It’s the fitness craze that’s taking the world by storm but many CrossFitters fail to get the most from a trip to the ‘box’. There are 8 CrossFit mistakes to avoid if you want to get the most from your daily WOD. By following a number of simple rules anyone can get results quicker and stay motivated.
What are the common 8 CrossFit mistakes to avoid?
I’ve been CrossFitting for over a year. Based on my experience here are the 8 CrossFit mistakes to avoid:
CrossFit mistake 1 – Not eating enough food
CrossFit is hard work. It burns calories faster than many other fitness regimes. To get the most from regular workouts it is essential to eat more than you did before you joined. Starting a new regime isn’t the time to consider dropping your calorific intake. It is the ideal time to monitor your daily food intake and ensure that you take on enough calories. If you don’t you’ll feel weak, demotivated and your ability to perform will suffer. Set a nutrition plan and stick to it.
CrossFit mistake 2 – Worrying about weight
The mix of cardio exercise and weight lifting that a CrossFit workout involves is one of the main attractions. The opportunity to build muscle whilst burning fat makes CrossFit a great sport. However, those expecting to see the results of hard work on the weighing scales are often disappointed. Building muscle can often increase your weight despite the fact that you’ll feel fitter and no doubt have a thinner torso than before.
CrossFit mistake 3 – Training too often
After a few WODs many people get addicted. A trip to the box can easily become a daily habit. It is crucial to remember that everyone needs time to recover if they want to feel good and get great results. The ideal regime will involve 3 or 4 CrossFit sessions per week. I always have a rest day after doing three days on the go.
CrossFit mistake 4 – Ignoring weaknesses
My weakness is pull-ups. Pull-ups and Wall Balls. Pull-ups, wall balls and skipping. I know this now but when I started attending CrossFit classes I tended to focus on the exercises I was best at. I can do sit-ups and squats all day long so I sub consciously attended sessions that featured my favourite exercises. This did nothing to help my poor technique. When I realised this I made a point of not looking at the itinerary before turning up to CrossFit. As a result I now understand areas of weakness and try to tackle them head on. In contrast I know people who pick and choose the sessions they attend based on their ability and who fail to improve their areas of weakness.
CrossFit mistake 5 – Forgetting to warm up properly
My youthful flexibility is long gone and I train at 5.30am in the morning. Now I’m over the age of 40 the warm up to any CrossFit session is essential. By taking the time to get my joints moving and my muscles warmed up I feel ready to tackle exercises that I never dreamt of. As a result of the careful warm up I rarely get injured. By forgetting to warm up properly it is likely that muscles will be cold and flexibility will be impaired. This makes form difficult, hampers performance and is a sure fire way to get injured.
CrossFit mistake 6 – Not having achievable goals
I’d love to lose a stone in weight. I could do with losing two stone. But these aren’t my goals. Rather than the relentless pursuit of long term goals that are always out of reach I find it more rewarding to focus on the little things. A 2.5kg increase in my deadlift over the next month or a centimetre off my waist by Christmas are just as satisfying when I achieve them. By having achievable goals I get the buzz of regular achievement safe in the knowledge that I’m chipping away at a long term dream. As a result I stay motivated, keep turning up to classes and have a permanent CrossFit induced smile on my face.
CrossFit mistake 7 – Neglecting sleep
My busy schedule means that I need to train at 5.30am, long before my kids, wife, work colleagues or clients start to demand my time. This is a great way to start the day as it stimulates my metabolism and gives me a spring in my step for the rest of the day. For the first week I felt very positive in all aspects of my daily life. However, a week or so after starting CrossFit I started to miss classes. I started to feel sluggish and would sleep through my daily alarm. The reason was that I neglected the additional sleep my body would need to recover from CrossFit and prepare me for my next WOD. Now my bed time is just as important as my wake up time and I perform better as a result.
CrossFit mistake 8 – Comparing yourself to others
A great thing about CrossFit is the fact that it is popular with every time of person. Old and Young. Large and Small. Men and Women. Everyone is different. When starting a CrossFit programme it is natural to want to know how you perform against your peers but this is not healthy for two reasons. Firstly, all too often the old looking guy you want to beat has been training for decades and a comparison is unrealistic. The second problem is the scourge of every CrossFit box – The CrossFit cheat! Focus on your own performance and stop comparing yourself to others.
What are your CrossFit mistakes?
Have you made any CrossFitting errors? Let me know your experiences. I’d love to add them to the 8 CrossFit mistakes to avoid.