Crossfit: a beginners guide to understanding the games and the sport

The Crossfit Games

The search for the fittest on earth

I like that video because I think that it speaks to all athletic levels, from beginners to the professionals.

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Here is an example of a beginner – Yours Truly.

Here, I am in the middle of an 8 minute AMRAP (as many reps as possible) consisting of 10 hand-release push ups, 20 dubs (double unders a.k.a. jump roping where the rope makes 2 passes instead of just 1), and 2 wall walks.  In the picture above, I am working on my dubs.

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While the act of weight lifting is not foreign to me, weight lifting at constant variations and with high intensity functional movements is not something you can do at most commercial gyms.  Crossfit is a style of fitness that involves both strength and conditioning.  Most WOD’s begin with a dynamic warm-up, followed by skill and/or strength work, and then a metcon (metabolic conditioning) workout.

Each crossfit box (gym) is unique and has its own programming style.  If you are looking to join a crossfit box, I would suggest that you get to know the coach and his/her certifications.  You will want to join a box with a knowledgable coach in order to get the most out of your money.  Remember, crossfit memberships are not cheap.  However, if you join the right box, you will gain a lifetime health and fitness coach.

I would recommend crossfit for beginners to weight lifting, anyone looking for support and a community atmosphere, former athletes, and those of us who are short on time, because a good workout does not need to be accomplished in an hours worth of time.

As a former athlete myself, crossfit has been the closest I’ve come to that “team” atmosphere and competitive nature.

ABOUT THE GAMES:

A worldwide event.

Both an individual and team competition.  

The Open –> The Regionals –> The Games

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The games are broken up into 17 regions.  The top 96 (48 girls and 48 guys) athletes and 30 teams from each region will continue to regionals.

Regionals consists of a 3-day competition.  At the end of the weekend, only 3 men and 3 women advance to The Crossfit Games.  Only 3 teams will advance.

From regionals, the athletes and teams have the chance to compete at the world championships or “The Crossfit Games.”

At this point in the games, we are still in the open.  This is basically a 5 week period of tryouts.  It is during the open when athletes are given the opportunity to put their skills and strength to the test (by completing 5 prescribed WODS) and see where they stand amongst 130,000 other athletes.  

HOW I VIEW THE GAMES, AS A BEGINNER:

The Crossfit Games are motivation and inspiration to become a better ME.  I like to push my body to its limits and am all for trying new things.  Crossfit is something that is new to me, and change excites me. 

What comes to my mind when I think about the crossfit games will be totally different from others, because I have not yet competed at this level.

(1)  To be honest, I enjoy that the WOD announcements are Wednesday nights at 8:00 p.m..  My box doesn’t post our daily WOD’s until the wee hours of the morning.  Since I attend the 5:45 a.m. class, I never know what my workout will be until I wake up that morning.

(2)  Scaling.  So far, I’ve had to scale both 13.1 and 13.2.  I am not yet strong enough to hit the prescribed weights on these exercises.  Good thing I didn’t actually sign up for the open (maybe next year) and I am just completing the workouts for fun.

(3)  Excitement.  My box goes nuts over these games.  Heck, my boyfriend goes nuts over these games.  My life has seemingly gotten a little more intense these past 2 weeks, because of these games.  I’m okay with that.

(4)  Following the athletes.  I really enjoy watching the Announcement WOD and following the leader board.  These athletes have incredible strength and are so poised and humble with their workouts.  They make it all look so easy.

As I gain strength and start to see changes in my own body, I expect to be more involved in all of this excitement.  For now, I am still learning correct form and trying to build up to those prescribed weights.  It’s not exactly encouraging when you need to scale every workout.  All in good time.

My goal is to perfect form and not push myself too much, too fast.  Baby Steps.  This requires scaling movements and weights when necessary, and I am okay with that.

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a very blurry photo taken after 13.2 on thursday morning

ARE YOU FOLLOWING THE CROSSFIT GAMES?

ARE YOU PARTICIPATING IN THE GAMES?

 I love watching the athletes go head to head just seconds after the WOD announcement is made.

Last week, the men of crossfit (Dan Bailey and Scott Panchik) introduced 13.1.

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This week, the woman of crossfit (Annie Thorisdottir and Lindsey Valenzuela) introduced 13.2.

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Even though I’m new to the sport of crossfit, I have been following crossfit for a while now.  I watched the crossfit games on television last year.  So, the top world athletes of the sport aren’t unfamiliar faces to me.

Tell me how you were introduced to Crossfit and what the Games mean to you!

ARE YOU FOLLOWING THE CROSSFIT GAMES?

ARE YOU PARTICIPATING IN THE GAMES?

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2 Comments

  1. March 20, 2013    

    I love watching the CrossFit games! I go to an unconventional gym — we’re not a CrossFit affiliate, but we do the same things. Every day there is a different WOD. I started at my gym almost 2 years ago, and one of my friends told me about the CrossFit games because she thought the things they do are so similar to what we do at the gym. So I’m fascinated. I’ve built a LOT of strength doing this stuff (and I’m an old chick!). Hope you are having fun!

    • March 20, 2013    

      Thanks! I am having a blast so far. Love hearing about others and their experiences as well :-)

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