FAQ: New to CrossFit

What is CrossFit?
Can I just join up for any WOD class?
I heard CrossFit is a cult.
Why are you better than my gym?
For the kind of money you are asking for, why don’t I just go find a personal trainer?
I heard that CrossFit can hurt you, is this true?
What makes it so different from all the other stuff out there (park bootcamps, P90X, gyms) that tells me it will get me in shape?
What should I expect in my first workout session?
I heard that CrossFit is too challenging for someone like me.  Is that true?
What does WoD refer to?  I hear everyone using it. 
What does Scalable mean?
Is it true that CrossFit is only for elite athletes, firefighters, military and police?
Do I have to train every day in CrossFit?
Is CrossFit a sport?
What is the CrossFit Elements Course all about?  What will I learn there?

 

What is CrossFit?

In 100 words:  “Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat. 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.” ~ CrossFit Founder, Greg Glassman

It’s a workout methodology based on constantly-varied high intensity movements that help everyday life.  Why it works is because your body never adapts to any one movement thereby keeping the effect of any given day’s workout at maximum – and you never gets bored.  The intensity that everyone takes part in ends up galvanizing our supportive community.

I heard CrossFit is a cult.

No, if you have to call it something, call it a tribe.  Cults tend to follow blindly to a leader, tribes work together to the group’s benefit.  We do tend to be passionate about what we’ve found though because it works so well and so potently for seemingly all body types and walks of life.  What makes us different from the normal corporate chain, or “globo”, gym experience is that we develop a community spirit based on encouraging each other to succeed. We support and push each other in our efforts to achieve our goals.  There is never any shame in finishing dead last in a work out as you’ve already  beaten everyone that decided to stay on the couch that day. We are all in this together and that’s what makes CrossFit so addictive to so many people.  Besides, you will be amazed at your new level of fitness and your awesome new body.  You may find yourself spouting the virtues of what you found not long after you start as well!

Why are you better than my gym?

The business model for most franchised gyms (we call them “globo-gyms”) is they want you to sign up and never come in.  You may get a tour of the gym, or a quick overview of the equipment with a trainer, but, you’re on your own after the first one-hour session.  They aren’t there to ensure technique is good when the weight gets heavy or you get tired.

Further, you are as accountable to us as we are to you!  We believe in earning your loyalty, that’s why we don’t charge initiation fees.  WE WILL EARN YOUR BUSINESS EVERY DAY.  If you haven’t come in in a week, we notice.  So will the members you’ve grown accustomed to working out with.  Expect a call or an email, or even a friendly call out on Facebook, if you haven’t been coming in!  Of course, there will ALWAYS be a coach watching form in our classes.  This leads to less injuries and the confidence to best your previous efforts.  Plus, you can drop the bars and weights on the floor at CF Dynamo.  Our floors and weights are made for it!

For the kind of money you are asking for, why don’t I just go find a Personal Trainer?

You could do that, but you’d end up paying a great deal more.  Let’s say you find someone that’s willing to train you for $25/session and we’ll even go as far to say that they have every piece of equipment that you’ll find at CF Dynamo.  Even if you only go 3 times a week (we encourage 4+), that’s $300 per month, well over our price.  Also, you probably wouldn’t get the camaraderie, competitive push, and/or the support that you’ll feel working with others in a group setting.  If you’re finished first, you’re still expected to support everyone else that is still working.  So, when you’re done, you’re not really done!

I heard from my gym that CrossFit can hurt you, is this true?

Yes and no.  First, consider the source, they don’t want you to leave and they’ll plant fear to further their gains.  OK, so onto answering the actual issue, not dodging it.  ANYTHING you do in life can injure you if you don’t do it correctly, or haven’t taken into consideration your level of fitness, flexibility or health. If you’re spending too much time on the couch right now, that’s hurting you, too! Runner’s get shin splints, tennis players get tennis elbows, strength trainers get strains, basketball players get sprained ankles, couch potatoes get obesity, high blood pressure and coronaries.  At CrossFit Dynamo we will instill Technique BEFORE Intensity.  We will keep you safe by having a watchful eye on you during your entire WoD.   By increasing your strength and flexibility, we will actually make it harder for you to get hurt!  CrossFit done properly, is both safe and potent.

What makes it so different from all the other stuff out there (park bootcamps, P90X, gyms) that tells me it will get me in shape?

