CrossFit for Beginners: Unlock Your Fitness Potential!

by: Michael Perry

March 10, 2024

Welcome to the ultimate guide to CrossFit for beginners. If you're new to the world of functional fitness, navigating the ins and outs of CrossFit can seem daunting. But chill out!

In this comprehensive guide, we'll equip you with all the essential knowledge and tips you need to embark on your CrossFit journey with confidence. 

So, whether you're looking to boost your strength, improve your endurance, or simply challenge yourself in new ways, join us as we explore how you can conquer CrossFit for beginners and unlock your full fitness potential.

What Is CrossFit?

Working out the kettlebell

CrossFit is "a lifestyle characterized by safe, effective exercise and sound nutrition." The fundamentals of CrossFit prepare you for everyday movements, which we call functional movements because we use them in our daily lives.

 These include squatting, jumping, throwing things when playing outside with your kids, or picking things up from the ground.

CrossFit workouts are intense and constantly varied, so you will do a different workout every time. They mix weightlifting, gymnastics drills, running, and rowing in as many combinations as possible.  

The workouts take place in "boxes," otherwise known as gyms.  

Who Can Do CrossFit?

CrossFit is for anyone and everyone. We have college rugby players who work out alongside 50-year-old moms and dads. 

CrossFit classes take place in a group setting. Every workout is designed for various fitness and skill levels. They give you the opportunity to work on your health, improve your movement and mobility, lose weight, and achieve better performance in general.

CrossFit movements are broad, general, and inclusive.

The movements in the workouts will make you proficient in ten general physical areas of your life: cardio endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.  

CrossFit might be your jam if you enjoy variety and get bored quickly by doing the same workouts every time. Every workout will always be different. CrossFit is a program that works for everyone, and every workout can be adapted for people of any age.

What Are The Benefits Of CrossFit?

crossfit benefits

Let's have a look at some of the many benefits of CrossFit:

Improves Your Strength, Balance, And Flexibility

One of CrossFit's most significant benefits is how it prepares you for everyday life. The movements during a workout are movements that appear in everyday life.

You must be able to do an air squat to get out of a chair. Learning to do a kettlebell farmer carry will enable you to carry your groceries. If you need to pick something heavy off the floor, that is no problem; the deadlift will give you the strength to do it.

You Can Lose Weight

The combination of diet and lifestyle is a critical component of fitness and long-term health in CrossFit. Alongside sound nutrition principles, CrossFit can help you lose weight and improve your health. 

It Improves Your Endurance

CrossFit workouts are high-intensity training. Research has shown that it can help increase the amount of oxygen that flows through the body.

You Develop Tenacity And Determination

The CrossFit community is known for its mental toughness. They stand by one another until the last person finishes their workout. 

Pushing yourself daily can trickle down to other parts of your life. That was one of the first changes I noticed in my own life. I had the confidence to tackle things I would have otherwise been unable to do. It makes me proud of who I am, and for the first time in my life, I could walk with my head held high.

How Do CrossFit Classes Work?

CrossFit is an affiliate. Every CrossFit owner runs their box or gym based on their own individual programming and style. 

All workouts are adjustable according to your skill level, a key component of the coaching culture. Attempting heavier and more skilled movements when you are not ready or do not have the strength for them could cause injury.

A CrossFit class lasts about an hour. Every class consists of a warm-up, skill, or lifting and a Workout of the Day (WOD). The WOD is also referred to as metcon – metabolic conditioning. Anything longer than 15 minutes is an endurance WOD.

Benchmark workouts are named after women. Hero workouts are in honor of fallen servicemen. These are standard workouts that can be used to track your progress over time. 

Meet The Girls (Benchmark CrossFit Workouts)

No other WOD has the power over us like any of the benchmark girls of CrossFit. Whether you are new to the game or a seasoned athlete, "The Girls" will probably and most definitely wreck you. Subconsciously, we wouldn't have it any other way.

CrossFit founder Greg Glassman said it best:

"Anything that leaves you flat on your back and incapacitated only to lure you back for more at a later date certainly deserves naming.

Our six original benchmark workouts are named Angie, Barbara, Chelsea, Diane, Fran, and Elizabeth. These amazing ladies' charms will leave you breathless, panting, and wanting more!

CrossFit For Beginners -How To Get Started? 

crossfit for beginners

If you are thinking about signing up for your first CrossFit class, here are a few things you might want to consider:

Look For Good Coaching

If there are different gyms in your area, you want to check for good-quality coaching.

