5 Tips for Beginning CrossFit

So, you are interested in CrossFit but don’t know where to start.

It looks intimidating. Painful even.


5 Tips for CrossFit Beginners

1. It’s about YOU.

Better than yesterday is a common phrase you will hear in CrossFit. Essentially, it means you are competing against yourself to improve each day.

Although CrossFit is typically performed in a group setting, the goal is for the individual to give maximum effort and get better each time out. Not to beat your classmates.

2. Raise your hand.

Ask questions about the coaches’ certification, class times, private instruction,  membership options, your lifting form. Anything. The CrossFit community is all about inclusion and support, so utilize those around you. Remember, everyone was a beginner at one point.

3. Scale.

Be honest with yourself and understand you will not be Annie Thorisdottir or Rich Froning on your first WOD. Every workout has modifications and can be scaled. It could likely take months until you can complete a prescribed WOD. Have fun working towards that!

4. The good news is, it’s always hard.

CrossFit never gets easier. It just sucks less. Embrace the “suck” and the physical pain that accompanies it knowing your body is changing, improving, getting stronger and leaner.

5. You have a choice.

Yes, CrossFit can be expensive. But, you always have a choice. You can choose to go out to eat, buy designer clothes, or head to the movie theater. Or, you can reallocate that money to your physical fitness and social life. No one will force you to join a box, but the community that welcomes you will be worth your dinners out and movie nights.

On that note, many CrossFit moves can be done in a gym or at home with minimal equipment. CrossFit.com has video demos of every move and offers workouts for free.

20 mins body weight workout

I encourage you to explore the CrossFit community. Do some research. Seek recommendations. Use free class trials. Decide if CrossFit is something to add to your fitness arsenal.

You don’t have to be exclusive with your exercises. Run, walk, cycle, CrossFit!

Disclaimer: Although I am a NSCA-CSCS, please consult a physician before starting any diet or exercise plan. If you choose to do any of the workouts featured on this website, you do so at your own risk.


  1. love the at home/gym WOD options!

  2. i really like the idea of joining a crossfit gym just to get more guidance on exercises..like how much i should be lifting, spotting, etc. ive just found they tend to be pretty pricey. im sure it depends on location, etc. so maybe ill look around a little more…i love the exercises and the attitude-its awesome!

  3. Those are great tips. I’m probably 200 miles from the nearest box, but I’m digging the idea of workouts online. I’ll definitely check out their online videos and WODs, especially if they mention modifications for ‘at homers’.

  4. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn says:

    Ayyyyymen, sista! So excited for today’s WOD. It’s been three days and I’m itching for the pian again.


  6. This is so true. I found the crossfit community to be welcoming and encouraging, no matter what your fitness level.

    The Kidless Kronicles

  7. Thank you for this post! These are great tips. I have not yet tried it for all of the reasons you mentioned and definitely would like to try!

  8. These are great tips Jess! There is a Crossfit place near our house and I always peek in the windows when I run by! It is totally on my bucket list but I am so bad at trying things that I think I’m going to fail at. You’ve made some good points….plus look at those GUNS!!!

  9. Once A Runner says:

    Oh I WISH I WISH I could do Cross fit!!!!!! I’ll have to ask my doc.. maybe someday!

  10. Sounds just about right.

  11. Such a great post! 🙂

  12. I absolutely needed to read this. My friends have been encouraging CrossFit for over 3 years now, and I think it’s my fear that’s holding back.

    Quick question – do you suggest doing additional workouts/cardio to supplement the WOD? I really want to lose a couple more pounds but sometimes feel like doing the 20-45 minute crossfit workout is not enough to shed the weight (at least not yet as a beginner).

    • with CrossFit workouts, your definitely burning calories well into 24 hours post-WOD because of the intensity you are working at.

      However, you can certainly incorporate other activities into your training as CrossFit is all about functional fitness and preparedness for the unknown!

  13. I love these tips! I don’t belong to a box or CF gym, but my hubby and I love to incorporate the WODs into our regular gym routine 2-3 times a week. CF is something anyone can do almost anywhere, maybe not every single workout but lots of options!

  14. Such a great, to-the-point explanation of CrossFit. Sometimes people make it sound so complicated. It’s just exercise people 🙂

  15. My sister loves CrossFit! I went once and love the people. I didn’t stick with it because I’m focsing on Marathon training. And cost is an issue…we don’t eat out much or spend extra money often…trust me, I am on a TIGHT single parent budget. Affording races is still quite a trick for me. Anyway, what’s your opinion on the two together?? Would CrossFit help or hinder during marathon training? Silly question I know. I’m just curious…

    • It may be difficult to balance CrossFit and high mileage although there is a CrossFit Endurance program. However, I firmly believe CrossFit will make me a better runner. Increased flexibility and strength–I know I will see it show up on shorter distances!

  16. Love this list!!! Absolutely perfect for beginners! My favorite two points being that everything thing is scalable and always ask questions 🙂

  17. Love this post Jess, especially the “you have a choice”. I get it, I really do. CrossFit is expensive. I knew this when I realized that in order to keep myself in the shape I want to be in, I’d have to sign up for a membership at a second box where I work (which is in a different state than where my house is). My husband and I worked it out, we make sacrifices because at the end of the day, fitness is a huge priority for us, nothing is more important than health and well being. More power to the people who can do it at home, but I love the community and coaching I get going to a box, it keeps me sane.

    • Thanks Meg! Sacrifices are definitely necessary to budget in CrossFit–but the rewards seem to pay back dividends!

  18. These are good tips. I find CrossFit, in the actual box like Jesse, to be incredibly intimidating but I want to be able to attempt it someday. I like the idea of honing some of the techniques and get my fitness level up at home first! The hardest part is my bum shoulder makes so many of the moves excrutiating. Any suggestions? Glad you are enjoying it. You look so beast!
    Tressa recently posted..And strolled!My Profile

    • Yes! Go to mobilitywod.com for dynamic stretches to do! My left shoulder is shady acres, but this has really helped!

  19. Allison says:

    i want to start cross fit SO bad. it would actually be cheaper than going to my current gym. i am so nervous/scared and don’t feel like i am fit enough yet to do it. i’ve recently lost about 45 lbs but i think I’m still out of shape. i don’t know what to do lol.

  20. Just found your blog & thanks so much for this post! I’ve been wanting to try CrossFit, but have been too intimidated to try. I finally got the guts to contact a box near me for an introductory workout. I’m going to keep all of these things in mind!
    Meagan recently posted..chocolate, beer, & yorkiesMy Profile

  21. I’m so happy it gave you a little boost! You’ll make strides in no time!

  22. YEA! Thanks for giving the basics of CrossFit, these are specifically things I was wondering about! I’ve done some home WOD’s but never taken the plunge to head to the box. Your post has given me the knowledge to look for a box near me! Love the “Better than yesterday” mentality! Thanks for the info!
    Katie @ KatieEnPursuit recently posted..When Starbuck’s Says it’s Fall…You Listen!My Profile

  23. hey Jess! I’m the Madi you might see on the KFC group fitness roster? I go to Creighton and have heard a lot about how great of a trainer you are! I’m currently doing Steve’s WAR session (and will probably sign up for yours next round :), but what I really want to get after is some crossfit. Do you have any suggestions how I could do it a) on my own and b) in the KFC. I feel like I have everything I need at my fingertips, but honestly I’m kind of scared to start! Any advice?!

  24. What are the fractions that I keep seeing after workouts such as 53/34, 95-65, or 20/14?

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  1. […] posting 5 Tips for CrossFit Beginners, there were comments and tweets about the cost of joining a CrossFit Box. Many of us are on tight […]

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