Cross off CrossFit mistakes!

2013August08_Crossfit_AAs a full body conditioning and strengthening program, CrossFit has reached beyond being a popular training regime, to become a sport in its own right. There is nothing half hearted about CrossFit, as its legions of fitness devotees will attest. It is an intense workout with highly organized Workouts of the Day (WODs). However, there are still some easy mistakes to make, especially when you first get started.

CrossFit is the type of training that suits people who really do want to tackle their fitness levels head on with gusto and see results. While some people are put off by what they might judge as a challenge too far, the reality is that CrossFit can be adapted and scaled up and down to a wide spectrum of abilities, from the absolute beginner to the seasoned athlete. However, as with any style of fitness and workout plan, it pays to be wary of potential pitfalls which can trip you up and hold back your progress by following some tried and tested tips:

Competing at the expense of training

What attracts many people to CrossFit is the element of competition. Research CrossFit fitness fans and you’ll come across stories of not just goal setting but record breaking, as well as the annual CrossFit Games. However, it’s vital to separate competing from training where you are learning about valuable techniques and how to move in the proper way. Focus on improving and beating your own performance to begin with. You can’t compete if you’re not doing the exercises in the right way anyway!

Keep it consistent

When you do or learn anything in life, there’s always certain elements that you prefer or feel more at ease with. It’s the same story with exercise. Each person is unique and this means that while you might find squats a joy and relatively easy, others might loathe them and find them a real challenge. The key to success is not to make the CrossFit mistake of only choosing the exercises that you love. Work on your weaknesses as well as your strengths but enjoy the moments when you excel with ease too.

Going through the motions

In every activity there are always a certain number of people who are present but not actually doing what they are supposed to be doing. The result of this in CrossFit is basically that there will be no results. You have to put the effort in, follow the guidance you are given and follow the proper form and technique. If you go through the motions then you might as well try a different type of fitness instead.


Because of CrossFit’s intensity it is easy to become so determined and involved that you end up at the other end of the spectrum, and exercise way too much instead. What’s too much is a personal issue but look out for signs that you’re going overboard such as inability to really recover, mood swings and fatigue.

It takes time to master

CrossFit is designed to be accessible for all ages and abilities. That doesn’t mean to say that there’s no progress. There is a lot to learn. Accept this and let it inspire you rather than put you off or bring out your frustrations. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t get a technique straightaway or are struggling with reps. Be patient and allow yourself to grow and master your fitness over time.

Know when to scale

In CrossFit you need to be able to balance weights with reps and sets and stamina, along with intensity. It’s vital to know how and when to scale so that you are not only minimizing the risk or injury but getting the most out of exercise. This is where a trainer can really help guide you. The temptation might be to lift a certain weight for longer if you can but the answer might be to cut your reps and change the weight instead. Don’t guess, find out real information as each person and exercise requires a different response.

Recognize pain and outside comfort zone difference

It’s an oft repeated mantra when it comes to exercise and never is it more relevant, or more prone to being ignored perhaps, than in CrossFit. Because of the intensity, the focus and the competitive element, people do push themselves in this sport. You’re not going to be sitting squarely in the middle of your comfort zone with CrossFit as it can and will take you to your outer limits but knowing the difference between this and pain caused by too much too soon, is essential.

If you want to avoid CrossFit mistakes you really need to get in touch for some solid advice that will not only get you going but give you a head start.

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