Here's What A CrossFit Class REALLY Looks Like

Sunday, 7 January 2018

So, you've heard about CrossFit. Seen the Instagram photos, maybe a few memes here and there.  Maybe you even watched Fittest on Earth on Netflix. And it got you wondering if maybe it's the right move for you. The gym isn't enough anymore and you need to try something new. Something challenging, something exciting. 

But change and starting something new is scary. 

That's why I'm here. To show you guys that starting something new can be the best decision ever and it could send you on a path you never expected. I had no idea what would happen the first day I showed up for my trial class. Hell, I hardly knew what the CrossFit craze even was.

A typical affiliate gym (or box to use the CF term) will run classes throughout the day (mornings, midday, and early evenings.) You pick which ones suits you and then aim to show up five minutes before the class starts. Or in my case, frantically run through the door dead on time because I never learn to leave the house early enough.

You will be greeted by coaches and your fellow classmates that you'll see almost everyday. In our box, you'll be welcomed in a Squad and get to know the people you sweat beside. It can take time, but trust me there will be a lot of laughs in the mean time. Sometimes I still stand by myself awkwardly looking at my phone until we all get called onto the floor. That's when we get down to business. Each class is an hour long and it's always maximized for work and safety. 

The coach will call everyone over to the main floor where the workouts take place and you'll get to see the board that shows what's on the agenda for the day. You'll hear words like
WOD (workout of the day)
AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
Metcon (metabolic conditioning/the sweaty stuff)
EMOM (every minute on the minute)

Don't let these strange words intimidate you, it's all knowledge that comes over time and soon you'll be sick of hearing them. Stay familiar with the lingo and it'll become your second language.

After you've been told the workout, the whole groups then moves onto a nice warm-up. It's usually a run, rowing, or even some fun games like musical wall balls. These are never intense and it's just there to get your heart rate going and body warm before you stretch. Which we normally do a lot of, especially if the previous day was a tough one. After a few months you'll notice your flexibility getting better and you almost can't wait for the stretching portion of the class.

Before the workout can even start we go through the movements involved to get our bodies ready for what's to come. It's low reps, working with just a barbell and getting the right muscles nice and warm. But now comes the fun part where you get to work out what weight you're gonna go with for the workout.
 It's always the toss up of going heavy, but risking getting burnt out quick. Or going lighter to get through the workout quick. When you're new, lighter is best until you have the technique down. Now that I'm a year into it I try pushing myself to go heavier than my inner wimp is telling me, and nine times out of ten I never regret it. But if in doubt, always ask a coach.

So, you have your area set up, got your equipment with the right weight and you know what the workout is. Now's the time to get your mindset on what's about to happen. Feed off the adrenaline that's going through your body in the ten second countdown until it starts. This is my favorite part of the whole experience.

3, 2, 1, GO!

Everyone is focused on their own form and how many reps they're gonna do.

One round: that wasn't so bad.

Second round: Okay I'm getting sweaty now, and it's getting really heavy.

Third round: Not giving up. Only a few reps left, I'll break them up if I have to. I wanna finish under eight minutes, so I'm gonna push this last round.


And the workout is over, you made it through alive, and it probably feels amazing. There's about twenty seconds of silence where everyone catches their breath and lets their mind come back to earth. Then we all high-five each other and you tell certain people "You smashed that!" You wipe the sweat off your face and start putting your equipment away, feeling proud of what you just accomplished.

We all gather around the board to record our results for the workout. That's when the fun chatter begins. We talk about the workout, what was fun, what hurt, what we could have done better. Maybe give some advice to friends who have come for the next class.

In CF, everything is planned for you. You literally just have to show up, see what you're doing, listen to the coach and then go all out. At first you go with the flow of what everyone else is doing and eventually you gain your confidence.
It's an hour out of your day that you can challenge yourself and get fitter at the same time. And the best part? You can scale EVERYTHING. No matter your fitness level or if you have any existing injuries, there's options for everyone. No one has to feel inferior and there's no gym perves to check you out while you squat. It's a sport, a lifestyle, and it makes you feel awesome.

If you ever have any questions or concerns, I am more than happy to help in any way I can.
Hopefully it clears up the whole craze for you!

Have you ever wanted to try CrossFit?
Steph x. 


  1. Love this, Steph! You’ve been killing it in the gym lately, can’t wait to see where this year takes you!

    1. Thanks Erynne! And thanks for motivating me to work harder every morning :)

  2. This looks awesome! Thanks for sharing Xx