Getting Started in CrossFit(either Personal Training or Group training) and modifications/scaling
By Patrick Wells
CrossFit. Exercise. High Intensity. Functional Fitness. For Time. As Heavy as Possible. Max Reps. All of these may seem confusing, foreign, slightly intimidating or absolutely terrifying. Don’t worry, I’m here to break down the misconceptions of what it is we do as a CrossFit affiliate, or gym, you may also hear us call it a “box”. Yes, you may see pictures of people lifting tons of weight and shirtless bodies laying on the floor after a tough workout. Maybe it’s “sexy” advertising for some, but that’s a small fraction of our population and those athletes you see at the CrossFit Games on TV are not your typical, every day exerciser. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, those athletes didn’t get to the point of extreme fitness testing overnight. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s look at where you can actually start!
Getting started is easy and at Oregon CrossFit it starts with our No Sweat Consult where we discuss with you, your background with physical training and your goals. After, most people start with personal training so that they are slowly introduced to what CrossFit is and how we operate our classes. Most of the time we utilize an hour long pt session and the goal here is that you get a preview of what CrossFit is without being thrown into the deep end. Swimming starts with lessons just as driving often starts with Driver’s Education and a Learner’s Permit. Our No Sweat Consult and then moving into Personal Training (usually 4 or more hours) allows you to learn and progress in a more intimate setting. We will explain what everything means, what these “functional” movements are and look like,under close supervision. You will have proper, safe technique, which is ALWAYS stressed first. Technique first and then we will layer in some volume (to ensure consistency) and finally, comes intensity.
So, you mentioned “Modifying/Scaling”, what does that mean? Modifying/Scaling is the idea that everyone is at a different stage of fitness, so each person will want to challenge themselves accordingly. It isn’t appropriate to give a 16 year old kid a Ferrari and expect them to start driving. Just as it isn’t appropriate to ask my 75+ year old grandfather to pick up 400 lbs. Scaling, as a concept, is the way to challenge each person appropriately. One person may use 45 lbs, another may use 145lbs, but their goal and purpose is the same, to achieve a good workout, to increase their intensity with sound technique throughout the entire workout. We, as coaches, pride ourselves in helping our athletes become better each day, challenging each athlete in a way that is appropriate for them.
What’s a WOD? An AMRAP? Why Are WOD’s done for Time? Is this all a secret language?
Alright, you have stumbled upon the secret language decoder ring dictionary, congrats! Yes, we use a lot of acronyms and here are explanations:
WOD: Workout of the Day. Usually this is our conditioning piece, where we will complete XYZ movements as fast as possible, or have XYZ time to complete as many movements as possible.
AMRAP: As Many Reps as Possible. This means you will have a set amount of time, say 10 minutes, to complete as many rounds and reps of the workout as possible.
EMOM: Every (or each) Minute On the Minute. This means that you will complete XYZ movements within 1 minute and then the next minute, you will do it again. Sometimes this will be alternating, so for example, on an even minute you do 20 squats and then the next minute, an odd minute, you do 10 pushups.
Tabata: Tabata is a time/interval scheme of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest, usually repeated 8 times, for a total of 4 minutes of work. (It was named after Dr. Tabata who found that this timing scheme was effective for high intensity intervals).
ME: Max Effort, try as hard as you can. Sometimes this will be a max effort row in 1 minute, so you have 1 minute to achieve as many meters, or calories as possible.
RM: Usually preceded by a number, such as 1, 2, 3, or 5. So a 1 RM would be a 1, single rep for maximum weight that you can achieve for 1 rep. Same would be for a 5 RM. A single set of 5 reps at the heaviest weight that you can use, while still able to complete 5 reps.
Rx: Meaning as prescribed. Workouts will often be written with an ideal weight in mind, so when you used that recommended weight, you did the workout as Rx, or as prescribed. Don’t worry if you didn’t, because you still got in a good workout!
BS: Box Squat
T2B: Toes to Bar, a movement where you hang from a pull up bar and pull your toes up to the bar (making contact)
C2B: Chest to Bar, a variation of a pull up, where you pull your chest up until it touches the pull up bar.
All of these terms are explained by a coach during your session, so please don’t feel like you will be quizzed. We want you to feel informed before coming in and starting your fitness journey for those with an inquisitive mind but those who want more direction and less abbreviations you will fit in here as well!
Your next step to getting started is book a No Sweat Consult and let us learn about you and your goals. Book here: https://oregoncrossfit.uplaunch.com/client_bookings/2128
Thanks for checking out Oregon CrossFit in Bend, Oregon. Oregon CrossFit is Central Oregon’s premier CrossFit/Personal Training facility.
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