Admittedly, most of our functional movements and exercises aren’t ground-breaking or new.  However, the way we mix them up and combine that with knowledgeable eyes-on coaching, mobility and nutrition advice is NEW.   If you’re working out at home, you risk bad technique and probably not pushing your strength potential.  At an ordinary bootcamp, they vary exercises, but gaining  real strength may be an issue as well as certified coaching.  Gyms, may give you all the great equipment, but can you drop it if it gets too heavy? Or have the ability to gauge your intensity?  Is the coaching affordable?  Is there enough equipment available and is laid out so that you can maintain intensity safely?  Is anyone talking to you about nutrition?  Simply stated:  our dose of exercise programming is the most potent out there.  Why do you have to wait to get in shape?

What should I expect in my first workout session?

Fun for one.  Learning something new for another.  Saturday classes are normally Team Workouts of the Day (WoDs), so you’ll be paired with one of our veteran members who’ll help show you the ropes once initial instruction is concluded.  The Elements Course will have you surrounded by other’s new to CrossFit as well.  In each case, there will be a full body warm-up that we will walk you through on the WoD Board.  During the Elements Course, you’ll get a little “chalk talk” first, before the warm up.  Then we’ll go through the technique of the movements in preparation of the day’s work and any extra mobility work needed.  And then we’ll sweat.  Coaches will be on hand to ensure you are moving properly in line with the technique we just showed you so you stay SAFE.  After, there’ll be mobility work to ensure you remain flexible and injury free.

I heard that CrossFit is too challenging for someone like me.  Is that true?

One of my favorite quotes is this:  “If you think you can’t do something, you can’t.”  The person who told you CrossFit was too challenging for you might not be up for the challenge, but I’m guessing you’re reading this because other options have failed you in the past.  The answer to your question is a resounding “No.”  One of the beauties of CrossFit is that it is infinitely scalable, which means that we can tailor any movement we ask our members to do to meet your current level of fitness.   Every new member will talk to the Head Coach about your health history, current body issues, and your short and long term goals so that he can help you reach them.  Turns out that both Olympians and Grandmas can benefit from CrossFit, the only difference is the prescribed scale for the movements.

What does WoD refer to?  I hear everyone using it.

WoD, or Workout of the Day, is the list of exercises for a given day.  Since CrossFit is constantly varied, everyone is always anticipating what tomorrow’s will be.

What does Scalable mean?

It means we can adapt the work out to suit your, or anyone’s, level of fitness and ability. Scaled according to your ability!

Can I just join up for any WoD class?

Yes, you can, but, as new to CrossFit,  we recommend that you either take one of three specific routes to understanding what CF Dynamo truly represents:

before jumping into a full-on class, which can, from the outside, look a little chaotic without a foundation to understand it.  You’ll see our members moving with intent while you’ll be left looking around, trying to figure out what’s going on!

Finally, you can experience CrossFit-style training as 1-on-1 or small group setting as part of our Personal Training offering.

Is it true that CrossFit is only for elite athletes, firefighters, military and police?

Absolutely not.  Anyone can gain from the benefits of CrossFit. It is true that CrossFit was initially designed as a fitness program for firefighters, military and police who needed to have a level of fitness to be ready for anything (what we call the unknowable and unknown).  This level of fitness allows them to not only be able to save their own lives, but other lives as well. Everyone can benefit from being stronger, faster and more functional.

Do I have to train every day in CrossFit?

No, we encourage you to train intensely but also rest periodically to recover from the exertions as well.  It’s vital to keeping you healthy and allowing you to push next time to new personal bests. Over-training is something we discourage because it does not help you achieve your fitness or health goals and increases the risk of injury.  We recommend either a 3 days on, 1 day off approach, but we find that a 5 days on, 2 days off works better with most people’s schedules.

Is CrossFit a sport?

Originally, it was meant to supplement your life and make you better at your other activities.  However, is has, itself, turned into the Sport of Fitness.   CrossFit has its own CrossFit Games  with everyone having a fair and equal chance of making it to the elite finals.  Over 70,000 athletes participated this year!

What is the CrossFit Elements Course all about?  What will I learn there? 

CrossFit Dynamo is committed to three tenets:  Technique, Intensity, and Community.  Without proper Technique, you won’t be able to transition to performing with great Intensity.  It’s the way we keep you safe from injury.  The CrossFit Elements Course will not only give you a good sweat, but it will help instill the proper mechanics to keep you safe and in the long run allow you to lift more efficiently and heavier as well as some book knowledge on why CrossFit is so effective and why nutrition is key to your physique and your power output.  We won’t forget teaching you about mobility as well, to keep you active and injury free for years to come.