. It's what they're there for, and a good coach will always be happy to help you out.
8. Be Prepared to Work on More Than Fitness
Each time you step into the box, you'll be challenging yourself physically. That's the whole point, right? It doesn't stop there, though.
You'll also be challenging yourself mentally. Some WODs will challenge you more than others, and you'll feel like giving up half way through. That's where mental toughness comes in. Be prepared to work on this, and you'll see your performance improve.
9. Shopping For Jeans Will Become a New Challenge
If you're new to lifting, I have some bad news: you might have to say goodbye to your favourite pair of skinny jeans. It isn't all about the abs, you'll get a decent pair of quads too!
The struggle is real, shopping for jeans almost becomes a WOD in itself. Be proud of your new shape, and don't stop until you find yourself a pair that shows off the results of your latest squat program!
10. You'll Never Stop Learning
Today, we've covered 10 key lessons you'll learn within your first year at the box. The truth is, you never stop learning.
The beauty of this sport is that it's constantly evolving. From improving efficiency with the latest techniques, to lifting programs for immense strength gains, and movement combinations to push your skills to the limit - there's always something new to learn about.
Get to know the people from your box and the wider community, and enjoy the process!
How long have you been a member at your box?
What are your top tips for the newbies?
Let us know in the comments!
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