FAQ: New to Exercise

What is CrossFit?
Can I just join up for any WoD class?
I heard that CrossFit is too challenging for someone like me.  Is that 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?
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?
I heard that CrossFit can hurt you, is this true?
Do I have to train every day in CrossFit?
Is CrossFit a sport?
I heard CrossFit is a cult.
What is the CrossFit Prep Course all about?  What will I learn there?  Why can’t I just start working out with the rest of the group?
 

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 an approach to fitness based on constant variety, high intensity, and functional movement. It works because your body never adapts to the movements and your head never gets bored. Intense workouts not only shape your body, but they also give you an amazing shared experience with your fellow CrossFit athletes.

Can I just join up for any WoD class?

Yes, you can, but, as new to exercise,  we recommend that you either take one of three specific routes to understanding:

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.

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

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.” The person who told you CrossFit was too challenging for you might not be up for the challenge themselves, 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.”

CrossFit is infinitely scalable, which means that we can tailor every movement to meet your current level of fitness.  As new member, you consult with our Head Coach about your health history, current body issues, and your short and long term goals. Turns out that both Olympians and Grandmas can benefit from CrossFit, the only difference is the prescribed scale for the movements.

What makes CrossFit so different from all the other stuff out there (park bootcamps, P90X, gyms). Why will THIS get me in shape?

Our general fitness program isn’t a new way to do pushups, squats or presses. What we do is to mix up functional movements with knowledgeable, eyes-on coaching, mobility, and nutrition advice.

CrossFit vs Bootcamps: At a park bootcamp you get varied exercises, but is the coach certified? What about gaining strength? What about bad weather? What about when you want to challenge yourself beyond what you can do in a park? CrossFit offers certified coaching, a mix of strength and conditioning, and the option to train inside as well as outdoors!

CrossFit vs P90X and Home Workouts: If you’re working out at home, you risk bad technique and probably not pushing your strength potential to its maximum. What happens when you want to lift more than your bodyweight? Who is watching your form for safety and effectiveness? CrossFit gives you the ability to challenge every aspect of fitness, all with great coaching and camaraderie.

CrossFit vs ‘Regular’ Gyms: Gyms may give you all the great equipment, but can you drop it if it gets too heavy?  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.  Our Coaches are trained to mete out the correct dose for you, specifically.  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.  We would suggest coming to the 10:30am Saturday classes, so you’ll get some lifting tips to last a lifetime and create a benchmark for your fitness that you can compare yourself in a month.  The Elements will allow you to understand the major lifts with light to no weight and go at your pace.  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” as well, further explaining why CrossFit works.  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.  You can also experience this as Personal Training session!

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. It means using less (or for advanced athletes, more!) weight, modifying movements to suit your body’s capacity, and allowing you to challenge yourself to the maximum while keeping yourself safe and injury-free. 

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

That’s a negative, Maverick. (Top Gun humor…)   Anyone can get benefits from 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.

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

Yes and no.  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, you just aren’t realizing it.  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.

Do I have to train every day in CrossFit?

No, and we’ll send you home if we do see you every day!  We encourage you to train intensely but also to 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.  The standard approach is 3 days on/1 day off, but you may find that a 5 days on/2 days off works better with a work-week schedule.

Is CrossFit a sport?

Originally, CrossFit was meant to supplement your life and make you better at your other activities.  The popularity of CrossFit has led to its evolution into “The Sport of Fitness”.  CrossFit has its own Olympics of sorts, with everyone having a fair and equal chance of making it to the elite finals.  Over 70,000 athletes participated in 2012!

I heard CrossFit is a weird fitness cult.

No, if you have to call it something, call it a tribe.  Cults tend to follow a leader blindly, while tribes work together to the group’s benefit.  CrossFitters tend to be passionate about what we’ve found, because it works so well and so potently for seemingly all body types and walks of life.  What makes CrossFit stand apart 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 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!

What is the CrossFit Prep Course all about?  What will I learn there?  Why can’t I just start working out with the rest of the group?

CrossFit Dynamo is committed to three tenets:  Technique, Intensity, and Community.  However, without proper Technique, you won’t be able to transition to performing with great Intensity.  It’s the way we keep you safe.  The CrossFit Prep Course will not only give you a good sweat, but it will 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.