The gym should have an introductory class that takes you through all the movements you will be doing. A good coach will also explain how you need to scale any movements that are too difficult for you or how to adjust any weight that is too heavy for you.

Let Them Know You Are Coming

Give the gym a call and let them know you are coming. Calling ahead will ensure there is a coach available to meet you.

Be completely honest about your current fitness level. This will help the coach tailor your workout and ensure a great experience. 

Do Not Compare Yourself To Others

It is expected to compare yourself to the CrossFit athletes in the class and feel overwhelmed. But remember that everyone in the CrossFit gym was a beginner at some point.

They were exactly where you are now. They got where they are today by showing up every day and putting in the work. You can do it, too. Every CrossFit coach was also a beginner at some point. 

The First Few Weeks Are The Hardest

During the first few weeks, you will not have any friends at the box. Showing up for the same class every week will help you get to know people. 

Your body will be sore, and you might question your decision to start CrossFit. Everybody started where you are now. These feelings of hesitation and doubt will soon be replaced by excitement and new friendships.

What Gear Do You Need?

crossfit gear

Here are some essential items a CrossFitter might carry in their bag. Only buy gear once you have decided to join a local box and committed to continue with CrossFit. 

CrossFit Shoes

CrossFit shoes are designed for cross-training. They have a stable flat sole and reinforced heel, so your foot stays stable during all the movements. You want to get good-quality cross-training shoes to keep your ankles and feet safe.

Normal running shoes are very cushioned. They are not ideal for lifting weights, as they can make you feel unsteady, especially during weightlifting movements. 

Jumping Rope

The box provides ropes you can borrow during class, but I recommend that you buy your own. This will allow you to adjust the rope to your body type and height. Most CrossFit boxes sell ropes at the box.

Hand Protection

Hand protection will prevent chafing. I have reviewed some of the best hand protection grips. Ask gym members and your coach for advice. Your skill level will also determine the best hand protection for you at the time.

Knee Sleeves

Knee Sleeves provide some cushioning if you need to do lunges and extra support when you do squats. They are also helpful, especially if you have some chronic knee niggles.

Common Mistakes And Tips

crossfit mistakes

Despite members' best intentions and goals, these are some of the most common mistakes I see athletes make when they start CrossFit.

Do Not Skip Workouts

Do not skip workouts that you do not like. I see many members skip a class because it includes running.

Suppose you hate a specific movement and skip a workout that includes that movement. In that case, you are limiting yourself and your progress.

Keep showing up. Doing something you don't like or are not good at is the best way to practice your weaknesses. 

Personal Bests (PBs)

In the first few months to a year, you are likely to PB every lift. But after a year, you tend to hit a plateau, which is completely normal. Recognize that you are now more fit; the PBs will not come as often as before. 


You do not need any gear to do a specific workout, although gear does provide support and is helpful. However, do not become so dependent on your gear that you don't want to move if you forget your bag at home.

Jump Rope

This is the first item I recommend to a new CrossFitter. If you have to take a rope that's available in the gym, you will never get the same rope length in every class.

Rope differences in every class impact your performance and motivation. The frustration of struggling with a jump rope during a workout can discourage you.

Leader Boarding And Ego

Consuming what other classmates achieve or post on social media is unhealthy. You need to control what you can control.

This is your own journey. Focus on your own performance. Leave your ego at the door and create your own experience.

It doesn't matter who beats you at a workout. What matters is that you have shown up and are doing the work.


CrossFit is an effective program for losing weight. It will also help you improve your flexibility, build strength, and increase your aerobic fitness. 

Even if you are a seasoned triathlete, CrossFit will definitely challenge you. Don't be disheartened if the soccer mom lifts heavier than you. Your time will come.

CrossFit movements are not something you can master within 1-2 classes, especially if you are new to exercising. Some movements are technical and will take months of practice.

CrossFit focuses on the community. Enjoy the community. Enjoy the friends you will make, but most of all, enjoy your personal journey. You will love it.

About the author

Growing up as the fat kid is what motivated him to take matters to his hands at fifteen, and he has never looked back again since!

When he's not pumping iron at the gym, you'll probably find him hooked to his record player listening to rock classics.

If only he could carry it with him to the gym. Sigh.

On this site, he'll do his best to help you accomplish the same results for yourself.

(We're talking about getting in shape, not trying to carry a record player to your local gym)

Michael Perry