6 Tips to Prepare for a Crossfit Elements Class

I wasn't going to blog about Crossfit Elements until next week (my first class was last night), but I have to share a few words because it wasn't at all what I expected! Firstly, I'm in a bit of shock. A bit of shock about how pitiful I felt during the measly 10 minute "Mini Cindy" workout we did. The Mini Cindy consisted of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats. I thought it sounded incredibly easy -- the crossfit workouts I see online usually consist of something crazy like 100 push-ups! -- but I'm hear to tell you: it wasn't easy.

Here's the thing, I don't know about you, but I look at all these crossfit pictures online (like the one below), and think 'Hell Yea! I wanna do that!'

I don't think about how HARD THAT SHIT IS.


With that said, here are a few tips I think anyone getting started with crossfit should keep in mind... myself included.

Keep an open mind - I've been working out for a few years now and I like to think I know what a burpee is, but during Crossfit Elements you're going to have to listen to what they say a burpee is, and be open to the fact that it might be slightly different than the burpees you're used to doing. Same with push-ups and sqauts, and a bunch of other stuff. Just be prepared to let go of any preconcieved ideas you had about exercise prior to crossfit.  

Hydrate -  I definitely didn't drink enough water yesterday and, I even forgot to bring a water bottle to the workout. That sucked! They talked about the importance of hydration and I certainly won't be showing up empty-handed again.

Don't Judge- There were all walks of life at my first class from former body builders to guys who looked like they hadn't exercised in years... With that said, I didn't make any judgements about any of them. Who am I to guess what their background is? The most important thing to remember is that we're all there to learn and improve ourselves, no matter our starting point.

Be friendly - My philosophy is always to be as nice as possible to everyone I meet and so it was pretty easy to strike up a conversation with the girl next to me. In the end, I was glad I practiced my best manners because she sorta saved me during the workout, suggesting some different combinations of bands and pointing out which line of chalk was mine (for keeping track of each round).

She also helped me put up my box, and I helped her with hers. She kicked my ass in the AMRAP (*not like I was keeping score or anything!*) but I felt good leaving out, feeling as if I made a friend!

Oh, sorry... AMRAP is As Many Rounds as Possible... I promise not to start talking in crossfit code all the time!

Be prompt - They cover a lot of material in these classes, explaining and demonstrating several exercises, as well as giving you a chance to try out each movement. I can't imagine walking in late. That's just rude and certainly doesn't make a good first impression.

Don't Expect to be a Badass Overnight - So we're all a little bad-ass in our own minds, right? There's something we're good at whether it's running or deadlifts, or push-ups. There's something. In my experience thus far, though, crossfit is going to force you to do the shit you're not good at it, and at least for me, that was pretty frustrating.

I like cardio-intense circuits with lots of burpees and sprints; I don't like pull-ups. In fact, I might hate pull-ups. Now, granted, I want to be able to do them (I really, really want to be able to do them) but the truth is that it's going to take me awhile to get there. Awhile of doing a lot of shit I'm not good at. Hence, don't expect to be a badass overnight. All that stuff you rock at- put it to the side and do the stuff you suck at; then, eventually, yes, you can be a badass crossfitter. That's what I'm hoping anyway!

BONUS: Take a friend - OK, this isn't required and obviously going to crossfit on your own is cool, too, but can I just say how awesome it was to have my husband by my side? I mentioned this on Instagram, but he continuously asked "You ok?" which to be honest, was kind of getting on my nervous at the time... I kept thinking, I'M FINE DAMMIT. I GOT THIS!  But, he seriously saved my life on the pull-ups. We had to use the high-bar for pull-ups because the low bars (normal bars? I have no idea what these things are called) were all taken. I couldn't lift my foot in and out of the band because it was hanging so high, and he totally stopped what he was doing to add a strap onto my band (in opposite direction) and give me more leverage. It was a lifesaver.

Also, his mood - my husband is a class clown and at one point, I couldn't stop laughing because he was making the funniest jokes and sounds... I'm usually pretty serious and that's not always a good thing. I certainly needed to lighten up during this class... I was SO frustrated going from pull-ups to push-ups and with the fact that my arms were literally giving out on the push-ups. In fact, I had to drop down to knee push-ups because of it and that didn't help matters (read: blown!) 

My hubby gave me a high-five in the end and told me I did a great job. Having a close friend with you is definitely a win, especially because I have a feeling this won't be the last time I get frustrated with myself during a crossfit workout.

Have you ever taken a crossfit elements or crossfit foundations class?

What did you think? How was your first experience? 

What advice would you give others just getting started?  

Photo credit: Thrustr Tumblr via Pinterest