CrossFit athlete Hilary Riordan age 27, competed at the Meridian CrossFit Regional ( Europe, Asia and Africia) in Copenhagen in May 2015 placing 20th out of over 8,000 competitors. Owner of Guerilla Fitness CrossFit gym in Ireland, Hilary has shared her top tips for anyone wanting to start out in Cross Fit.
“If you are thinking about giving CrossFit ago just go for it. You have nothing to lose and a whole lot of awesomeness to gain, you will thank me later!”
You do NOT need to be fit to start
The beauty of CrossFit is that it can be scaled to suit all abilities. You can be any age, overweight, inactive or somebody who is already training and wants to use CrossFit to complement another sport or activity. The point here being anybody can do CrossFit you just have to be willing to give it a go!
No need to be intimidated
Walking into a CrossFit gym for the first time can seem a little bit intimidating however, a CrossFit gym is one of the most encouraging and inspiring environments you can train in. When you go to a commercial gym no one knows who you are or rarely takes the time to interact with you but in a CrossFit gym everybody knows who you are. You are a valued member of the community and people want to see you succeed and reach your goals. It is an environment filled with a positive energy that is truly infectious.
It doesn’t get easier you just get better!
CrossFit challenges you to push yourself, do things you once thought were impossible. The nature of CrossFit means that it never becomes easy. You will always be pushing to go harder, faster or dig deeper.That’s what keeps you wanting more, if Crossfit became easy we would lose interest. That feeling of knowing you gave a workout everything becomes addictive, combine that with your improved strength, aerobic capacity and mental toughness, you will know exactly how hard to push in a workout and always be prepared to attack each workout.
Your rest days and recovery are vital
It is really important to incorporate rest/active recovery days into your weekly routine. Getting the right amount of sleep is vital, approximately 8 hours per night.The importance of good nutrition can’t be overstated either. As a competitive CrossFitter I supplement my diet with Kinetica Whey protein during the day, the 100% Recovery shake after training and Kinetica Prorelaese protein before bed. I also take glucosamine and Omega 3 fish oils daily to aid my recovery. The average gym goer may not need to supplement to this extent but protein after training sessions will definitely help with recovery.
It’s you against you
The best thing about CrossFit is its community and fun training environment. Remember as a novice CrossFitter you don’t want to try and compete against the person working out alongside you until you have your mechanics down, only then can you increase the intensity. The person training alongside you may have 3 years of experience under their belt as opposed to your 3 months. A good coach will be able to direct you on scaling options and know exactly what you can or can’t do.