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The Biggest Misconception Derailing Your Fitness Plan

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“I need to be in better shape to start working out”

We hear it all the time from people who call or drop in to inquire about memberships: they are eager to start, but tell us they need to get in better shape before they start coming to the gym.

Thinking you need to get in better shape in order to get in good enough shape to workout? That circular logic is the first obstacle to starting a workout regime. You feel as though you’re not even fit enough to make it through a workout routine. But, I’m going to tell you something now that you probably already know: the only way to get fit enough to workout is to actually work out.

Crossfit gyms like ours are probably even more prone to this flawed logic of not being fit enough to work out. Perhaps the biggest reason for this is the internet.

People decide they want to start doing Crossfit, so their first stop is YouTube to figure out exactly what they are getting themselves into. That’s when the doubts and second-thoughts emerge because what they are seeing on YouTube is downright intimidating.

But, now let me tell you something else you might already know in the back of your mind. What you are seeing on the internet is not at all representative of what occurs in our gym or 99% of the other Crossfit gyms out there. What you are most likely seeing are videos of the top Crossfit athletes in the country or world. It would be the equivalent of deciding you’re going to start playing basketball and head to YouTube and concluding, “Boy, I’m never going to be as good as this Lebron James fella, so I’m not even going to try.”

So, my first piece of advice to those considering Crossfit: stay off the internet.

Instead, come to our gym or visit another gym and talk to the owner or manager. I, for one, like to meet with prospective members to discuss what they want to achieve, why they might be switching gyms or coming to one for the first time, and where they’ve struggled in previous attempts at fitness routines. Finally, I like to ask what they know or don’t know about Crossfit.

The other advantage of visiting a gym is being able to see people who are more like yourself actually going through a session. Most gyms are going to have all levels of athletes, from those who are first starting to those who clearly have been doing Crossfit for years and look somewhat like those YouTuber. But, when you see beginners working out alongside them, you start to get a more realistic picture of how our routines work.

In our gym, for example, everyone in the class does the same routine, which is detailed on a large whiteboard. But, on the same board, we’ll have various modifications and adjustments people can make to accommodate their own limitations or goals.

Moreover, our gym and other small Crossfit gyms provide more supervision than larger gyms where individuals are mostly on their own unless they hire a personal trainer or attend structured classes. So, our coaches will work with individuals to ensure they are getting the most out of the workouts without risking injury. If, for example, a member is nursing an injury, our coaches may work more closely with the person to adjust the routine for their needs. A lot of bigger gyms won’t even know your name, let alone whether or not you might have an injury.

If you are new to CrossFit, the best way to get in shape to do it is to actually do it. Most gyms, including ours, don’t simply throw you in the deep end and expect you to keep up with the people who have been doing in for months or years. You’ll be working alongside them from day one, but doing a scaled-down version.

For the first two to three weeks, you’ll simply be learning the routines and movements for the various exercises. After that period, you’ll already notice a difference in your ability to complete sessions. After a month or two, you’ll feel a lot more acclimated and then it becomes a matter of scaling up.

If you are like most people, you want to see results overnight. You want to be able to step in the gym on day one and keep up with the veterans. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works for anyone. But, in taking that first step in committing to change and committing to a fitness regime, you’ve already leaped over one hurdle. Don’t let that commitment get derailed because you assume you’re not in good enough shape to get in shape. You have to start somewhere.

 

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