CrossFit for Beginners: What you should know!

I’ve often heard that someone didn’t want to join CrossFit because it wasn’t for beginners but only for intermediate athletes. However, you always have to start somewhere and it’s not different with CrossFit. You can scale down every workout to adjust it to your skills and strength. Before I’ll go in detail, I want to explain to non-crossfitters what that sport is about.

What is my CrossFit background?

In April 2015, so almost 11 months ago, I was a beginner as well. I had no sports background. I used my memberships at commercial gyms for about 3 weeks and paid it for the rest of the year just for fun. I had no idea what a thruster, snatch or power jerk was. You neither, didn’t you? When my boyfriend opened his own CrossFit box, UnScared CrossFit, in 2015, I knew I had to give it a try. I planned on going 2 times a week and wasn’t even sure if I could keep that up. So, my first ever CrossFit workout was an 800 m run, weightlifting and pull-ups. I thought I had to die and had no clue why people liked that feeling, even with a scaled version. But then something happened, I didn’t know it was possible. It went from 2 times a week to 3 times, 4 times, 5 times and by now 6 days a week. I actually really like it. It’s a great feeling to go from 0 push-ups to 20+ or 0 pull-ups to a muscle-up.

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a fitness training method and also a competitive sport which is marketed by the same-named US company and combines weightlifting, sprinting, bodyweight exercises and gymnastics. The aim is to train the athletes in various disciplines in order to develop a high fitness level: endurance and stamina, strength (power and strength), flexibility, speed, skill, balance, coordination and accuracy. CrossFit defines fitness as higher performance in all these areas.


What does a WOD (workout of the day) look like?

As you can read in the definition, CrossFit can be almost anything. A class can looke like as follows: stretching, warming-up your joints and muscle groups that you are going to use in the workout itself to prevent injuries and be able to move better, going through the movements of the workout to learn the right technique, the metcon (this is the workout itself) or weightlifting (in order to gain strength in general). A metcon can look as follows: 21 Deadlifts (for men 90kg/women 70kg), 21 Handstand-Push-Ups, 15 Deadlifts, 15 Handstand-Push-Ups, 9 Deadlifts, 9 Handstand-Push-Ups (You don’t know what a deadlift is? I didn’t either. No worries, you’ll learn all vocabularies soon enough). Weightlifting could be finding a 1 or 3 rep max in deadlifts, squats, push press etc.

How do I scale my workout?

I gave you an example of a workout in order to explain you how you would scale that one for instance. There is always a prescribed version of a metcon which is in this case deadlifts with 90/70kg and handstand-push-ups. The deadlift you can scale down in weight, this can be something between 5 and 90/70kg. The handstand-push-ups are a different story. For each movement there are several progressions in order to learn them. Which progression you use in the metcon depends on your ability to learn new techniques and your strength. A scaled version for handstand-push-ups could be normal push-ups or push-ups with your feet on a box.

What does RX mean?

Rx is simply the prescribed version of a metcon. So if you were able to do all movements as prescribed, then you are quite badass and have rx’d a workout.

And for those girls that are afraid of gaining muscle I wrote this article a short while ago:

Women and CrossFit and denim pants – a threesome that works!

Photocredits: Tim Maschlanka


  • Reply February 25, 2016


    Ich hab Crossfit auch schon getestet, aber das ist definitiv nix für mich, irgendwie ist mir diese Sportart zu “männlich”. Aber cool hast du dort deine Passion entdeckt.

    Liebe Grüsse

  • Reply July 31, 2017


    Danke dir für den tollen Bericht. Ich bin totaler CrossFit Fan und trainiere bereits seit einigen Jahren. Meine allgemeine Fitness hat sich massiv verbessert. VG Flo

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